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WEEK 2 RANKINGS: Country Day takes over top spot in the hockey rankings, while five new squads join top 25

By: SEAN BALIGIAN, February 22, 2021, 6:00 am

Two weeks into the regular season, and we have a new No. 1 in the STATE CHAMPS! hockey rankings, as the Yellowjackets of Birmingham Detroit Country Day climb three spots from No. 4. Warren De La Salle debuts at No. 15 in the rankings, while a pair of west-side teams — Bay Reps and Muskegon Mona Shores — along with a pair of Ann Arbor-area squads — Gabriel Richard/Greenhills and Chelsea — also join the top 25.

Here are the second week of rankings:

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1 Birmingham Detroit Country Day (5-0)

Previous ranking: 4

How they fared: Beat Salem, 5-0; beat Dearborn Divine Child, 9-1

The Yellowjackets are off to another great start under coach Frank Novock, and looking for a three-peat in the always competitive D3 Ranks, after winning the championship in 2018 and 2019.

2 University of Detroit Jesuit (4-0-1)

Previous ranking: 2

How they fared: Beat No. 10 Saginaw Heritage, 5-0.

The Cubs remain unbeaten to start the season, and are going to be a big threat to challenge Country Day for D3 supremacy.

3 Calumet (6-0-1)

Previous ranking: 3

How they fared: Tied with No. 5 Houghton, 3-3 (OT); beat Kingsford, 10-2; beat Rochester Adams, 6-5 (OT); beat Escanaba, 8-0.

A trio of D3 teams at the top this week, and coach Dan Giachino has a Copper King squad that can win it all in 2021.

4 Novi Detroit Catholic Central (5-1)

Previous ranking: 1

How they fared: Lost to No. 20 Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood, 4-0; beat No. 8 Birmingham Brother Rice, 3-2; beat Grosse Pointe North, 8-0.

The Shamrocks bounced back nicely after a loss to Cranbrook with a win over fierce rival Brother Rice. They have a very deep squad, and remain the team to beat in D1.

5 Hartland (4-1)

Previous ranking: 9

How they fared: Beat Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central, 8-0; beat No. 7 Livonia Stevenson, 5-1.

Coach Rick Gadwa continues to do an outstanding job with the Eagles, and they are looking for a three-peat in D2, after winning it all in 2018 and 2019.

6 Birmingham Brother Rice (4-2)

Previous ranking: 8

How they fared: Beat No. 18 Brighton, 4-2; lost to No. 1 Novi Detroit Catholic Central, 3-2; beat No. 10 Saginaw Heritage, 3-2 (OT).

The Warriors handed No. 5 Hartland its only loss on the year, and are a young team that is only going to get better in this sprint of a 2021 season.

7 Byron Center (6-0)

Previous ranking: 11

How they fared: Beat Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central, 9-1; beat Grand Rapids Catholic Central, 5-4; beat Muskegon Reeths-Puffer, 6-2.

The Bulldogs start the 2021 campaign at 6-0, and are looking to make it back to the D2 final four for the seconnd year in a row, led by sophomore Logan Nickolaus, who has 10 goals and 17 points to start the season.

8 Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood (4-2)

Previous ranking: 20

How they fared: Beat No. 22 Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, 2-1; beat No. 1 Novi Detroit Catholic Central, 4-0; beat No. 6 Trenton, 2-0.

The Cranes skyrocket into our top 10 after a week that saw them knock off Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, Detroit Catholic Central and Trenton.

9 Trenton (4-2)

Previous ranking: 6

How they fared: Beat Wyandotte Roosevelt, 5-0; lost to No. 20 Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood, 2-0; beat Grosse Pointe South, 3-1. 

The Trojans bounced back nicely from the loss to Cranbrook with a 3-1 win over a solid Grosse Pointe South squad.

10 Livonia Stevenson (4-2)

Previous ranking: 7

How they fared: Beat No. 14 Novi, 6-0; beat Livonia Franklin, 8-2; Lost to No. 9 Hartland, 5-1.

The fifth D2 team in our top 10, the Spartans went 2-1 last week with wins over Novi and Livonia Franklin, and a loss to Hartland.

11 Flint Powers (6-0)

Previous ranking: 13

How they fared: Beat No. 10 Saginaw Heritage, 5-0; beat East Grand Rapids, 2-1 (OT); beat Lapeer, 14-0.

The Chargers unbeaten to start the season, and can move up in our ranking after this week as they have games against Midland, Detroit Country Day and Livonia Stevenson scheduled.

12 Houghton (4-1-1)

Previous ranking: 5

How they fared: Tied No. 3 Calumet, 3-3 (OT); lost to No. 17 Marquette, 2-0; beat Rochester Adams, 6-1.

The Gremlins are going to have a big say in regards to bragging rights in the UP and D3 ranks. Goaltender Jimmy Pietila gives them a chance to win every night.

