Minnesota Hockey Magazine

MHM Boys Class AA Top Ten 12/3/2014

2o14 Class AA state tournament finalists Edina and Lakeville North meet again on Dec. 4 in Lakeville. (MHM Photo / Jordan Doffing)

Hornets return to familiar spot

This year will prove to be an entertaining season for high school hockey fans. With the leveled playing field any team can win on a given night and determining a top ten will be difficult to do each week. Arguments can be made for several teams to be elevated over other teams and it will ultimately come down to the most consistent teams will win out in the end this year.

  1. Edina (3-0-1)

Last week: vs Champlin Park (10-1 W) at Centennial (5-0 W)
This week: vs Cretin Derham Hall (12/2) at Lakeville North (12/4), vs Rosemount (12/6)

The Edina Hornets are this week’s top team in the AA state rankings and picked up two wins by dispatching Champlin Park 10-1 and shutting out Centennial 5-0. Their only blemish this year is a tie with highly regarded Wayzata. Through four games, Edina averages just over 7 goals a game and have plenty of options to turn to offensively. Junior Garrett Wait (3g-9a-12pts) and senior Matt Masterman (8g-3a-11pts) pace the way for the Hornets in points. Edina has eight players with four or more points in four games played showing there is not a lot of drop off when it comes to their depth. Edina will be tested this week with the tough Cretin-Derham Hall Raiders and #2 Lakeville North Panthers.

  1. Lakeville North (1-0)

Last Week: vs Farmington (6-5 Ot Win)
This Week: vs #1 Edina (12/4)

The Lakeville North Panthers survived a scare against Farmington to open the season last week. The see-saw battle was tied five different times. Just 18 seconds into the overtime, Jack Poehling connected to help his team escape with the win. Much is expected from Farmington this year, and they proved that a potential section championship will not be easy for the Panthers. Nick Poehling had a hat trick and one assist with Jack Poehling notching two goals and an assist. All eyes will be on Ames Arena this Thursday night with #1 Edina facing off in an early season re-match of last year’s state final. It has all the markings of being a high scoring affair between to offensive minded teams.

  1. Benilde-St. Margaret’s (2-0)

Last Week: vs East Ridge (7-1 W) vs Elk River (5-3 W)
This Week: vs Burnsville (12/2), vs Hill-Murray (12/6)

At this stage of the game, the Red Knights “are who we thought they were” and that is an offensively gifted team led by senior Mark Kaske (1g-5a-6pts) and junior Jacob Holmers (1g-3a-4pts). The Red Knights season opening 7-1 win over East Ridge was offensively explosive and even more impressive was the hard fought 5-3 win over an Elk River team that is certain to make a strong bid for the state tournament this year. The Red Knights have one resume win to their credit and will look to add two more to their list this week with Burnsville and Hill-Murray at home this week.

  1. Hill-Murray (1-0)

Last Week: Idle
This Week: at Benilde-St. Margaret’s (12/6)

The Pioneers took the week off and play just once this week and that is with the #3 Benilde-St. Margret’s Red Knights. Hill-Murray opened the season with a 3-2 win over Burnsville on November 22nd. Bill Lechner’s Pioneers are well rested and have had plenty of time to work on their game in practice the past two weeks. The Red Knights will be playing their fourth game of the season and will lock horns in what is always an entertaining game with the Pioneers.

  1. Eden Prairie (2-0)

Last Week: vs Prior Lake (2-1 W)
This Week: vs Eastview (12/4) at Farmington (12/6)

After demolishing Maple Grove 8-3 in the season opening game, the Eagles were in a battle with the Prior Lake Lakers last Saturday. A pair of Nicky Leivermann goals, both assisted by Casey Middelstadt and Michael Graham were the difference in the tight checking affair. The Eagles will put their 2-0 record on the line with a couple of games this week, the first against the well coached Eastview Lightning and then with the up and coming Farmington Tigers to close out the week.

  1. Elk River/Zimmerman (1-1)

Last Week: vs Wayzata (6-5 W ot) vs B-SM (5-3 L)
This Week: at Maple Grove (12/2) vs Champlin Park (12/6)

The Elks picked up a quality win over the Wayzata Trojans in overtime and lost to Benilde-St. Margaret’s later in the week. Starting the season with a pair of challenges, the Elks played well in both the win and the loss. Expect to see them in the top ten much of the season. Jake Jaremko (1g-3a-4pts) and Matt Kierstad (0g-4a) lead the way offensively for the Elks. A pair of Northwest Suburban Conference games are on tap for this week.

  1. Wayzata (3-1-1)

Last Week: vs Elk River (6-5 Ot L) vs Hermantown (4-3 W) vs Duluth East (3-0 W)
This Week: vs Eagan (12/4) at Lakeville South (12/6)

The Trojans dodged a bullet in a big comeback win over the Hermantown Hawks at the Plymouth Ice Center this past week three unanswered third period goals. They also shutout the Duluth East Grehounds, a team that will be lurking in the top ten the entire year. The Trojans have played a difficult schedule to start the season and are proving they will be a tough team to beat each night.

  1. St. Thomas Academy (0-0)

Last Week: Idle
This Week: at Rosemount (12/3) at Academy of Holy Angels (12/6)

The Cadets are one of the last teams to open their season and will be ready to go this week. Nine of the top eleven leading scorers return with speedster Christiano Versich (29g-37a-66pts) leading the way. The hard driving Peter Tufto (17g-28a-45pts) will be expected to pick up more offensive responsibility and he will be up for the challenge. Senior Alex Broetzman (25g-24a-49pts) will be receiving plenty of minutes and looked upon to provide leadership, of which the Cadets are never in short supply. Goalie Matt Snow won 10 games last year and earned an Elite League spot for his efforts while working split duty with Charlie Hallett.

  1. Duluth East (1-1)

Last Week: vs Wayzata (3-0 L)
This Week: vs Superior (12/4) at Andover (12/6)

The Hounds opened the season with a 3-0 loss to the Wayzata Trojans. That is not enough to toss them from the top ten at this stage of the season, yet Duluth East is hanging on by a thread. A key sectional game with Andover is on deck this Saturday.

  1. Farmington (1-1)

Last Week: vs Lakeville North (6-5 Ot L)
This Week: vs Rochester Mayo (12/2) at Rochester Century (12/4) vs Eden Prairie (12/6)

This week will go a long way in determining where the Farmington Tigers stand among the top teams in the Class AA this year. They have a pair of games against unbeaten Section 1AA teams this week. First, it is Rochester Mayo (2-0) followed by Rochester Century (2-0). Should they pass those two tests, a stiffer challenge will be teed up on Saturday when they play host to Eden Prairie. It will be a big week for the Tigers.

Others Receiving Consideration: Grand Rapids, Prior Lake, Chanhassen