AA Rankings for 2/17/19 and Section Preview

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AA Rankings for 2/17/19 and Section Preview

Post by karl(east) » Sun Feb 17, 2019 4:37 pm

Here’s your final set of regular season rankings. As usual, I switch up the format this week and first list the top 25, then give team descriptions by section. Teams are listed in order of seed in the sections.

1. Edina
2. Blaine
3. Minnetonka
4. Andover
5. St. Thomas Academy
6. Maple Grove
7. White Bear Lake
8. Rosemount
9. Moorhead
10. Chaska
11. Eden Prairie
12. Duluth East
13. Benilde-St. Margaret’s
14. Wayzata
15. Hill-Murray
16. Roseau
17. Buffalo
18. Brainerd
19. Eagan
20. Blake
21. Cloquet
22. Champlin Park
23. Hastings
24. Holy Family
25. Stillwater

1AA
1st Rd 2/19 High Seed Home
QF 2/21 High Seed Home
SF 2/23 Rochester Rec Center
F 2/28 Rochester Rec Center

1. Hastings (19-4-1, #23)
-The Raiders earned a deserved top seed in 1AA after closing out a strong regular season with solid wins over Farmington and Rochester Mayo. Even so, they may be the biggest mystery team in the state given their success against a weak schedule and lack of crossover games with section competition. A blowout win over Farmington, coupled with a win over Eagan a while back, are signs that they can probably compete with the Lakevilles, though a tie to Albert Lea and a loss to East Ridge throw up some flags.
2. Lakeville North (13-12)
-The Panthers didn’t muster much in a season-closing loss to rival South, but have the fortune of drawing the 2-seed, which will get them an easy quarterfinal and a semi against a team that is nowhere near as battle-tested as they are. They’ll need some scoring balance to get to the next level here.
3. Rochester Century (20-3)
-The Panthers built up an impressive record this season, but are one of the least tested teams in the state, and losing their one game against a top 25 team (White Bear Lake) to weather in the season’s final week didn’t help things, either.
4. Lakeville South (11-12-1)
-The Cougars were perhaps unfortunate to land the 4-seed after closing with a win over North, but it’s hard to say anything too definitive given that Mayo’s best player is out and we have little idea how the top four stack up to each other. I still think this is the most complete team in the section, for whatever it’s worth.
5. Rochester Mayo
6. Owatonna
7. Farmington
8. Rochester John Marshall
9. Dodge County

2AA
QF 2/21 High Seed Home
SF 2/23 Braemar
F 2/27 Mariucci

1. Minnetonka (20-2-3, #3)
-How big of a concern is the Skippers’ recent power outage? Since Hockey Day they are only 3-2-2, and couldn’t beat Wayzata in two meetings. Their top D pair is the state’s best and they have excellent depth, but of late they’ve been missing an offensive ingredient or two. Fortunately, the two teams that have a realistic shot of beating them have their warts as well, but they have also probably played their way out of a top seed.
2. Chaska (18-7, #10)
-The Hawks avenged a loss to Benilde and head into sections on a high note. They remain one of the greater wild cards out there, with all the talent in the world but a habit of taking some truly awful losses. If they can string together a couple of disciplined defensive efforts, they have a shot at a first ever Tourney berth.
3. Eden Prairie (14-9-2, #11)
-The Eagles let things get away from them in their third loss to Edina of the season. They’ve had their moments where they look like front-line contenders this season; they’re deep and skilled up front, and have a great young core for the future. In a tough section, though, they may be a little too young and a little too thin in back to make it happen. Can they string together a couple of quality wins in section play?
4. Prior Lake (13-10-1)
-The Lakers have had one or two moments of quality this season, but will need a lot more to advance through one of the state’s toughest sections.
5. Holy Family (14-9-1, #24)
-The Fire had a decent final after struggling to get on track for much of the season as they got wins over Class A power St. Cloud Cathedral and Stillwater. With a strong goalie, one player who can really score, and a few other respectable parts, they’re not a bad pick to score an upset…if they can get by Prior Lake to begin with.
6. Chanhassen
7. Shakopee
8. New Prague

3AA
1st Rd 2/19 High Seed Home
QF 2/21 High Seed Home
SF 2/23 High Seed Home
F 2/28 Braemar

