Can Edina get back on track in Duluth?
Hayden Davison will be a factor for Wayzata this weekend
Pool A: Duluth East, Minnetonka, Centennial, Wayzata
TS: Best pool of the eight we had to review...all four have T10 and State tourney potential, but need more consistency every game. Not a bad game of the six. We drew Centennial out of our pick 'em hat, but still went with Duluth East.
Pool B: Duluth Denfeld, Grand Rapids, Eden Prairie, and Blaine
TS: Eden Prairie gets two tough pool play games with Blaine and Grand Rapids. Blaine will be tough because they handled the Bengals a few weeks ago in Moorhead (young minds have a hard time forgetting). Rapids is a mystery team...they come with a very similar resume as Duluth East and Cloquet. EP better be ready.
Watch out for the Elks this weekend in Duluth
Pool C: Superior (WI), Edina, Moorhead, and Thunder Bay
TS: Edina won't be challenged in pool play, unless Thunder Bay brings back the Staal brothers for an alumni appearnce.
Pool D: Hermantown, Prior Lake, Cloquet, and Elk River
TS: Another really good pool with no prohibitive favorite. Elk River and Prior have no love lost between them, nor does Hermantown and Cloquet...which makes predicting games way harder when more than hardware is on the line. Elk River has a few weapons the other three teams don't have, slight edge to the Elks.
Luke Mittelstadt and the Eagles have their sights set on Duluth
Eden Prairie > Duluth East...second best team in the state, really fun team to watch. Hounds playing their best hockey now, would be a fun game to see.
Elk River > Edina...the two teams tied on Friday at EP, toss up in this one goes to Elks.
Eden Prairie > Elk River...the Eagles are loaded this year, they have too much fire power. Elks one of the hottest teams in the state at any level will give EP a run.
Tonka returns to the Heritage where they won the State title last March
Jesse Brown will have to save the day for Stillwater to advance.
The Bantams are also matched into four even pools of four of North, Metro and outstate teams. Cloquet is the best northern team, while top metro teams Minnetonka, Eden Prairie, and Blaine lace them up on back to back weekends.
Pool A: Duluth Lakers, Centennial, Eden Prairie and St. Cloud
TS: EP the class of this pool, St. Cloud gets their first taste of some top teams this weekend. Duluth and Centennial lookng to get healty at the Heritage.
Pool B: Hermantown, Madison Capitols, Minnetonka, and Elk River
TS: Mad Caps are a mystery they could give teams trouble...no matter what, Tonka the front runner in this pool
Pool C: Cloquet, Lakeville South, Blaine, and Forest Lake
TS: Cloquet and Blaine square off Saturday morning for what likely amounts to a Quarterfinal game. Winner moves to semis, loser heads to consolation
Pool D: Grand Rapids, Stillwater, Thunder Bay, Prior Lake
TS: Prior Lake and Stillwater have both shown signs of top 10 (Lakers beat #1 Edina this week) and Stillwater has skated with but not beaten some of the best already. Thunder Bay and Grand Rapids could shake things up a little, too.
Look for Jon Baker and Cloquet to win the Spirit
Eden Prairie > Minnetonka...re-match of EP title game last Sunday
Cloquet > Prior Lake...Lumberjacks win in re-match of Blue Ox first round game.
Cloquet > Eden Prairie..playing near home, after resting over Thanksgiving will be a key for Lumberjacks.