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High School Highlight: Who Is Going To Stop Luverne

Luverne is making a statement at the beginning of this season.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back Wilderness Nation to another edition of the High School Highlight.  After an exciting opening week we are starting to see some teams catch their stride and some teams continue to struggle.  We had a huge group of games the last few days so let’s dive in and take a look at some of the more interesting games from the week thus far.

On Tuesday we had a total of 48 games from around the state that ranged from big teams getting back on the right path, like Hermantown.  They played a close first period each getting only 5 shots and only one of Hermantown’s going in.  Then Hermantown took over in the 2nd.  They put 19 shots on net to Cloquet-Esko-Carlton’s 4 and 4 of those shots found the back of the net.  Hermantown put another 3 goals in to end the game in an 8-0 rout for the hometown Hawks.  Eric Gotz was the highest point getter of the night with 3 assists.  In our second focus of the Tuesday schedule Luverne continues the fantastic start they have going with a 5-2 victory over Marshall.  Luverne scored their 4th win of the season in as many tries, with Jaxon Nelson and Chaz Smedsrud once again lighting up the opposing tender.  Nelson gets one goal and three assists, with all of those assists coming on goals by Smedsrud for yet another game where one of the duo has gotten a hatty.  This team is a scary team for any team that is not in the upper echelon of the state the way that they have played so far this year.  The next game of the night was Warroad visiting Crookston and getting the tough road win.  Crookston scored in the first, but was unable to hold off Warroad as they tied the game in the 2nd and netted 3 in the 3rd to get the win 4-1.  Warroad goaltender Alex Burke has continued his stellar play, with the undefeated Warriors allowing just 1 goal per game.  He finished this contest with a 0.955 save percentage.  We head out to Grand Forks for the next game where East Grand Forks took the win over Grand Forks Central 6-3.  The Green Wave are now 4 and 1 on the season looking to take yet another class Single A Championship.  Lastly Tuesday it’s always important to see how Edina is looking as they run ruck shod over Cretin-Derham Hall 8-2.  It was just another day at the office as Garrett Wait puts another 6 points on the board by the end of this game.

Wednesday was a very slow day compared to Tuesday, as we only had a single game.  St. Thomas Academy took a game from the Rosemount 6-2.  It took STA a little to get going in this game, but put 4 goals in the second to all but secure the win for the Cadets.

Thursday was a bigger day for some teams than others.  The Duluth East Greyhounds picked up their first win of the year in a 4-3 win over the Superior Spartans.  Duluth East has not looked impressive thusfar, with goaltender Gunnar Howg struggling early in the season.  Look for him to get back into it as the season moves forward, or look for Duluth East to continue to struggle.  Speaking of stuggling, East Grand Forks struggled to do anything offensively as they get shut out in a 5-0 loss for the first loss of the season.  Grand Forks Red River had a hot goalie in Debeltz, who posted a 32 save shut out against the defending state champs.  This was just one game however, so look for East Grand Forks to take it out on their next opponent, Breck.  Thursday Luverne’s dynamic duo was back at it again, as Luverne shut out Redwood Valley 7-0.  Nelson and Smedsrud combined for 5 points and Kasyn Kruse added 2 goals and 2 assists as Luverne continues to dominate anyone they go up against.  In the last game of note Thursday, Edina gets beat by a tough Lakeville North team 3-1.  Edina got some help short handed from Dylan Malmquist, but that was all that they could muster, losing the  on the road.

Tonight as I type this there are a few games still going on, but the big ones seem to be in the books.  Most of the games took place up here in the tundra this evening.  Starting up in Grand Rapids, they just dominated Roseau in an 8-1 beating that was consistently dominant all evening.  Mitchell Matteson had four points and 5 points from Jonah Bischoff in the beating.  In another one sided affair Hermantown beat Orono at home 7-2.  Ryan Kero lead the Hawks with 6 points and Nate Pionk got the hat trick in Hermantown Arena.  Duluth Marshall continued the northern dominance tonight with a 5-0 shut out of Blake in Mars Lakeview Arena.  Alex Murray did a great job in between the pipes pulling in a 19 save win.

Well that’s the High School Highlight for this week.  Stop back next week as we are going to be even further into this season and see if Luverne can keep this high paced offense rolling.