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BHS: Games of the Week (Dec. 7-9)

By Derek Felska, 12/07/23, 2:15PM CST


From Detroit Lakes to La Crescent, with snow on the ground it finally starts to feel like hockey is in full swing. Here are five games to keep your eye on this week.

Graham Greeder, Hill-Murray

Wayzata at Hill-Murray 
December 7 (7:00 PM) 

Another major metro area Class AA clash as the #2 ranked Trojans make their way to Aldrich Arena to battle #4 ranked Hill-Murray. Which team will come out on top?

Wayzata is coming off a 6-0 rout of Duluth East. The Trojans are showing a little more offensive punch than other Wayzata teams in the past due to a talented group of forwards led by seniors Brittan Alstead (2 goals, 8 assists, 10 points), Rhys Wallin (6-4-10), Jake Mattson (2-5-7), Cade De St. Hubert (0-5-5) and Luke Miller (4-1-5) provide experience and scoring.

Wayzata's power play is off to a strong start, finding the back of the net at a 33% rate. On defense, seniors Jack Hartle (1-2-3), Hawke Huff, juniors Carson Clark (1-2-3), and Finn De St. Hubert give Wayzata stability and veteran depth that few teams can match. At goaltender, the Trojans have leaned on senior Evan Turek (.958 save percentage) this season.

Hill-Murray is coming off a 3-3 tie against Hermantown. The Pioneers are led by seniors Simon Seidl (Minnesota football commit, 1-2-3), Jude Bonin, and Lucas Mann (0-2-2)as well as juniors Jackson Reeves (2-0-2) and Boden Sampair, should give Hill-Murray plenty of speed and scoring ability from its top two lines. Freshman forward Riley Zupfer (1-0-1) is a name to watch to have a breakout season for the Pioneers.

On defense, juniors Landon Cottingham (1-1-2) and Graham Greeder (0-2-2), as well as sophomore Casper Lang, help Hill-Murray dictate the pace of play. Senior goaltender Andrew Lane (.870 save percentage) will carry most of the starts this season.

Brittan Alstead, Wayzata

Chanhassen at Minnetonka 
December 7 (7:00 PM) 

Tenth-ranked Chanhassen travels to Pagel Arena to take on No. 1 Minnetonka in a game that could have significant seeding implications in Section 2AA. Last year, the Storm made people take notice when they defeated the Skippers early last season. Can they do that again?

Chanhassen is coming off a 6-1 victory over Prior Lake. The Storm possess a deep and skilled forward group led by seniors Gavin Uhlenkamp (Wisconsin commit, 3-5-8), Caden Lee (Minnesota State commit, 4-2-6), Jack Christ (Minnesota State commit, 1-7-8), give Chanhassen steady scoring through its top 2 lines. Senior Gavin Uhlenkamp joined YHH's Rink of Fire podcast last week for an interview.

On defense, seniors Owen Busegens (St. Thomas commit, 1-4-5), Drew Jensen (0-1-1), Ben Curtis (1-1-2), Chase Borene (1-1-2), and Billy McNeely (0-1-1) provide plenty of experience and poise to the Storm's blue line. The Storm does a great job of shutting down opponents on the penalty kill, clicking along at a 94.1% rate.

Senior goaltender Kam Hendrickson (.892 save percentage) passed on anchoring the USHL's Chicago Steel for a chance at a Class AA state title with the Storm.  

Minnetonka is coming off a 6-0 rout of Eastview. The Skippers forward group is arguably the best in the state with seniors Javon Moore (Minnesota commit, 8-8-16), Gavin Garry (St. Thomas commit, 4-6-10), Luke Garry (St. Thomas commit, 3-7-10), Hagen Burrows (Denver commit, 3-8-11), Alex Lunski (St. Thomas commit, 4-6-10), Sam Scheetz (Vermont commit, 2-1-3) and junior Ashton Schultz (North Dakota commit, 2-2-4) giving Minnetonka three scoring lines that are a big reason this team is averaging more than seven goals per game.

On defense, seniors John Stout (Minnesota-Duluth commit, 0-1-1) and Robby House (1-4-5), as well as juniors Danny Klaers (Notre Dame commit, 0-1-1) and Tyson Mahady (0-1-1), form the core of a very well-rounded blueline that denies the middle of the ice very well. Senior goaltender Hunter Bauer (three shutouts) has made every start this season.  

Owen Buesgens, Chanhassen

Thief River Falls at Detroit Lakes 
December 8 (7:00 PM) 

The No. 8-ranked Prowlers make their way to Kent Freeman Arena to take on the Lakers in this matchup that has seeding implications in section 8A. Which club will climb the ladder with a victory?

