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GHS: Games of the Week (Feb. 1-3)

By Derek Felska, 01/30/24, 12:30PM CST


This is the last week of the regular season for Girls High School hockey before section playoffs begin the following week. From Hermantown to Lakeville and with section seedings on the line here are five games you should check out if you are in the area.

Holy Angels at Hill-Murray 
February 1 (7:00 PM) 

This is a big metro private school matchup as the Class A Stars make their way east to Polar Arena to face the Class AA Pioneers for the first and possibly only time this season. Can the Stars pull off the upset over Hill-Murray?

Holy Angels is coming off a 3-1 victory over Chaska/Chanhassen and is riding a seven-game win streak. At forward, the Stars are led by seniors Bella LaMere (St. Olaf commit, 19 goals, 7 assists, 26 points) and Audrey Garton (Minnesota State commit, 14-11-25), juniors Masyn Mullin (11-14-25) and Marci Jung (4-9-13) carry the majority of the scoring load for Holy Angels.  

On defense, juniors Taylor Lesnar (5-19-24), Berit Loichle (3-9-12), and Harper Poehling (7-9-16) The Stars penalty kill has been tremendous, shutting down opposing power plays at a 91.9% rate.  

Holy Angels have one of the best goaltending duos in the state and have rotated between junior Zoe Rimstad (.944 save percentage) and senior Eva Bentley (Williams College commit, .950 save percentage) this season.  

Hill-Murray is coming off a 6-0 victory over Hastings, and they have won seven of their last ten games. The Pioneers possess a very skilled group of forwards led by seniors Chloe Boreen (St. Thomas commit, 25-18-43) and Maddy Morrell (6-13-19), junior Regan Berglund (Quinnipiac commit, 12-8-20), along with promising freshmen Emily Pohl (16-16-32), Lauryn Cottingham (4-9-13) and Jaycee Chatelain (17-14-31) give Hill-Murray a formidable array of scorers that make them challenging to match up against. Hill-Murray's strong play was discussed on YHH's most recent episode of Her Ice.  

On defense, junior Josie Skoogman (Cornell commit, 4-11-15) leads a young group of defenders like sophomore Elli Petronack (0-5-5), freshman Addy McLay (3-10-13) and 8th-grader Olivia Braunshausen (2-10-12). The Pioneers' penalty kill is solid, killing opposing power plays at an 84.3% rate.  

Senior goaltender Grace Zhan (Dartmouth commit, .943 save percentage) gives Hill-Murray one of the best in the state at her position. 

Jaycee Chatleain, Hill-Murray

Edina at Orono 
February 1 (7:00 PM) 

An elite program from Class AA in Edina travels west to take on one of the top teams in Class A in Orono. Will the Spartans give the Hornets a run for their money, or will Edina teach Orono a lesson?

Edina is coming off a 3-1 victory over North Wright County and has won eight of their last ten games. The Hornets have plenty of firepower up front led by Ms. Hockey candidate as discussed on Episode #1 of YHH's Her Ice senior Hannah Halverson (Wisconsin commit, 21-21-42), juniors Whitney Horton (St. Thomas commit, 12-13-25), Kaylee Idrogo-Lam (8-6-14) and Cate McCoy (12-13-25) as well as sophomore Lorelai Nelson (9-21-30).  

On defense, senior Taylor Porthan (0-12-12), juniors Camille Debuc (3-8-11) and Tori Anderson (3-14-17), as well as sophomore Taylor Gardner (2-6-8) and freshman Libby Moe (2-10-12) are skilled and help Edina transition quickly and efficiently. Edina's penalty kill has been especially impressive, shutting down opposing power plays at a 91.8% rate.

Edina has two quality options at goaltender: juniors Reese McConnell (.929 save percentage), who has shouldered most of the starts this season, and Nora Hannan (.931 save percentage).

