Kali Schmidt has helped Orono get back in front of the pack as the Spartans are back to the top ranking in Class A. PHOTO BY BREAKDOWN SPORTS MEDIA

Orono back in top spot after win over Academy of Holy Angels

In the movie Slapshot, the hit song is Right Back Where We Started From by Maxine Nightingale.

It could be the Orono girls hockey team’s theme song as well.

“Ooh, and it’s alright and it’s coming along
We gotta get right back to where we started from.”

The Spartans started the season ranked No. 1 in Class A but lost their season opener to Simley, sending them down a few notches in the rankings. But they have won six straight, including a 4-1 win over top-ranked Academy of Holy Angels, and have retained the top spot in the Class A rankings this week.

Orono outshot the Stars 40-18 and was led by junior Ohio State commit Macy Rasmussen who had a goal and three assists. Sophomore Maddy Kimbrel had two goals, including an empty netter to seal the win.

Since that season-opening loss, the Spartans have outscored opponents 29-4 and are clicking on all cylinders under new head coach Paul Antonenko. Their power play is executing at a 30 percent rate and their penalty kill is near 89 percent. Junior MSU-Mankato commit Zoe Lopez leads the team with 17 points in seven games.

There is no telling where the Spartans will finish the season, but they, along with Academy of Holy Angels, Warroad and Hermantown seem to have a hold on the top four spots in the rankings. For now, the Spartans are right back where they started from.

Academy of Holy Angels, meanwhile, slipped to No. 2 in the rankings after this week where they hit the trifecta with a win, loss, and a tie, all against top 10 opponents. Last Tuesday they tied Proctor/Hermantown 1-1. Junior goalie Zoe Rimstad stopped 39 shots for the Stars to hold off a powerful Proctor/Hermantown offense. The Stars followed up with a 5-2 win over No. 8 Mound Westonka/Southwest Christian outshooting them 38-18 and getting two goals apiece from Marci Jung and Bella LaMere.

Academy of Holy Angels and Warroad battled earlier this season with Holy Angels coming out on top. PHOTO BY CHRISTINE WISCH, LET’S PLAY HOCKEY

Warroad fell a spot to No. 3, more so because Orono leapfrogged two spots than anything. The Warriors improved to 5-1-0 with wins over Bemidji and No. 11AA Champlin Park/Coon Rapids. But the 3-2 loss to Holy Angels on Nov. 18 is likely what is keeping them a spot behind the Stars. The Warriors are getting balanced scoring with six players averaging a point a game so far.

Proctor/Hermantown maintained their spot at No. 4 with a win over defending AA champions Gentry Academy who fell to 1-4 on the season.

And coming in at No. 5 once again is Duluth Marshall who improved to 8-1-0 with wins over Hibbing/Chisholm, Brainerd/Little Falls, and Pine City Area. The Hilltoppers have outscored opponents 45-10 and are a team to definitely keep an eye on. Their only loss was 3-2 to Warroad in Warroad. Shots in that game were Warroad 31-26.

Other teams making moves were Dodge County who jumped to No.6 and River Lakes and Breck who both crept into the top 10.

Girls Class A Rankings – Dec. 5, 2023


TeamRecordLast Week
1. Orono6-1-03
2. Academy of Holy Angels5-1-11
3. Warroad5-1-02
4. Proctor/Hermantown3-3-14
5. Duluth Marshall7-1-05
6. Dodge County6-1-07
7. Mound Westonka/SWC3-3-18
8. River Lakes6-0-110
9. Breck7-1-012
10. Simley2-3-06
11. South St. Paul3-4-09
12. Crookston3-2-111
13. Albert Lea7-2-014
14. Delano/Rockford5-3-015
15. Fergus Falls4-3-113
16. Willmar5-2-017
17. Cloquet/Esko/Carlton3-4-016
18. Chisago Lakes1-3-019
19. Pine City Area4-2-0NR
20. Minnesota River5-3-018


Other Teams Receiving Votes: Luverne, Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato, Blake, New Ulm, Marshall, East Grand Forks, Hibbing/Chisholm.