Grand Rapids had two huge wins last week over Maple Grove and St. Thomas Academy to crack the top 20 and enter this week’s rankings at No. 16. The Thunderhawks will face Section 7AA foe Andover this Friday in Grand Rapids. LPH PHOTO BY JEFF ANDERSON

Teams will battle down the stretch and jockey for section position

It’s almost February, which means it’s almost section hockey time. Where did the time go?

With Hockey Day under our belt, the focus now is the stretch run where teams will be jockeying for playoff seeding position.

The Class AA Boys rankings this week change a little bit with Edina leapfrogging Section 6AA foe Wayzata after giving the Trojans their first loss of the season. Edina is now 16-2-1 and Wayzata, after a nice win over Moorhead in Warroad for Hockey Day, is now 16-1-2.

Minnetonka is still undefeated, but one has to wonder if they will suffer a loss before section playoffs roll around. They have tied both Wayzata and Edina and beat Chanhassen and Shakopee in one-goal games. Yes, they are human and will play both Wayzata and Edina again before the regular season ends. They battle the Trojans Thursday at Pagel and are playing as well as they have all season outscoring opponents 32-0 their past three games.

Perhaps no team is playing as well as No. 4 Chanhassen who has won nine straight and only allowed seven goals in those nine games.

Maple Grove comes in at No. 5 after a 3-2 win over Class A powerhouse Hermantown and despite losing to No. 16AA Grand Rapids. The Thunderhawks enter this week’s rankings at No. 16 after spending several weeks outside the top 20. They had back-to-back wins last week over Maple Grove 3-2 and St. Thomas Academy 4-1. They are 12-9-0 and are making noise in Section 7AA.

Speaking of 7AA, No. 7AA Andover appears to be the front runner and have won five straight including a 6-3 win over a very good Coon Rapids team. Andover and Grand Rapids will meet up this Friday in Grand Rapids for a Section 7AA showdown.

Centennial is making a charge of late in Section 5AA and improved to 12-4-2 after going 8-0-1 in their last nine games, including a 5-4 win over Section 5AA foe Rogers. Rogers fell to 13th in this week’s poll, but is without star sophomore Cole Bumgarner, who is participating in the Youth Olympics with Team USA.

Section 2AA looks to be the strongest section with four teams in the top 10, meaning some very good teams will be watching the state tournament from the seats.  Shakopee ranks eighth in this week’s poll and Eden Prairie comes in at No. 9.

St. Thomas Academy rounds out the top 10.

Section 4AA looks to be another competitive section with four teams ranked between No. 14 and No. 19. Hill-Murray has owned the section for years, but White Bear Lake, Stillwater and Gentry Academy are all very good teams who can beat anybody on any given night. The Pioneers will have their biggest test of the season when they play their home and away games against Edina this Friday and Saturday. They also have St. Thomas Academy, Maple Grove and Moorhead remaining on their schedule.

Still lots of hockey to be played, but it is February, meaning the best hockey is yet to come.

 

Class AA Boys Rankings

Presented By

TeamSectionRecordLast Week
1. Minnetonka2AA17-0-21
2. Edina6AA16-2-13
3. Wayzata6AA16-1-22
4. Chanhassen2AA16-4-04
5. Maple Grove5AA13-5-05
6. Benilde-St. Margaret’s6AA13-4-17
7. Andover7AA14-5-111
8. Shakopee2AA14-3-110
9. Eden Prairie2AA11-6-16
10. St. Thomas Academy3AA12-6-28
11. Centennial5AA12-4-213
12. Rosemount3AA14-5-012
13. Rogers5AA11-6-29
14. Hill-Murray4AA10-6-214
15. Holy Family2AA11-4-115
16. Grand Rapids7AA12-9-0NR
17. Stillwater4AA10-6-116
18. White Bear Lake4AA13-3-117
19. Gentry Academy4AA15-5-018
20. Eastview3AA12-7-119