1. St. Thomas Academy (21-3-1, #5)
-Of late the Cadets have found some offensive pop that eluded them early in the season, as the comfortable win over Lakeville North shows. While the first half of their schedule was the hard part, they do roll into sections on a 15-game winning streak, and have enough pieces in enough places to make a serious run at a title. That said, their recent playoff history also lurks, and Rosemount pushed them to the limit in the regular season meeting. Can the Vannellis break with recent history in their final run?
2. Rosemount (22-3, #8)
-Like St. Thomas, the Irish roll into sections, having won 11 in a row. Their schedule was not on par with St. Thomas’s, but they have good offensive depth and some serious talent on defense, and have shown they have a fighting chance at a section title. First, though, they will need to get past a decent Eagan team that they split with during the regular season.
3. Eagan (18-7, #19)
-The Wildcats won out in their final week, though none of their games tested them much. They have a high-flying top line, and if they play solid defense they have a shot of knocking off Rosemount and playing for a section crown.
4. Eastview (13-11-1)
-The Lightning had won 10 in a row before losing to Prior Lake in their last game heading into sections; even though that dropped them to the first spot out of the rankings, this group one of the better sleeper picks out there. They’re plugging along and playing well defensively. Is that enough to give them a shot at St. Thomas, though?
5. Burnsville
6. Bloomington Jefferson
7. Park (Cottage Grove)
8. Apple Valley
9. East Ridge

4AA
1st Rd 2/20 Aldrich
QF 2/23 Aldrich
SF 2/26-27 Aldrich
F 3/1 Aldrich

1. White Bear Lake (18-4-1, #7)
-For a second time this season the Bears struggled to beat Woodbury, which could make for an interesting semifinal if the Royals get by Irondale. That said, they had themselves a strong year from start to finish, and with a deep, balanced group, they are the class of one of the state’s thinner sections. Can they put their recent playoff struggles to bed?
2. Hill-Murray (14-8-2, #15)
-The Pioneers were competitive in a season-ending game with Moorhead, which I’d actually call a mild improvement on their recent performance. I don’t have a ton of faith in this team’s direction, but we’ve also learned not to bet against Hill in sections over the years.
3. Stillwater (15-10, #25)
-The Ponies closed with a decent run, but still lost to Holy Family on the season’s final day. They’ve been competitive with Hill and White Bear over the course of the season, so it’s not crazy to imagine this team having a shot. Generating enough offense will be the key.
4. Irondale
5. Woodbury
6. Mounds View
7. Tartan
8. Roseville
9. North St. Paul

5AA
QF 2/21 Coon Rapids/Champlin
SF 2/23 Champlin
F 2/28 Aldrich

1. Blaine (19-2-2, #2)
-The Bengals put together a solid win over Hill-Murray and also took care of respectable Champlin Park, which has them sailing into sections on a 14-game winning streak. While not tested to the extent of a Lake Conference team, the Bengals got an MVP season out of Bryce Brodzinski. Throw in Carson Richels as a nominee for best actor in a supporting role, respectable depth across the board, and a strong goaltender, and this team has a chance to go all the way.
2. Maple Grove (19-4-1, #6)
-A game with Duluth East would have given us a better measure of this team’s direction heading into sections, but that didn’t happen, so we’re left with a team that had some December flashes but didn’t do much against top-end teams in the second half of the season. They have some exciting young talent, but do they have the depth and defense to hang with a veteran Blaine team?
3. Champlin Park (19-6, #22)
-Behind Brennan Boynton in net, the Rebels have their best chance in some time at a serious playoff run. They certainly don’t have the firepower of the two clear frontrunners here, but they’ve done enough over the course of the season to stay in the picture.
4. Centennial (9-14-1)
-It’s a down year for the Cougars, but they’ve done enough against a few good teams that rival Blaine can’t take them totally for granted.
5. Coon Rapids
6. Anoka
7. Spring Lake Park
8. Osseo

6AA
1st Rd 2/19 High Seed Home
QF 2/21 High Seed Home
SF 2/23 BIG
F 2/27 Mariucci

