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BHS: Games of the Week (Nov. 24-25)

By Derek Felska, 11/22/23, 4:45PM CST


From Warroad to Richfield, here are some of the best boys high school hockey games to see over the Thanksgiving Day weekend as the 2023-24 season begins.

Little Falls at Monticello 
November 24 (7 PM) 

This Section 5A showdown is a way for both of these clubs to make the rest of the section take notice of who might contend for the top seed at season's end.  

The Flyers are led at forward by senior Carter Oothoudt, juniors Joey Welinski and Ryan Oothoudt, and sophomore Remi Chisholm, where they hope to shoulder most of the scoring load for Little Falls. On defense, senior Carter Wilmes and junior Luke Avery will step up into more prominent roles. Between the pipes, sophomore Izaak Kalis and junior Isaac Dezurik will be the go-to rotation for the Flyers this season.  

The Moose are led up front by seniors Roman Thompson and Gunnar Simon as well as junior Landen Scherber, who will be leaned upon to carry most of Monticello's scoring. On the blueline, seniors Cam Schmitz and Brody Mich, as well as junior Adam Widmark, will step into more prominent roles. Senior Owen Soderholm (.916 save percentage last year) will return as the team's starting goaltender.   

Carter Oothoudt, Little Falls

Shakopee at Holy Angels 
November 24 (7 PM) 

This south metro battle should be intriguing as Section 2AA Shakopee takes on a dangerous Section 6AA Holy Angels squad.  

The Sabres' attack is led by senior Jake Marschall, and talented sophomores Cooper Siegert and Nate Pederson will have to carry most of the scoring for Shakopee up front. On defense, sophomores Carson Steinhoff and Jack Kultgen should benefit from last year's experience and will be expected to lead the Sabres' blueline. At goaltender, senior Aleksi Huson will return as Shakopee's starter.  

Holy Angels returns with an impressive squad led at forward by junior Henry Lechner (St. Thomas commit), and gifted sophomores Cole Cheeseman and Lincoln Ayers Assad give the Stars plenty of goal-scoring ability. On defense, senior George Daravingas, sophomore Gabe Perron, and junior Connor Hanley are a trio that combines mobility and stout defensive play. Junior Luke Marsalek returns as Holy Angels' starter and combines a prototypical professional goalie frame (6'3", 180lbs) with experience.  

Cooper Simpson, Shakopee (shown here playing for the USHL's Tri-City Storm this fall).

Northfield at Providence Academy 
November 24 (8 PM) 

The Raiders are the favorites to win Class 1A after moving down from a Class AA schedule a season ago and are bringing back a lot of skill, speed, and experience. At forward, seniors Kamden KaiserLuke Geiger, and Cayden Monson, as well as juniors Will Cashin, Andrew Winter, and Brayden Olson, give Northfield two solid scoring lines, making them challenging to match up against. On defense, seniors Ty Frank, Barrett Bradley, Elliott Pontow, and sophomore Bridger Riley keep it simple and try to keep the play tilted into the offensive zone.

The most significant question mark for the Raiders is at goaltender, where senior Trey Shimota and junior Max Frank will hope to fill the void left by star goaltender Keaton Walock, who graduated last season.      

The Lions' are led at forward by seniors Louie WehmannSammy Lewis, and Brandon Sattler, who will carry most of the scoring for Providence Academy. Establishing secondary scoring will be necessary for Providence Academy if it hopes to take that step to be in contention for a Section 2A championship.

On defense, juniors Jesse Varner, Romeo Sweet, and senior Nick Damberg will be tasked with limiting Northfield's scoring chances. At goaltender, sophomore Owen Villagomez will step into a starting role.   

Kamden Kaiser, Northfield

St. Cloud Cathedral at Warroad 
November 25 (2:15 PM) 

This should be an intriguing match-up of two teams among the Top-10 in Class A as the Crusaders make their way up to Warroad for this early season test.  

The Crusaders are led at forward by juniors John Hirschfeld, Joey Gillespie andJaeger Wood, as well as seniors Andrew Dwinnell, Landon Swenson, and Cole Hwang, which should give St. Cloud Cathedral a solid scoring punch through its top two lines.

On defense, seniors Ben Petroske and Vince Gebhardt, as well as sophomore Griffen Sturm, are workhorses on St. Cloud Cathedral's back end, stifling scoring chances and helping the Crusaders stay on the attack. Senior goaltender Nick Hansen returns as the starter (.913 save percentage last year) and gives St. Cloud Cathedral a chance to win each night.  

The Warriors lost in overtime to Mahtomedi in the Class A championship, and they bring back a lot of skill and experience from last year's squad despite losing top-end players like Jayson Shaugabay, Erick Comstock and Hampton Slukynsky to graduation. Warroad is led at forward by seniors Carson Pilgrim (North Dakota commit), Murray Marvin-Cordes, and junior Taven James, giving the Warriors steady firepower up front.

On defense, seniors Ryan Lund and Will Hardwick, as well as sophomore Broden Hontvet, will help Warroad lock things down defensively while also taking chances to chip in offensively. The biggest question mark for the Warriors is who will be the starting goaltender. Will it be senior Ben Norris or sophomore Patrick Kennedy, or will Warroad go with a rotation?    

John Hirschfeld, St. Cloud Cathedral

Edina vs. Moorhead 
November 25 (5 PM) 

The appropriately named Turkey Trot, the early season invitational tournament brings teams from the outstate area and metro area together down to Edina's Braemar Arena, and this Saturday showdown should be a gem to watch as the Hornets face off against the Spuds.  

Edina returns with a loaded roster of talent that will likely make them one of the top contenders for a Class AA championship. At forward, seniors Jackson Nevers(Minnesota commit), Bobby Cowan (St. Thomas commit), and Benilde-St. Margaret transfer Michael Risteau (Western Michigan commit), as well as gifted sophomore Mason West (who is still leading Edina's football team as its starting QB), give Edina lots of skill and scoring potential.

Defensively, senior Barrett Dexheimer (UMass commit) and junior Robby Hoch offer Edina an experienced blue line but rock solid at both ends of the ice. The Hornets will likely lean on Chase Bjorgaard at goaltender to fill the void left by Robbie Clarkowski's graduation.

Moorhead also brings a youthful team that grew a lot last season and hopes to take another step closer toward the school's first state hockey title. The Spuds are led at forward by seniors Jace BlytheParker Gast, and Joey Simonich, as well as juniors Mason Kraft and Brooks Cullen, who step into bigger roles.

On defense, they will undoubtedly miss junior Garrett Lindberg, who left to join the U.S. National Development Team. Senior Dalton Songstad and junior Aiden Dufault will lead the way with a retooled Moorhead defense corps. At goaltender, senior Kai Weigel is one of the state's best.     

Bobby Cowan, Edina

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