Minnesota Hockey Magazine

MHM Boys Class 2A Top Ten – 1/7/2015

Riding a 13-game winning streak, the Bemidji Lumberjacks climb into this week’s MHM Class 2A Top Ten. (MHM Photo / Tim Kolehmainen)

Minnetonka joins the fray while STA climbs up a notch

The top ten of the Class 2A this week features a lot of movement from teams who have been in and out of the top ten this season.  One consistent on this ranking service since week two has been Lakeville North residing in the top spot after defeating Edina.  The Hornets moved down one slot this week to number three and up to number two is St. Thomas Academy.  While White Bear Lake lost to Edina, they played incredibly well against a top team and stay relevant in this week’s MNHockeyMag.com Class 2A top ten. We welcome the Minnetonka Skippers and Bemidji Lumberjacks to this week’s top ten.

 

  1. Lakeville North (12-0, 6-0)

Last Week:  vs. Moorhead (10-1 W), vs. Benilde-St. Margaret’s (4-2 W), vs. Wayzata (3-2 W), vs. Eagan (2-0 W)

This Week:  vs. Prior Lake (1/8), at Eastview (1/10)

It was a challenging week for the Panthers.  One would have not expected that after they opened their week with a 10-1 thumping over Moorhead at the Sports Authority St. Louis Park Holiday Classic.  The Panthers went on to rally for a 4-2 win over the Benilde-St. Margaret’s Red Knights on the strength of a Ryan Poehling hat trick who rallied his team from a 2-0 first period deficit.  They rounded out the six team holiday classic with a sweep in earning the 3-2 win over Wayzata with all three Panther goals scored and assisted by players not named Poehling which is a good sign for coach Trent Eigner’s team and their depth.  The Panthers closed out the four-games-in-six-days week with a 2-0 South Suburban Conference win over the Eagan Wildcats.  Lakeville North continues its conference play this week with a game against Prior Lake and Eastview.  With the 12-0 record, the Panthers are seeing every team’s best game and it will only become more challenging as the season moves on.  It may be too soon to discuss an undefeated season but it is now on the radar at the midway point and worth watching with this team.

 

  1. St. Thomas Academy (11-0, 3-0)

Last Week:  vs. Duluth East (4-1 W), vs. Minnetonka (9-3 W), vs. Burnsville (3-0 W)

This Week:  at Benilde-St. Margaret’s (4-3 W), vs. Mahtomedi (1/8) vs. South St. Paul (1/10)

It was a successful Schwan’s Cup Gold Division championship run for the Cadets who, along with Lakeville North, are one of just two undefeated teams in high school hockey.  The Cadets turned aside the B-SM Red Knights this past week with a 4-3 win at the St. Louis Park Rec Center.  They will face solid Mahtomedi team who is 11-1-1 and a rival over the years in a key Metro East tilt.  The Cadets close out their week with another rival in the South St. Paul Packers on Saturday.  Their undefeated season includes key wins over Wayzata, Duluth East, Minnetonka, Burnsville, and Benilde-St. Margaret’s has separated them from the pack and elevated them over the Edina Hornets.

 

  1. Edina Hornets (12-1-2, 0-0)

Last Week:  vs. Minnetonka (3-3 T), vs. Duluth East (7-1 W), vs. Hill-Murray (3-1 W), vs. White Bear Lake (3-2 W)

This Week:  vs. Hill-Murray (1/10)

A tie with the Minnetonka Skippers that resulted in a shootout loss (that doesn’t appear on the record as a loss) propelled the Hornets to the consolation bracket of the Schwan’s Cup.  Edina responded in the consolation round with a 7-1 drubbing and then took down Hill-Murray, their upcoming opponent this Saturday, by a score of 3-1.  After firing off four games in 6 days, the Hornets take a break from games and play just one this week with Hill-Murray and one only needs to go back two years to the big 2-1 overtime win by the Pioneers.  That game was a preview of the State Final where the Hornets avenged that loss with a state championship victory.

 

  1. Elk River/Zimmerman (11-3-0, 7-0-0)

Last Week:  vs. Maple Grove (4-2 W), vs. Centennial (6-1 W)

This Week: at Champlin Park (1/10)

Don’t look now, but after back-to-back 6-3 losses at the Edina Holiday Classic to Eden Prairie and Edina, the Elks have won four straight and are 3-0 against section  7AA teams putting them in the driver seat for the top seed at the midway point of the season.  They have strung together four straight wins over Grand Rapids (5-4), Forest Lake (7-4), Maple Grove (4-2), and Centennial (6-1) to vault them to the number four slot in this week’s rankings.

