Class A Guy’s Rankings Week #3 (12/10/2023) 

1. St. Cloud Cathedral (5A) (5-0-1)

Past Week Results: W 7-4 Gentry Academy, W 6-2 River Lakes

Upcoming Schedule: 12/12 @ #14 Alexandria, 12/16 vs Rock Ridge

The Crusaders top line magic continued this week in helping St Cloud Cathedral pick up two more wins. The first win of the week was more impressive as they were able to go on the road and beat a solid AA Gentry team thanks to six goal efforts from the top line. The more important win was in the second game over River Lakes as it gave them their first Section 5A win on the year. Two more wins for a team that now has won five in a row and they head into another week with good tests as a road trip vs ranked Alexandria will not be easy and a hardworking AA Rock Ridge will pay a visit to them at the end of the week.

2. Hermantown (7A) (2-0-1)

Past Week Results: W 5-0 Centennial

Upcoming Schedule: 12/12 vs Duluth Marshall, 12/16 vs #7 Mahtomedi

The Hawks only had one game this week but they opened at home in impressive fashion. They took down a dangerous AA Centennial with relative ease. They built a quick two goal lead and then played lock down defense and swarmed the Cougars with relentless depth. The win shows that if the Hawks get in front they will be a tough team to mount a comeback against and this is just a very impressive team. This week they will take on a young and improved Duluth Marshall squad before playing their first Class A game of the year in a big time match up vs the team who ended their state championship dreams last last in Mahtomedi.

3. Warroad (8A) (5-1-0)

Past Week Results: W 6-2 Rock Ridge, W 5-3 Grand Rapids

Upcoming Schedule: 12/16 vs Totino Grace

The Warriors had an excellent home sweep this week. Warroad did, for the second weekend in a row, open Friday night with a less than desirable start as they found themselves tied 1-1 with Rock Ridge after 2 periods. But as they did last weekend the Warriors exploded in the third period for five goals and put away a team they should beat at home to start the weekend homestand. They followed that up with one of their most impressive wins of the year when they took down Grand Rapids in a very well played competitive hockey game where they used a good third period again to break open a tie game. The Warriors now move back into the Top of Three of Class A and they will only have one game this week when they host Totino Grace of the week at home.

4. Orono (2A) (4-2-0)

Past Week Results: W 6-2 #16 Minneapolis, L 1-3 Duluth Denfeld

Upcoming Schedule: 12/14 @ Waconia, 12/16 vs. #14 Alexandria

The Spartans had a .500 week which they opened by getting a very good win over Section 2A Minneapolis in a game they really controlled throughout and were able to get some more players on the stat sheet to add to their strength which is their depth. They followed that up with a trip up north and dropped a tough one to Duluth Denfeld, a team who also beat Cloquet this week, in a game they controlled play and outshot Denfeld 35-15 but they were unable to solve the Hunters goalie and took a tough loss to finish the week. However, they have wins over #8 Northfield, #11 Monticello, #13 Little Falls & #16 MPLS and are still looking like the favorites in 2A again so this is not a stretch to be ranked here. They will have two more tests this week with the game vs ranked Alexandria being the one to keep an eye on.

5. Cloquet/Esko/Carlton (7A) (3-1-0)

Past Week Results: L 4-5  Duluth Denfeld, W 3-2 #6 East Grand Forks

Upcoming Schedule: 12/12 vs Proctor, 12/15 vs #7 Mahtomedi, 12/16 vs Blaine 

The Lumberjacks had a very interesting week. They started by jumping out to a 3-0 and eventually 4-2 3rd period lead over Denfeld. However, self inflicted wounds led to giving the Hunter numerous power plays opportunities to chip away and get back into the game and eventually steal one away from the Lumberjacks. However, to their credit Cloquet went on the road and picked up a huge Class A win when they went into East Grand Forks and picked up a big road win. The win also showed growth as they again built a 3-0 lead like earlier in the week but they did not surrender it this time around. With wins over #15 Hibbing and now #6 EGF they come in at #5 this week but with games vs Proctor, Mahtomedi & Blaine upcoming this week will either solidify or prove this ranking is unwise.  

