AA Rankings for 1/22/23

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AA Rankings for 1/22/23

Post by karl(east) » Sun Jan 22, 2023 8:02 am

With one month left in the season, the number of obvious choices at the top of the rankings is dwindling, and the balancing act between overall body of work versus the hot hand becomes tougher. A couple teams are finally starting to make upward moves, so we’ll see if they can sustain them or if it’s just another blip on the week-to-week rankings jumble. Rankings:

1. Minnetonka (15-2)
-With Wayzata toppling this past week, we once again return the Skippers to the top spot, as they have continued to look like the most complete team out there. They had little trouble with Chaska and then throttled Edina this past week, though a narrow escape against Eden Prairie serves as yet another reminder that no one is truly safe this season. For now, they have re-earned this spot; Lakeville South offers their biggest test this coming week.
This week: Thurs vs. St. Michael-Albertville, Sat at #14 Lakeville South

2. Chanhassen (15-1)
-I’ve been resistant to lifting the Storm much given their schedule, even as other top five teams lose, but now it’s become almost inevitable. It’s rarely flashy, as evidenced by the Chaska win on Saturday, but they just keep coming. Now, however, they finally get tested, as they face a rolling White Bear team and potent Benilde for the first of two meetings. Can they back up this lofty ranking with some genuine quality wins?
This week: Tues at #11 White Bear Lake, Thurs at #10 Benilde-St. Margaret’s, Sat at Bloomington Jefferson

3. Wayzata (13-2-2)
-The Trojans came away bloodied from a road trip to the far northwest. The loss to Warroad’s superstars is tolerable, but the tie to Roseau is more concerning; the offensive reliability that had distinguished this group from many past Trojan teams abandoned them. It comes at an interesting time, with a vital section game with Edina headlining the coming week.
This week: Thurs at #5 Edina, Sat at Buffalo

4. Maple Grove (13-3-1)
-There’s trouble in Leafland, as the Crimson followed up last week’s tie with Rogers with a loss to Champlin Park. Enough other things happened this past week that they still only fall one spot; they’re not that far removed from wins over the likes of Cretin, Wayzata, and Andover. One thing is certain, though: they are not on some other level from their three rivals for the 5AA title, which means they’ll have their work cut out for them. They have three games in three days this week, and they get progressively harder: a rival that is normally easy picking but better than usual this season, a tough defensive squad that hasn’t really broken through against top teams, and then a vital section game.
This week: Thurs vs. Osseo, Fri vs. Grand Rapids, Sat vs. #12 Centennial

5. Edina (11-4-1)
-Minnetonka’s overpowering performance sets the Hornets back a bit; they didn’t exactly bury St. Michael-Albetville, either. This coming week is their chance to make a move in 6AA, and they’ll look to back up that convincing Holiday Classic win over Eden Prairie, too.
This week: Thurs vs. #3 Wayzata, Sat at Eden Prairie

6. Rogers (11-2-3)
-Here come the Royals: after a tie with Maple Grove this past week, they blitzed Centennial, going up 5-0 in the first period. Outside of a holiday tournament hiccup with a couple of weird ties, they’ve looked like a top five team for much of the season, and with the Crimson’s loss to Champlin, they are at least temporarily in line for the top seed in 5AA. On paper they now get a bit of a break.
This week: Thurs vs. Totino-Grace

7. Andover (12-5-1)
-Easy pickings against weaker conference opponents for the Huskies, who drop only as Rogers rises since those two lost their recent head-to-head meeting. They are now 8-1 since the Duluth East loss, though the schedule has eased up some since its very difficult start, so it’s hard to say conclusively that they’ve turned a corner. Expect more of the same this coming week.
This week: Thurs vs. Spring Lake Park, Sat at Coon Rapids

8. Cretin-Derham Hall (13-4-1)
-The Raiders put up a solid result by blitzing Gentry and followed that up with a somewhat tighter than expected affair with Forest Lake, and I am content to move them up a slot based on that. 3AA implications are at hand in a game with struggling Eastview this coming week.
This week: Thurs vs. Eastview, Sat at Chaska

