News-Herald hockey Top of the Crop for Jan. 9



1: (2) University 15-6

2: (1) Gilmour 10-7-2

3: (3) Mentor 14-4-1

4: (4) Benedictine 8-7

5: (5) Kenston 11-8

Watch list: Chagrin Falls (9-5)

Crop comments: University has leapfrogged reigning state champion Gilmour for No. 1 in the Crop. US is 10-2 since Dec. 16 and dispatched St. Edward, 3-1, on Jan. 8. It's not as if the Lancers are playing poorly — they're 5-2-2 since Dec. 11. But losing to Toledo St. Francis, 2-1, on Jan. 8 and with the Preppers taking down the Eagles, to whom Gilmour lost earlier in the season, it was time. They can also settle this Crop matter head-to-head soon enough, with their Great Lakes Hockey League matchups Jan. 20 at Gilmour and Jan. 29 at Cleveland Heights. ... Mentor handled its GCHSHL Red business decisively in wins over Olmsted Falls (6-1) and Avon (11-1). It's also good to see Brad Backston return to the lineup for the Cardinals. ... Benedictine recorded arguably its best win of the season to date, rallying to take down longtime GCHSHL Red power Hudson, 7-5, in a wild one Jan. 6. Speaking of settling Crop matters soon enough, the Benedictine at Mentor clash postponed Dec. 23 by the blizzard has been rescheduled for Jan. 18. ... No. 5 and the watch list has settled itself for this winter. Kenston mercy-ruled Chagrin Falls in their annual nonleague encounter Jan. 8 at The Pond, and the Tigers took care of NDCL (6-3) for the second time this season Jan. 7.

Note: Records and games considered through Jan. 8.