6. East Grand Forks (8A) (4-3-0)

Past Week Results: L 4-5 Grand Forks Central, L 2-3 #5 Cloquet Esko Carlton

Upcoming Schedule: 12/11 @ Grand Forks Red River

The Greenwave had an incredibly disappointing week which sent them tumbling in the rankings this week; they opened it with a tough loss to a good Grand Forks Central team in the opening game of the Gambucci Cup series. It’s a game they most likely want back as they led at different points and outshot GFC 33-17 however giving up 5 goals on 17 shots is a big concern to take away from this game. They followed that by sleepwalking through two periods on their home ice and digging themselves a 3 goal deficit and while they made a furious late comeback it was too little too late and they have now dropped three games in a row. This week just one game on tap and it’s another Gambucci Cup game as they head across the border to take on rival Grand Fork Red River.

7. Mahtomedi (4A) (2-4-0)

Past Week Results: W 9-4 South St Paul, L 1-4 St Thomas Academy 

Upcoming Schedule: 12/12 vs Hill Murray, 12/15 @ #6 Cloquet/Esko/Carlton, 12/16 @ #2  Hermantown

The Zephyrs started the week by taking care of business and getting their first Section 4A win when they took down an improving South St Paul crew. They then went on the road to take on a ranked AA St Thomas Academy crew and played a competitive game with the Cadets but ultimately fell and dropped their record back to two games below .500 but again those 4 losses are to the #3 and #6 teams in A and two AA teams so I don’t want to overreact too much to the results and drop this traditionally tough program too far down the rankings list. The schedule does not lighten up at all this week as they take on a ranked AA Hill Murray team before concluding the week with a northern trip to the team ranked just ahead of them in Cloquet and then a big game against Hermantown to end the week.

8. Northfield (1A) (5-1-0)

Past Week Results: W 11-1 Austin, W 7-3 Albert Lea

Upcoming Schedule: 12/12 vs #11 Monticello, 12/15 @ Spring Lake Park, 12/16 @ Osseo

The Raiders did exactly what they needed to do this week as they took care of some Section 1A teams and started to build their resume for the Section’s number one seed. They were able to rout a very hot Austin club in their barn by a score of 11-1 to start the productive week. They then finished by beating an Albert Lea team that they could see later in the year come playoff time soundly. Northfield has been very good at beating the teams in Southern Minnesota but this week will present them a chance to show they are not just the best team in the south but a real contender in Class A as the Top 10 matchup with Monticello will give them an opportunity to get a very good resume building win come Tourney time.

9. Thief River Falls (8A) (2-2-1)

Past Week Results: L 1-4 Bemidji, W 5-3 Detroit Lakes

Upcoming Schedule: 12/12 vs Totino Grace 

The Prowlers had another (.500) week and again they are not the easiest team to read. While the loss to AA Bemidji is not a horrible one by any measure and it’s also a game that a team looking to move up these rankings wants to win. However, as they did last week, they were able to finish their week with a win in the game vs Detroit Lakes, an improving young team, on the road. The win is big as it gives them the head to head over the Lakers and should assure them a Top Three seed in 8A come playoff time. This week just one game for Thief River Falls, a home matchup with AA Totino Grace to provide them with another tough matchup.

10. Northern Lakes (6A) (4-0-0)

Past Week Results: W 7-3 Greenway

Upcoming Schedule: 12/14 @ #20 Southwest Christian

The Lightning took care of business in their only action of the week when they won for the first time in program history at the Snake Pit in Greenway. In a game where they really were in control the whole way they picked up a nice road win when they jumped out to an early lead and then added to it to cruise to victory without ever being truly threatened. This week Northern Lakes will stay on the road as they head down into the metro to take on a ranked Southwest Christian team which will be their best test since the win over the Otters to see where this team is at in terms of the rest of the Class A field.

