Class A Rankings Week #1 (11/27/2022) Follow on Twitter @ClassAHockeyGuy for more Minnesota High School Class A News and Notes……..enjoy the rankings!
1. Hermantown (7A) (0-0-0)
Past Week Results: Idle
Upcoming Schedule: 12/2 vs Cretin Derham Hall, 12/3 vs Hill Murray
The Class A Defending Champion Hawks were idle in week one but they will get the season kicked off next week when they open up their season at the Champions Cup in Eden Prairie. They will take on two AA Private Powerhouses in Cretin Derham Hall and Hill Murray. This will be a good early test for the revamped Hawks roster to see how they look minus the Plante Brothers and Hanson. If Hermantown can find a way to split or sweep it will be a very good start to their year.
2. Warroad (8A) (2-0-0)
Past Week Results: W 7-1 #7 Delano, W 4-0 #10 St Cloud Cathedral
Upcoming Schedule: 12/3 vs #3 Mahtomedi
The Warriors wasted no time jumping into the thick of it in Class A as they drove south to open their year with two Top 10 Class A programs. On Friday they opened up at Delano and they blitzed the Tigers jumping out 6-0 after 2 periods the top line of Carson Pilgrim, Jayson Shaugabay, and Murray Marvin-Cordes was outstanding all evening and Warriors picked up a big statement win to open their year on the road. On Saturday they traveled to St. Cloud Cathedral and it was the Jayson Shaugabay show and a 32 save shutout by Hampton Slukynsky put the finishing touches on a great opening weekend. This week the Warriors welcome the #3 ranked Zephyrs from Mahtomedi which should be an outstanding game and rematch of the Class A Semifinal OT classic from last March and sure to test the depth of Warroad more.
3. Mahtomedi (4A) (2-0-0)
Past Week Results: W 4-2 #8 Northfield, W 5-0 #12 Little Falls
Upcoming Schedule: 11/2 @ Benilde St Margrets, 12/2 @ #4 East Grand Forks, 12/3 @ # 2 Warroad
The Zephyrs opened their post Ben Dardis era by taking down two good Top 15 Class A teams. While Mahtomedi did lose a tremendous goalie I think some overlooked that they did bring back as nine of their top eleven scorers return. This team is experienced and deep and they showed that in Week 1. They were able to come back against Northfield and score 3 unanswered goals led by Senior Seth Nelson’s big 3 point effort. On Saturday they flexed their muscles more by overwhelming a good Little Falls team to start the year with 2 very good wins. It doesn’t get any easier this week as Mahtomedi hits the road to take on a AA power in Benilde and then heads north for a showdown with two 8A powers in EGF and Warroad to complete what will be a very tough week.
4. East Grand Forks (8A) (1-1-0)
Past Week Results: L 1-4 Gentry Academy, W 5-2 #7 Delano
Upcoming Schedule: 11/29 vs. #14 Detroit Lake, 12/2 vs #3 Mahtomedi
The Greenwave went south over thanksgiving as well to take on Gentry Academy and Delano and after last year’s disappointment it was important for EGF to get off on better footing this winter. However, they ran into a tough Gentry team and were not able to ever get a lead during a good back and forth game which they lost to open the year. However, on Saturday they rebounded nicely, showing many why they will be a top contenders in Class A as they wore down a good Delano team with their depth and physicality to pick up a split on the weekend. This week they return home for two big Class A games as they host 8A #14 Detroit Lakes Tuesday before welcoming #3 Mahtomedi on Friday night.
5. Orono (2A) (0-0-0)
Past Week Results: Idle
Upcoming Schedule: 11/29 vs #8 Northfield, 12/2 @ #12 Little Falls, 12/3 @ #6 Alexandria
The Spartans were another team that chose to take the opening weekend off but in week two we are going to get a great early look at this veteran team. They open the week with 1A favorite Northfield who showed this past weekend they are for real at home before hitting the road to take on two more good Class A teams when they play at Little Falls and Alexandria. We will know a lot more about this team by the end of next week and it will be a good early test for the team returning almost everyone and their new coach to see what the identity of this team will be.
