Alum of the Week: Minnetonka alum Jake Gardiner is having a very good rookie season with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Top Ten
1. Duluth East (1)
2. Maple Grove (3)
3. Minnetonka (2)
4. Eagan (4)
5. Moorhead (5)
6. Edina (7)
7. Eden Prairie (6)
8. Hermantown (8)
9. Wayzata (9)
10. Blaine (NR)
Coming up after the jump, we look at some results from the past week, and preview Saturday's Hockey Day festivities.
Edina 3 Minnetonka 2- It looks like Minnetonka got caught looking ahead to their Hockey Day rematch against Duluth East, and Edina made them pay by getting revenge for Minnetonka's 6-0 drubbing of the Hornets earlier this year.
Shattuck-St. Mary's 4 St. Trophy Academy 2- This game was tied 2-2 heading into the third period before Shattuck pulled away in the third, which is a pretty respectable performance for a Minnesota high school team against one of the nation's top prep programs.
Moorhead 5 Breck School 3- This was Breck's first loss of the year. Moorhead picked up a big win after a couple tough losses to Minnetonka and Duluth East last week.
Andover 3 Elk River 2(OT)- This was Andover's first ever win against Elk River. Andover had a couple tough, close losses to conference rivals Blaine and Centennial, but are right on the cusp of being a top 10 team.
Games of the Week
We'll change things up this week and take a look at the two Hockey Day Minnesota games, since those games will actually be on television. Both games are at Pagel Activity Center, and can be seen on Fox Sports North.
Grand Rapids vs. White Bear Lake 10:00am
Grand Rapids: The Thunderhawks have been one of the teams floating around the edge of the Top 10 all season long. They've proven they can lose close to anyone--including a one-goal loss to section rival and #1 Duluth East--but don't really have a signature win. Players to watch: D Jake Bischoff, F Travis Underwood, F Avery Peterson, D Jordan Stejskal
White Bear Lake: The Bears have had a really tough week, losing a pair of conference games to Hastings and Mounds View that they probably should have won. Scoring has been a bit of a concern so far this year. Still, they're likely the biggest threat to section favorite Hill-Murray in Section 4AA. Players to watch: D Lance Carney, F Brandon Wahlin, D Thomas Delaney
Prediction: Grand Rapids is the much deeper team, and White Bear appears to be a team that is struggling right now. I'll take Grand Rapids 5-2.
Duluth East vs. Minnetonka, 1pm
Duluth East: The Greyhounds have pretty clearly been the best team in high school hockey this year. If they can beat Minnetonka for the second time this season, they should be able to head into the playoffs with an undefeated record, made all the more impressive by how difficult a schedule they've played. Individually, Duluth East has a lot of good players, but no real superstars. What makes them so effective is that they move the puck around the ice beautifully, and use their depth to wear teams down. Players to Watch: F Jake Randolph, F Dom Toninato, F Trevor Olson, D Meirs Moore
Minnetonka: The Skippers have been just a step behind the Greyhounds all season long. They've got one of the most dangerous offensive attacks in the state, led by seniors Erik Baskin and Sam Rothstein, both veterans of Minnetonka's state tourney run two years ago, and amazingly talented juniors Vinni Lettieri and Connor Thie, who are among the best in the state for their age. The only real weakness of the team is that their defense can be a bit underwhelming at times. Players to Watch: F Vinni Lettieri, F Connor Thie, D Joe Schuldt, F Erik Baskin
Prediction: Minnetonka has had this game circled on their calendar ever since losing to Duluth East in the finals of the Schwan's Cup. Add in the home ice advantage of what should be a sold out Pagel Center, and I think Minnetonka shouldn't have any problem bouncing back from their loss on Thursday night. I still think Duluth East is the better team, but it's incredibly difficult to beat a team like Minnetonka twice in a row. I'll take the Skippers 3-2 in an excellent game.