Osseo-Maple Grove took home last year's Lumberjack Cup PWA title.
Featuring four teams ranked in the Youth Hockey Hub NOW Rankings’ Top-25, Pool A of the Peewee AA Division is now skate in the St. Croix Valley. No. 8 Osseo-Maple Grove is coming off a strong showing at the Spirit of Duluth, knocking off Hermantown 3-2 with a late goal before running into a buzzsaw of Edina in the finals. The Leafbirds have gone 1-1 against Pool A opponents, losing to Stillwater 7-2 and beating Eastview 4-0.
Outside of a pair of close losses to Woodbury and Minnetonka, Stillwater has rolled to nine wins in its last 12 games. The Ponies are coming off a 6-0 win over Pool B rival Andover on Nov. 29. Despite being under the .500 mark at 6-7-1, Eastview hasn’t been outscored by much, hanging with opponents to the tune of a 44-49 goal differential. Since Nov. 17, the Lightning has gone 4-3.
A trio of tough losses near the end of the month has Rochester battle-tested for the Lumberjack Cup, with games against Lakeville North, Eden Prairie, and Prior Lake toughening the schedule. Rochester enters the tournament with a 7-7-1 record, and have drawn even with opponents in total scoring at 57-57.
Just like Pool A, Pool B represents a virtual gauntlet of teams, with Chaska-Chanhassen, White Bear Lake, and Duluth East all in the top-10 of NOW Rankings and the Stormhawks holding the top spot in both the NOW Rankings and YHH Staff Rankings. At 19-0, the Stormhawks have not had a game decided by less than three goals since the 3-2 overtime win over Hermantown in the finals of the Big Pumpkin.
A 4-2 loss to Edina in the Spirit of Duluth semifinals ended Duluth East’s run for a hometown title, but the Hounds have the squad to remedy that fat quickly. The Hounds defeated Hermantown in overtime on Tuesday night after losing to the Hawks in the Spirit of Duluth third-place game, and have won seven of their last nine contests.
White Bear Lake has very quietly gone 11-5-2 this season, including a sparkling 5-0 run to start the year. The Bears have gone 2-0 against inter-pool foe
Andover and fell to Duluth East by a narrow score of 5-4 on Nov. 10. Since starting the year 0-5, Andover has rebounded nicely, winning five of the next seven games to enter the weekend at 5-7. Among those wins included quality victories over Blaine and Centennial.
Chaska-Chanhassen has gone 19-0 so far this season, including a perfect run to the Big Pumpkin championship in October.
Danny Nelson, Osseo-Maple Grove
Thomas Gunderson, Duluth East
Jordan Geike, Rochester
Javon Moore, Chaska-Chanhassen
Cole Jackson, Stillwater
Thomas Gunderson, Duluth East.
Stillwater begins the Lumberjack Cup on a three-game losing streak, including a pair of shutouts at the hands of Osseo-Maple Grove and Mounds View-Irondale. On the plus side, the Ponies have outscored opponents 57-44 on the season. Woodbury has won two of its last three games; both 3-0 wins over Eagan and Rosemount respectively. Including a 2-2 tie with Hastings, the Predators are unbeaten in three of their previous four games.
Minneapolis has cooled after a 5-0 start, going 2-5-2 since the beginning of the 2018-2019 campaign. That stretch has included a battery of AA teams, with the Storm hanging tough with White Bear Lake, Duluth East, and Andover. The Storm tied both White Bear Lake and Osseo-Maple Grove PWA. Rochester has gone 2-1-1 in its last four games and has shown it can win in close contests. Three of Rochester's four wins have been by two goals.
Sibley Area might be the hottest team in the tournament, riding a nine-game winning streak into Stillwater while outscoring opponents 69-32 over the course of the season. Three of the wins for the Warriors during their streak have come via shutout. Forest Lake is on a winning streak of its own, having taken seven consecutive victories. Among those wins have been two in overtime and two by at least seven goals.
Osseo-Maple Grove had its six-game unbeaten streak halted in a 5-3 loss to Wayzata on Dec. 2, but the Leafbirds begin the Lumberjack Cup with a group that’s lost by more than two goals only once. Andover has been a victim of close games this season, with four of the team’s seven losses coming by two goals or less. The Huskies are 4-7-1.
Ryan Madigan, Sibley Area
Charlie Kuebelbeck, Osseo-Maple Grove
Ozzie Snodgrass, Minneapolis
Riley Middendorf, Forest Lake
Carson Kingbay, Stillwater
Ryan Madigan, Sibley Area.
|YHH Staffer||PWAA Pool A Pick||PWAA Pool B Pick||PWAA Champion Pick|
|Tony Scott||Osseo-Maple Grive||Chaska-Chanhassen||Chaska-Chanhassen|
|Peter Odney||Osseo-Maple Grove||Chaska-Chanhassen||Chaska-Chanhassen|
Osseo-Maple Grove earns two picks from PWAA Pool A.
|YHH Staffer||PWA Pool A Pick||PWA Pool B Pick||PWA Champion Pick|
|Tony Scott||Minneapolis||Forest Lake||Minneapolis|
|Todd Hauch||Minneapolis||Sibley Area||Sibley Area|
|Peter Odney||Stillwater||Sibley Area||Sibley Area|