Minnesota Hockey Magazine

MHM Boys Class 2A Top Ten – 1/14/2015

Senior leadership is a key to the Cretin-Derham Hall Raider aspirations this year. (MHM Photo / Tim Kolehmainen)

Benilde-St. Margaret’s, Cretin-Derham Hall return as parity reigns beyond top three

Each week it is more difficult to come up with ten teams that are standing out above the rest of the competition.  Beyond the top three teams which are obvious, it can be argued that it is about the ‘flavor of the week.’  With that said, the top six teams hold serve while we welcome Cretin-Derham Hall back to the mix on the strength of their 2-1 win over White Bear Lake and Benilde-St. Margaret’s who have gritted out some nice wins of late.  Wayzata fell out in the midst of a four game losing skid and are 1-5-1 in their last seven.

  1. Lakeville North (14-0-0, 8-0-0)

Last Week:  vs. Prior Lake (7-4 W), vs. Eastview (6-0 W)

This Week:  vs. Duluth East (2-1 W), vs. Shakopee (1/15), vs. Farmington (1/17)

The Panthers continue to turn their competition aside this year and combined for 13 goals in their two wins last week.  The scoring balance has been impressive for the Panthers with eight players that have recorded double digits in points this season. They survived a scare from the Duluth East Greyhounds to the tune of a 2-1 win on Tuesday night.  Two more games vs. Shakopee and a re-match with Farmington is on the schedule the rest of this week.  The Panthers needed overtime to get past Farmington 6-5 in their first game of the season.  The Panthers are the last undefeated team in high school hockey.

 

  1.  Edina (13-1-2, 0-0-0)

Last Week:  vs. Hill-Murray (6-3 W)

This Week:  vs. Wayzata (1/17)

After their typical flurry of games to open the season, the Hornets have pulled back on the throttle and go into their January team development mode.  At 13-1-2, the Hornets most recent win over the Hill-Murray Pioneers had the locals buzzing about the team’s chances at perhaps, their third state title.  Edina opens their Lake Conference schedule with their lone game of the week this Saturday.

 

  1. St. Thomas Academy (13-1-0, 5-0-0)

Last Week: vs. B-SM (4-3 W), vs. Mahtomedi (8-1 W), vs. South St. Paul (W 7-0)

This Week: vs. B-SM (4-3 L) at North St. Paul (1/15), vs. Hill-Murray (1/17)

The Cadets saw their perfect record come to an end with a 4-3 loss at the hands of the Benilde-St. Margaret’s Red Knights Tuesday night.  The game came on the back end of the Cadets hammering a pair of Metro East opponents by a score of 15-1.  B-SM stopped the Cadets by the same score they had lost to a week ago at the St. Louis Park Rec Center.  St. Thomas Academy faces off against North St. Paul on Saturday and then has another tough challenge with first place in the Metro East on the line Saturday with the Hill-Murray Pioneers outside at Holman field for Hockey Day Minnesota.

 

  1. Elk River (12-3-0, 8-0-0)

Last Week: vs. Champlin Park (4-1 W)

This Week:  vs. Anoka (1/15), at Blaine (1/17)

The Elks are running away with the Northwest Suburban North Division with eight more points than the second-place dwelling Blaine Bengals.  Elk River has won five in a row with their most recent being a 4-1 shutdown game against the Champlin Park Rebels.  A game on Thursday with Anoka followed by a date at Blaine are against two teams that are looking up in the standings and want to make some noise against the Elks.  How much noise can be made against this team is the question as they have found their stride.

 

  1. Eden Prairie (10-5-0, 0-0-0)

Last Week: vs. CEC (5-1 W) vs. Duluth East (4-2 W)

This Week: at Wayzata (1/15), vs. Minnetonka (1/17)

After a rough patch in the middle of December that saw the Eagles post a 1-5 record from December 20th through December 31st, the Eagles responded with a successful roadie to the Northland Area last week.  The first stop was a 6-1 win over Cloquet-Esko-Carlton and the second was a stout 4-2 win over the surging Duluth East Greyhounds.  The Eagles have the potential to win the Section 6AA this year, but so do seven other teams.  The once dominant section with up to four scary teams per season is not as scary as year’s past yet is as competitive amongst itself as ever.  It is believed here that the Eagles are the front runner for the section title at this stage of the season.