1. Edina (21-2-1, #1)
-The Hornets looked every bit the top team in the state down the stretch. They don’t overwhelm in the way other recent Hornet squads have, but they have a couple of strong forward lines and the deepest defense in the state. If they can avoid frustration if and when they get bogged down in a tight game with a good defensive team and get strong goaltending, 6AA, and probably the Tournament, is theirs to lose.
2. Benilde-St. Margaret’s (18-7, #13)
-The Red Knights are a young team with plenty of potential but fell short in their rematch against Chaska. They’ve shown some quality flashes this year, including a win over Wayzata, but have yet to do any damage against a top ten team. Can they beat the tough Trojans in a playoff situation, and give Edina a game if they do? Or is this team still a year away?
3. Wayzata (11-9-4, #14)
-Like Eden Prairie, the Trojans have had their moments of quality this season, the most recent being the tie to Minnetonka. This team has a bit more offensive juice than the average Wayzata edition, and with their customary tight defense, that gives them a fighting shot in this difficult section. Still, they need to find a way to do more than stick around and give teams good games or pull off ties.
4. Blake (16-7-2, #20)
-A late loss to Armstrong/Cooper puts a blemish on an otherwise respectable season. There’s some good young talent here, but anything more than a quarterfinal win looks like a reach for now.
5. Cretin-Derham Hall (15-8-1)
-A loss to Blake leaves the Raiders on the road in the first round, and out of the top 25. The regular season was a story of consistency, but at a much more mediocre level than I expected coming in. They still have some game-breaking talent, but will need it to come together in a hurry.
6. Armstrong/Cooper
7. Holy Angels
8. Hopkins
9. St. Louis Park

7AA
1st Rd St. Francis def. Cambridge-Isanti 7-3
QF 2/19 High Seed Home
SF 2/23 Amsoil
F 2/28 Amsoil

1. Andover (22-2-1, #4)
-The Huskies completed their best regular season to date with easy wins over weaker Northwest Suburban teams. They have the depth and the talent on defense to claim their first ever section title, but how will they handle the spotlight?
2. Duluth East (15-6-2, #12)
-The Hounds’ season-closing bellwether against Maple Grove was lost to weather, and while they head into the playoffs on a short winning streak, it’s unclear how the retooled Hounds will match up against other top teams. They have the depth and talent to play with just about anyone, but can it all come together in the playoffs?
3. Cloquet (13-11-1, #21)
-The Lumberjacks had a tumultuous week in which they lost to surging Grand Rapids but notched a tie with Hermantown to stay among the ranked. Rapids in the quarterfinals poses an interesting challenge for this squad, which has respectable talent at all positions but can’t really match their chief rivals at any position either.
4. Forest Lake
5. Elk River
6. Grand Rapids
-Following a late surge, the Thunderhawks are one of the more dangerous 6-seeds out there, and have the goalie and timely offense to score upsets.
7. Duluth Marshall
8. St. Francis
9. Cambridge-Isanti (eliminated)

8AA
QF 2/19 High Seed Home
SF 2/23 High Seed Home
F 2/27 TRF/Bemidji/St. Cloud

1. Moorhead (18-6-1, #9)
-While not quite on the level of some of the state’s elite, the Spuds have had a strong regular season and have the most front-end talent across the board of anyone in 8AA. Their offense isn’t exceptionally deep and Buffalo may pose a challenge in the semifinals, but they’ve done enough over the course of the season to earn clear frontrunner status.
2. Roseau (18-4-2, #16)
-The Rams posted a shutout of Bemidji to continue a strong run of play to close the season, though an overtime win over Crookston shows they remain somewhat vulnerable to possible upsets, including in their first round game against a St. Cloud team that gave them a decent game recently. But they’ve got some front-end skill up front and a quality defense, which could be a good formula to get them through a crowded 8AA field. This is the Rams’ best shot at a Tourney berth in five years.
3. Brainerd (16-9, #18)
-A narrow win over St. Michael-Albertville and a loss to Moorhead confirms the Warriors’ place around #20 or so. While they don’t have the flashy top line of some of their 8AA rivals, they are a deep group that will be a tough out in sections.
4. Buffalo (16-6-3, #17)
-Few teams rose as much as the Bison did over the final weeks of the regular season. Sure, they’re not playing great teams, but they did tie Blake and are otherwise winning with style. If they can get by STMA again, they will have a fighting shot at Moorhead.
5. St. Michael-Albertville
6. Bemidji
7. St. Cloud
8. Rogers

WestMetro
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Re: AA Rankings for 2/17/19 and Section Preview

Post by WestMetro » Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:17 pm

Well done , and thanks for time commitment every week!

If I counted right , there are 11 teams with 4 or less losses . When was last time that happened??

DadsMoney
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Re: AA Rankings for 2/17/19 and Section Preview

Post by DadsMoney » Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:37 pm

Edina is 21-1-2 correct?

