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Top 25 Michigan hockey rankings for Jan. 13, 2020: Forest Hills Central and N/E join top 25, along with Marquette, Pioneer

By: SEAN BALIGIAN, January 13, 2020, 1:31 pm

The top three in Sean Baligian’s bi-weekly STATE CHAMPS! hockey rankings stayed the same over the holiday break, and through the first full week of 2020, but there are four new teams — Grand Rapids Forest Hills N/E, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central, Marquette and Ann Arbor Pioneer — in the top 25 for the week of Jan. 13, 2020:

1 BIRMINGHAM BROTHER RICE (9-1-1) — The Warriors stay at the top spot with their 9-1-1 record, but a trip up North to face tough squads in Houghton and Calumet this weekend will be a big test. (Last ranking: 1)

2 LIVONIA STEVENSON (11-1-1) — The Spartans are rolling on a 10-game winning streak, and coming off two impressive wins over Traverse City Central and Grandville up in Traverse City. (Last ranking: 2)

3 NOVI DETROIT CATHOLIC CENTRAL (7-4) — The Shamrocks sit at 7-2 in-state, and have given up a total of nine goals in those games. The defending Division 1 champs remain the team to beat in the improved D1 ranks. (Last ranking: 3)

4 TRENTON (10-2-1) — The Trojans are riding a six-game unbeaten streak (5-0-1) and coming off a 3-2 win on the road against a very good No. 11 Salem squad. (Last ranking: 7)

5 HARTLAND (9-3-1) — The back-to-back Division 2 champs are sitting at 9-3-1, and bounced back from a loss to rival Livonia Stevenson with nice wins over Warren De La Salle and No. 14 Detroit U-D Jesuit. (Last ranking: 4)

6 GROSSE POINTE SOUTH (13-2) — The Blue Devils are sitting at 13-2 now, and had quite the week with wins over No. 3 Novi Detroit Catholic Central on the road, and a win over Cranbrook. Big and fast, they will be a tough out for anybody come Division 3 playoff time. (Last ranking: 8)

7 DETROIT COUNTRY DAY (10-2) — The Yellow Jackets are riding a seven-game in-state win streak, and sit at 10-2 overall. Division 3 is loaded with solid teams this season, but as the back-to-back champs, they must be considered the favorite come playoff time. (Last ranking: 9)

8 CALUMET (11-1-1) — Yet another solid squad out of D3, The Copper Kings are sitting pretty at 11-1-1, and have a big test up in Copper Country when No. 1 Brother Rice comes calling on Saturday. (Last ranking: 5)

9 SAGINAW HERITAGE (9-1) —The Hawks are riding a nine-game win streak, and look towards a busy week with games against Lapeer, No. 25 Grandville and No. 22 Grand Rapids Catholic Central. (Last ranking: 13)

10 TRAVERSE CITY CENTRAL (11-2-2) — With an 11-1-2 record in-state, the Trojans are going to be an intriguing watch in Division 2 come playoff time. (Last ranking: 20)

11 SALEM (10-4) — The Rocks have a 10-3 in-state mark, and coach Ryan Ossenmacher is making a serious case for coach of the year honors in Division 1. (Last ranking: 6)

12 GRAND RAPIDS FOREST HILLS N/E (10-2) — After losing their first two games to start the season, Coach Tom Bissett’s squad has run off 10 straight wins to jump back into the rankings, and serve notice to Division 2. (Last ranking: N/R)

13 BRIGHTON (8-4-1) — The Bulldogs are on a three-game winning streak, including wins over No. 8 Calumet and No. 15 Houghton in Copper Country. Two big KLAA tests this week as they face No. 24 Plymouth and go on the road to take on No. 11 Salem. (Last ranking: 19)

14 DETROIT U-D JESUIT (7-7) — The Cubbies remain one of the top threats in Division 3, and one of the games to watch this week will certainly be when they travel to Livonia to take on No. 2 Stevenson on Saturday. (Last ranking: 15)

15 HOUGHTON (9-6) — Coach Corey Markham and his Gremlins remain one of the toughest teams to play against, and they have an intriguing week that will see them host Negaunee and No. 1 Brother Rice at venerable Dee Stadium. (Last ranking: 10)

16 GRAND RAPIDS FOREST HILLS CENTRAL (10-4) —  The Rangers have won nine of 10, and have an opportunity to avenge that loss during this hot streak, when the have a rematch with No. 12 Forest Hills N/E on Saturday. (Last ranking: N/R)

17 BAY REPS (11-3-1) — The Reps improved to 11-3-1 on the season after sweeping Macomb Dakota and Davison up in Traverse City at the North-South Showcase. Goaltender Judd Lawson posted two shutouts in less than 24 hours in the pair of 4-0 wins. No. 10 Traverse City Central vs. Bay Reps on Saturday is a can’t-miss game. (Last ranking: 16)

18 MARQUETTE (11-3) — The Redmen have won six of seven, and have only given up 19 goals against in 14 games this season. That should serve them well come playoff time. (Last ranking: N/R)

19 MIDLAND DOW (12-2) — The Chargers are 12-2 on the season, and continue to be paced by the dynamic Luke Blasy, who has 29 points (10-19) in 14 games. (Last ranking: 14)

20 ANN ARBOR PIONEER (10-2) — Before the season started, a few coaches said to look out for the Pioneers; with a game six-win streak, and at 10-2 overall, everybody should be looking out for the Pioneers now. (Last ranking: N/R)

21 HOLLAND WEST OTTAWA (7-2-2) — The Panthers are sitting at 7-2-2, and bounced back nicely from a loss at Reeths-Puffer, to knock off a solid Grand Rapids Catholic squad. (Last ranking: 17)

22 GRAND RAPIDS CATHOLIC CENTRAL (7-4-3) — The Cougars are 7-4-3 on the season, and one of the “games of the week” this week most certainly should be when No. 9 Saginaw Heritage comes calling on Saturday. (Last ranking: 12)

23 ANN ARBOR SKYLINE (9-2) — The Eagles are sitting at 9-2, and along with No. 20 Pioneer, showing everybody that there are a lot of quality players in the Ann Arbor area. (Last ranking: 24)

24 PLYMOUTH (7-7-1) — The Wildcats have won three straight, and face a stiff test on Wednesday when they travel to No. 13 Brighton. Ian Smith is a player to watch, as he has racked up 32 points in 14 games with 11 goals and 21 assists. (Last ranking: 23)

25 GRANDVILLE (9-4) — The Bulldogs remain in our top 25 by virtue of a 9-4 record. Two big tests this week for coach Joel Breazeale’s squad, as they face No. 9 Saginaw Heritage and No. 21 Holland West Ottawa on Friday and Saturday. (Last ranking: 11)


DROPPED OUT: No. 18 Traverse City West; No. 21 Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood; No. 22 Riverview Gabriel Richard; No. 25 Livonia Churchill.


CLICK HERE for the initial top 25 rankings of the 2019-20 season.

CLICK HERE for the rankings update from Dec. 16

CLICK HERE to vote in the Michigan High School Hockey Player of the Year contest.