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

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


Happy Thanksgiving weekend everyone! From Hermantown to Rosemount here are some of the most intriguing matchups in Girls High School hockey this week!

Orono at Proctor/Hermantown 
November 24 (4 PM) 

Is this a potential state tournament preview in Class A? It's a distinct possibility as these two top-tier clubs face one another as Orono travels north to Hermantown to face the Mirage.  

Orono is coming off an 11-0 rout of Waconia. The Spartans are led by junior forwards Macy Rasmussen (Ohio State commit, 1 goal, 5 assists, 6 points) and Zoe Lopez (Minnesota State commit, 9-4-13) as well as her 8th-grade sister, Gabi Lopez (3-2-5) along with sophomore Maddy Kimbrel (2-3-5) provide Orono with plenty of speed, skill and scoring up front.

Defensively, senior Grace Bickett (2-3-5) can lock things down in Orono's end of the ice, where the Spartans do a great job of working their way into shooting lanes to block shots. At goaltender, freshman Vivienne Anderson (.955 save percentage) has emerged as the Spartans' starter.  

Proctor/Hermantown is coming off a hard-fought 4-2 loss to Edina. The Mirage is led at forward by seniors Izy Fairchild (Bemidji State commit, 4-3-7) and Hailey Jussila (2-2-4), as well as junior Jane Eckstrom (4-2-6). Senior Morgan LaValley (1-3-4) sets the tone on the Mirage's end of the ice on defense.

8th-grader Taylee Manion (1-2-3) and freshman Avery Milbridge (1-2-3) give a glimpse of future promise for Proctor/Hermantown's defense corps. The Mirage has two solid options at goaltender between junior Neelah McLeod (.871 save percentage) and sophomore Suri Langley (.833 save percentage).  

Gabi Lopez, Orono

White Bear Lake at Grand Rapids/Greenway 
November 24 (7 PM) 

The Bears travel north for their annual showdown with Grand Rapids/Greenway. Which orange team will reign supreme?

White Bear Lake is coming off a 4-0 loss to Woodbury. The Bears' attack is led at forward by sophomores Madelyne Lee (2-2-4) and Aubree Degel (2-0-2) as well juniors Lily Howard (0-2-2), Amanda Smythe (1-0-1) and Talia Domschot (1-1-2) give White Bear Lake good scoring balance through its top two lines.

Senior Zoe Timmons (0-2-2) and sophomore Oliva Simpkins (0-1-1) will be tasked with limiting the Lightning's scoring opportunities on defense. Seniors Sterling Anderson (.893 save percentage) and Gabriella Casa de Calvo (one shutout) form a solid rotation for the Bears at goaltender.  

Grand Rapids/Greenway is coming off a 4-1 loss to Rogers. The Lightning are led by junior captain Mercury Bischoff (Minnesota State commit, 2-0-2) and sophomore Kylie DeBay (0-2-2), as well as senior captain Molly Pierce (0-1-1), who provide Grand Rapids/Greenway with firepower up front.

On defense, senior Cali Madsen (0-1-1) provides veteran leadership to a young group with promising youngsters in freshman Ella Muller and Sophie Carlson. At goaltender, senior Riley Toivonen (.909 save percentage) is Grand Rapids/Greenway's starter.

Molly Pierce, Grand Rapids/Greenway

Crookston at Fergus Falls 
November 25 (10 AM) 

Here's an intriguing outstate matchup as Pirates take on the Otters in Thief River Falls as part of a Thanksgiving Tournament.  

Crookston is coming off a 3-0 victory over Thief River Falls. At forward, seniors Brekken Tull (0-2-2), Brynley Coleman (0-1-1), and Cassie Solheim (1-0-1) as well as junior Addison Fee (1-0-1) provide Crookston experience and plenty of scoring options. On defense, senior Reese Swanson (0-1-1), along with sophomores Ashlyn Bailey (0-1-1) and Emma LaPlante (2-0-2), keep the Pirates on the attack and like to be involved in the offensive zone. At goaltender, junior Kambelle Freije (one shutout) returns as the starter for Crookston.  

