Historic Prep Programs join to create six-team league for next season
Some of the oldest and most storied prep programs in North America have teamed up for the 2021-22 season to form the Prep Hockey Conference (PHC). Culver Academy, Mount Saint Charles Academy, Northwood School, Shattuck-St. Mary’s, South Kent School and St. Andrew’s College have combined to form a six-team league.
St. Andrew’s is one of the oldest in Canada, going back more than 100 years. Mount Saint Charles into the 1930s. Culver and Northwood’s programs date back to the 1970s. Shattuck in the 1990s and South Kent from the 1980s. There’s no shortage of history among these schools and the resumes they’ve compiled in terms of state and national championships, as well as NHL alumni is unmatched.
This newly-formed six-team conference spans more than 1,300 miles from New England to Ontario and the Midwest. The PHC plans to establish itself as the premier prep hockey league in North America by setting the highest standards for competitiveness and maintaining a level of institutional investment that demonstrates a significant commitment to its hockey programs and facilities. The goal is to establish relationships within and beyond the hockey world that create a high degree of visibility and positive media exposure for the PHC, its programs and its players.
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Lots of movement throughout the latest ‘04 Rankings
The latest World Hockey Hub rankings were released on Monday, accounting for game action through the month of December. With that, we saw some pretty impressive jumps throughout the 2004 rankings, headlined by three U.S. teams.
Led by Nick Moldenhauer and Chase Pirtle, the North Jersey Avalanche are 11-0-1 since September 26th. During that stretch, the Avs squared off against in-state rival New Jersey Rockets in the NJ Challenge, where the top-ranked Avalanche took a 4-1 series win. On an impressive heater right now, the Avs have jumped from No. 7 all the way up to No. 2, behind top-ranked Shattuck St. Mary’s.
Speaking of the Rockets, they’ve elevated into the Top 10 as well. The end result of the NJ Challenge appears one-sided on the surface, but all five games were decided in overtime or a shootout. One or two bounces the other way could have very easily tipped the scales in the Rockets’ favor. They haven’t lost a game in regulation since mid-October, and strong showings against the No. 2-ranked Avs have helped propel the Rockets from 11th overall to sixth.
Previously ranked 16th, the Seacoast Spartans shot up to No. 8 overall, thanks in part to a thrilling 2-1 upset of No. 5 Pittsburgh Penguins Elite. The two teams played a back-to-back during the first week of December, skating to two one-goal games. The finale proved to be a thriller, as Seacoast’s Paul Tollet and Kyle Smyth scored just 30 seconds apart to pull off the come-from-behind upset in the final moments of regulation.
Want to see more from our latest rankings? Check out the global Top 25 for 2004, 2005 and 2006-birth year teams HERE.