13 Hancock (5-1)

Previous ranking: 16

How they fared: Beat No. 17 Marquette, 2-0; beat Escanaba, 5-1; beat Rochester Adams, 9-3.

The Bulldogs are off to a 5-1 start under new head coach Scott Mikesch. Keep an eye on forward Austin Salani in discussions about potential player of the year candidates.

14 Marquette (5-2)
Previous ranking: 17

How they fared: Lost to No. 16 Hancock, 2-0; beat No. 5 Houghton, 2-0; beat Kingsford, 9-1; beat Painesdale Jeffers, 8-1.

The Redmen had a big win over Houghton last Thursday, and are looking to make a return trip to USA Hockey Arena for the D2 semifinals.

15 Warren De La Salle (4-1-1)

Previous ranking: N/R

How they fared: Beat Grosse Pointe North, 8-0; tied No. 2 U-D Jesuit, 3-3 (OT); beat Utica Eisenhower, 5-3.

Coach Sean Clark returned to the bench for the Pilots, and they are off to a 4-1-1 start led by junior Seaton Heilman, with six goals and 11 points.

16 Saginaw Heritage (3-2)

Previous ranking: 10

How they fared: Lost to No. 13 Flint Powers, 5-0, beat Bay Reps, 3-1; lost to No. 8 Birmingham Brother Rice, 3-2 (OT)

The Hawks are looking to make it four straight trips to the MHSAA final four under head coach JJ Bamberger.

17 Muskegon Mona Shores (7-0)

Previous ranking: N/R

How they fared: Beat Holt, 7-1; beat Grand Haven, 7-1; beat Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills, 6-5; beat No. 15 Grand Rapids Forest Hills N/E, 6-3

The Sailors are off to a 7-0 start and are being led by junior Ty Langlois ( eight goals, 12 assists) and sophomore Jake Nanna (13 goals, seven assists). A great story developing in the D2 ranks.

18 Bay Reps (4-2)

Previous ranking: N/R

How they fared: Beat No. 12 Traverse City Central, 3-1; lost to No. 10 Saginaw Heritage, 3-1; lost to No. 19 Rockford, 2-1. 

A 2019 semifinalist, the Reps sit at 4-1 to start the season, and had a 3-1 win over then-No. 12 Traverse City Central in a battle for bragging rights in Traverse City.

19 Traverse City Central (4-1)

Previous ranking: 12

How they fared: Lost to Bay Reps, 3-1; beat Alpena, 9-1; beat Gaylord, 2-1. 

The Trojans bounced back nicely from their first loss to the Bay Reps with a pair of Big North Conference wins.

20 Ann Arbor Skyline (3-0)

Previous ranking: 21

How they fared: Beat No. 23 Ann Arbor Pioneer, 5-3. 

The Eagles are sitting at 3-0, and are being led once again by senior Jamie Newton, who has six goals and 12 points to start out the season.

21 Brighton (4-3)

Previous ranking: 18

How they fared: Lost to No. 8 Birmingham Brother Rice, 4-2; beat Livonia Churchill, 2-1, lost to No. 2 U-D Jesuit, 4-2.

Coach Kurt Kivisto has the Bulldogs playing one of the toughest schedules in the state, and they will be a force yet again once the D1 playoffs start.

22 Orchard Lake St Mary’s (3-3)

Previous ranking: 22

How they fared: Lost to No. 20 Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood, 2-1; beat Saline, 8-0; beat Port Huron Northern, 7-2.

Speaking of tough schedules, the Eaglets are another team that has a difficult slate that prepares them for the playoffs.

23 Chelsea (5-1)

Previous ranking: N/R

How they fared: Beat Jackson, 3-2; beat No. 24 Riverview Gabriel Richard, 2-1 (OT); beat Temperance Bedford, 4-1.

The Bulldogs have ripped off five straight wins, including a 2-1 victory over a solid, then-No. 24 Riverview Gabriel Richard squad.

24 Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard/Greenhills (5-1)

Previous ranking: N/R

How they fared: Beat Allen Park Cabrini, 8-0; beat Dexter, 5-4; beat No. 25 Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett, 4-3.

Five straight wins for the Irish, including a thrilling 4-3 victory over then-No. 25 Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett for the CHSL championship.

25 Novi (4-1)

Previous ranking: 14

How they fared: Beat Livonia Franklin, 9-1; lost to No. 7 Livonia Stevenson, 6-0.

Big week for coach Mark Vellucci and his Wildcats as they are scheduled to face No. 9 Trenton, No. 21 Brighton and the feisty Salem squad.

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Dropped out: No. 15 Grand Rapids Forest Hills N/E, No. 19 Rockford, No. 23 Ann Arbor Pioneer, No. 24 Riverview Gabriel Richard, No. 25 Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett

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For the initial STATE CHAMPS! top 25, CLICK HERE.