11. Monticello (5A) (4-1-0)

Past Week Results: W 7-6 Pine City Area, W 5-1 Chisago Lakes

Upcoming Schedule: 12/12 @ #8 Northfield

The Moose were able to pick up two wins inside the Mississippi Conference over the week with two dramatically different games. The first game against Pine City they started the back up goalie and it turned into an adventure but they ultimately were able to win a 5A road game in the end. They followed that up with a very convincing 5-1 win over an improving Chisago Lakes crew at home where they really played a complete hockey game. The Moose are a team that sits just outside the Top 10 looking for that marquee win as they have played very well so far this year. They will get a great chance to get that marquee win this week and move even further up the rankings as they take on #7 ranked Northfield on the road in what should be a great Class A match up!

12. Little Falls (5A) (4-2-0)

Past Week Results: W 7-3  Sauk Rapids, W 4-3 Chisago Lakes

Upcoming Schedule: 12/15 vs Rock Ridge

The Flyers had another solid week and they continue to trend upwards within the Class A rankings. They started the week by taking care of a 5A team they should beat when they took down Sauk Rapids on the road. They followed that win with another good road victory by taking down an improving Chisago Lakes team and those results put them just outside the Top Ten this week. This week Little Falls will finally have a home game as they will take on a good AA Rock Ridge team in what should be a very good test in their home opener and it will be good to check back in with Flyer Media Productions who have one of the better high school streams you will see.

13. Alexandria (6A) (2-2-1)

Past Week Results: L 2-3 Sartell, W 6-0 Morris Benson

Upcoming Schedule: 12/12 vs #1 St Cloud Cathedral, 12/16 @ #4 Orono

The Cards lost a tough road game to open their week when they went into unbeaten AA Sartell. In the game they dug themselves a 2 goal deficit but nearly pulled off the comeback with a frantic finish but were unable to get the win. The loss to a good Sartell is not a bad one and Alexandria did finish the week by beating 6A Morris/Benson at home to show they will still be a top contender to return to state in Section 6A. This week is a challenging one as they will take on two good Top 10 Class A teams when they host top ranked St Cloud Cathedral and then finish the week with a trip to ranked Orono.

14. Delano (2A) (2-2-0)

Past Week Results: W 4-3 OT #17 Breck

Upcoming Schedule: 12/12 vs #20 Southwest Christian, 12/14 @ #16 Minneapolis

The Tigers showed some championship character this week in their only game and may have had a major turning point to their season in the process. In the game they trailed a red hot Breck team 3-1 with 5 minutes remaining in the game. At that point things looked grim but they were able to score twice, the tying goal with a 1 minute left, and send the game to overtime and pick up a very important Section 2A win in overtime. Those kinds of wins are major building blocks and Delano is hoping to springboard into a successful remainder of the year as they have two tough tests coming up this week when they take on ranked Southwest Christin and 2A Minneapolis.

15. Hibbing/Chisholm (7A) (4-4-0)

Past Week Result: W 6-2 Duluth Denfeld, L 3-7 Totino Grace

Upcoming Schedule: 12/12 @ Greenway, 12/14 @ Proctor

Hibbing started the week by picking a nice big 6-2 win over now AA Duluth Denfeld, who beat two top t10 A teams later in the week,  in their home opener in front of a big crowd ready to support this young talented team. However, the momentum at home was short lived as they fell behind AA Totino Grace in their game over the weekend and were never able to dig themselves fully out of the hole and took a tough loss on their home ice. The week showed their potential as well as the still needed growth for this young team. This week is a big one for Hibbing as they have two 7A games they will be favored in vs Greenway and Proctor for section seeding purposes to stay away from the Hawks side of the bracket.