9. St. Thomas Academy (12-5)
-The Cadets shut down Hermantown to get their first quality win in a bit, showing off a defensive style familiar to anyone who has watched Duluth East over the past generation. They have a three-game week ahead of them, though not an overly difficult one.
This week: Tues at Hastings, Thurs vs. Prior Lake, Sat vs. Tartan

10. Benilde-St. Margaret’s (11-5)
-Which team is the real Red Knights? The one that loses to Mahtomedi, or the one that shellacks a Champlin team that scored a top ten win this past week? The reality, of course, is that they both are: this team has as much firepower as anyone, but has also repeatedly shown that it can cough up a lot of goals, and that will result in a lot of split weeks like this past one. This coming week they do us rankers a public service and give Chanhassen a top-flight opponent for the first time in a while.
This week: Tues vs. Bloomington Jefferson, Thurs vs. #2 Chanhassen

11. White Bear Lake (13-2)
-Shut out Grand Rapids in their first action against a top 25 opponent in a while, and took care of a respectable Woodbury team, too. They’ve done what they’ve needed to do against the easier part of their schedule, but now things really ramp up this week, as they join Benilde in giving us a Chanhassen measuring stick and then play archrival Hill outdoors in a crucial game in a convoluted 4AA race.
This week: Tues vs. #2 Chanhassen, Sat vs. Hill-Murray (Hockey Day)

12. Centennial (9-5-1)
-The Cougars were not ready for the Rogers attack, giving up nine to the Royals in a game that may have cost them a top two seed in 5AA. If they have any hope of rescuing one, it will require a big week this coming week; they’ve already beaten Champlin, who is riding high right now, and have already dropped one to the high-flying Crimson.
This week: Thurs at #15 Champlin Park, Sat at #4 Maple Grove

13. Duluth East (10-6-1)
-The Hounds handled a couple of rivals without too much drama and are now 7-1-1 in their last nine. They continue a relative soft stretch in their schedule now, though Mounds View has shown some occasional flashes.
This week: Thurs at Hopkins, Sat at Mounds View

14. Lakeville South (9-4-1)
-The Cougars had a three-win week; the Prior Lake decision was a tight one, but they handled Eagan and Delano without sweating too much. The Shakopee game this week may be for the top spot in the South Suburban Conference, and with the rematch with rival North and the top team in the state also on the schedule, it’s going to be a huge week for South.
This week: Mon vs. Shakopee, Fri vs. Lakeville North, Sat vs. #1 Minnetonka

15. Champlin Park (12-5)
-Taking down Maple Grove gets the Rebels right back in the land of the ranked and shows how wide open 5AA is this season. They also got pasted by Benilde, so the Crimson win alone isn’t enough to vault them too high, but they certainly deserve to be back in the top 15 conversation here. We’ll see if they can back up that quality result by avenging an earlier loss to Centennial.
This week: Thurs vs. #12 Centennial, Sat at Totino-Grace

The Next Ten

Holy Family (11-5)
-The Fire lit up a couple of lesser opponents this past week. This week’s opponents, Delano and Sartell, are somewhat better than this past week’s, but should let the keep up the momentum.

Shakopee (11-4)
-A loss to otherwise slumping Eastview broke up a strong stretch for the Sabers, who later rebounded with respectable wins over Gentry Academy and Lakeville North. They can get themselves back toward the rankings by doing something against Lakeville South on Monday.

Eden Prairie (7-9-1)
-Despite the record, one gets the sense the Eagles are creeping toward respectability after beating a very good Mahtomedi team and pushing Minnetonka to the brink this past week. If they can do something against Edina this week, then they’ll be in business. The talent is there to do it.

Moorhead (9-8)
-Let one get away against Hermantown, and despite plenty of respectable showings against good teams, the overall record just isn’t there for the Spuds at the moment. They’ve got the two great northwestern powers coming to visit week, with the Roseau game key for 8AA positioning and the other a shot at the two-class number one team.

Roseau (10-6-1)
-The Rams lost to East Grand Forks this past week, a sign that they are not yet a real top 20 team, but that tie against Wayzata certainly turned some heads. If they can do that, there’s no reason they can’t give Moorhead a run, and they get a chance to do just that this coming week. They also get a second crack at Warroad and a section opponent in St. Cloud, too.

