Class A Rankings Week #2 (12/3/2023) 

1. St. Cloud Cathedral (5A) (3-0-1)

Past Week Results: W 4-3 Providence Academy, W 5-2 #3 East Grand Forks

Upcoming Schedule: 12/5 @ Gentry Academy, 12/7 @ River Lakes

The Crusaders move into the Top spot of the Class A rankings this week. The week did start a bit rocky, but they were able to hold off a pesky and upset minded Providence Academy to start off their week. Cathedral needed a big game from their top line and Andrew Dwinnell’s 2 goals gave them just enough to avoid the upset by the Lions. They finished the week in style as their Top line took over the game vs East Grand Forks and they pulled off a massively impressive three goal win over the Greenwave to move into the number 1 spot. This week they play a tough Gentry team before finishing up with 5A River Lakes on the road. 

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

Past Week Results: W 2-1 Cretin Derham Hall, T 3-3 Hill Murray

Upcoming Schedule: 12/9 vs Centennial

The Hawks had a very good opening weekend in the cities vs two AA Private Powers. They opened their season in style as they went into a hostile rink and beat a very good AA CDH team on their home ice. Defense and great goaltending were a sound recipe as the Hawks got their season off on a very good note to show the Class A world they are still going to be very tough to beat. They then went to Hill Murray and built up a 3-0 lead while they did allow the Pioneers to get back into the game a tie on the back end of tough opening road trip vs a fresh top 10 AA team is very impressive. This week they stay in their AA portion of the schedule when they play a sneaky tough Centennial team to get their home slate opened up.

3. East Grand Forks (8A) (4-1-0)

Past Week Results: W 4-1 Detroit Lakes, W 5-2 #5 Mahtomedi, L 2-5 #1 St Cloud Cathedral

Upcoming Schedule: 12/7 vs Grand Forks Central, 12/9 vs #9 Cloquet Esko Carlton

The Greenwave started the week by picking up a nice 8A road win over Detroit Lakes. After a slow start to the game, a big 2nd period proved to be the difference in a big section win. The Greenwave continued their good week when they broke open a tightly contested tie game in the third period with the Defending State Champ Mahtomedi to get a very nice 5-2 road win. However, the successful week came to a crashing halt when they were taken out by St Cloud Cathedral to end the week. It was a tough way to end what has been a great start to the year but they will get to show they can move past that this week when they take on their border rivals Grand Forks Central and then top 10 Cloquet to end the week.

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

Past Week Results:W 6-3 #6 Orono, W 7-6 OT #5 Mahtomedi

Upcoming Schedule: 12/8 vs Rock Ridge, 12/9 vs Grand Rapids

The Warriors had a very good weekend venture into the cities and came away with two wins vs the two teams right below them in the rankings. The  weekend did get off to an extremely slow start as they were outplayed by Orono for 2 periods. However, to the Warroad’s credit they dug deep and dominated the third period as they scored 5 straight goals to win  a good road game 6-3 to start their weekend trip. They then got some revenge vs Mahtomedi and reserved the 7-6 OT outcome in their favor this time around and what was a great hockey game to end the weekend trip. This week they stay home and they will be tested as they have two tough 7AA teams in Rock Ridge and Grand Rapids coming to the Gardens to give the Warriors a good fight.

5. Mahtomedi (4A) (1-3-0)

Past Week Results: L 2-5 #1 East Grand Forks, L 6-7 OT #4 Warroad

Upcoming Schedule: 12/5 @ South St Paul, 12/7 @ St Thomas Academy 

The Zephyrs had a very tough (0-2-0) weekend but also proved they are in the upper echelon of Class A in the process. They found themselves up 2-1 on EGF to start the weekend midway through the second. However, for this team still growing into their identity this year they gave up the next 4 goals and let one totally slip away which for Mahtomedi teams we are not accustomed to seeing. That trend of leaky defense continued when they got in a track meet game  game with the Warriors and ultimately fell 7-6 in overtime in what was a classic battle. Yes the record isn’t pretty for the #5 ranked team but they showed they will again be right in the thick of it come March This week to games with their first 4A game against South St Paul to start the week. 

