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Staff Rankings (Girls): Dec. 11

By YHH Staff, 12/11/23, 6:00PM CST

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Class AA


Hill-Murray celebrates during Saturday's win over Minnetonka. The Pioneers are No. 1 this week.

1. Hill-Murray (8-0) 

Undisputedly the state's top Class AA team after waltzing into Pagel Ice Arena and hanging five on previously top-ranked Minnetonka. The machine has arrived. 

2. Minnetonka (7-1) 

The 5-3 loss to Hill-Murray on Saturday knocks Minnetonka out of the top spot, but the Skippers have aced nearly every test they've been given this season. The numbers paint a picture of dominance, and the loss came against the state's (then) second-ranked team.

3. Benilde-St. Margaret's (6-1) 

The Red Knights slated several literal and metaphorical dragons in their win over Edina, earning a critical Section 6AA victory and hurdling the mental block the Hornets tend to have against less established teams. A win over a higher-rated team also outweighs a tie against an unranked program. 

BSM has won five straight since a Nov. 14 loss to Andover and will get another crack at the Huskies on Dec. 14 at Ridder Arena. 
 
4. Andover (4-1-2) 

It took two third-period goals to salvage a 3-3 tie with Centennial/Spring Lake Park, but the Huskies responded with an 8-0 win over top-five Class A squad Proctor/Hermantown on Friday night. 

It feels odd to use the word "responded" as if the Huskies suffered some devastating loss instead of drawing with a conference rival and quality team, but that's the expectation given Andover's dominance in recent years. 

5. Edina (5-2) 

Hold off on the "Elmo on fire" memes regarding the Hornets. This is still a premier team despite back-to-back regular-season losses for the first time since I can't remember when. 

It's anecdotal, but the Hornets have seemed snakebit early this season, and Lorelai Nelson provided a compelling case study. The highly talented Nelson is in her third year at the varsity level and racked up 16 goals as a freshman last season. Through seven games of the 2023-2024 campaign, Nelson has precisely zero goals. Hitting posts and accumulating slap-your-forehead missed chances will self-correct, and the Hornets (and their standouts) will be fine. 

R-E-L-A-X. 

6. Maple Grove (7-1) 

If we were to compare girls' high school hockey programs to former NBA superstars, Hill-Murray, for example, might be Penny Hardaway. Young, flashy, vibrant, talented, creative. 

Maple Grove would be Tim Duncan.

Productive. Methodical. Always near the top of the league. Layups. Hookshots. Fundamentals. 

Two more two-goal wins give the Crimson three straight victories since losing to No. 2-2A Minnetonka on Nov. 28. A date with No. 5-2A Edina looms on Dec. 13. 

7. Moorhead (5-1-1) 

Four straight wins for the Spuds after a Friday-Saturday metro swing, blanking Holy Family 2-0 and then getting 28 saves on 29 shots from Taylor Kressin in a 3-1 win over Elk River.

Those contests marked games five and six in a row away from the Spuds' home base at the Moorhead Sports Center. They'll return to home-sweet-home on Thursday for a four-game homestretch.

8. Stillwater (5-3) 

In this case, a 4-0 loss to Hill-Murray outweighs a 3-2 win over Orono. The Ponies fell to the Section 4-2A rival Pioneers last Tuesday in a game that featured four Hill-Murray goals and 13 minor penalties. 

Scheduling-wise, there are zero ranked teams on the schedule for the next seven games until the Ponies host Edina on Jan. 11. 

9. Northfield (9-0) 

Northfield made the trip to Orono and came away with a 3-2 win over one of the state's top Class A programs, a gutsy performance, to be sure. Had the Raiders followed that win with another victory over a quality team, there may have been a case to push them ahead of Stillwater. Instead, Northfield scored three touchdowns in its following game, topping Austin 21-0. 

10. Lakeville North (8-0) 

A quick turnaround between Thursday and Saturday concluded with two wins for the Panthers, blaming Shakopee 6-0 and edging 2023 Class AA State Tournament participant Rosemount 4-3. Rival Lakeville South is next for the Panthers on Thursday, followed by the always plucky Apple Valley Eagles on Saturday.