Fergus Falls blanked Marshall 4-0 on Saturday. The Otters are a youthful squad and are led at forward by sophomore Hannah Johnson (2-1-3) as well as freshmen Averie Tonneson (1-0-1) and Maddie Brimhall (0-1-1). On the backend, sophomore Brook Zierden (0-1-1) and freshman Lydia Johnson (1-0-1) help the Otters dictate the pace of play and chip in at both ends of the ice. At goaltender, senior Ana Jyrkas (two shutouts) is Fergus Falls' leader from the crease on out.   

Reese Swanson, Crookston

Luverne at Mound Westonka/Southwest Christian 
November 25 (1 PM) 

Luverne's all-time leading scorer, Kamryn Van Batavia, has graduated. Can the Cardinals pull off an upset in the west metro against Larry Olimb's Mound Westonka/Southwest Christian squad?  

Luverne is feeling confident after a 10-1 rout of Windom. The Cardinals are led at forward by sophomores Ella Appel (1-3-4), Gretta McClure (2-0-2), and Hannah Woodley (2-0-2), freshman Izzy Steensma (0-2-2) as well as 8th-grader Ellie Van Batavia (3-0-3) carries most of the offense for Luverne. On defense, senior Anika Boll (0-1-1) and freshman Tenley Behr (0-1-1) log a lot of minutes for the Cardinals as they like to play a free-wheeling game. At goaltender, sophomore Emma Saarloos (2.67 goals against average) anchors the starting spot for the Cardinals.  

Mound-Westonka/Southwest Christian still feels the sting of their hard-fought 3-0 loss to arch-rival Orono.

The White Hawks forward group is led by seniors Greer Hardacre (2-0-2) and Camryn Hargreaves (1-3-4), as well as junior Ellison Lundquist (1-2-3) and freshman Quinnlan O'Shea (0-1-1) provides a mix of size and skill. On defense, senior Claire Bolen (0-2-2), sophomore Elizabeth Callahan (2-1-3), and talented 8th-grader Stella Berenguer will try to slow down the Cardinals' attack.

Senior goaltender Ashlyn Roth (2.42 goals against average) is one of the best in Class A, and she gives the White Hawks a chance to win each night.  

Ashlyn Roth, Mound Westonka/Southwest Christian

Centennial/Spring Lake Park at Rosemount 
November 25 (7 PM) 

This should be an intriguing showdown of two clubs hoping to make some noise in Class AA.  

Centennial/Spring Lake Park is feeling good after a 5-1 victory over North Wright County. The Cougars are led at forward by talented freshman Grace Laager (4-5-9), juniors Teagen Kulenkamp (2-4-6) and Alexis Larsen (2-2-4), as well as senior Noelle Hemr (2-0-2) give Centennial/Spring Lake Park a wide variety of scoring options. Centennial/Spring Lake Park is particularly dangerous on the power play as they have been finding the back of the net at a 26.7% rate.

On defense, senior Ellie Newpower (1-2-3), junior Elsa Oberg (0-1-1), and sophomore Katie Ball (0-2-2) try to keep things quiet in their own zone and work pucks up to the Cougars' forwards to keep the ice tilted in the opposing zone. Senior goaltender Kaitlin Groess (.958 save percentage) is Centennial/Spring Lake Park's go-to option between the pipes and is off to a strong start this season.

Rosemount is coming off a 2-1 victory over ISD 196-rival Eastview. The Irish are led at forward by senior Cece Hanson (1-1-2), junior Sophie Stramel (1-1-2), and freshman Annalee Holzer (2-1-3) generate most of Rosemount's scoring.

On defense, junior Zoe Juncker (0-2-2) and freshman Madelyn Huesinkveld (0-1-1) keep it simple in their own end of the ice and do their best to keep opponents from the high-danger areas. Junior Avery Miller (.889 save percentage) and senior Natalie Kendhammer (.955 save percentage) make for a solid rotation at goaltender for the Irish.

Cece Hanson, Rosemount

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