6. Orono (2A) (3-1-0)

Past Week Results: W 4-1 #7 Northfield, L 3-6 #4 Warroad, W 4-3 OT #12 Little Falls

Upcoming Schedule: 12/7 vs #16 Minneapolis, 12/9 @ Duluth Denfeld

The Spartans started the week by picking up a very impressive Class A road win over Northfield. Orono was able to overcome their penalty issues, something that has flared up on them over the years, and picked a very big 4-1 win. They carried that momentum into their matchup with Warroad as they were the better team for two full periods and led heading into the third period. Unfortunately for them they unraveled in the third and gave up five consecutive goals to end up with their first loss of the season. They did respond well the next day and poured 50 shots on a tough Little Falls team and they were able to pull out a big overtime win. Now this week they have two games with the first one being for  2A seeding implications vs Minneapolis which is a big one for Orono who will be looking to establish they are still the king in 2A this winter.

7. Northfield (1A) (3-1-0)

Past Week Results: L 1-4  #7 Orono, W 4-3 Rochester Century/JM

Upcoming Schedule: 12/7 @ Austin, 12/9 vs Albert Lea

The Raiders had a .500 week as in the first game they were unable to convert on their power play opportunities in the 1st period vs a very good Orono team. After that the game seemed to tilt in favor of the visiting Spartans the rest of the way. Northfield is currently missing their top Dman in Ty Frank, due to injury and has yet to play this year, and his presence was missed on that top PP unit. Coach Luckraft did indicate that he will be possibly out for a few more weeks yet in his pregame radio talk which will and has affected this team. To Northfield’s credit they did rebound with a nice road win over AA Rochester Century/JM to end the week. Now they will enter Section 1A this week as they have two section 1A games vs Austin and Albert Lea.

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

Past Week Results: L 0-7 Roseau, W 4-1 Sauk Rapids

Upcoming Schedule: 12/5 vs Bemidji, 12/8 @ Detroit Lakes

The Prowlers were another Top 10 team that went .500 this week. They started by getting routed on their home ice by the high powered offensive Rams to start their week. For a team that prides itself for defense and low scoring games the 7-0 blowout is a sign of a little uncertainty with this group. However, Roseau’s offense would do that to many Class A teams and they were able to finish off the week by picking up their first win of the season over Sauk Rapids in their more customary low scoring fashion. At (1-1-1) this team is still a bit of a mystery and they will have two tough games this week as they take on AA Bemidji before traveling to Detroit Lakes for a big 8A showdown.

9. Cloquet/Esko/Carlton (7A) (2-0-0)

Past Week Results: W 4-3 #13 Hibbing/Chisholm, W 4-2  Bloomington Jefferson

Upcoming Schedule: 12/7 @ Duluth Denfeld , 12/9 @ #3 East Grand Forks

The Lumberjacks opened their season at home in grand fashion as they picked up a critical 7A win when they took down a very good young Hibbing team. In the game Cloquet was able to build a 4-1 lead only to see Hibbing nearly come all the way back. However, CEC was able to hold them off and pick up a major seeding win for playoff positioning later in the year. They then went down to Bloomington on Saturday and got a win vs AA Jefferson. This week we will get a better idea of where this team is as they take on a tough AA Denfeld team and then have a big challenge when they head to East Grand Forks to end their week.

10. Northern Lakes (6A) (3-0-0)

Past Week Results: W 8-1 Prairie Centre, W 5-1 #18 Fergus Falls, W 10-1 North Shore

Upcoming Schedule: 12/5 @ Greenway

The Lightning had a great first week as they did exactly what they needed to do in their opener as they hit the road and picked up a convincing 6A win when they took down Prairie Centre. Northern Lakes then made a big statement when they went on the road and took down the Otters of Fergus Falls in convincing fashion, building a big lead early and fishing off a team that had ended their season the previous two years and all but assuring a top 2 seed. They finished the week by taking care of North Shore and they moved into the Top 10 for the first time ever in program history. This week just one game on the road vs Greenway.