Stella Hankinson, No. 5-2A Edina

Class A


Kambelle Freije, No. 7-1A Crookston

1. Orono (7-2) 

Credit the Spartans for continually loading up the nonconference schedule, even if it means taking the occasional loss. Orono fell to Northfield 3-2 last Tuesday (thanks to three power-play goals by the Raiders) but rebounded with a 7-1 win over Chaska/Chanhassen on Saturday to ease the pain.

Warroad's loss to (previously) unranked Crookston helps the Spartans maintain the state's top spot in Class A.  
 
2. Holy Angels (6-1-1) 

A 7-0 win over New Prague was the only game on this week's slate for the Stars, who continue to count the days until they have all of their pieces healthy and ready to go. 

A three-game stretch starts with a home game against nearby rival Bloomington Jefferson, followed by road contests against Blaine and Chaska/Chanhassen. 

3. Warroad (7-2) 

The best medicine for a loss is two wins, and the Warriors achieved the feat with two victories over ranked Class A teams in Mound Westonka/Southwest Christian and Delano/Rockford. The loss to Section 8-1A foe Crookston stings, but the Warriors benefit from previously fourth-ranked Proctor-Hermantown losing twice to maintain top-three billing. 

4. Duluth Marshall (9-1)

The Hilltoppers have won eight consecutive games since losing to Warroad 3-2 on the season's opening weekend, including a 7-2 win over Hibbing/Chisholm last Monday and a Thursday win over Duluth 5-2. 

The schedule ramps up a tad for the 'Toppers this week, as they'll travel to Grand Rapids/Greenway on Tuesday and host No. 10-1A Delano/Rockford next Saturday.

5. Proctor/Hermantown (3-5-1)

The Mirage suffered a pair of losses since the last batch of rankings, falling to Grand Rapids/Greenway 2-1 and then absorbing an 8-1 thumping at the hands of Andover. 

Being under .500 isn't a great look for the perennial Section 7-1A power, but you'd be hard-pressed to pick anyone ranked below the Mirage in a head-to-head battle.  

6. Dodge County (8-1) 

Scores of 6-2 over Gentry Academy and 2-1 over the dangerous New Ulm Eagles brings Dodge County's record to 8-1 this season, with an entertaining southern Minnesota matchup with Owatonna on the docket for Friday night. 

The Wildcats will face a real test two days after Christmas when they take on Centennial/Spring Lake Park during the Crosstown Cup at Blake Ice Arena. 

7. Crookston (6-2-1) 

That 3-1 loss to Champlin Park/Coon Rapids on Dec. 2 seems so very far away after the Pirates took down defending Class A state champion and ruler of the Section 8-1A universe Warroad last Tuesday. 

Not lost in the shuffle were a 3-1 win over Rock Ridge and a 7-2 win over International Falls, giving the Pirates four wins in their last five games. The game for all the (section) marbles won't be until February, but Crookston scored a major seeding victory with the win over the Warriors. 

8. Breck (7-1)

The Mustangs did not play last week. They're back in action on Dec. 15 against Mound Westonka/Southwest Christian. 

9. Mound Westonka/Southwest Christian (5-4-1) 

The gauntlet schedule continues for the White Hawks, pairing a matchup with Lake Conference Class AA squad Wayzata with hosting duties against Warroad. For the week, the White Hawks emerged with a 2-1 record, defeating Wayzata, falling to the Warriors, and then tallying 13 goals in a 13-0 win over Morris/Benson Area. 

10. Delano/Rockford (7-4) 

The Tigers knocked Simley out of the rankings this week with a 4-2 win over the Spartans last Tuesday, slipping past Marshall 3-2 for good measure. The 5-1 loss to Warroad isn't, you know, anything to hang on the fridge, but the Tigers showed that an exceptional goaltender can keep games close-ish. 

