When the Mid-Atlantic Prep Hockey League playoffs began Feb. 19, the Gonzaga Eagles were sitting in fifth place in the standings. But a slew of upsets, including losses by the top four seeds, opened the door for the Eagles.
“It goes to the core of what every league desires: parity,” said Bill Slater, Gonzaga’s hockey director and former head coach.
Led by Farrell Dinn’s hat trick, Gonzaga claimed its third straight MAPHL title and ninth in school history with a 5-1 win over Spalding.
But the upsets weren’t limited to the MAPHL. In the Maryland Student Hockey League, top-seeded Urbana lost to 16th seed Kent Island in the first round.
No. 12 seed Bethesda Chevy-Chase also took its bracket by surprise, dethroning No. 5 seed Huntingtown and No. 4 seed Dulaney to set up a Montgomery County showdown with Churchill on Wednesday in the semifinals.
The upset theme continued in Virginia. Briar Woods took down Madison, 4-0, in the Northern Virginia Scholastic Hockey League, while Bishop Ireton earned a 5-2 win over West Springfield before bowing out against Washington-Lee in the Capital Scholastic Hockey League.
Here are this week’s top 10 rankings:
1. Gonzaga (15-8-1) LR: 2
The MAPHL trophy made its way to Eye Street for the third straight season.
2. Chantilly (10-1) LR: 1
The Chargers pulled off a 6-3 win over Broad Run and face Langley in the NVSHL semifinals Wednesday night.
3. Wootton (14-4-1) LR: 6
The Patriots face off against Carroll County on Wednesday night for a spot in the MSHL championship game Friday.
4. DeMatha (25-8-2) LR: 8
Christian Halbig, Jonathan Matta and Erick Reiniger all made the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference first team, the most from one school, while Tony MacAulay received coach of the year honors.
5. Georgetown Prep (14-4-1) LR: 10
Clay Lanham, James Flannery, Alex Chaconas, Peter Roche and Elon Granston were named all-Interstate Athletic Conference, and Brian Danver was named MAPHL coach of the year.
6. Churchill (15-7-2) LR: 4
The Bulldogs rolled past Kent Island, 10-2, and face upstart Bethesda Chevy-Chase in the semifinals Wednesday night.
7. T.C. Williams (11-2) LR: 5
The Titans defeated Lake Braddock and West Potomac, setting up a clash with Washington-Lee in the CSHL finals Friday night.
8. Washington-Lee (9-2-1) LR: 9
The Generals beat Woodbridge and Bishop Ireton, setting up a showdown with T.C. Williams for the CSHL title.
9. St. John’s (14-7-2) LR: NR
Sophomore Quinn Kennedy was named WCAC player of the year, and goalie Jack Spicer also made first-team all-conference.
10. Spalding (12-10-3) LR: NR
The Cavaliers defeated Georgetown Prep and St. Albans to make their first MAPHL final in school history before falling to Gonzaga.
Dropped out: Landon, Marriotts Ridge
On the bubble: Bethesda Chevy-Chase, St. Albans, Battlefield