11. Monticello (5A) (2-1-0)

Past Week Results: W 10-0 Litchfield/Dassel/Cokato

Upcoming Schedule: 12/5 @ Pine City Area, 12/7 vs Chisago Lakes

The Moose looked impressive in their only game of the week as they routed a rebuilding Litchfield Dassel Cokato team at home. In the game Junior forward Landon Scherber tied a school record by scoring 4 goals in one game. Now the Moose will have two Mississippi 8 Conference games when they take on Pine City for 5A seeding purposes and then finish the week with a solid Chisago Lakes program.

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

Past Week Results: W 3-1 #13 Alexandria, W 7-3 Princeton, L 3-4 OT #6 Orono

Upcoming Schedule: 12/5 @ Sauk Rapids, 12/8 @ Chisago Lakes

The Flyers had a very nice week as they started it by picking up a very nice win over a very strong Alexandria program. In a game where they were on the heels in the first period Little Falls was able to regroup and play a very strong 2nd and 3rd period scoring a goal in each period to come away with an impressive road win. They followed that win up with another impressive road win when they took down Princeton for an important 5A section win. The Flyers did then drop the finale of their week when they lost a tough overtime game to Top 10 Orono. However, this past week showed that the Flyers are indeed legit and will be a factor all winter. Two more road games this week with the big one being a 5A seeding game vs Sauk Rapids.

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

Past Week Results: L 1-3  #12 Little Falls, T 2-2 Brainerd

Upcoming Schedule: 12/5 @ Sartell, 12/7 vs Morris Benson

The Cards, like many others in this week’s ranking, had a tough week as they were upset in their home opener by longtime rival Little Falls to begin their week. The game did expose what may be a little bit of an issue for this group and that is goal scoring. Alexandria came out hot, outshooting the Flyers 15-4 in the 1st period but came away with only 1 goal and were unable to do anything after that as they took the tough upset loss to the Flyers. Alexandria did rebound by tying a solid AA Brainerd team on the road in a game they were able to force overtime by scoring with just 47 seconds left to build some character. This week they face a good AA Sartell team on the road before returning home to take on 6A Morris Benson. 

14. Hibbing/Chisholm (7A) (3-3-0)

Past Week Result: L 3-4  #9 Cloquet/Esko/Carlton, W 5-1 Faribault, W 4-2 Mankato East

Upcoming Schedule: 12/5 vs Duluth Denfeld, 12/9 vs Totino Grace

Hibbing started the week by dropping a tough 7A contest with new section rival Cloquet. The loss hurts even more considering it is the only head to head with the Lumberjacks on the season. In the game they dug a deep 3 goal hole but did play extremely well in the 3rd period before coming up just short. They used that momentum of the late game push and they went south over the weekend and picked up 2 nice wins, taking down Faribault and Mankato East. This week Hibbing finally plays a home game when they take on now AA Duluth Denfeld and then finish the week welcoming AA Totino Grace who will both present tough tests for this young group.

15. Delano (2A) (1-2-0)

Past Week Results: W 2-1 Buffalo

Upcoming Schedule: 12/9 vs #17 Breck

The Tigers only had one game this week and they looked like the version of Delano hockey we are accustomed to seeing as they played a very structured and tight game when they took down their rivals Buffalo 2-1 in a good hockey game. Delano is a young team that will continue to grow and they now will have more time to practice this week as they only have one game again this week. However, it’s a big one as they take on fast rising 2A foe #17 Breck who will be looking to make a statement in what looks like a very important seeding game.

