The Top Ten (Last ranking in parenthesis)
1. Duluth East (1)
2. Maple Grove (3)
3. Minnetonka (2)
4. Eagan (4)
5. Moorhead (5)
6. Edina (6)
7. Hermantown (8)
8. Eden Prairie (7)
9. Andover (NR)
10. Wayzata (9)
Scores, Results, College Commitments, and an exclusive first listen to the rest of Jack White's new solo album after the jump.
Eden Prairie 4 Minnetonka 2- Minnetonka looked unstoppable when they destroyed Duluth East on Hockey Day, but this was the Skippers third loss of the season, so it was difficult to keep them in the top spot, or even the second spot with how all well Maple Grove has played. This game goes to prove Minnetonka making the state tournament is not a foregone conclusion for Minnetonka.
Andover 2 Elk River 1- Andover had never beaten Elk River prior to this season, and this was the second time this year Andover got the win over Elk River. The real story was sophomore goalie Chase Perry, who made 47 saves in the win. Perry made 58 saves last week in a 2-2 tie with Maple Grove last week, and is starting to prove himself as the premier goalie in his age group not just in Minnesota, but nationally.
Moorhead 6 Benilde-St. Margaret's 2- This about sums up Benidle's season to this point: Grant Besse became the team's all-time leading scorer with a 5-goal in a blowout against a weak Jefferson team, but the Red Knights got destroyed playing against another top ten team. Benilde is 14-5-0 on the season, but 0-5-0 against the top ten in the state.
Eagan 4 Hill-Murray 2-This was a rare chance for me to see Eagan live as they made a trip up to the northern suburbs. It's weird to say this when Eagan almost exclusively skated 10 skaters all night, but it was the Wildcats depth that helped seal this victory. Hill's Jake Guentzel is one of the best players in the state, but the Pioneers are relying too heavily on him right now. Meanwhile, Eagan's second line scored two big goals in the third period to win the game.
Two-thirds of Duluth East's electric top line made their college choices. Jake Randolph chose to play for Dean Blais and Nebraska-Omaha, while Dom Toninato will follow in his father's footsteps and play for Minnesota-Duluth.
Minnesota-Duluth also picked up a commitment from Hermantown's Jared Thomas. Thomas has UMD connections all over the place. Both his parents went to UMD. His coach at Hermantown is Bruce Plante, whose son Derek is an assistant at UMD. He'll play next year for Sioux City under former UMD assistant Brett Larson. It was a pretty safe bet he'd end up a Bulldog.
And Eagan forward Michael Zajac chose to go to Princeton. For all the talented seniors on Eagan's team this year, Zajac has really stood out to me as the one that makes things go for that team. I said before the year started that it may be difficult to chose who from Eagan is a Mr. Hockey finalist, but Zajac seems to have separated himself.
Games of the Week
Blaine at Duluth East, Saturday February 4th, 3:00pm Duluth Heritage Sports Center
Blaine's results have been pretty underwhelming all year, but there's a lot of good young talent on that team that could put a scare into the Greyhounds.
Minnetonka at Edina, Saturday February 4th, 7:00pm Braemar Arena
Minnetonka embarrassed Edina in their first meeting, then Edina caught Minnetonka looking ahead to their Hockey Day game, and upset them in Minnetonka. This third meeting will be the tiebreaker and should be a great game.
Hill-Murray at Lakeville South, Tuesday February 7th, 7:30pm Hasse Arena
Lakeville South's Justin Kloos and Hill-Murray's Jake Guentzel were electric together during the Elite League season, and here, they will face off against each other. Kloos is the favorite to win Mr. Hockey this year, while Guentzel is my early favorite to win the award next year.
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