Orono is coming off a 2-1 loss to Gentry Academy and has won six out of their last ten games. The Spartans are led by senior Alexa Niccum (UW-River Falls commit, 4-10-14), junior forwards Kali Schmidt (10-14-24) and Zoe Lopez (Minnesota State commit, 19-14-33) as well as her 8th-grade sister, Gabi Lopez (6-7-13) along with sophomore Maddy Kimbrel (18-12-30) provide Orono with plenty of speed, skill and scoring up front. Junior Macy Rasmussen (Ohio State commit, 8-17-25) is back from winning a gold medal with Team USA at the Switzerland U18 World Junior Hockey Tournament.  

On defense, seniors Grace Bickett (7-21-28) and Allie Pleimann (3-6-9), along with junior Alex Paulsen (0-14-14), can lock things down in the Spartans' end of the ice, but they certainly will be tested by Edina's depth.  

At goaltender, freshman Vivienne Anderson (.920 save percentage) has carried most of the workload for the Spartans, but they have utilized junior Maddie Forsyth (.901 save percentage) as well.

Libby Moe, Edina

Mound Westonka/Southwest Christian at Proctor/Hermantown
February 3 (2:00 PM)  

The Whitehawks make their way north to Hermantown to face the Mirage in their only meeting of the regular season. Like other clubs mentioned in this preview, they hope to add another notable victory for their seeding discussions. Which team will earn that 'cred' to banter about in their team's favor?

Mound-Westonka/Southwest Christian was coming off a 2-1 victory over Willmar and is riding a seven-game win streak. The White Hawks forward group is led by seniors Greer Hardacre (18-19-37) and Camryn Hargreaves (17-22-39), as well as junior Ellison Lundquist (6-12-18) and Gisella Harder (9-14-23) as well as sophomore Georgia Harmer (6-13-19) provide the Whitehawks scoring balance up front. Mound Westonka/Southwest Christian is good on the power play, finding the back of the net at a 26.5% rate.

On defense, seniors Natalie Minor (6-19-25) and Claire Bolen (4-7-11), along with sophomore Elizabeth Callahan (11-17-28) and talented 8th-grader Marion Omann (7-9-16), would like to join the attack and will try to keep the Mirage bottled up in their own end. The Whitehawks penalty kill has been stellar, killing 93.8% of opposing power plays this season.  

Senior goaltender Ashlyn Roth (.916 save percentage) is one of the better goaltenders in Class A, and she gives the Whitehawks a chance to win each night.  

Proctor/Hermantown was coming off a 6-0 rout of Duluth and had won four out of their last five games. The Mirage are led at forward by seniors Izy Fairchild (Bemidji State commit, 13-15-28), Anika Burke (6-10-16), Hannah Graves (6-11-17) and Hailey Jussila (7-9-16) as well as junior Jane Eckstrom (9-13-22) give Proctor/Hermantown steady scoring up front.  

On defense, senior Morgan LaValley (3-8-11) sets the tone on the Mirage's end of the ice along with sophomore Cambriia Thomas (2-7-9). 8th-grader Taylee Manion (1-9-10) and freshman Avery Milbridge (3-2-5) glimpse the future promise for Proctor/Hermantown's defense corps. The Mirage penalty kill is no mirage, shutting down opposing power plays at a 92.2% rate.

The Mirage has two solid options at goaltender between junior Neelah McLeod (.906 save percentage) and sophomore Suri Langley (.866 save percentage).  

Morgan LaValley, Proctor/Hermantown

Stillwater at Andover 
February 3 (2:00 PM) 

With comparables possibly the difference between one seed and another, a clash between two talent-filled squads should have some extra interest going into the last regular season weekend as the Ponies go west to Andover to face the Huskies. Which team will add another quality win to its credit?

Stillwater is coming off a 3-1 victory over East Ridge and has won six out of their last ten games. The Ponies are led up front by seniors Josie St. Martin (Ohio State commit, 23-31-54) and Brooke Nelson (23-25-48), which gives Stillwater one of the better duos in the state. Junior Belle McKenzie (5-6-11) can really fly.  