16. Minneapolis (2A) (3-2-0)

Past Week Results: W 8-0 Litchfield/Dassel/Cokato, L 2-6 #4 Orono

Upcoming Schedule: 12/12 vs #18 Providence Academy, 12/14 vs #13 Delano, 12/16 vs Armstrong/Cooper

The 612 crew were able to pick up another big Section 2A rout when they took out a rebuilding Litchfield/Dassel/Cokato to open their week by a score of 8-0. Minneapolis did struggle in their other Section 2A game of the week vs Minneapolis as they were unable to really create momentum during the game until Orono had put it out of reach. Right now they stick around at the lower part of the rankings as they have shown they can beat the lower Class A teams but for now struggle with higher ranked ones. More big tests to prove that theory wrong this week as they are busy and have two more important Section 2A tests when they take on Providence Academy and Delano.

17. Breck (2A) (3-2-1)

Past Week Results: W 4-2 Mound Westonka, L 3-4 OT #13 Delano

Upcoming Schedule: 12/16 vs Holy Angels

The Mustangs had a .500 week in Section 2A as they took down a pesky Mound Westonka bunch to start the week and help their stock within the section with the win. They then went into Delano to end the weekend and it looked like they were on the verge of gaining a massive 2A win as they led 3-1 midway through the 3rd period. However, the Tigers showed why they are a great team and staged a late game comeback leaving the Mustangs with heartbreak in overtime . Nothing lost as far as rankings go with those results and this week they have a very tough test when they host a good AA Holy Angels team in their only game of the week.

18. Providence Academy (2A) (2-4-0)

Past Week Results: W 7-6 Armstrong/Copper, W 9-1 Hutchinson

Upcoming Schedule: 12/12 @ #16 Minneapolis,  12/16 vs Albert Lea

Yes, the Lions did start (0-4-0) on the year but two of those losses were by one goal to Top 10 Class A Teams and the other two were to AA teams. This past week they showed why they are so dangerous as they put up sixteen goals in just two goals. This is a scary team that is led by what should be a Mr Hockey Candidate in Louie Wehmann who had an eye popping 13 points in those two wins this week. They have a major Section 2A game this week when they take on Minneapolis which could help them move up not only in these rankings but the over Class A ranks as well.  

19.         Luverne (3A) (4-0-0)

Past Week Results: W 6-1 New Ulm

Upcoming Schedule: 12/12 vs Windom, 12/16 vs Rochester Lourdes

Roll Cards Roll picked up a very important and big Section 3A win in their only game of the week when they took down rival New Ulm at home. Luverne was impressive as they controlled the game throughout and never trailed as they came away with a big five goal win. Now they move forward and shift their focus to this week when they have 3A Windorm followed by what will be a good test outside the Section with an improving Rochester Lourdes coming to town at the end of the week. 

20. Southwest Christian/Richfield (4A) (2-0-0)

Past Week Results: W 6-2 Dodge County, W 3-0 Anoka

Upcoming Schedule: 12/12 @ #13 Delano, 12/14 vs #10 Northern Lakes, 12/16 vs New Ulm

The Stars showed they were worth the wait as they were the last team in the state to play a hockey game. However, they showed no signs of rust and they were able to take down a good Dodge County crew and then finished the week by controlling Anoka to get the home opening sweep. Now we will really see what this team has as they have a massive week with games vs ranked Delano and Northern Lakes and a very tough New Ulm team to end the week. We will know much more about this club by the end of next week.

Next Five Notable Teams-

•Proctor (7A) (5-2-0)- The Rails had a strong week overall as they were beaten by a better Grand Rapids team to start the week but to their credit they rebounded well. They were able to go down south and take out two Big 9 Conference teams to give them much needed momentum as they head into a massive week ahead. Games vs both 7A Cloquet and Hibbing are on the docket and there is no better time for the Rails to prove they are for real.

•Dodge County (1A) (4-2-0)- The Wildcats had a .500 week as they dropped a tough one to s good Southwest Christian team at the start of the week but they rebounded nicely and they went into La Crescent and picked up a massive 1A head to head win on the road. They now control their fate when it comes to a top 1A seed.