DadsMoney
Posts: 149
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 10:35 pm

Re: AA Rankings for 2/17/19 and Section Preview

Post by DadsMoney » Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:38 pm

Nevermind. California math. Chaska and HM losses with MG tie.

Great job. Look forward to reading your rankings each week. Thank you for your dedication.

CakeScout17
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Re: AA Rankings for 2/17/19 and Section Preview

Post by CakeScout17 » Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:18 pm

DadsMoney wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:37 pm
Edina is 21-1-2 correct?
Edina does have 2 losses. Chaska in late Dec 'Hockey for Life' tourney. And the 2nd game of a home & home wknd series w Hill.

The lone tie was the season opening wknd "Turkey Trot" vs Maple Grove.

CakeScout17
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Re: AA Rankings for 2/17/19 and Section Preview

Post by CakeScout17 » Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:19 pm

...and just realized you answered your own question. My bad.

Doc Holliday
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Location: SW Suburbs

Re: AA Rankings for 2/17/19 and Section Preview

Post by Doc Holliday » Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:41 am

How do you see state seeding going, potentially?

To me, it seems like the 5 would be set if favorites win: Edina, Tonka, Blaine, Andover, & St. Thomas Academy.

Will get interesting if upsets happen & who slides up & down, & who does the upsetting. Just my general observations:
-If Maple Grove upsets Blaine, seems like they would for sure slide in to a seed.
-White Bear appears to be the first in line if one of the top 5 bows out, but Moorhead may have a case as well.
-If Chaska or Eden Prairie upsets Tonka in 2AA, do they jump White Bear/Moorhead in the 4/5 slot? I think they would have good arguments (EP over Moorhead, especially).
-Don't know if Wayzata/Benilde would have the juice to get a seed if they came out of 6AA.
-Would Rosemount get one if they knocked out STA & would they jump WBL?
-If Hill comes out of 4AA, seems like they would be an unseeded team.
-What if Duluth East comes out of 7AA? They have beaten WBL...but also more recently lost to Moorhead.
-1AA will be unseeded.

Slap Shot
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Re: AA Rankings for 2/17/19 and Section Preview

Post by Slap Shot » Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:50 am

I hate to say it but if any team at the top looks vulnerable it is Tonka unless they find their full mojo again. 5-2-2 since beating WBL and while that record isn't awful it's a far cry from their first 15 or so games. Additionally (without looking at the stats to confirm) it seems like their special teams have taken a step back and they're not owning the 3rd period like we were used to seeing for most of the season.

Obviously they have the talent, coaching and a lot of experience. I wouldn't say they've suffered from over-confidence but the games I've seen down the stretch they looked to be having more trouble sustaining possession in the offensive zone and have quite often been misfiring on the 2nd or 3rd pass leading to turnovers and counter-attacks going the other direction.

Here's hoping they prove me wrong.

Zamman
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Re: AA Rankings for 2/17/19 and Section Preview

Post by Zamman » Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:59 am

Just a thought, why not wait till we have teams in the state tournament first. There will be upsets and I am looking at a possible number one going down. Maybe two... So lets wait a week or so then lay the lineup for state.

Doc Holliday
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Re: AA Rankings for 2/17/19 and Section Preview

Post by Doc Holliday » Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:12 am

Because there's a bit of downtime & speculation is sometimes fun.... :D

WestMetro
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Re: AA Rankings for 2/17/19 and Section Preview

Post by WestMetro » Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:00 am

Doc, all well and good on Moorhead , but on the PodCast our buddy Guru Karl is predicting Braccini Buffalo to go all the way to the X !!

kniven
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Re: AA Rankings for 2/17/19 and Section Preview

Post by kniven » Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:07 am

3. Cloquet (13-11-1, #21)
-The Lumberjacks had a tumultuous week in which they lost to surging Grand Rapids but notched a tie with Hermantown to stay among the ranked. Rapids in the quarterfinals poses an interesting challenge for this squad, which has respectable talent at all positions but can’t really match their chief rivals at any position either.

I want to thank KarlEast for the bulletin board material for sections this year. 👏
“218 hockey” Boys of the NOrth ❤️

between_the_pipes
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Re: AA Rankings for 2/17/19 and Section Preview

Post by between_the_pipes » Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:08 pm

Slap Shot wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:50 am
I hate to say it but if any team at the top looks vulnerable it is Tonka unless they find their full mojo again. 5-2-2 since beating WBL and while that record isn't awful it's a far cry from their first 15 or so games. Additionally (without looking at the stats to confirm) it seems like their special teams have taken a step back and they're not owning the 3rd period like we were used to seeing for most of the season.

