Movin’ on up

Dec 22, 2020 | Craig Peterson

Nicholas Moldenhauer skates past the bench, high-fiving teammates after scoring a goal.

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.

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