Here's is how I think the next State of Hockey/Let's Play Hockey poll will shape out:
Edina showed why they are the top team in the state over the Thanksgiving holiday with impressive wins over #6 Holy Family and #15 Maple Grove. Lewis Crosby nets four goals in the opening game against Holy Family in a 7-0 rout, and Demetrios Koumontzis had a six point weekend (2 goals, 4 assists). In total, Edina scored 13 times officially in the two games, and I say officially, because Edina had a goal scored not seen by officials in the first period. It happened so quickly that is difficult to blame the referee for missing it. I believe that even the best NHL referees would have trouble with this one.
|Puck (circled in red) is beyond the crossbar and deflected off the upper netting of the goal. It was immediately waved off by the covering referee. (Courtesy: CCX Media)|
2. Duluth East
Duluth East remains in the same position as they were idle over Thanksgiving. The Greyhounds open their season on Friday against White Bear Lake, and then face Wayzata the next day. It will be a good indicator on where this team stands.
Minnetonka participated in The Opener tournament and had both of their games go to overtime. The first night they defeated St. Thomas Academy, and then skated to a tie with Lakeville North in the finale after coming back in regulation to tie the score with 7 seconds left. Lakeville North goaltender Will Johnson deserves a lot of credit for the game he played, facing 45 shots, and shutting down many scoring opportunities by Minnetonka. Minnetonka's next test will be against Moorhead on December 16 in Moorhead.
4. St. Thomas Academy
St. Thomas Academy had a hard-fought, back and forth game against Minnetonka that ended in an overtime loss, and followed with an impressive win over a Moorhead team trying to find it's identity. St. Thomas Academy and Moorhead traded five goals over the first six minutes of the game. Before 2017 is over with, St. Thomas squares off against formidable opponents in Holy Family and Hill-Murray.
Moorhead defeated Lakeville North, and then had difficulties with St. Thomas Academy. The one bright spot with this team is Carter Randklev. He scored a hat trick in the final, and is proving to be in the Mr. Hockey conversation at year-end. The team needs to get back on track and find some more offensive weapons. The December schedule against the likes of Minnetonka, Cloquet, and Holy Family should begin to define what to expect from the team this season.
Eden Prairie, Centennial, Hill-Murray, Holy Family, White Bear Lake