Cara Sajevic, Gentry Academy
The Tommies deserve their own section of this month’s article.
With most of the top-end 2022’s already pledged to other programs, St. Thomas Head Coach Joel Johnson and his staff are more than making up ground with the 2023’s.
During September, the Tommies secured verbal commitments from five players in the 2023 class, not to mention a verbal from 2022 Mary Zavoral. Zavoral led Benilde-St. Margaret’s in goals the past two seasons, racking up 20 as a sophomore during the 2019-2020 campaign.
In September, Hill-Murray’s Ellah Hause was the first player to commit to the Tommies, offering her verbal pledge on Sept. 2. Hause has appeared in 73 games for the Pioneers, recording 40 career points from the blue line.
A pair of Andover Huskies, Madison Brown and Ella Boerger, were next on Sept. 23, giving UST two of the most coveted 2023’s on the recruiting landscape.
Originally from Bismarck, North Dakota, Brown racked up 18 goals and 35 points last season for the Huskies. Boerger more than held her own on a line with Ms. Hockey finalist Gabby Krause and Ms. Hockey winner Peyton Hemp. Boerger recorded 27 goals and 57 points as the Huskies fell to Edina in the Class AA State Tournament championship.
Both players will be looked to for more scoring punch with the graduation of a few key Huskies.
A pair of Class A standouts followed, with Gentry Academy’s Cara Sajevic and Chisago Lakes defender Laine DeVries committing on Sept. 27 and Sept. 28, respectively.
Sajevic led the Stars to the Class A state finals in their first season competing at the MSHSL level, scoring 29 goals and totaling 45 points. Although just coming into her junior year, Sajevic has a college-level shot. A member of a wildly athletic family, DeVries tallied nine points as a hard-nosed, shutdown defender for the Wildcats last season, helping the team to the Class A State Tournament semifinals.
Laine DeVries, Chisago Lakes
Ellie Morrison, Blake
Stepping onto The Blake School’s Upper Campus is a little like walking through the fictional Eden Hall Academy on the set of D3: The Mighty Ducks. There’s no shortage of dark wood, soft lighting, and academic rigor.
So, wouldn’t it make sense that Bears seeking a college hockey home would naturally migrate to the Ivy League?
This phenomenon isn’t new. There are currently five Bears in the Ivy League, on rosters of four of the league’s six schools, soon to be five with 2022 defender Julia Blum, who committed to Brown in January of 2019.
The latest Bears to make the journey east are 2023 forwards Ellie Morrisson and Suzy Higuchi.
Morrison led the Bears with 17 goals last season and totaled 26 points, tied with Higuchi, who reached the total with 13 goals and 13 assists. Morrison will take her talents to Dartmouth, which features a former Bear star, Sara McClanahan, while Higuchi heads to Yale, joining former Bear and University of Minnesota transfer Addie Burton.
After finishing under .500 (9-10-1) for the first time since Edison invented that pesky lightbulb, a talented junior class will be relied upon to make noise in the postseason once again.
Suzy Higuchi, Blake
Osseo/Park Center's Hailey Eikos verbally committed to Minnesota State last month. Anthony Iozzo/Sun Post
Hoen committed to Lindenwood on Sept. 22, giving the Lions another Minnesota piece in their recruiting cycle. Hoen recorded five goals and 10 points for the Red Knights last season and finished the year plus-19. She will serve as one of the team’s captains for the 2021-2022 season.
A bright spot for a Lakers team that went 2-17 last season, Guillemette pledged to Minnesota State on Sept. 24. Guillemette tallied four goals and 15 points for the Lakers last year as a sophomore, and will a little extra help and another year of experience, a 25-30 point season is not out of the question for her junior campaign.
Like Guillemette, Eikos shouldered significant minutes as an underclassman, notching three goals and seven points from the blue line for the Osseo/Park Center co-op program. A strong skater who plays a heady game, Eikos continues the trend of Minnesotan defenders joining the Catamounts. Former Benilde-St. Margaret’s standout Anna Podein and former Roseau Ram Ellice Murphy currently patrol the blueline in Burlington.
Ava Guillemette of Prior Lake verbally committed to Minnesota State in the month of September. Photo courtesy of Prior Lake High School Girls Hockey.
Geist led Cretin-Derham Hall with 16 goals and 26 points last season, giving the senior forward 31 goals and 49 points in 72 career games with the Raiders. Geist will join Stonehill College for its inaugural season in 2022-2023.
One of the final players to commit in September, O’Hara chose Minnesota (surely over several other high-profile suitors) on the 30th.
O’Hara scored 17 goals and totaled 37 points in a breakout sophomore season for Centennial, helping the Cougars to the Class AA State Tournament before the team was held out of play due to COVID-19 regulations.
O’Hara had three assists in four games played at this spring’s USA Hockey National Select 16/17 camp. She should be one of the top juniors in the state for a strong Cougar team in 2021-2022.
Lily Geist (17) of Cretin-Derham Hall will join Stonehill College for its inaugural season in the fall of 2022. Photo: Michael Murray