 

  1. Eden Prairie (8-5-0, 0-0-0)

Last Week: vs. Hill-Murray (3-2 W), vs. Burnsville (5-4 L), vs. Minnetonka (7-4 L)

This Week: at Cloquet-Esko-Carlton (1/9), at Duluth East (1/10)

The Eden Prairie Eagles won seven of their first eight.  Since then, they are 1-4 in their last five with their win over Hill-Murray that illustrates the Eagles’ ability to play among the top teams in the State.  The Eagles are a young team and have the ability to win their section this year. This team does not shy away from playing top teams and are 5-4 against top ten teams.  Based on that, the Eagles have a higher ranking this week.  The familiar road trip up 35 to Cloquet and Duluth is on the schedule this week and will give the Eagles a chance to play against two teams that are tough to beat at home.

 

  1. Hill-Murray (9-4-0, 3-0-0)

Last Week:  vs. Eden Prairie (3-2 L), vs. Eastview (5-1 W), vs. Edina (3-1 L), vs. North St. Paul (9-1 W)

This Week:  at Wayzata (2-1 W),  vs. Hastings (1/8), at Edina (1/10)

The Hill-Murray Pioneers always get better as the season wears on. Expect more of the same in that regard from Bill Lechner’s club this year.  This past week Hill-Murray posted a 2-2 record, losing to top five teams Edina (3-1) and Eden Prairie (3-2).  They defeated Eastview (5-1) and North St. Paul (9-1) in games they are expected to win.  The Pioneers are 3-3 vs. teams that have been in the MHM top then this year with their losses coming to Lakeville North, Edina, and Eden Prairie.  The defeated Wayzata 2-1 on Tuesday of this week and are notched one spot ahead of them in this week’s rankings.

 

  1. Wayzata (7-5-2, 0-0-0)

Last Week:  vs. Holy Family Catholic (4-2 W), vs. Moorhead (6-5 L), vs. Lakeville North (3-2 L)

This Week:  vs. Hill Murray (2-1 L)

The Trojans have played a difficult schedule this year and own a 2-4-2 record against teams that have been in the top ten at one point or another this year.  The Trojans have stumbled over the past two weeks and are 1-4-1 in their last six games dating back to December 23rd.  The Trojans dropped two of three games at the Sports Authority St. Louis Park Holiday Classic and then lost this week to No. 5 Hill-Murray in a one goal game.  Wayzata has played in six one goal games and are 1-5 in those contests, a reversal of recent Pat O’Leary coached clubs.  The Trojans remain in the top ten as they take care of business against teams that are not in the top ten at this stage of the game.

 

  1. White Bear Lake (10-2-0, 5-1-0)

Last Week:  vs. Edina (3-2 L)

This Week:  at Lakeville South (5-4 W), at Roseville (1/8), vs. Cretin-Derham Hall (7-4-2)

The White Bear Lake Bears are one of nine teams in the Class 2A with ten wins or more and have been impressive this season.  After winning 9 straight to open the year, the Bears lost a pair of one-goal games.  First it was in SEC action to the surging East Ridge Raptors (4-3) and then to the Edina Hornets (3-2).  The Bears rebounded with a 5-4 win over Lakeville South at Hasse Arena.  A pair of big SEC games loom this week with Roseville on Thursday and Cretin-Derham Hall on Saturday.

 

  1. Minnetonka (7-5-1, 0-0-0)

Last Week:  vs. Edina (3-3 T), v Eden Prairie (7-4 W), vs. Maple Grove (6-2 W)

This Week:  vs. Chanhassen (1/10)

The Skippers have put the puck in the net effectively the past week and are in the top ten on the strength of their 3-3 tie with Edina in the opening round of the Schwan’s Cup an their impressive 7-4 win over Eden Prairie in the third place game of that tournament.  They handled Maple Grove (6-2) in a game this week on Tuesday.  Only one game is on the schedule for the Skippers who have other key wins over Burnsville (3-1) and B-SM (3-2).

 

  1. Bemidji (13-1-1, 6-0-0)

Last Week: vs. St. Louis Park (5-1 W), vs. Owatonna (5-1 W), vs. Duluth Denfeld (4-2 W), vs. Sartell-St. Stephen (3-1 W)

This Week:  vs. Crookston (10-0 W)        

After an 0-1-1 start, it has been 13 straight wins that the Jacks have ripped off so far.  Their schedule has not been the most challenging in high school hockey, but they have won games they are expected and have been solid defensively putting them on the short list for a potential trip to St. Paul.  Bemidji averages four goals a game and allows 1.45 against per game.  They won the Duluth tournament last week and followed it up with a solid 3-1 win over Sartell-St. Stephen.  The Lumberjacks pounded Crookston 10-0 on Tuesday of this week in their only game on the schedule this week.