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High School Highlight: The Grand Opening Is Just That

The opening nights have come and gone, and we take a closer look at the details.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It’s here.  It’s finally here.  The puck has dropped and the race to state has finally begun as we had a great opening day of high school hockey in Minnesota.  We’ve already had a couple blowouts and a few nail biters, so let’s just dive right in.

On Thursday evening our first game of Albert Lea vs. Mankato East saw Grayson Gavin have a nice little 3 point game to help Mankato East defend the home ice with a 4-2 win. Going into the 3rd at two a piece is when Grayson took over, posting both of Mankato East's goals in the 3rd. The other player to mention is the goalie for Albert Lea Garrett Matz made 41 of 45 saves in a losing effort.

The second game of the night brought with it the first checking from behind game misconduct penalty of the season.  With the National Body making dangerous hits a focal point, expect this to be something we see a bit more of this season.  Waconia found themselves in trouble early as Minneapolis capitalized on that major penalty, scoring 5 times, 3 on the powerplay during the first period.  Waconia did mange one goal but that was all the scoring for them as there was no scoring the remaining periods.

The first blowout of the season came at the hands of New Ulm who went into Worthington and dominated the home team from opening puck drop.  Wyatt Peterson and Ethan Kraus had 7 and 8 points respectively throughout the game.  Each had a hat trick with Kraus finishing with 5 goals in the drubbing.  The final score being 13-1.

The remaining scores from our opening night were:

Austin: 1 vs. Le Sueur-Henderson/St. Peter: 4

Bemidji: 1 vs. St. Cloud Apollo: 1 OT

La Crescent: 4 vs. Winona: 3

Northfield: 0 vs. Rochester Mayo: 3

Farmington: 5 vs. Rochester John Marshall: 1

St. Paul Academy: 5 vs. Simley: 2

Providence Academy: 1 vs. Holy Angels: 9

Dodge County: 0 vs. St. Paul Como Park: 2

As I write this many of the Friday night games are wrapping up, fortunately for some teams.  The first game tonight was the return to the ice of the defending Class Double A champs in Edina as they were home against Holy Family.  Edina looked like they are already in mid-season form, dropping 6 goals in the second and 11 total in a shutout of Holy Family.  One of our Players to Look Out for Garrett Wait did not disappoint in his season debut, leading the team with 6 assists, and showing off that passing and vison he showed a bit of in last year’s state tournament.  Edina looks very ready to defend their title as champions yet another season.

Up north we had yet another team score 6 goals in the second, showing that they might just have something about the Class Single A scene that has looked very similar the last few seasons.  A single goal lead going into the second, Hibbing/Chisholm came out and scored 3 quick goals, chasing the Little Falls goalie and didn’t look back, pouring it on to finish the game with a 9-0 win at home.  The whole Hibbing/Chisholm team dominated and look to keep that going to make a splash in the north this year.  The remaining scores from tonight are as follows:

New Prauge: 6 vs. St. Cloud Cathedral: 2

Greenway: 2 vs. Mound Westonka: 5

River Lakes: 6 vs. Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato: 1

Prarie Centre: 1 vs. Monticello/Annandale/Maple Lake: 5

Maple Grove: 1 vs. Wayzata: 4

Well with the first few days under our belts, we come to the close of this edition of the High School Highlight.  Think Edina looks poised for another title again this season? Let me know in the comments below!