16. Minneapolis (2A) (2-1-0)

Past Week Results: W 5-1 St. Paul Academy, L 4-7 Duluth Denfeld, W 5-2 Hutchinson

Upcoming Schedule: 12/5 @ Litchfield/Dassel/Cokato, 12/7 @ #6 Orono

The 612 crew got their season off to a fast start as they opened their week by taking down St Paul Academy with relative ease as the strength of this group was on full display as they got good scoring depth from a variety of lines and players. However, against Denfeld the questions surrounding their defense were highlighted as they jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead only to give up 7 goals on their way to the season’s first loss. They did rebound to finish the week picking up a critical Section 2A win over Hutchinson. They will continue their slate of important 2A games this week when they take on LDC and Orono this week as they work to position themselves a good high seed for playoffs.

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

Past Week Results: W 5-0 Waconia, W 7-3 #20 Proctor, T Duluth Marshall

Upcoming Schedule: 12/7 vs Mound Westonka, 12/9 @ #15 Delano

Welcome back to the Top 20 Rankings Mustangs. This once dominant program has hit tough times in recent years but this year’s version of Breck had a very impressive week. They were able to shut out a AA Waconia team and then routed a ranked Proctor team at home to send a statement that they are indeed looking to be contenders this year. However, more impressively than that win was coming back less than 24 hours later and tying a very good young Duluth Marshall squad. Breck will now look to make a statement within their section when they take on Mound Westonka and end the week with traditional 2A power Delano.

18. Fergus Falls (6A) (1-1-0)

Past Week Results: L 1-5 #10 Northern Lakes

Upcoming Schedule: 12/7 vs Sartell

The Otters dropped a tough section game to Top 10 Northern Lakes in their only game of the week. The Otters got off to a very slow start vs a good Lightning team and they paid for it. After the 1st period they did have stretches where they showed they are a good team but the 3 goal deficit was too big of a hole to climb out of. Losing to a Top 10 team shouldn’t get you punished too much and the Otters stay put in the rankings this week with again only one game ahead a very tough test vs a good young AA Sartell team.

19. Luverne (3A) (3-0-0)

Past Week Results: W 2-1 OT Marshall, W 18-1 Redwood Valley, W 2-1 Waseca

Upcoming Schedule: 12/8 vs #20 New Ulm

Roll Cards Roll had a rollercoaster week as they nearly dropped their home opener when they took on longtime conference and 3A rival Marshall. While they heavily out shot the Tigers and controlled the play it took the heroics of Sudenga in overtime to get his 2nd of goal of the night and help Luverne escape a scary upset bid. They then went on the road and took out their frustrations on poor Redwood Valley scoring 18 goals in what turned into a very ugly result for both sides. They finished the week by slipping by Waseca to start the year (3-0-0). Now they shift their focus to one of their biggest games of the year when they host 3A archrival New Ulm.

20. New Ulm (7A) (2-0-0)

Past Week Results: W 7-0 Worthington, W 6-1 Marshall

Upcoming Schedule: 12/5 vs Redwood Valley, 12/7 @ Fairmont, 12/8 @ #19 Luverne

New Ulm entered the rankings after a very sound start to their year when they won their two games in convincing fashion this past week. They started the week by dominating and shutting out a Worthington team and they followed that up with a good 6-1 win over a decent Marshall group to be (2-0-0). Now they have three more Section 3A games this week with the big one being the rematch of last year’s Section 3A Championship Game when they take on Luverne looking for some revenge.

Next Five Notable Teams-

•              Proctor (7A) (3-1-0)- The Rails got their week going on a good note when they went on the road and played a pesky Greenway team and were able to hold off a good push by the Raiders and pick up their first 7A win of the year. However they crashed and burned on the road to finish the week when they got routed by Breck. The Rails will sit just outside the Top 20 this week ready to jump back in with a good week ahead.

•              Southwest Christian/Richfield (4A) (0-0-0)-  As noted previously the Stars have to have one of the oddest schedules you will see as they were again idle this week. However, they will finally play their first game this week on December 7th and it’s a big one when they take on a good Dodge County crew who already has 5 games under their belt. They finish the week by playing Anoka and until I actually get to see them play they will sit outside the Top 20 this week.

