AC enters season as girls' hockey No. 1

Arlington Catholic takes the top spot in our first MIAA girls' hockey Top 25 poll of the season.

For the entire poll, click HERE.

Here are few thoughts from the poll and the new season:

Dragons' lair: No matter what, there will be a new champion in Division 2 this year, as three-time reigning title-holder Duxbury moves up to D1. The Dragons, who start the year at No. 2, will have a crack at the ultimate prize in their first season at the state's top level, but that could mean that it's finally No. 5 Falmouth's time to assume the throne in D2. The Clippers have been runners-up to Duxbury in the state title game in each of the last two seasons.

League races in focus: Both the Catholic Central and Middlesex Leagues are well-represented in our Top 10.

The Catholic Central should be the race to watch this year, with AC, St. Mary's of Lynn (No. 4) and Austin Prep (No. 8) all represented in the Top 10, in addition to Archbishop Williams, which checks in at No. 19.

However, the Middlesex leads all leagues with five entrants to start the year, with Woburn topping off at No. 6. However, a considerable amount of preseason buzz has surrounded No. 7 Reading, with a young nucleus that could be capable of skating away with the hardware at the Garden in March.