Now that the high school hockey season is officially in full-swing, this is the first full This Week in High School Hockey post that I'll be doing here every week. In case you missed last week's season preview, you can read it here to catch up.
The Top 10 (Last week's ranking in parenthesis)
1. Duluth East (1)
2. Benilde-St. Margaret's (2)
3. Eagan (3)
4. Minnetonka (6)
5. Hill-Murray (4)
6. Maple Grove (7)
7. Grand Rapids (8)
8. Edina (5)
9. Blaine (10)
10. Moorhead (NR)
Key results, big match ups, and college commitments... after the jump.
Last Week's Key Results
Maple Grove 3 Edina 0- I had Edina ranked higher than most other people, and that faith wasn't necessarily rewarded as Maple Grove shut them out to win the season-opening Turkey Trot. But Edina was an extremely young team playing in their first big game, and should only get better as the season progresses. Meanwhile, one night after only managing a tie against Wayzata, Maple Grove picked up a big win in one of their toughest games of the year.
Benilde 3 Hill-Murray 2- BSM gets the big early season win, but this game was maybe more important to Hill-Murray, who, despite some questions heading into the season, proved that they can compete against the very best in the state. Hill goalie John Dugas made 41 saves in the loss in his first game as the number one goalie at Hill and showed he's capable of carrying his team.
Minnetonka 7 Burnsville 3- This game was a bit of a wide open shootout and Burnsville just didn't have the depth to go back and forth offensively with Minnetonka like that.
I didn't make it to any live games this week, but on Thursday, I did post my rankings of individual high school players by class. It's far from a perfect list, but is a pretty honest effort, given the difficulty of putting such thing together.
Two players made commitments to play college hockey this past week.
Brainerd's Matt Pohlkamp committed to play at Bowling Green, most likely after a year of junior hockey next season. Pohlkamp is a great skater, and maybe one of the fastest in the state. Bowling Green assistant coach Ty Eigner was the head coach at Brainerd High School for ten years until 2008. By the time Pohlkamp joins the Falcons, they will be members of the WCHA, meaning he'll play fairly close to home when the team travels to play Bemidji.
Also, Grand Rapids junior Jake Bischoff committed to play hockey at the University of Minnesota, likely either starting n 2013 or 2014. His father, Grant, played for the Golden Gophers from '87-'88 to '90-'91 and tallied at least 37 points in all four of his seasons with Minnesota.
Games of the Week
#9 Blaine at Roseau, Friday December 2nd 7:30 Roseau Memorial Arena
The Bengals travel way up north in a rare Twin Cities vs. Out State match-up. This isn't exactly a vintage Roseau team, and it may not be Blaine's best team ever either, but these are two very strong programs that should put together an entertaining game. The Bengals are scheduled to play the following night at Champlin, which is one heck of a road trip. That's a six-hour drive to play a road game 20 minutes from their home rink.
Woodbury at East Ridge, Saturday December 3rd 6:30 pm Cottage Grove Arena
East Ridge opened as the second public high school in Woodbury in 2009, creating an instant rivalry with Woodbury High School. It was may not be as intense as the football rivalry, which was forged through some close contests, and the second high school diluted some of the hockey talent in the city, decreasing the game's important on a statewide scale, but with the East Ridge's first class of sophomores now seniors, this is growing into a nice little rivalry between the two schools.
The city of Woodbury itself is named after Levi Woodbury, most well-known for being the first Supreme Court Justice to have attended law school. He also holds the distinction of being one of only three men to serve in all three branches of the federal government, as well as hold the position of state governor. Of the other two, Salmon P. Chase was emblazoned on the $10,000 bill and is the Chase in JPMorgan Chase & Co., while James F. Byrnes has a dormitory named after him at Clemson University. I think it's clear which of the three got screwed over.
#3 Eagan at Eden Prairie, Saturday December 3rd 7:00pm Eden Prairie Community Center
Eagan faces their first tough test--and toughest game until after the Christmas break--against an Eden Prairie team that is almost completely rebuilding after losing a ton of seniors off of last year's state championship-winning team. The Eagles are like the equivalent of this year's Auburn football team, with Kyle Rau playing the role of an unpaid Cam Newton.