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Top 10 Westchester/Hudson Valley hockey teams
1) Suffern (6-1) — The Mounties have manhandled Section 1 competition, outscoring Nyack/TZ, North Rockland and Mamaroneck by a combined total of 31-0. A March trek up to Utica almost seems like a guarantee this season.
2) Rye (5-0) — Outside of Suffern, there's no question the Garnets have been Section 1's most impressive team thus far in 2011. Rye made it look easy upstate last weekend, scoring a 3-0 win over Glens Falls and a 4-1 win over Bethlehem. Also, Wednesday's 5-1 win over a quality Scarsdale squad shouldn't be discounted, either. As of now, it appears the Garnets have all the tools to challenge Pelham's supremacy atop Section 1 Division 2.
3) Pelham (5-1) — Coach Ed Witz's squad has won five straight since dropping its season-opening game to Glens Falls. While the Pelicans were missing some key players in Sunday's narrow 5-4 win over John Jay-CR, the result still reverberated throughout the section. Unlike Suffern, Pelham doesn't appear to be a lock to repeat as sectional champs.
4) Rye Country Day School (3-2) — Last Thursday's 2-0 win over Ryetown/Harrison marked the Wildcats' third victory in their past four games. Goalie Michael Mossman has excelled during the stretch, making 13 saves against Ryetown/Harrison and 33 saves in a 5-2 win over DeMatha Catholic (MD) on December 10.
5) Monroe-Woodbury (6-1) — Friday's 6-1 shellacking at the hands of Suffern was a setback, but the Crusaders will likely get another shot at the Mounties in the NYS D-1 tournament. Monroe refused to wallow in the defeat, snapping back the very next day with a convincing 5-1 win over Iona Prep.
6) Eastchester/Tuckahoe/Bronxville (5-1) — Monday's 3-2 win over Scarsdale was arguably ETB's biggest of the season. It proved the Eagles — known more as an offensive powerhouse — have the ability to win a hard-fought defensive battle. The ever-improving Lucas Berger, who had his best game of the season in net vs. the Raiders, will be key to ETB's success come playoff time.
7) Scarsdale (3-2) — In back-to-back losses to Rye and ETB, Scarsdale's offense produced just three goals. Rest-assured, the Raiders will regain their form. There's simply too much youthful talent on the roster to think otherwise. This is the team Rye and Pelham will try and avoid like the plague in a do-or-die playoff scenario.
8) Brewster (9-0) — The greatest show on ice has torched the nets in 2011, scoring a Section 1-best 62 goals. Joe Wegwerth (20G, 17A) and Sean Henderson (24G, 8A) have copiloted Brewster's offensive machine and are one-two in the section in scoring.
9) Iona Prep (5-3-1) — Winners of five of their past six, the Gaels have rebounded from a slow 0-2-1 start to the season. Saturday's 5-1 loss to Section 9 power Monroe-Woodbury stands as the lone blemish. The hot streak has been characterized by an ability to win close games. Four of Iona Prep's five wins have come by a single goal, including Monday's 3-2 OT thriller over Trinity Catholic (CT).
10) John Jay-Cross River (6-2) — Sunday's narrow 5-4 loss to defending Section 1 D-2 champ Pelham said a lot about the Indians, who will undoubtedly be in the mix later into the season. The emergence of Shawn Smith, who bagged a hat-trick against the Pelicans, has been crucial in John Jay-CR's early-season success. The sophomore forward has already doubled his scoring output from last year and is second on the team in points with 10 goals and three assists.
Records as of 12/19
Email Isaac Cass at Icass@cablevision.com | Follow him on Twitter @MSGV_Icass