Welcome back Wilderness Nation! I hope that the start to the holiday season has been kind to you all. We were treated with an exciting week of High School Hockey before Thanksgiving Day and a couple of interesting notes to look at from the last week of Hockey. The first few games of note come from Saturday the 22nd. Cloquet-Esko-Carlton pulled off the road upset, beating Mounds View 5-4 in overtime. Derek Bloom put away his second goal of the night on the rare overtime power play. The next surprise came from the very game Wayata team bringing Edina all the way through, the game ending in a 3-3 tie. Edina coming off the domination of Holy Family had to be hoping for more out of this game. Garrett Wait added two more points to his season with a goal and assist in the effort but it was not enough as Wayzata begins this season fast. Edina wouldn’t be the only top team that Wayzata gave trouble this week. Later on that evening Hill-Murray put together a grind it out win over the visiting Burnesville Blaze. Hill-Murray took a two goal lead going into the third, but was able to fend off a late push by Burnesville to take the 3-2 win. Our final game on Saturday took place in Waseca as they prepared for last year’s Cinderella story Luverne. With more eyes on them at the start of this season it will be interesting to see how Luverne handles the added pressure. This game seemed to be theirs from the opening drop as they took at 4-1 lead by the end of the first period. Two of our players to look for this season had huge games as Chaz Smedsrud ended up with a hat trick and four assists, and Jaxon Nelson started with a bang as well, potting two and ending up with an assist on all of the first period goals for Luverne. Luverne kept on the gas finishing with a 7-1 road victory. After an eventful first few days, we were treated to a few days with a game or two here, but the big boys were back to play on Tuesday night with Eden Prarie paying a visit to Maple Grove. Michael Graham was not kind to the home team, notching 4 goals by the end of the second, and tossing an assist to seal the deal at the end of the third. Eden Prarie took down Maple Grove 8-3. Edina also was in action on Tuesday, hoping to get back on the right path after a tie to Wayzata. They came out like an angry team, scoring all ten of their goals before Champlain Park finally buried one late to take away the shut out. Not that it was a busy night for netminder Andrew Enriquez, as he only faced 11 shots all night. Garrett Wait added another 2 assists to keep his point streak going. Last game of the night had Lakeville North edge out Farmington in overtime, as Jack Poehling managed to sneak one in to give Lakeville North the 6-5 win. In a game that might not have been that close as Lakeville North only faced 21 shots on the night, and managed to put 37 on Farmington. Friday night was a night of chaos. Between the all the deal chasing and fights at the malls around the nation, it’s a wonder that there was some puck played all over Minnesota. It appears that we had better get ready for Jaxon Nelson and Chaz Smedsrud to run with the points leads this season. Smedsrud had yet another seven point night and Nelson had four goals and an assist in the 11-3 drubbing that Luverne gave to Le Sueur-Henderson/St. Peter. It will be interesting to see if they can continue their powerful scoring against some of the bigger schools in the state. Regardless teams really need to start planning on a way to keep the bleeding to a minimum otherwise this is just the beginning. Remember when I said that another top team would have trouble with Wayzata? Well the Hermantown Hawks did not start the season off as they had hoped, blowing a three goal load early in the third, dropping their first game to Wayzata with a 4-3 loss. For a team who rarely loses in regular season play, to lose this early is a tough break. They do not have the luxury of taking a good look at it yet though, as they have a very tough road game at Roseville tomorrow night. Well that was the High School Highlight for this week. Hopefully this season continues to as exciting and surprising as this first full week was. Join me again next Saturday for another roundup of all the top stories from around the State.
High School Highlight: Blowouts and Surprises Already?
The first full week of High School Hockey is behind us. A look at some of the more interesting items from the week.