6. Alexandria (6A) (0-0-0)
Past Week Results: Idle
Upcoming Schedule: 12/1 vs Sartell, 12/3 vs #5 Orono
The Cardinals were also idle this week but they will open their season next week against CLC rival Sartell before welcoming highly rated Orono in what could be a early season preview of the #4 vs #5 seed nightcap Quarterfinal game at State in a few months. Alexandria returns a good chunk of scoring and D but they do have question marks in the net and it will be interesting to see how this team starts as the previous two seasons under Coach Meyers they have been slow starters and they will be tested in both home games this coming week.
7. Delano (6A) (0-2-0)
Past Week Results: L 1-7 #2 Warroad, L 2-5 #4 East Grand Forks
Upcoming Schedule: 12/3 vs Buffalo
Delano opened up their 2022-23 campaign at home over thanksgiving break by getting beat by a pair of 8A powers as they hosted Warroad and EGF. The young Tigers lineup showed their lack of experience as they went 0-2 over the weekend but they did show some good signs of what is to come this winter. It will take some time but don’t count out their coaching staff and program as they will get to their standard of play quickly as the winter progresses. Only one game and it’s with AA rival Buffalo at home.
8. Northfield (1A) (1-1-0)
Past Week Results: L 2-4 #3 Mahtomedi, W 3-2 #16 Monticello
Upcoming Schedule: 11/29 @ #5 Orono, 12/2 @ Rochester Lourdes
The Raiders opened their season up over Thanksgiving weekend at the Charity Shield Classic hosted by the TRIA Rink. Northfield began their season against Mahtomedi, whom they have had program success against in the past, 2017 State Quarterfinal Upset, and they had a 2-1 lead heading into the third period before the Zephyrs scored three unanswered goals to put them away. They did rebound nicely though in day two as they took care of a good Class A program in Monticello to leave the weekend at .500. This week the schedule stays tough as the Raiders head to 2A favorite Orono before finishing up with a big Section 1A seeding game against Rochester Lourdes.
9. Providence Academy (2A) (1-0-0)
Past Week Results: W 6-1 Mound Westonka
Upcoming Schedule: 12/1 @ Southwest Christian, 12/3 vs. Wadena Deer Creek
The Lions got their season off to a roaring start as they picked up an early Section 2A win by taking care of a rebuilding Mound Westonka program. Providence Academy did what it should be able to do all winter by lighting up the scoreboard and cruised to the opening weekend Section 2A win. This week presents two more winnable games with the important one being the match up with 2A Southwest Christian as Providence Academy looks to get off to a fast start this winter.
10. St Cloud Cathedral (5A) (0-1-0)
Past Week Results: L 0-4 #2 Warroad
Upcoming Schedule: 12/1 vs. Cambridge Isanti, 12/3 vs. #13 Thief River Falls
The Crusaders opened up their season by hosting Class A Favorite Warroad on their home ice. Expectations are high for this year’s team and they showed why as they gave Warroad a good game before eventually succumbing to high end talent of the Warriors. Cathedral will have two big games this week as they face 5A surprise last winter Cambridge before ended the week by hosting well coached and #13 rated Thief River Falls which both should present good challenges and give us a good idea of where this team stands heading into December.
11. Rock Ridge (7A) (0-0-0)
Past Week Results: Idle
Upcoming Schedule: 11/29 vs Greenway, 12/3 vs Abert Lea
The idle Wolverines will look to get off to a better start then they did last winter in year two of their new co-opt. I have moved this team up looking at the roster more and I believe this should be a very good team. They play an important game to start their year when they host Greenway which will have 7A seeding implications. They will finish the week with a good 1A Albert Lea who will head north looking to make waves with a veteran group. The Wolverines will be favored in both and will look to get their season off to a solid start.
12. Little Falls (5A) (1-1-0)
Past Week Results: W 2-1 OT #16 Monticello, L 0-5 #3 Mahtomedi
Upcoming Schedule: 12/3 vs. #5 Orono
The Flyers opened up with a rematch with the team that ended their outstanding season last year in the 5A semifinals when they took on Monticello. This game had major 5A seeding implications as it was the only time they meet this year, on neutral ice at TRIA, and the Flyers were able to get a major win in overtime when Junor Carter Oothoudt scored the game winning goal and that win will be big come February for home ice in the playoffs. The good vibes didn’t last long though as the next day they had a reality check when the deep Zephyrs from Mahtomedi dominated their top end heavy lineup and exposed depth concerns. This week the Flyers have just one game and it’s good one as they have their home opener against #5 Orono on Friday night.