•              Dodge County (1A) (3-1-0)- The Wildcats had a very interesting weekend vs two AA teams they were able to narrowly escape with an OT win over Osseo which they will gladly take a win. However, things got ugly vs AA Roseville on the road when they fell apart in the 3rd period. All is not lost and this is still a good team and games vs Southwest Christian and La Crescent this week will give them a great opportunity to jump back up in these rankings.

•              Mankato East (3A) (3-1-0)- The Cougars have had a very nice start to their year going (2-0-0) in the opening weekend and they then followed that up and had very good week again this week as they beat Hutchinson and then gave #14 Hibbing a good battle to finish the week. This is an improved team that does have a track record of success despite last year’s disappointment. Keeping on eye on this team in a very winnable Section 3A.

•              Providence Academy (2A) (0-4-0)- The Lions are (0-4-0) and I know some may wonder why they are in the rankings at all. Look no further than the act that while they are winless they have nearly upset two Top 10 Class A teams so far this year. Thai is one of the most dangerous teams in the State who have shown they can both beat and lose to just about anyone in Class A.

BHS Class A 2023-23 Section Break Downs Week #2 (12/3/23)

Section 1A Rankings (12/3/23)

1- Northfield (3-1-0)

2- Dodge County (3-1-0)

3- Albert Lea (2-1-0)

4- La Crescent (2-0-0)

5- Winona (2-0-0)

6- Austin (2-0-0)

7- Waseca (2-2-0)

8- Rochester Lourdes (0-3-0)

9- Faribault (0-2-0)

10- Red Wing (1-3-0)

Section 1A Outlook- Northfield had a .500 week with tough loss to a Top 10 Orono but is still the king of the South until beaten by someone in 1A. Dodge County had .500 week vs two AA teams which included a nice come OT win in their home opener. Albert Lea got off to a good start and picked up a big 1A win over Rochester Lourdes. La Crescent scored 21 goals in only 2 games which included a 1A rout over Red Wing. Winona picked up two wins with ease to start their year unbeaten. Austin is (2-0-0) for the first time in 17 years and got a big 1A win over Faribault. Meanwhile, Waseca is .500 with two wins over some of the Big South’s struggling programs.

Section 2A Rankings (12/3/23)

1- Orono (3-1-0)

2- Delano (1-2-0)

3- Minneapolis (2-1-0)

4- Breck (2-1-1)

5- Hutchinson (1-2-0)

6- Providence Academy (0-4-0)

7- Mound Westonka (2-1-0)

8- Litchfield Dassel-Cokato (1-2-0)

Section 2A Outlook- Orono had a solid week as they picked up two very nice Class A wins and outplayed Warroad until third period collapse Delano was able to get its first win vs. a solid AA Buffalo group in a rivalry game. Minneapolis let one against Denfeld slip away but won two games including a big 2A win over Hutchinson. Breck had a good week including a win over ranked Proctor to show they will be a contender in 2A. Providence Academy is the best (0-4-0) Class A team in the state, nearly knocking off two Top 10 A teams. Mound Westonka got two wins to start the year and Litchfield Dassel Cokato  picked up its first win of the year outside the section.

Section 3A Rankings (12/3/23)

1- Luverne (3-0-0)

2- New Ulm (2-0-0)

3- Mankato East (3-1-0)

4- Mankato West (0-2-0)

5- Marshall (1-3-0)

6- Minnesota River (1-1-0)

7- Windom (0-2-0)

8- Fairmont (0-4-0)

9- Worthington (0-1-0)

10- Redwood Valley (0-3-0)

Section 3A Outlook- Luverne got their season off to a fast start going (3-0-0) in the opening week including 3A wins over Marshall and Redwood Valley.  New Ulm is off to an unbeaten start as well as they got 3A wins over the Tigers and Worthington. Mankato East just may be the best team in the section this winter but they don’t play any 3A teams besides the Scarlets so they will be hard to rank but they are (3-1-0) so far. Mankato West lost two tough games to AA teams. Minnesota River could sneak into the 4 or 5 seed this winter as they look solid and had a 3A win over Fairmont in the opening week. Windom lost two close games at homes to teams they probably were counting on beating to start their season outside of the section.

