By Ed Flaherty
Just one unbeaten team remains in Rhode Island high school girls hockey, with La Salle Academy of Providence standing at 5-0 after five outings.
The Rams have won in both convincing fashion and by the narrowest of margins during their unblemished start to the 2011-12 season.
La Salle opened its season with a 4-0 win over Burrillville, as Meaghan Rickard had two goals and Michaela McNamara had a goal and an assist. Holly Smith made 12 saves to record the shutout victory for the Rams.
La Salle has played St. Mary’s Academy Bay View twice in the early season, with both wins coming by one-goal margins.
In the second game of the season, the Rams edged St. Mary’s Academy, 2-1 in overtime, as Rickard scored the game-winning goal. Cailin Catarina had two assists. Smith made 34 saves in the win for La Salle.
The second meeting between La Salle and St. Mary’s was another one-goal outing, with the Rams earning a 3-2 victory behind 11 saves by Smith.
Through five games, Rickard has six goals and three assists for nine points, while Smith has allowed just three goals and has a 0.96 goals-against average.
La Salle’s next test comes Friday when the Rams take on defending state champion Mount St. Charles, which is 4-0-1.
The Notre Dame West Haven boys have opened their season with a 5-0 record while dominating the competition.
The Green Knights have outscored the opposition 24-4 in their five games to open the 2011-12 season and have allowed more than one goal on just one occasion.
In their most recent outing, the Green Knights rolled past Amity, 7-2.
Eric Austin and Bill Vizzo had two goals apiece for Notre Dame West Haven, while Matt Dumas (three), Colby Cretella (two) and Louis Iannotti (two) had multiple assists.
Presque Isle senior Isaac LaJoie had a memorable week as the center recorded his 100th career point and learned he had been accepted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
LaJoie hit the 100-point mark with a five-point effort in a win over Houlton-Hodgdon.
“It has been a dream week,” LaJoie told the Bangor Daily News. “(Getting into MIT) was an immense weight off my shoulders. I have been working toward that and I had been waiting to hear from them.”
Wilmington boys coach Steve Scanlon recorded his 250th career victory as the Wildcats recorded a 2-1 win over Peabody on Dec. 23.
Anthony Castellano and Cody McGowan had Wilmington’s goals as the Wildcats rallied for the win.
Scanlon has been Wilmington’s head coach since
Already 3-0 in New Hampshire’s Division II, the Merrimack boys have been impressive in the Bauer Christmas Hockey Classic.
The Tomahawks have added three more wins to their resume, including two against Division 1 foes.
Merrimack opened the tournament with a 3-1 win over defending Div. 1 champion Trinity and followed that effort with a 4-3 shootout win against Hanover and a 3-1 victory over Goffstown.
The Essex boys rolled past BFA St. Albans in a battle of unbeaten teams, picking up a 3-2 victory to improve to 6-0 overall.
The loss dropped BFA St. Albans to 4-1.
Essex was led by junior Steve Jurkiewicz, who scored the game-winning goal in the third period and also had a first-period assist.
Pat Campbell had 26 saves in goal for Essex.
Game of the Week
Rhode Island’s lone Division 1 unbeaten teams will meet on New Year’s Eve at 2:30 pm. in Smithfield when La Salle takes on Bishop Hendricken.
La Salle (5-0-1) and Bishop Hendricken (4-0-1) played to a 2-2 tie earlier this season.
New England power rankings
1. Notre Dame West Haven (5-0)
2. Fairfield Prep (3-0)
3. East Haven (3-0-1)
4. Milford (4-0)
5. Staples-Weston-Shelton (3-0)
6. Guilford (2-1)
7. West Haven (3-0)
8. South Windsor (2-1)
9. Brookfield-Bethel-Danbury (4-2)
10. Xavier (3-1)
1. Marshwood/Traip (5-0)
2. Bangor (3-0)
3. Brewer (5-0)
4. Biddeford (3-1-1)
5. Thornton Academy (3-1)
6. Scarborough (4-0-1)
7. Old Town (4-1)
8. Messalonskee (3-1)
9. Hall-Dale (2-2)
10. Cape Elizabeth (2-0-2)
1. BC High (2-0)
2. Needham (3-0)
3. Andover (2-0-1)
4. Westford Academy (2-0-1)
5. Malden Catholic (3-1-1)
6. Chelmsford (3-0)
7. Franklin (5-0)
8. St. Mary’s Lynn (5-1-1)
9. Burlington (3-0-1)
10. Lincoln-Sudbury (2-0)
1. Memorial (4-0)
2. Bedford (3-0)
3. Pinkerton (2-0)
4. Merrimack (3-0)
5. St. Thomas (3-1)
6. Dover (2-1)
7. Souhegan (4-0)
8. Oyster River (2-0)
9. Concord (2-1)
10. Alvirne (3-0)
1. La Salle (5-0-1)
2. Hendricken (4-0-1)
3. Cumberland (5-0)
4. Coventry (4-1)
5. Johnston/North Providence (5-0)
6. Prout (4-2-1)
7. Cranston West (3-1-1)
8. Pilgrim (3-1-1)
9. Mount St. Charles (2-2)
10. Portsmouth (4-1)
1. Essex (6-0)
2. Middlebury (4-0)
3. BFA St. Albans (4-1)
4. South Burlington (5-1)
5. Missiquoi (4-1)
6. Stowe (3-1)
7. U-32 (3-0-1)
8. Burr and Burton (4-0-1)
9. CVU (3-3)
10. Milton (2-2)
Ed Flaherty can be reached at email@example.com.