13. Thief River Falls (8A) (0-0-0)
Past Week Results: Idle
Upcoming Schedule: 11/29 @ Roseau, 12/2 @ Sauk Rapids, 12/3 @ #10 St Cloud Cathedral
The Prowlers took the opening weekend off but they will be busy this upcoming week. They will hit the road and take on Roseau to open their season before heading down to Central Minnesota to take on Section 5 Sauk Rapids and #10 rated St Cloud Cathedral. Thief River Falls will have a lot of question marks to answer and look to start answering those questions on the road this upcoming week.
14. Detroit Lakes (8A) (1-0-0)
Past Week Results: W 4-0 Fergus Falls
Upcoming Schedule: 11/29 @ #4 East Grand Forks, 12/3 @ Kittson Central
The Lakers got their season opened against their long time rivals the Otters from Fergus Falls. Detroit Lakes was able to pick up where they left off last year winning a good hockey game at home. The Lakers controlled the game from start to finish and showed they are going to be a team to watch again in Class A this winter. Now their focus shifts to a big time 8A match up on the road at EGF this week followed by another 8A contest with Kittson Central to end their week
15. Hibbing (7A) (0-2-0)
Past Week Results: L 1-3 Grand Rapids, L 1-8 White Bear Lake
Upcoming Schedule: 11/29 vs. Cloquet, 12/2 vs. Albert Lea, 12/3 vs. Minneapolis
Hibbing played one of the first games of the MSHSL season when they hosted AA power Grand Rapids the night before Thanksgiving and they had a solid result as they gave the Thunderhawks a competitive game that they ultimately dropped late on the penalty kill. They then hosted AA power White Bear Lake and found sledding tougher against a sneaky good big school team. This week they continue the busy early schedule as they host three games against AA Cloquet and then welcome two solid Class A clubs in Albert Lea and Minnepalis over the weekend. We will know a lot more about this team by the end of next week.
16. Monticello (5A) (0-2-0)
Past Week Results: L 1-2 OT #12 Little Falls, L 2-3 #8 Northfield
Upcoming Schedule: 12/1 @ Litchfield Dassel Cokato
The Moose opened up their season with a big 5A matchup against Little Falls. The Moose came up on the wrong side of a classic evenly matched game at the TRIA rink in overtime. They came back and played top 10 Northfield very tough before losing yet another 1 goal game on the weekend. The Moose will need to find scoring but they looked good in the opening weekend and should have more success this week in their game vs LDC.
17. New Prague (1A) (0-0-0)
Past Week Results: Idle
Upcoming Schedule: 11/29 @ Mankato West, 12/2 vs Dodge County
The idle Trojans will open their season at Mankato West this upcoming week on the road. They will then host Section 1A Dodge County at home to close out the week. New Prague should be able to get their season off to a fast start before they get into the gauntlet of their Metro West Conference schedule which will take its toll on them but make them better prepared for the Section 1A Playoffs.
18. Chisago Lakes (4A) (0-0-0)
Past Week Results: Idle
Upcoming Schedule: 11/29 vs Osseo
The Wildcats are taking their time getting their season rolling this winter as after taking Thanksgiving weekend off they only have one game on the docket this upcoming week vs. AA Osseo. Last year Osseo took the Wildcats to OT before they ended the affair in a tie. It will be curious to see how this team looks early as they appear to be the only plausible threat to the Zephyrs in 4A and should be a quality Class A team again this winter.
19. Mankato East (3A) (0-2-0)
Past Week Results: L 2-4 Woodbury, L 1-5 Eagan
Upcoming Schedule: 11/29 @ Mound Westonka, 12/2 vs Rochester Century
The Cougars opened their season in the metro at the Woodbury Thanksgiving Tournament against two AA teams. As is typical for the the 3A favorite they got worn out by the deeper lineups of the AA metro teams but ultimately this opener has worked out well for the Cougars once it gets to playoff time in Southwest Minnesota. This week they play a weird non-section and non-conference game against a down Mound Westonka before hosting AA Rochester Century to open up their Big Nine Conference slate.
