Top 25 Michigan hockey rankings for Feb. 4: Detroit CC still unbeaten in-state and No. 1, while UP reps Houghton and Calumet climb to No. 4, No. 5
A good weekend at the MIHL showcase for the squads from the Upper Peninsula pushes two of them — Houghton and Calumet — into the top five. Novi Detroit Catholic Central is still No. 1, but the Hawks of Saginaw Heritage leap-frogged over Hartland into the No. 2 slot.
Here are the rankings for the week of Feb. 4:
1. Novi Detroit Catholic Central — The Shamrocks are 15-0 in-state, and an anonymous rival Coach suggested putting them at No. 1 AND No. 2, because they are that good.
2. Saginaw Heritage — The Hawks dropped their first game of the season at the MIHL showcase, falling to Brother Rice, but they bounced back with a win over a good Orchard Lake St. Mary's squad. The Hawks have rolled to a 15-1 record, with 14 wins by four or more goals.
3. Hartland — The Eagles now sit at 16-2 in-state, and after losses to Livonia Stevenson and Trenton, bounced back with a 5-3 win over top 10 Calumet.
4. Houghton — The Gremlins skyrocket up to No. 4 after six straight wins in-state, including knocking off Cranbrook-Kingswood and Warren DeLaSalle at the MIHL showcase. Coach Corey Markham has a hard-working bunch, that might be the team to beat right now in Division 3.
5. Calumet — The Copper Kings showed they can play with anybody at the MIHL Showcase, knocking off Livonia Stevenson, and giving Hartland all they could handle, before falling 5-3. It was a good weekend for the Upper Peninsula, with Houghton, Calumet, and a talented young Hancock team all showcasing the quality of hockey in the UP.
6. Detroit Country Day — The Yellowjackets reminded everybody that they are still the defending Division 3 champions with wins over Livonia Stevenson and Warren DeLaSalle, before falling 2-1 to a hot Brother Rice squad. Coach Frank Novock deserves coach of the year consideration once again.
7. Livonia Stevenson — What an eight-day span for the Spartans: They go to Hartland and knock off the Eagles, fall at Country Day, fall to Calumet at the MIHL showcase, then wrap it up with a 6-0 win over Trenton at the showcase. Add it all up, and they are still one of the teams to beat in Division 2.
8. Trenton — The Trojans knocked off a good Allen Park squad, and Hartland before falling to Livonia Stevenson. Coach Chad Clements should be a favorite for coach of the year in Division 2 with the job he has done with a lot of underclassmen.
9. Cranbrook-Kingswood — The Cranes jump back into our top 10 with wins over Brother Rice and Brighton, with a 3-2 loss to Houghton. Four Division 3 teams in our top nine show how intriguing the playoffs should be.
10. Birmingham Brother Rice — The Warriors jump back into the top 10 as well with two big wins at the MIHL showcase over Saginaw Heritage, and Detroit Country Day. Getting hot at the right time will be key in the Division 2 ranks, and there is not much separating the top four teams (Hartland, Livonia Stevenson, Trenton and Rice).
11. U of D Jesuit — The Cubs are right there in Division 3 as well, giving Catholic Central all they could handle in a 1-0 loss, and bouncing back with a 3-2 win over Plymouth.
12. Warren DeLaSalle — The Pilots have lost three straight, but remain a serious threat in Division 3, and have a chance to make a big statement Saturday when they play host to Trenton.
13. Marquette — The Redmen have now won 12 straight, with the last five coming via shutout. Three big tests await this week as they face ranked Salem and Davison, and a good Birmingham Unified team at the Public School Showcase.
14. East Grand Rapids — The Pioneers continue to surge as they have gone 12-1-1 in their last 14, and scored wins over Forest Hills NE, Allen Park and Macomb Dakota since our last rankings.
15. Saline — The Hornets split a pair at the MIHL showcase, falling to Macomb Dakota, before bouncing back with a 1-0 win over high-scoring Brownstown-Woodhaven.
16. Brownstown-Woodhaven — The Warriors had their 18-game win streak snapped, but remain a threat to anybody out there come playoff time.
17. Orchard Lake St Mary’s — The Eaglets look to be heating up at the right time, and the home game against Brother Rice on Thursday is a great chance at another statement.
18. Rochester United — RU jumps back into our rankings by virtue of an eight-game winning streak to start the calendar year.
19. Davison — The Cardinals are 9-1-1 in their last 11, and have two intriguing matchups at the Public Showcase this week, as they face Escanaba and Marquette.
20. Byron Center — The Bulldogs have improved to 16-4 on the season, and are riding a four-game win streak.
21. Alpena — The Wildcats scored two big wins at the MIHL showcase, and goaltender Copper Black was the talk of the weekend with his stellar play. On the season, Black has a goals against average of .800, and a save percentage of .967.
22. Brighton — The defending Division 1 champs are playing better as of late, and have long saved their best hockey for the playoffs.
23. Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central — Two exciting shutout wins over Midland Dow (2-0) and Plymouth (1-0) and the play of Junior Forward Cole Beaufait had people talking at the MIHL showcase.
24. Salem — The Rocks have won three of four, and scored a big win over Brownstown-Woodhaven at the MIHL showcase. Coach Ryan Ossenmacher is certainly deserving of Division 1 coach of the year consideration.
25. Plymouth — The Wildcats have three straight one-goal losses, but did a little deeper, and you will see that the tough slate that they play is only getting them ready for the playoffs.