Thief River Falls is coming off a 4-1 win against Sauk Rapids/Rice. The Prowlers are led at forward by seniors Max Arlt (0-2-2) and Cooper Anderson (1-0-1), who try to set the pace for Thief River Falls' attack. On defense, senior Jace Erickson (0-1-1) and juniors Spencer Hempel (1-1-2) and Owen Bushy form a defense corps that is steadily improving. One area of concern is the penalty kill, where the Prowlers have struggled, killing just 63.6% of the power plays they have faced.

Senior goaltender Conner Roff (.880 save percentage) has carried all the workload for the Prowlers. 

Detroit Lakes is coming off a 3-1 loss to St. Cloud. At forwards, the Lakers are led by senior defender Dalton Songstad (2-4-6), junior forwards Easton Wahl (1-0-1) and Brock Bender (1-0-1), and sophomores Easton Kennedy (1-0-1) and Carter Whitworth (0-1-1) have started slow but are showing signs of heating up. On defense, juniors Tommy Suckert (0-1-1) and Jace Fields (0-1-1), as well as sophomore Hudson Pettit (1-1-2), are experienced and like to get involved at both ends of the ice.

The Lakers have split starts at goaltender between senior Kale Witt (.837 save percentage) and freshman Griffin Lindberg (.900 save percentage) this season.

Albert Lea at Northfield 
December 9 (12:00 PM) 

Another game with some interesting seeding implications for Section 1A as Albert Lea travels north up Interstate 35 to face the seventh-ranked Northfield at St. Olaf Ice Arena.  

Albert Lea is coming off a 3-2 loss to Waconia. The Tigers are led at forward by seniors Eli Farris (2-3-5) and Spencer VanBeek (2-3-5), along with sophomore Jacob Kolker (1-0-1) provide most of the scoring punch up front. Albert Lea's power play has been dangerous to start the season, as they have been lighting the lamp at a 42.9% rate. On defense, junior Connor Pirsig (3-3-6) and sophomore Zaden Brua (1-2-3) log many minutes for the Tigers, but they like to join the attack when they can. Junior goaltender Ledger Stadheim (.939 save percentage) is off to a strong start this season.  

Northfield is coming off a 4-3 victory over Rochester Century/John Marshall. At forward, seniors Kamden Kaiser (4-3-7), Luke Geiger (3-6-9), and Cayden Monson (2-5-7), as well as junior Andrew Winter (1-2-3) as well as sophomores Oliver Benjamin (3-1-4) and Michael Steward (2-3-5) give Northfield two solid scoring lines making them a challenge to match up against.

The Raiders defense is led by seniors Ty Frank and Barrett Bradley (0-2-2). The Raiders have split starts at goaltender between senior Trey Shimota (.844 save percentage) and junior Max Frank (.920 save percentage) this season.    

Cayden Monson, Northfield

Dodge County at La Crescent-Hokah 
December 9 (2:00 PM) 

Yet another Section 1A showdown with mastic postseason implications features Dodge County and La Crescent-Hokah. Who will emerge victorious at La Crescent Area Ice Arena? 

Dodge County is coming off a 7-2 setback against Roseville. At forward, Dodge County is led by senior Gryffon Funke (10-5-15) as well as juniors Brett Ludvigsen (5-6-11) and Dylan Klomps (5-3-8), who provide scoring and swagger to the Wildcats' attack. The Lancers must avoid the penalty box as the Wildcats' power play is cruising at a 31.2% rate. On defense, senior Caden Smith (0-3-3), junior Griffin Gibbs (0-1-1), and sophomores Dylan Allen (0-2-2) and Jeremiah Peterson-Gordon (1-2-3) are an assertive group that likes to be involved at both ends of the ice. Senior goaltender Jackson Roethler (.868 save percentage) has been Dodge County's go-to option all season.   

La Crescent-Hokah is coming off a 14-0 rout of Red Wing. The Lancers are led at forward by Onalaska High School (WI) transfer senior Noah Gillette (4-6-10), one of Wisconsin's top scorers last year. Seniors Wyatt Farrell (5-3-8), Michal Stojka (5-3-8), and sophomore Cooper Hill (1-2-3) help give the Lancers a potent attack. LaCrescent-Hokah's power play has been on fire, finding the back of the net at a 42.9% rate.

On defense, seniors Colton Holzer (1-4-5), Tobias Sajdok (1-2-3), and Cooper Johnson (0-2-2) provide a lot of experience and poise on the Lancers' blue line. Senior goaltender Collin Morken (.923 save percentage) has made every start this season.  

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