Section 4A Rankings (12/3/23)

1- Mahtomedi (1-3-0)

2- Southwest Christian (0-0-0)

3- Chisago Lakes (1-3-0)

4- Simley (1-2-1)

5- St Paul Academy (1-2-0)

6- St Paul Highland Park (2-2-0)

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

8- Bloomington Kennedy (1-3-0)

Section 4A Outlook- Mahtomedi had a tough weekend going (0-2-0) vs the big boys from 8A but both games were good battles and they showed they are again a Top 10 team and king of 4A until someone beats them. Southwest Christian will finally play a game next week. Chisago Lakes played some AA teams tough and picked up a good 4A win over South St Paul this week. Simley had a .500 week and St Paul Academy picked up its first win of the year outside the section. St Paul Highland picked up its first two wins of the year and Bloomington Kennedy had a tough (0-2-0) week giving up 20 goals in those two games. 

Section 5A Rankings (12/3/23)

1- St Cloud Cathedral (3-0-1)

2- Monticello (2-1-0)

3- Little Falls (2-2-0)

4- River Lakes (1-1-1)

5- Princeton (0-2-0)

6- Pine City (1-2-0)

7- Sauk Rapids (1-1-1)

8- Mora/Milaca (2-1-0)

9- Becker/Big Lake (2-1-0)

Section 5A Outlook- St Cloud Cathedral had big week outside the section as they beat the #1 team in State. Monticello won its only game of the week with ease. Little Falls picked up 2 wins on the week including a head to head 5A win over Princeton. River Lakes got its first win of the year outside of the section. Sauk Rapids picked up a head to head 5A win over Becker/Big Lake. Mora/Milaca went (2-1-0) on the week and Pine City lost their only game outside of the section. 

Section 6A Rankings (12/3/23)

1- Northern Lakes (3-0-0)

2- Alexandria (1-1-1)

3- Fergus Falls (1-1-0)

4- Wadena Deer Creek (2-2-0)

5- Prairie Centre (2-1-0)

6- Morris Benson (0-4-0)

7- Willmar (1-1-0)

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

Section 6A Outlook- Northern Lakes got off to a great start and picked up a big head to head 6A win over Fergus Falls. Alexandria lost and tied in two good games outside of the section. Wadena Deer Creek picked up a head to head 6A win over Morris/Benson. Prairie Centre got a sweep on their weekend trip through Southwest Minnesota. Willmar got a head to head 6A win over Breckenridge/Wahpeton.

Section 7A Rankings (12/3/23)

1- Hermantown (1-0-1)

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

3- Hibbing (3-3-0)

4- Proctor (3-1-0)

5- Greenway (0-3-0)

6- International Falls (0-1-0)

7- North Shore (1-1-0)

8- Ely (3-1-0)

9- Moose Lake (0-1-0)

Section 7A Outlook- Hermantown got a win and tie vs two AA private powers for a good start. Cloquet/Esko/Carlton got a very important head to head 7A win over Hibbing. Proctor got a head to head 7A win over Greenway at the Snakepit. Ely went (.500) on the week and International Falls, North Shore & Moose Lake all lost in their only action this week outside the section.

Section 8A Rankings (12/3/23)

1- East Grand Forks (4-1-0)

2- Warroad (3-1-0)

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

4- Detroit Lakes (0-3-0)

5- Crookston (2-0-0)

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

7- Park Rapids (0-1-1)

8- Lake of the Woods (2-0-0)

9- Bagley/Fosston (1-2-0)

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

Section 8A Outlook- East Grand Forks picked up two good wins which included a head-to-head 8A win over Detroit Lakes. Warroad went (2-0-0) on their trip into the cities vs two Top 10 Class A teams.. Thief River Falls went (.500) on the week. Crookston got a very nice head-to-head 8A win over Red Lake Falls. Lake of the Woods went (2-0-0) for a nice start to their year. Kittson Central & Bagley/Fosston both went winless on the week and Park Rapids was idle for the week.