Monday, December 11, 2017

Minn Puck Class AA Power Rankings - 12/10/17

Here is this week's Minn Puck power rankings for the top ten Class AA teams:

1. Edina

Last week: Idle

Edina was off last week as they prepare for the Holiday Classic Thursday through Saturday at Braemar. With the other three schools in the showcase, Eden Prairie, Elk River, and Grand Rapids not returning as strong of teams as in prior years, there is no reason why Edina can't score three victories this week. With that said, the Edina and Eden Prairie rivalry matchups are typically competitive no matter where either team is ranked.

2. Duluth East

Last week:
vs. Bemidji, W 3-1
vs. Andover, W 9-3

Duluth East returns to the number two spot in the power rankings with a decisive win over Andover that also gave coach Mike Randolph career win 600. After sputtering against White Bear Lake, this team seems to have it together going into the backstretch of December. Duluth East faces Cloquet, ranked number 13 by Let's Play Hockey/State of Hockey this week. The Greyhounds made trade spots with Minnetonka until we are able to solidify the number two team in the state when the two teams face each other on  January 6. This assumes Edina stays the course.

3. Minnetonka

Last week:

vs. St. Louis Park, W 9-2

vs. Duluth Marshall, W 5-3

Minnetonka is number three this week. Despite the big win against St. Louis Park, the Skippers allowed Duluth Marshall to get back into the game on Saturday by giving up three goal lead, but hung on for a 5-3 win. This game, along with the Lakeville North matchup over Thanksgiving in which the Panthers nearly pulled off the upset, raises some questions as to whether this team can pull off decisive wins against ranked teams. The Skippers face Chanhassen and then have a challenge on the road against Moorhead.

4. St. Thomas Academy

Last week:

vs. Holy Family, W 4-1

St. Thomas Academy retains it's number four spot in the rankings this week. The Cadets won easily over fellow private school Holy Family, 4-1.  The Cadets are certainly in line to jump into the top three should one of teams slip up. They continue their private school tour with Benilde-St. Maragret's and Hill-Murray this week.

5. Moorhead

Last week:
vs. Bemidji, W 3-0

Moorhead stays at number five and have played well since the Thanksgiving loss to St. Thomas Academy. The Spuds have only allowed two goals in the three games since and Carter Randklev is on a tear with nine goals and two assists in the five games this season, continuing the chase for the Mr. Hockey crown. Moorhead faces Roseau, and then one of the top teams in Class A, East Grand Forks this week.

6. Centennial


Last week:

vs.Coon Rapids, W 9-0
vs. Elk River, W 6-3

Centennial comes in at number six with an impressive win over Elk River, a team that had surged into the top ten. The Cougars are lead by double digit scorers Carter Wagner, 14 points, and Lucas McGregor, 11 points. Centennial has unranked Blaine and Osseo this week, before being tested against Duluth East next week.

7. White Bear Lake

Last week:
vs. Forest Lake, W 4-1
vs. Cretin-Derham Hall, T 1-1

White Bear Lake does not move up or down this week. They played a tough game against Cretin, tying another ranked opponent. The Bears face Hill-Murray on Dece 23rd, but the remaining games in December should be victories. They face Edina to start January.

8. Cretin-Derham Hall

Last week:
vs. Woodbury, W 10-3

vs. White Bear Lake, T 1-1

Cretin-Derham Hall joins the tep ten this week after tying White Bear Lake. This game validates their victory over Eden Prairie, thus legitimizes the Raiders as one of the better teams in the state. Cretin gets tested with Wayzata on Saturday and face Edina next week.

9. Maple Grove

Last week:
vs. Armstrong/Cooper, T 1-1

vs. Anoka, W 7-3

Maple Grove comes in at number nine this week. The tie to Armstrong/Cooper is a bit concerning, but won big over Anoka. The Crimson have Blaine this week, then face Elk River next week, which will have top ten implications, pending a victory over the Bengals.

10. Eden Prairie

Last week:
vs. Hermantown, W 5-4

vs. Brainerd, W 5-2

Eden Prairie re-joins the top ten after pulling off the victory against top ranked Hermantown in Class A, and took care of business against Brainerd. The Holiday Classic is up next for the Eagles as they face Grand Rapids, Elk River, and Edina this week. If Eden Prairie can pull off at least two wins in the showcase, that may be enough to keep them in the upper tier of the rankings.

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