•New Ulm (3A) (4-1-0)-  The Eagles started their “Cardinal Week” in nice fashion as they routed Redwood Valley and Fairmont to move to (4-0-0). However, they faltered in their big early season showdown with Luverne to end the week as they were soundly beaten by Roll Cards Roll. All is not lost and there is still a ton of season to go but for now the loss drops them back into the notable category.

•Fergus Falls (6A) (1-2-0)- The Otters only had one game and they were beaten handily by a good AA Sartell the loss isn’t necessarily a bad thing but that loss combined with the decisive loss to Northern Lakes last week moves them out of the Top 20 for now and will wait to see a few more games when deciding on where to place Fergus Falls. 

•Crookston (8A) (4-0-0)- The Pirates are off to a perfect start and deserve some recognition. They have beaten the teams they are supposed to and after some rough seasons the past few winters it’s good to see this program getting back on track. Their life in these rankings could be short lived as they take on the team right below them in Detroit Lakes this week in a game with major Section 8A Seedings implications.

BHS Class A 2023-24 Section Break Downs Week #2 (12/10/23)

Section 1A Rankings (12/10/23)

1- Northfield (5-1-0)

2- Dodge County (4-2-0)

3- Albert Lea (2-2-1)

4- La Crescent (4-1-0)

6- Waseca (5-2-0)

7- Rochester Lourdes (2-3-0)

5- Austin (3-2-0)

8- Faribault (2-3-0)

9- Winona (2-3-0)

10- Red Wing (1-5-0)

Section 1A Outlook- Northfield picked up two head to head 1A wins over Austin & Albert Lea. Dodge County got a very big head to head 1A win over La Crescent. Waseca rolled off three more wins on the week outside the section. Rochester Lourdes had a very good (2-0-0) week which included a head to head 1A win over Winona. Faribault went (2-1-0) outside of the section. Red Wing went winless on the week outside of the section.

Section 2A Rankings (12/10/23)

1- Orono (4-2-0)

2- Delano (2-2-0)

3- Minneapolis (3-2-0)

4- Breck (3-2-1)

5- Providence Academy (2-4-0)

6- Hutchinson (1-4-0)

7- Mound Westonka (3-2-0)

8- Litchfield Dassel-Cokato (1-4-0)

Section 2A Outlook- Orono went (.500) on the week but picked up the big head to head 2A win over Minneapolis. Delano had a tremendous come from behind win to take down Breck but the Mustangs did get the head to head win over Mound Westonka this week. Providence Academy routed Hutchinson for a big head to head 2A win. Litchfield Dassel-Cokato’s tough rebuilding season continued this week.

Section 3A Rankings (12/10/23)

1- Luverne (4-0-0)

2- New Ulm (4-1-0)

3- Mankato East (3-2-0)

4- Mankato West (2-2-1)

5- Minnesota River (3-1-0)

6- Marshall (3-4-0)

7- Windom (0-4-0)

8- Fairmont (0-6-0)

9- Worthington (0-3-0)

10- Redwood Valley (0-5-0)

Section 3A Outlook- Luverne picked up a massive head to head 3A win over New Ulm. Mankato West went (2-0-1) while Mankato East went (0-1-0) outside the section in Big 9 Conference play. Minnesota River continued its good play with two wins including a head to head 3A win over Worthington. Marshall got head to 3A wins over both Windom & Redwood Valley. Farimont is still searching for its first win as are few teams in the portion of Section 3A this season.

Section 4A Rankings (12/10/23)

1- Mahtomedi (2-4-0)

2- Southwest Christian (2-0-0)

3- Chisago Lakes (2-5-0)

4- Simley (2-3-1)

5- St Paul Highland Park (3-3-0)

6- St Paul Academy (1-4-0)

7- South St Paul (1-3-0)

8- Bloomington Kennedy (2-5-0)

Section 4A Outlook- Mahtomedi and St. Paul Highland Park picked up a head to head 4A win over South St Paul on the week. Southwest Christian had a very good (2-0-0) week to open up its season. Chisago Lakes went (1-2-0) in Mississippi 8 Conference action. Simley picked up a big head to head 4A win over St. Paul Academy. Bloomington Kennedy went (1-2-0) in action outside of the section this week.