20. Northern Lakes (6A) (0-0-0)
Past Week Results: Idle
Upcoming Schedule: 11/29 vs Fergus Falls, 12/1 vs Prairie Centre
The Lightning took the week off however, the news that leading returning scorer Taylor Berg has left the program to play AAA hockey for SF Power 16U does make one look at this team differently. They still have a young core returning and a group of A Bantams who had a tremendous success in coming. Huge 6A games to get their season rolling this upcoming week as they take on Fergus Falls and then play 6A Prairie Centre to close the week a good chance to get a leg up on the #2 seed in Section 6A.
Notable Teams and Notes from Class A Week #1 Action
Duluth Denfeld (7A) (1-0-0)- Yes the Hunters did graduate a ton but they did return two key players from last year and boy did they put on a show in Duluth Denfeld’s opening 7-1 win over Section 7A International Falls. Kaden Postal had a big 4 point night (2 goals and 2 assists) only to be outdone by linemate’s Andrew Larson’s massive 6 point night (3 goals and 3 assists) keeping my eyes on Denfeld to get back in the Top 20 soon.
Proctor (7A) (1-0-0)- The Rails are another 7A team that had an impressive win over a veteran WDC team behind Tanner Ross’s Hat trick and AJ Reyelts 44 save effort. The Rails are another team I have my eye on as the battle for 2-5 in 7A is going to be great to watch.
Tyler Hennen (Kittson Central)- The Bearcats are 2-0 thanks to Hennen’s massive 13 point opening weekend effort. A player who showed his stuff in Elite League this fall is off to a big start up in Northwest Minnesota.
Class A 2022-23 Section Break Downs (11/27/22)
Section 1A Rankings (11/27/22)
1- Northfield (1-1-0)
2- New Prague (0-0-0)
3- Albert Lea (0-0-0)
4- Rochester Lourdes (0-0-0)
5- Dodge County (1-1-0)
6- Faribault (0-1-0)
7- La Crescent (0-1-0)
8- Winona (0-0-0)
9- Waseca (1-0-0)
10- Red Wing (1-10)
11- Austin (0-0-0)
Section 1A Outlook- Northfield showed why they should be considered a favorite with a good showing in the metro. Dodge County was able to go .500 at their Thanksgiving Tourney in Simley. Faribault dropped a tough one to Minnesota River. La Crescent nearly beat their first Rochester school in school history in a narrow loss to John Marshall. Waseca was able to come from behind to beat Redwood Valley. Red Wing went .500 at the Charity Shield Classic. All other 1A teams were idle in week #1.
Section 2A Rankings (11/27/22)
1- Orono (0-0-0)
2- Delano (0-2-0)
3- Providence Academy (1-0-0)
4- Minneapolis (0-0-0)
5- Southwest Christian (0-0-0)
6- Breck (0-1-0)
7- Hutchinson (0-0-0)
8- Litchfield Dassel-Cokato (0-0-0)
9- Mound Westonka (0-1-0)
10- Waconia (2-0-0)
11- Bloomington Kennedy (0-0-0)
Section 2A Outlook- Delano challenged their young team playing to of Class A best teams from 8A and went 0-2 but showed signs of progress. Providence Academy got off to a nice start with a Section win over Mound Westonka. Breck got pounded by AA Armstong/Cooper and concerns about the blueline and net appear valid. Waconia went north and found two wins to get off to a good 2-0 start. All other 2A teams were idle in week #1.
Section 3A Rankings (11/27/22)
1- Mankato East (0-2-0)
2- New Ulm (0-0-0)
3- Luverne (0-0-0)
4- Mankato West (0-0-0)
5- Marshall (0-2-0)
6- Windom (0-0-0)
7- Minnesota River (1-0-0)
8- Fairmont (0-0-0)
9- Worthington (0-0-0)
10- Redwood Valley (0-1-0)
Section 3A Outlook- Mankato East did their normal AA metro Thanksgiving Tournament and started 0-2 but again this prepares them more for the 3A Playoffs. Marshall had a rough opener in their Thanksgiving Tournament going 0-2. Minnesota River picked up a nice one goal win over Faribault to start their year. Redwood Valley dropped a tough opener to Waseca in a game they led through the 2nd period. All other 3A teams were idle in week #1.