15A


Tonka beats Alex, loses to Edina...Skippers stay at #2

Rank Team District Last Week
1 Edina Green 6 WWW
2 Minnetonka (Black) 6 LWW
3 Alexandria 15 L
4 Rochester 9 TWW
5 Woodbury Black 8 TW
6 Stillwater Red 2 WWW
7 Eden Prairie 6 TT
8 Wayzata Blue 3 LT
9 Andover 9 WT
10 Duluth 11 DNP

15B

Rank Team District Last Week
1 Wayzata (Gold) 3 WW
2 Central MN Riverblades 5 WWWT
3 Grand Rapids-Greenway 12 DNP
4 North Shore 11 WTWL
5 Armstrong Cooper 3 WW
6 Alexandria 15 WWW
7 Fairmont 4 WW
8 Osseo/Maple Grove (Black) 3 WL
9 Owatonna 9 TWLW
10 Roseville/Mahtomedi 2 W

Commentary

Central MN Riverblades defeated previous No. 2 North Shore 3-2 this week. The Riverblades replace North Shore at No. 2.

No. 5 Armstrong Cooper is steadily climbing the ladder that is in the rankings with two solid wins this week.

No. 10 Roseville/Mahtomedi is in the rankings for the first time this season. The Marauders are on a five-game win streak.

12A


Orono-Westonka is #10 this week - Pic Grett Bode

Rank Team District Last Week
1 Minnetonka 6 WWW
2 Centennial/Spring Lake Park 10 WWW
3 Edina 6 WW
4 Grand Rapids-Greenway 12 WWW
5 Chaska/Chanhassen 6 WLL
6 Woodbury 8 WWW
7 Warroad 16 LL
8 Lakeville 8 DNP
9 East Grand Forks 16 W
10 Orono-Westonka 3 WW

Commentary

A fairly clean week in 12A. Only two losses on the week and they came 2.5 hours apart. Grand Rapids swept a doubleheader Sunday in Warroad, beating the Warriors 4-1 and 4-3.

Tonka and Centennial-SLP continue to rack up big wins. They are likely the top-two seeds in the Danglefest coming up at the end of the month.

12B

Rank Team District Last Week
1 Cannon River 9 TW
2 Minnetonka (Blue) 6 WW
3 Eagan (Blue) 6 WWWL
4 Elk River 10 WW
5 Woodbury (Gold) 8 W
6 Moorhead (Black) 15 W
7 Mounds View/Irondale (Gold) 2 W
8 Marshall 4 DNP
9 East Grand Forks 16 W
10 North Wright County 5 WLWWW

Commentary

Previous No. 1 Eagan Blue got defeated for the first time this past week and that shook up the whole top-10.

Here are the changes made.

-Cannon River from No. 2 to No. 1 

-Minnetonka Blue from No. 3 to No. 2

-Eagan Blue from No. 1 to No. 3

-Moundsview/Irondale Gold from No. 9 to No. 7

-Marshall from UR to No. 8

-East Grand forks from UR to No. 9

-North Wright County from UR to No. 10

Dropped out- 

-Bemidji

-OMG White

-Delano

10A


Moorhead sweeps the Big Ole in Alexandria, they are #2 this week

Rank Team District Last Week
1 Chaska/Chanhassen 6 WW
2 Moorhead 15 WWWW
3 Osseo/Maple Grove 3 W
4 Hastings 8 WWW
5 Blaine 10 WWWW
6 Stillwater 2 W
7 Sartell/Sauk Rapids/St Cloud 5 WW
8 White Bear Lake 2 LW
9 Rochester 9 WT
10 Minnetonka 6 T

Commentary

Our first crack at 10A this weekend. Moorhead wins the Big Ole and Blaine takes the Grand Rapids tourney yesterday with a win over Cent-SLP. 

Chaska-Chan is undefeated and loaded with talent up-front, on the blue line and in the net. They will be a fun team to watch this year. The "start" the year number one.

10B

Rank Team District Last Week
1 Waseca 9 DNP
2 Mankato 9 W
3 Woodbury (Royal) 8 DNP
4 Shakopee 6 W
5 Apple Valley/Burnsville/Eastview 8 W
6 White Bear Lake (Black) 2 DNP
7 New Prague 6 DNP
8 North Shore 11 W
9 Central MN Riverblades 5 W
10 Minneapolis (Black) 3 DNP

Commentary

District 9 is looking like a powerhouse early in U10 B, the district holds the top two spots with Waseca and Mankato.

No. 7 New Prague is outscoring opponents 61/4. The Trojans are dominating now, but will it hold up?

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