Welcome back Wilderness Nation! Here we go again for another look at last week’s action in the world of high school puck. We are getting deeper into the season and are still looking at a few teams that are plugging along, notching wins and fighting towards the ultimate goal. It’s too early to start counting teams out but we are nearing the point in the season that you need to string some wins together if your team is struggling. With that said here we go!
Kicking off the weekend Luverne really keeps rolling through the opposition and Saturday night was no different as they took to the home ice and beat an overmatched Waseca team 9-2. The big guns for Luverne were present, but had company this night was Nelson and Smedsrud had 3 and 2 points respectively. Nick Harder, Kasyn Kruse and Andrew Verhey all had 3 points as well in this game. Getting support from the other lines makes this team even harder to beat than it already was. The red hot Lakeville North team headed north to the cold in Grand Rapids as the Thunderhawks looked to cool them down. Unfortunately, for Grand Rapids Lakeville north was more than ready, shutting them out at home 3-0. Jack and Nick Poehling each scored in the third and each assisted on the others goal to put this game out of reach. The last game of the night on Saturday was Hill-Murray beating Mahtomedi 5-1. After a scoreless first Mahtomedi put a quick one up on the board early in the second. Unfortunately for them it was the last one they would put up as Hill-Murray tied the game shortly after, and put four goals up in the third to put the game away.
Later on in the week we had an exciting tilt between Holy Family and Benilde-St. Margaret’s. After a scoreless first Holy family found the back of the net first in the second. They ended up scoring the first two goals before Benilde finally woke up. They scored once in the second and then finally was able to tie it up in the third. One overtime was not enough to find a victor as the game ended in a 2-2 draw. I know I talk about Luverne quite a bit here. I’ve tried to exclude their games for a week. That was actually my goal this week. Well when they continue to destroy teams they make it hard for me to do so. In what is their second game in a row that they completely dominated a team putting a 14-1 effort behind the usual suspects. Jaxon Nelson and Chaz Smedsrud had 6 and 5 points apiece with Smedsrud getting yet another hat trick this season and Nelson notching two himself in the game. Then we get to East Grand Forks, who dropped their second game of the season. They drop a 2-1 game to Bemidji in a very competitive game. East Grand Forks out shot Bemidji in the first and second period but was only able to find the back of the net in the first. Bemidji then came out with a strong third and was able to get two goals early in the third and hold off East Grand Forks for the rest of the game, limiting them to 5 shots the entire period.
Something has begun to happen this year that should put the rest of Class 2A on notice. St. Thomas Academy seems to have come out swinging this season. The game against Henry Sibley was no different as they put on a clinic, scoring 6 goals in the first period, 4 in the second and finally letting off the gas in the third only putting one in. The most impressive thing I took from this game was that only one player had more than three points, and had ten skaters with double digit points. Shutting out Henry Sibley 11-0 at home, STA leaves the game having averaged over 8 goals a game with an absurd 42% power play. This 5-0 start is exactly how the Cadets wanted to begin this season, but we will see how they react once they play a few of the big dogs in Class 2A. Edina meanwhile took care of business, hosting a poor Grand Rapids team who has had a bit of a gauntlet of a schedule to open the season up. Edina actually went into the second period down two, but was able to net 4 in the second, and blow the doors off with 4 in the third as well finishing the game with an 8-3 victory at home.
Continuing with Grand Rapids having a tough few games, the next game was in Grand Rapids, but they played host to the always dangerous Eden Prarie Eagles. And it proved to be another night of heartache in Grand Rapids as dropping a 6-1 game. Michael Graham didn’t help them as he gets another hat trick on the season in a game where after the first period Grand Rapids was only able to hit the net 6 times. Heading south, but only a little, Duluth Marshall took to the ice at Mars Lakeview Arena in Duluth to face Rochester Lourdes. Tied 1-1 after one, and 3-3 after two, Duluth Marshall was able to get two goals from Jack Dodd to get a two goal lead and hold off a late Rochester Lourdes rally to win a tightly played game 5-4.
Finally this week we have just a pair of interesting games coming in late on this Friday night. Warroad traveled to East Grand Forks, where East Grand Forks looked to gain some traction. After Warroad picked up a 2-0 lead early in the second, East Grand Forks came to life and netted 3 goals in the second and 3 goals in the third to overwhelm a Warroad team that looked very good early on in this game. Lastly, I started with them so I might as well end with them, who else other than Luverne. They went into Worthington and just dominated from the first puck drop, winning the contest on the road by a stupefying 17-1 margin. I was not even going to mention this game but if the MSHSL site is accurate, this is the most goals scored by a team in a single game since Eveleth in 1945.
Well that wraps up this week in High School Hockey in the great state of Minnesota for this week. What do you think about Luverne running up the score, even if it was just to break a record? Let me know in the comments below.