Section 4A Rankings (11/27/22)
1- Mahtomedi (2-0-0)
2- Chisago Lakes (0-0-0)
3- Simley (1-1-0)
4- St Paul Academy (0-0-0)
5- Two Rivers (2-0-0)
6- St Paul Highland Park (1-2-0)
7- South St Paul (1-0-1)
8- Northern Edge (0-2-0)
9- St Paul Johnson (1-1-0)
Section 4A Outlook- Mahtomedi got off to a nice start winning both their games at the Charity Shield Classic. Simley went .500 at their own Thanksgiving Tournament and picked up a win over Northern Edge in the process. Two Rivers got off to a nice start going (2-0) including a win over St. Paul Highland Park. South St. Paul went (1-0-1) in their northern swing against 7A teams. St Paul Johnson went .500 in its journey to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving weekend. All other 4A teams were idle in week #1.
Section 5A Rankings (11/27/22)
1- St Cloud Cathedral (0-1-0)
2- Little Falls (1-1-0)
3- Monticello (0-2-0)
4- Cambridge/Isanti (0-0-0)
5- River Lakes (0-1-0)
6- Princeton (0-0-0)
7- Pine City (2-0-0)
8- Sauk Rapids (0-0-0)
9- Mora (0-0-0)
10- Becker/Big Lake (0-0-0)
Section 5A Outlook- St Cloud Cathedral dropped a competitive game to top Class A team Warroad. Little Falls went .500 at the Charity Shield Classic and picked up a big section win over Monticello. River Lakes surprisingly played a game missing half their team due to New London Spicer being in the prep bowl next weekend and lost to Coon Rapids. Pine City showed they are improved going 2-0 down in Marshall winning their first ever title there. All other 5A teams were idle in week #1.
Section 6A Rankings (11/27/22)
1- Alexandria (0-0-0)
2- Northern Lakes (0-0-0)
3- Fergus Falls (0-1-0)
4- Wadena Deer Creek (1-1-0)
5- Morris Benson (1-1-0)
6- Prairie Centre (0-0-0)
7- Willmar (0-0-0)
8- Breckenridge/Wahpeton (0-1-0)
Section 6A Outlook- Fergus Falls dropped their opener at rival Detroit Lakes. Wadena Deer Creek went .500 on their northern swing to start the year. Morris Benson also went .500 in the Marshall Thanksgiving Tournament. Breckenridge/Wahpeton dropped its opener to Bagley Fosston. All other 6A teams were idle in week #1.
Section 7A Rankings (11/27/22)
1- Hermantown (0-0-0)
2- Rock Ridge (0-0-0)
3- Hibbing (0-2-0)
4- Duluth Denfeld (1-0-0)
5- Proctor (1-0-0)
6- Greenway (0-2-0)
7- International Falls (0-1-0)
8- North Shore (0-1-1)
9- Ely (0-2-0)
10- Moose Lake (0-2-0)
Section 7A Outlook- Hibbing dropped their first two games of the year to good AA opponents. Duluth Denfeld picked up a nice section win over International Falls. Proctor picked up a nice win over the veteran WDC squad. Greenway had a rough opening week going 0-2 against mid tier Class A teams. North Shore tied South St Paul who beat the Raiders which is promising for them. Ely got torched by Tyler Hennen in two games to go (0-2). Moose Lake dropped both its games at Charity Shield Classic. All other 7A teams were idle in week #1.
Section 8A Rankings (11/27/22)
1- Warroad (2-0-0)
2- East Grand Forks (1-1-0)
3- Thief River Falls (0-0-0)
4- Detroit Lakes (1-0-0)
5- Red Lake Falls (0-0-0)
6- Crookston (0-0-0)
7- Kittson Central (2-0-0)
8- Bagley/Fosston (1-0-0)
9- Park Rapids (0-1-0)
10- Lake of the Woods (0-0-0)
Section 8A Outlook- Warroad picked up two good wins on its opening road trip of the year over Delano and SCC. East Grand Forks went .500 on their trip but picked up a nice win over Delano as well. Detroit Lakes controlled the game from start to finish in their win over rival Fergus Falls. Kittson Central went (2-0) in a sweep over Ely. Bagley/Fosston won its opener to start (1-0). Park Rapids dropped its opener to Waconia. All other 8A teams were idle in week #1.