Power rankings: WE/HV hockey (1/3)
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Top 10 Westchester/Hudson Valley hockey teams
1) Suffern (7-1) — The Mounties get back on the ice on Friday against Pelham. It will be a showdown between the defending Section 1 Division 1 and Division 2 champs.
2) Rye (6-0-1) — Rye returned from its upstate trek relatively unscathed, coming away with a narrow 4-3 win over West Seneca East and a 6-6 tie against West Seneca West. Michael Benincasa (5G, 2A) and Chris Lipari (3G, 2A) combined for 11 points during the two-game stretch.
3) Pelham (5-2) — Pelham closed out 2011 on a down note, blowing a two-goal third-period lead in a 4-3 (OT) loss to Section 2's Saratoga on Dec. 28. It won't get any easier for the Pelicans in 2012, as they christen the New Year with a marquee matchup against Suffern on Friday.
4) Rye Country Day School (3-2) — RCDS returns to the ice on Jan. 4 for matchup against rival Harvey.
5) Monroe-Woodbury (8-1-1) — The Crusaders edged Bethlehem, 3-2, in the championship of Bethlehem Winter Classic on Dec. 29. Junior forward Mark Tooma has been Monroe-Woodbury's most consistent offensive player this season, registering a team-high 15 points (9G, 6A) in 10 games.
6) Eastchester/Tuckahoe/Bronxville (7-1) — ETB gets a stiff challenge against a physical Monroe-Woodbury squad in its first game back from break on Jan 6.
7) Scarsdale (3-2) — It wouldn't be wise for the Raiders to overlook Friday's tilt against New Rochelle, which rode a three-game winning streak into the break.
8) Mahopac (7-3) — The Indians are hoping their strong pre-break play carries over into 2012. They will find out in their first game back from break on Jan. 8 against Kennedy Catholic/Putnam Valley.
9) Iona Prep (6-5-1) — The Gaels hit the skids after blanking rival Fordham Prep, suffering back-to-back losses to St. Mary's and Chaminade. They will look to snap back on Jan. 5 against Greenwich (CT).
10) Pearl River (8-1) — Quietly, Pearl River has been the second best team in Rockland County behind Suffern. The Pirates have won eight straight games since suffering a 6-4 season-opening loss to ETB. With talented players like high-scoring forward Chris Alexander and stout goalie Lowell Hunt, Pearl River will be a dangerous matchup come the Section 1 Division 2 playoffs.
* Records as of 1/2
Email Isaac Cass at Icass@cablevision.com | Follow him on Twitter @MSGV_Icass