Section 5A Rankings (12/10/23)

1- St Cloud Cathedral (5-0-1)

2- Monticello (4-1-0)

3- Little Falls (4-2-0)

4- Princeton (2-2-0)

5- River Lakes (1-3-1)

6- Sauk Rapids (2-2-1)

7- Becker/Big Lake (4-1-0)

8- Pine City (2-4-0)

9- Mora/Milaca (4-2-0)

Section 5A Outlook- St Cloud Cathedral won both their games this week including a head to head 5A win over River Lakes. Monticello picked up 2 wins this week as well including a head to head win of Pine City but the Dragons did get a head to head 5A win over Mora/Milaca. Little Falls also had 2 wins this week which included a head to head 5A win over Sauk Rapids. Princeton had a (.500) week but lost the Rusty Skates game for the 4th straight year and Becker Big Lake had a good week winning two games which included a massive head to head 5A win over the Dragons.

Section 6A Rankings (12/10/23)

1- Northern Lakes (4-0-0)

2- Alexandria (2-2-1)

3- Fergus Falls (1-2-0)

4- Wadena Deer Creek (3-3-0)

5- Prairie Centre (2-3-0)

6- Morris Benson (1-6-0)

7- Willmar (1-3-0)

8- Breckenridge/Wahpeton (0-4-0)

Section 6A Outlook- Northern Lakes continued its strong start to the year as they moved to (4-0-0) with a win outside the section this week. Alexandria went (.500) on the week but got a head to head 6A win over Morris Benson. The Storm did pick up their first win of the year with a head to head 6A win over Willmar. Wadena Deer Creek further strengthened their early hold on the 4 seed with head to head 6A win over Prairie Centre this week. Breckenridge/Wahpeton is still in search of their first win of the season.

Section 7A Rankings (12/10/23)

1- Hermantown (2-0-1)

2- Cloquet/Esko/Carlton (3-1-0)

3- Hibbing (4-4-0)

4- Proctor (5-2-0)

5- Greenway (1-4-0)

6- International Falls (0-2-0)

7- North Shore (3-1-0)

8- Ely (5-2-0)

9- Moose Lake (1-3-0)

Section 7A Outlook- Hermantown had a very solid win again against a AA school. Cloquet/Esko/Carlton went (.500) pn the week but picked up a huge Class A win outside the section. Hibbing went (.500) in games outside the section. Proctor picked up two wins in Southern Minnesota. Greenway picked up its first win of the year outside the section meanwhile International Falls is still searching for their first win. North Shore picked up two wins on the week including the head to head win over Ely but the Timberwolves did beat Moose Lake head to head this week.

Section 8A Rankings (12/10/23)

1- Warroad (5-1-0)

2- East Grand Forks (4-3-0)

3- Thief River Falls (2-2-1)

4- Crookston (4-0-0)

5- Detroit Lakes (2-4-0)

6- Red Lake Falls (3-1-0)

7- Lake of the Woods (4-0-0)

8- Park Rapids (0-3-1)

9- Bagley/Fosston (1-3-0)

10- Kittson County Central (0-4-0)

Section 8A Outlook- Both Warroad had a very good weekend getting the sweep against two AA teams. East Grand Forks has now lost three in a row though all outside the section. Thief River Falls picked up a head to head 8A win over Detroit Lakes on the road. Crookston moved to (4-0-0) but stayed at 4 for now; however a big head to head with the Lakers looms this week. Red Lake Falls won both of their games outside of the section this week. Lake of the Woods moved to (4-0-0) on the year and picked up head to head 8A wins over both Park Rapids & Bagley/Fosston. Kittson County Central picked up its first win of the season outside the section.