Minnesota Hockey Magazine

MHM Boys Class 2A Top Ten – 1/20/2015

(MHM Photo / Jeff Wegge)

Hill-Murray joins top three while Blaine debuts in the middle of the pack

  1. Lakeville North (17-0-0, 10-0-0)

Last Week:  vs. Duluth East (2-1 W), vs. Shakopee (6-2 W), vs. Farmington (6-0 W)

This Week:   at Burnsville (1/22), at Apple Valley (1/24)

The Lakeville North Panthers continue to cut their swath through the competition in Minnesota High School Hockey and improved to 17-0 on the season. They survived a defensive scare against the Duluth East Greyhounds by a score of 2-1 and finished off Shakopee (6-2) and Farmington (6-0) last week. The Farmington game was an impressive display as to where two teams have developed this season. One will recall, it was a week one 6-5 overtime win for the Panthers over Farmington that caught the hockey world by surprise. Farmington is viewed as a competitive team and a top four contender in the Section 1AA. This Panther team has gotten better each week and since allowing five goals in their opening game, Lakeville North has allowed just 21 goals against in their last16 games. A tough game is on deck this Thursday with the always difficult to play Burnsville Blaze.

 

  1. Edina (14-1-2, 1-0-0)

Last Week:  vs. Wayzata (6-3 W)

This Week:   vs. Hopkins (1/22), at Minnetonka (1/24)

The Edina Hornets continue to cruise through their season and repelled the Wayzata Trojans with steady 6-3 win last Saturday. The Hornets make the turn on the season to the final stretch and that means they incrementally improve their game and tune it up to the playoff level that they have become known for. More Lake Conference games stand before them with a dance against Hopkins on Thursday and Minnetonka on Saturday.

 

  1. Hill-Murray (12-5-0, 6-0-0)

Last Week:  vs. Tartan (2-1 W), vs. St. Thomas Academy (3-2 W)

This Week:   at Henry Sibley (1/22), at Mahtomedi (1/24)

It was a big Hockey Day Minnesota win in overtime against rival St. Thomas Academy by a score of 3-2. It propels them to the No. 3 slot in this week’s MNHockeyMag.com rankings. Elk River’s loss to Blaine coupled with the big Pioneer win over St. Thomas Academy, allow the Pioneers to slide into the top three this week for the second time this year. They have a great chance of holding that position with Metro East games against Henry Sibley and Mahtomedi this week. The Pioneers needed overtime to slip past Tartan earlier in last week’s action and have proven like all teams this season, there is no such thing as a guaranteed victory on the schedule.

 

  1. St. Thomas Academy (14-2-0, 6-1-0)

Last Week:  vs. B-SM (4-3 L), vs. North St. Paul (9-1 W), vs. Hill-Murray (3-2 L ot)

This Week:  vs. Totino Grace (1/20), at Simley (1/22)

The Cadets had a rough week going 1-2 in their three games. The resurgent Benilde-St. Margaret’s Red Knights handed the Cadets their first loss last Tuesday. An overtime loss to the highly regarded Hill-Murray Pioneers is nothing to be ashamed of and it was on outdoor ice, while not an excuse, it allows the Cadets a bit of a free pass in this ranking system to maintain their top five status. Add to that 14 wins on the season and the Cadets are among the most dangerous teams in high school hockey despite posting a 1-2 record last week.

 

  1. Blaine (10-5-0, 6-3-0)

Last Week:  vs. Centennial (3-2 W), vs. Elk River (6-4 W)

This Week:  vs. Benilde-St. Margaret’s (1/20), at Champlin Park (1/22), Anoka (1/24)

The Bengals are winners of four straight and turned aside some good teams along the way including Andover (2-1), Maple Grove (5-4), Centennial (3-2), and Elk River (6-4).  Their win over Elk River earned them the season split with the Elks who ended up falling two notches from four to six. The Bengals hot streak debuts them in the fifth slot which is rare for this ranking system yet their run has earned them that jump. The Benilde-St. Margaret’s Red Knights and Anoka Tornadoes offer two stiff challenges this week which will allow the Bengals to prove they belong in the elite of the Class 2A rankings.

 

  1. Elk River (13-4-0, 9-1-0)

Last Week:  vs. Anoka (5-0 W), vs. Blaine (6-4 L)

This Week:  vs. Andover (1/22), at Coon Rapids (1/24)

The Elk River Elks had a six game winning streak snapped by the Blaine Bengals in a 6-4 loss last week which earned the two teams a split in conference play. At 9-1-0 in conference play, the Elks still have Northwest Suburban North Conference in firm control. They look to start another winning streak this week with games against Andover and Coon Rapids.

 

  1. Minnetonka (11-5-1, 2-0-0)

Last Week:  vs. Blake (7-1 W), vs. Hopkins (6-3 W), Eden Prairie (4-2 W)

This Week:  vs. Wayzata (1/22), vs. Edina (1/24)

The Minnetonka Skippers have won several key games along the way including a steady 4-2 win over Eden Prairie after stopping Hopkins by a score of 6-3. Winners of six straight, including a pair vs. Eden Prairie, the Skippers have outscored their opponents 38-14 over that time. Wayzata and Edina are on the schedule this week and will take us a long way in determining if the Skippers float in this area of the top ten or surge to the upper echelon.

 

  1. Benilde-St. Margaret’s (9-6-2, 2-0-0)

Last Week:  vs. St. Thomas Academy (4-3 W), vs. Maple Grove (4-1 W)

This Week:   at Blaine (1/20), vs. Bloomington Jefferson (1/24)

Like most teams that are in this week’s top ten, the Red Knights have ripped off consecutive wins. To date, they are on a four-game run with wins over Chanhassen (4-0), Jefferson (5-2), St. Thomas Academy (4-3) and Maple Grove (4-1). After going on a Minnesota Wild like 2-5-2 patch that included a winless string of four games (0-2-2), the Red Knights have found their defensive game. During their last six games, the Red Knights have allowed just 11 goals The Blaine Bengals are on the Red Knights menu this week and a rematch with Bloomington Jefferson Jaguars in Metro West action.

 

  1. Cretin-Derham Hall (9-4-3, 5-1-3)

Last Week:   vs. White Bear Lake (2-1 W), vs. Forest Lake (3-2 W)

This Week:   at Stillwater (1/22), at Park of Cottage Grove (1/24)

Don’t look now but the Raiders are on a sizzling 7-0-2 run right now and have outscored their opponents, which includes a 2-1 win at White Bear Lake, 39-14.They have a showdown with Stillwater in Suburban East Conference action this week to go along with a game with Park.

 

  1. White Bear Lake (13-3-0, 8-2-0)

Last Week:  vs. Forest Lake (5-1 W), vs. Mound View (9-0 W)

This Week:  vs. Hermantown (1/23), vs. Grand Rapids (1/24)

Back-to-back games with the Hermantown Hawks, No. 1 in Class 1A, and the always tough to play against Grand Rapids Thunderhawks will challenge the mettle of the Bears. They have been solid this year and wins in both of those games will be huge for this team which is beginning to get to the sectional tune-up mode. They have plenty of work to do though with games against Stillwater, Hill-Murray, East Ridge, Roseville, Woodbury, and Cretin-Derham Hall all posing challenges for them.

Others receiving consideration:  Stillwater, Bemidji, Eden Prairie