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BHS: Games of the Week (Dec. 14-16)

By Derek Felska , 12/12/23, 4:45PM CST


From Hermantown to Chanhassen, the boys' high school season keeps rolling on. Here are five games you should keep an eye on this week.

Eden Prairie at Elk River/Zimmerman 
December 14 (6 PM) 

The Eagles and Elks face off against one another at the opening round of the Braemar Classic in Edina. Eden Prairie has gotten the best of the Elks throughout most of this series over the last decade, but can Elk River turn the tables this time around?

Eden Prairie is coming off a 4-2 victory over Duluth East. Forwards lead the Eagles' attack, senior Cole Saterdalen (2 goals, 3 assists, 5 points), juniors Rio Treharne(1-5-6), Alex Hall (3-1-4), Chase Klute (1-2-3) and John Kleis (1-3-4) as well as talented sophomore Mason Moe (5-2-7) are going to be leaned upon to provide much of the scoring load.

On defense, seniors Tommy Moen (0-3-3) and Dylan Vornwald (1-1-2), as well as junior Nick Koering (0-1-1), keep it simple in their own end. Senior goaltender Jack Mlodozyniec (.906 save percentage) is the workhorse in the Eden Prairie crease, but the Eagles have utilized sophomore Bennett Wilmer (.833 save percentage) too. 

Elk River/Zimmerman is coming off a 2-1 win over Roseau. The Elks are led at forward by seniors Kole Mears (4-1-5), Braden Hansberger (1-3-4), Daniel Babcock(1-2-3), and Easton Johnson (1-1-2), as well as junior Gavin Sperling (3-3-6) and 6'4" sophomore Tristan Kriech (1-3-4) give Elk River two solid scoring lines.

On defense, seniors Cooper Anderson (0-4-4) and Hayden Jasper (0-1-1) try to deny the middle of the ice to limit opposing scoring chances. This season, junior goaltender Gavin Greniuk (.900 save percentage) has been Elk River's go-to option between the pipes.  

Mason Moe, Eden Prairie

Hibbing/Chisholm at Proctor 
December 14 (7 PM) 

This is an intriguing matchup of two Lake Superior conference teams hoping to demonstrate they can topple Hermantown from its perch atop Section 7A. Which one will look like it could be the one to step up to the challenge?  

Hibbing/Chisholm is coming off a 7-3 loss to Totino-Grace. The Bluejackets are a youthful team led at forward by senior Jack Gabardi (4-0-4), who leads a young but promising group in sophomores Tate Swanson (2-6-8) and Benny Galli (2-6-8) as well as freshman Kelin Elsner (4-7-11).

On defense, seniors Christian Edmonds (1-7-8) and Blaydon Kubena-McCue (1-3-4) also provide mentorship to a young defensive corps of sophomores Mason McDonald (2-0-2) and Ethan Sundvall (2-2-4) as well as freshman Jackson Strukel (2-5-7) who bring skill but lack experience. Junior goaltender Tim Urdahl (.845 save percentage) has carried most of the starts for the Bluejackets. Still, they have used junior Rex Walli (.868 save percentage) and sophomore Gavin Lamphere (.927 save percentage).

Proctor is coming off a 4-1 win over Rochester Mayo. The Rails' forward group is led by seniors Ethan Carter (3-3-6), Kellen Towers (2-1-3), and Dylan Davidson (3-6-9), as well as juniors Tanner Ross (8-8-16) and Austin Bryant (5-7-12) give Proctor good scoring depth through its top two lines.

On defense, senior Carson Pavlowich (2-8-10) and Cooper Johnson (2-1-3), junior Cooper Annala (2-4-6), and sophomore Breckin Ross (2-5-7) are open in the offensive zone. Proctor has split starts between junior Brayden McLean (.868 save percentage) and senior Vinny Vervile (.833 save percentage) this season. 

Andover at Moorhead 
December 15 (6 PM) 

After a few early season setbacks, these two well-coached clubs hope to make the rest of Class AA notice that they still need to be in the conversation as a state tournament contender as Andover travels along I-94 to battle Moorhead.

Andover is coming off a 6-2 loss to Wayzata. The Huskies' forward group still needs key senior Ben Doll, who is still injured. Led by seniors Crosby Perry (4-2-6), Brooks Cogswell (2-5-7), and Caden Martin (1-1-2), as well as junior Luke Babineau (2-4-6) along with gifted sophomores Keaton Coe (1-1-2) and K.J. Sauer (0-1-1) provide scoring through Andover's top two lines but goals have been hard to come by.

On defense, senior Landon Stringfellow (1-1-2), junior Drew Law(1-2-3), and sophomore Casey Rodgers (2-1-3) are a well-rounded group that is poised and capable at both ends of the ice. Junior goaltender Cal Conway (.878 save percentage) has made most of the starts for Andover, but they have utilized sophomore Cash Cruitt (.913 save percentage) too.  