On defense, seniors Josie Lang (Providence commit, 15-27-42), Addison Finn (New Hampshire commit, 17-22-39), and Grace Cheney (0-9-9), as well as sophomore Emma Chard (5-16-21) provide skill, scoring and two-way play that sets the Ponies apart from many other teams. This is especially evident in the power play, where the Ponies convert at a 32.7% rate.  

Senior goaltender Lily Timmons (.916 save percentage) has made most of the starts this season for the Ponies, but they have utilized freshman Haley Solnitzky (.911 save percentage) too.

Andover is coming off a 3-0 loss to Edina but has won four out of their last five games. At forward, the Huskies are led by senior Nora Sauer (St. Thomas commit, 12-11-23) as well as juniors Maya Engler (St. Thomas commit, 7-11-18), Avery Kasick (7-11-18), Amelia McQuay (7-6-13), Ella Thoresen (9-13-22) and Hannah Christenson (Northeastern commit, 10-14-24) give Andover enviable scoring depth.  

On defense, senior Cailin Mumm (St. Thomas commit, 5-12-17), as well as juniors Courtney Little (St. Thomas commit, 7-14-21) and Mackenzie Jones (Wisconsin commit, 13-20-33), are establishing themselves as one of the best defense corps in the state. Not surprisingly, the Huskies don't give up much on the penalty kill, stifling opposing power plays at an 88.5% rate.

Sophomore goaltender Clairebella Hills (.925 save percentage) has carried most of the starts this season, but Huskies have utilized freshman Olivia Nedved (.951 save percentage) too.

Avery Kasick, Andover

Centennial/Spring Lake Park at Lakeville South 
February 3 (3:00 PM) 

This is an intriguing crosstown battle between two quality Class AA opponents as Centennial/Spring Lake Park travels to Hasse Arena in Lakeville to take on the Cougars. Who will win, North or South?  

Centennial/Spring Lake Park is coming off a 4-0 victory over Champlin Park/Coon Rapids and is riding the momentum of a fifteen-game winning streak. They are led at forward by talented freshman Grace Laager (15-25-40), juniors Teagen Kulenkamp (18-18-36) and Alexis Larsen (8-11-19), as well as senior Noelle Hemr (15-11-26) give Centennial/Spring Lake Park solid scoring balance up front.  

On defense, senior Ellie Newpower (3-17-20), junior Elsa Oberg (1-2-3), and sophomore Katie Ball (4-13-17), as well as 8th-grader Annabelle Buccicone (2-11-13) are a steady, well-rounded group that can stifle opponents but also support the play in the offensive zone effectively. Centennial/Spring Lake Park has been solid on the penalty kill, killing 94.3% of opposing power plays this season.  

A big reason for that stifling penalty kill is the play of senior goaltender Kaitlin Groess (.964 save percentage and 9 shutouts), who has been an absolute wall for Centennial/Spring Lake Park. 

Lakeville South is coming off a 2-1 victory over Apple Valley and is full of confidence as they are riding a twelve-game win streak. At forward, Lakeville South is led by seniors Ella Fowler (14-21-35) and Brynn O'Neill (18-14-32), as well as juniors Josie Grossman (14-18-32) and Camden Hopper (6-6-12) carry most of the offense for the Cougars. The Cougars' power play is strong, finding the back of the net at a 31% rate.  

On defense, seniors Lilly Hunst (8-16-24) and Nicole McKinney (4-10-14), along with freshman Senna Hoffman (3-6-9), do a great job at limiting scoring chances and putting Lakeville South back on the attack. The Cougars' penalty kill doesn't give up much as they kill opposing penalties at a 93.8% rate.  

At goaltender, senior Claire Bronson (.961 save percentage and 10 shutouts) is one of the best goaltenders in Class AA.

Katie Ball, Centennial/Spring Lake Park

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