 

  1. Hill-Murray (10-5-0, 5-0-0)

Last Week: vs. Wayzata (2-1 W), vs. Hastings (6-1 W), vs. Edina (6-3 L)

This Week: at Tartan (1/15), at STA (1/17)

The Pioneers closed out a week that started well with a big 2-1 win over Wayzata and followed that up with a 6-1 thumping of Metro East foe Hastings.  While the score looks big, an empty net goal was the final margin in the 6-3 loss to Edina.  After trailing 5-0 one minute in the third period, the Pioneers got their game together and stormed back with three unanswered in a span of 4:53 making what was a comfortable night for the Hornets more stressful.  A loss to the No. 2 Hornets does not move the Pioneers down a peg this week and they hold firm at number six.

 

  1. Bemidji (14-1-1, 7-0-0)

Last Week: vs. Crookston (10-0 W), vs. Moorhead (3-0 W)

This Week: at East Grand Forks (1/15), vs. Hermantown (1/17)

The Lumberjacks are now winners for 14 straight and have allowed a stingy 22 goals against for the season.  They are putting the puck in the net an average of four times per game.  The win over Moorhead insured a sweep of their Section 8AA foe and they have run the table against their other sectional competition.  If Bemidji can take care of business, they will descend upon St. Paul for the first time since 1986.  They have two big time Class A tests this week at East Grand Forks and then at home against Hermantown.  The Jacks won their first game with East Grand Forks 2-1 earlier this year.  A win over EGF all but wraps up the Mariucci Conference title if Bemidji can take care of business the rest of the way.

 

  1. Cretin-Derham Hall (8-4-3, 4-1-3)

Last Week: vs. East Ridge (2-2 T), vs. White Bear Lake (2-1 W)

This Week: vs. Forest Lake (1/15)

This space was the first ranking service to recognize the Cretin-Derham Hall Raiders as a legitimate contender for the Suburban East Conference title and the Section 3AA title.  They have a balanced group of seniors who understand what it takes to be successful and are multi-sport athletes who compete with the ability to shake things off and move on.  Granted ties are not wins yet they aren’t losses.  Convert two of those ties to wins and the Raiders are a ten win team at this juncture of the season.  One game is on the schedule this week for the Raiders and that is with Forest Lake.

 

  1. White Bear Lake (12-3-0, 7-2-0)

Last Week: vs. Lakeville South (5-4 W), vs. Roseville (8-3 W), vs. Cretin-Derham Hall (2-1 L)

This Week: vs. Forest Lake (5-1 W), vs. Mounds View (1/17)

The Bears have come back to the pack a little after their eye opening 9-0 start to the season.  Since then, White Bear Lake is 3-3 which can be expected over the course of a long and competitive season.  After a loss to Cretin-Derham Hall last Saturday, the Bears had a week to stew on that and face a good Mounds View team in Suburban East Conference play from the Vadnais Sports Center.

 

  1. Benilde-St. Margaret’s (8-6-2, 2-0-0)

Last Week: vs. STA (4-3 W),  vs. Chanhassen (4-0 W), vs. Bloomington Jefferson (W 5-2)

This Week: at Maple Grove (4-3 L)

Another welcome back to the top ten this week features the B-SM Red Knights winners of their last three.  It seems as though the remedy or the Red Knights was some Metro West Conference play.  They are 4-1 in their last five games, including 2-0 in conference play, and are starting to shore up the defensive game.  When the Red Knights have confidence in their game, look out.  They have it and look to take that into the Maple Grove Community Center against a Maple Grove team that is 5-8-0 on the season.

Others Receiving Consideration:  Minnetonka, Stillwater, Burnsville, Wayzata, Blaine, Prior Lake, Bloomington Jefferson, Holy Family Catholic, Anoka, Hopkins