Moorhead is coming off a 6-1 win over Buffalo. The Spuds are led at forward by juniors Carter Midthune (3-4-7), Cade Allmendinger (0-1-1), Carson Kuntz (3-2-5) and Carver Hasbargen (1-4-5) are starting to heat up. Junior forwards Brooks Cullen (1-2-3) and Mason Kraft (Minnesota State commit, 3-1-4) are expected to play prominent roles but have been held off the scoresheet so far.

On defense, juniors Brady Steffen (0-1-1), Brandon Mickelson (0-5-5), and Aiden Dufault (2-3-5) will be relied upon to carry a lot of minutes for the Spuds. Senior goaltender Kai Weigel (a .909 save percentage) is among the best in Class AA.

Mason Kraft. Moorhead

Mahtomedi at Hermantown 
December 16 (1:15 PM)

These two Class A elite teams are familiar with one another both in the regular season and at the state tournament. Which team will come out on top as Mahtomedi travels north to face Hermantown?  

Mahtomedi is coming off a 4-1 loss to St. Thomas Academy. The Zephyrs are led at forward by seniors Jake Hodd-Chlebeck (5-7-12) and Gene Wegleitner (2-6-8) as well as the Egan brothers; senior Patrick Egan (7-2-9) junior Max Egan (1-0-1) and sophomore Jimmy Egan (4-10-14) give Mahtomedi solid scoring depth.

On defense, seniors William Brummel (0-3-3), Cole Swanson (0-1-1), and Wyatt Tarnowski (1-0-1) as well as junior Sam Harris (0-4-4) are an experienced and battle-tested defense corps. The Zephyrs have split starts at goaltender between senior Charlie Brandt (.871 save percentage) and junior Wes Strub (.922 save percentage) this season.

Hermantown is coming off a 5-0 rout of Centennial. At forward, the Hawks return seniors Josh Kauppinen (1-0-1) and Evan Gunderson, as well as junior River Freeman (3-1-4) and talented sophomores Bradford Skytta (2-1-3) and A.J. Francisco (YHH's Bantam Player of the Year in 2022-23, 1-4-5) give Hermantown solid skill and scoring up front.

On defense, seniors Will Esterbrooks (1-3-4), Drew Nelson (0-2-2 ), and Weston Bohlman (0-2-2) lead a retooled defense corps as they hope juniors Henry Peterson and Cam Lukovsky step into more significant roles. Senior goaltender Dane Callaway (.959 save percentage) provides a well-seasoned experience to the Hawks' crease. 

Drew Nelson, Hermantown

Rogers at Chanhassen 
December 16 (7 PM) 

This is an intriguing matchup between two west metro schools as both want to stay in that conversation as a potential contender in Class AA. Can the Royals top the Storm when they travel to Victoria Ice Arena on Saturday?  

Rogers is coming off a 1-1 tie against Shakopee. The Royals' forward group is led by seniors Brandon Swanson (4-4-8) and Drew Krekelberg (2-9-11), as well as talented juniors Parker Deschene (3-6-9) and Mason Jenson (8-5-13), giving Rogers terrific scoring depth and skill through its top two lines. Benilde-St. Magaret's transfer sophomore Cole Bumgarner (6-5-11) is off to a fast start.

On defense, juniors Nolen Geerdes (1-6-7) and 6'5", 185lbs Jackson Smithknecht (Colorado College commit, 0-5-5) along with senior Caden Olsen (6'4", 230lbs, 0-4-4) provide Rogers with a mix of exceptional mobility and size with the ability to deny the middle of the ice. Senior goaltender Aiden Dietrich (.913 save percentage) has been Rogers' ace between the pipes this season.

Chanhassen is coming off a hard-fought 3-2 loss to #1 ranked Minnetonka. The senior-laden Storm possess a deep and skilled forward group led by seniors Gavin Uhlenkamp (Wisconsin commit, 3-6-9), Caden Lee (Minnesota State commit, 5-2-7), Jack Christ (Minnesota State commit, 1-8-9), and Andy Earl (2-2-4) give Chanhassen steady scoring through its top 2 lines. 

Senior Gavin Uhlenkamp joined YHH's Rink of Fire podcast for an interview. On defense, seniors Owen Busegens (St. Thomas commit, 1-4-5), Drew Jensen (0-1-1), Ben Curtis (1-0-1), Chase Borene (1-1-2), and Billy McNeely (0-1-1) provide plenty of experience and poise to the Storm's blue line. Senior goaltender Kam Hendrickson (.924 save percentage) has been Chanhassen's go-to option all season.  

Brandon Swanson, Rogers

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