Obviously they have the talent, coaching and a lot of experience. I wouldn't say they've suffered from over-confidence but the games I've seen down the stretch they looked to be having more trouble sustaining possession in the offensive zone and have quite often been misfiring on the 2nd or 3rd pass leading to turnovers and counter-attacks going the other direction.

Here's hoping they prove me wrong.
I agree. Goaltending and Defense will NEED to be solid each game for the Skips. Fortunately for them, they have arguably the states best goaltender and top defensive pair. I wouldn't be surprised to see each game they play be 1-2 goal games. Offense needs to figure out the chemistry and start producing quality chances vs. the simple shots from blueline & boards we've been seeing. That's not going to get things done. For some reason, I think they'll manage to get back to the X.

GopherHockey
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Re: AA Rankings for 2/17/19 and Section Preview

Post by GopherHockey » Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:19 pm

kniven wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:07 am
3. Cloquet (13-11-1, #21)
-The Lumberjacks had a tumultuous week in which they lost to surging Grand Rapids but notched a tie with Hermantown to stay among the ranked. Rapids in the quarterfinals poses an interesting challenge for this squad, which has respectable talent at all positions but can’t really match their chief rivals at any position either.

I want to thank KarlEast for the bulletin board material for sections this year. 👏
But they have like 4 guys out for the year :wink:

kniven
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Re: AA Rankings for 2/17/19 and Section Preview

Post by kniven » Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:28 pm

GopherHockey wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:19 pm
kniven wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:07 am
3. Cloquet (13-11-1, #21)
-The Lumberjacks had a tumultuous week in which they lost to surging Grand Rapids but notched a tie with Hermantown to stay among the ranked. Rapids in the quarterfinals poses an interesting challenge for this squad, which has respectable talent at all positions but can’t really match their chief rivals at any position either.

I want to thank KarlEast for the bulletin board material for sections this year. 👏
But they have like 4 guys out for the year :wink:
Nope. 2 of them returned against Hermantown. 👍
“218 hockey” Boys of the NOrth ❤️

Slap Shot
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Re: AA Rankings for 2/17/19 and Section Preview

Post by Slap Shot » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:00 am

Slap Shot wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:50 am
I hate to say it but if any team at the top looks vulnerable it is Tonka unless they find their full mojo again. 5-2-2 since beating WBL and while that record isn't awful it's a far cry from their first 15 or so games. Additionally (without looking at the stats to confirm) it seems like their special teams have taken a step back and they're not owning the 3rd period like we were used to seeing for most of the season.

Obviously they have the talent, coaching and a lot of experience. I wouldn't say they've suffered from over-confidence but the games I've seen down the stretch they looked to be having more trouble sustaining possession in the offensive zone and have quite often been misfiring on the 2nd or 3rd pass leading to turnovers and counter-attacks going the other direction.

Here's hoping they prove me wrong.
:(

Something was off with this group since HDM. Not blaming that experience because they had plenty of time to figure out - the coaches, trainers, captains and the players themselves. Unfortunately it's an opportunity lost to accomplish something rare. The team clearly loses some key cogs especially with no returning goalies playing meaningful minutes. Depending upon departures they lose (I think) 5/10 of their top scorers. Unfortunately the Tonka main site hasn't posted the results for the JV team but the Bantam AA doesn't have a great ranking. Could be a rebuilding year next season.

hockey59
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Re: AA Rankings for 2/17/19 and Section Preview

Post by hockey59 » Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:46 am

These Tonka seniors had a hell of a run the past 5 years, 3 times AA CHAMPS (twice in Bantams). They’ve been my quasi team the past two seasons...since my son graduated in 2016 (playing for Anoka). Some really nice player parents on Tonka too 👍 They had the target on their back all season, got to play in HDM & featured on Dream State. Other teams want to win too and Holy Family, after coming 3 seconds from ending Tonka’s season last year, had the perfect motivation to pull the upset ☝️Doesn’t change what these boys have accomplished.

Slap Shot
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Re: AA Rankings for 2/17/19 and Section Preview

Post by Slap Shot » Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:04 pm

They did have a great run and have much to be proud of on the whole.

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