Eastview (9-6)
-The Lightning’s befuddling January continued with a quality win over Shakopee followed by a bad loss to Eagan. They’ve only won one of their past five and are fading fast here. They can right the ship with a quality result against Cretin this week, though even a win over Prior Lake would help.

Hill-Murray (6-8-1)
-Don’t look now, but the Pioneers are creeping back toward relevance with a tie against Stillwater and a win over Grand Rapids. They still aren’t setting the world on fire offensively, but they are moving toward that classic Hill defensive style. We’ll see how it works outdoors against a bitter rival this week, and they have a tough Mahtomedi team that would be in a two-class top 15, too.

Stillwater (8-4-3)
-It was a tie-filled week for the Ponies, who fought to a draw with both Hill and Blake; since they are both in this part of the rankings too, it doesn’t change much overall. They now head back to conference play, with opponents like Woodbury this week being the sorts they need to beat to remain in the top 25.

Blake (10-5-1)
-The Sartell loss is a clunker for the Bears, and the Stillwater tie confirms they belong somewhere in here. It’s a three-game week of private school play for them, including a Providence team that has shown some flashes and a clash with Holy Angels that could settle the 4-seed in 6AA.

Grand Rapids (11-7)
-A poor road trip south for the Thunderhawks, in which they scored just once against White Bear Lake and Hill-Murray, underscores the season-long offensive struggle. After Brainerd they head into a brutal finish featuring four top ten teams and Hermantown; Maple Grove is the first of those this week. A .500ish finish now looks quite likely unless they can find another level.

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Re: AA Rankings for 1/22/23

Post by O-townClown » Sun Jan 22, 2023 9:30 am

Great work as always, Karl.

Interesting equal split in Top 10 amongst:
  • Metro Catholics (3)
    Lake (3)
    Northwest Suburban (3)
Going a little deeper in each adds some more:
  • Hill & Holy Fam
    EP
    Champlin, Cent
Be kind. Rewind.

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Re: AA Rankings for 1/22/23

Post by elliott70 » Sun Jan 22, 2023 10:16 am

Sections coming next week?

Smooth
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Re: AA Rankings for 1/22/23

Post by Smooth » Sun Jan 22, 2023 10:18 am

Metro privates 8 9 10, hanging on by a prayer

East Side Pioneer Guy
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Re: AA Rankings for 1/22/23

Post by East Side Pioneer Guy » Sun Jan 22, 2023 12:10 pm

The three way race in 4AA is convoluted indeed. Adding to the convolution is the outdoor game. I think it's sketchy at best to draw any conclusions from that game. The parallels to an indoor section contest would seem to be slim at best. White Bear's surprisingly soft schedule doesn't help clarify matters, and a better won/lost record against a lesser field should not influence anyone.

If you ask me, and no one has, I think they're all about equal. Throw the names in a hat and draw for the top 3 seeds. It's nothing to fret about, I don't see much likelihood of any of them playing on Friday at the X*, save for the possibility of a wily Lex outcoaching an opponent with little to no tournament experience.

*Oh, hell, we all know WB won't be at the X on Friday.
Hockey Is For Everyone

raidergrad72
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Re: AA Rankings for 1/22/23

Post by raidergrad72 » Sun Jan 22, 2023 12:32 pm

A lot of us say this week after week, but I always look forward to Karl's rankings. It takes a lot of time, work, and writing skills to put these rankings together every week.
I always find them a lot of fun and very interesting to read.
Thanks again, Karl.

Smooth
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Re: AA Rankings for 1/22/23

Post by Smooth » Sun Jan 22, 2023 12:56 pm

East Side Pioneer Guy wrote:
Sun Jan 22, 2023 12:10 pm
The three way race in 4AA is convoluted indeed. Adding to the convolution is the outdoor game. I think it's sketchy at best to draw any conclusions from that game. The parallels to an indoor section contest would seem to be slim at best. White Bear's surprisingly soft schedule doesn't help clarify matters, and a better won/lost record against a lesser field should not influence anyone.

If you ask me, and no one has, I think they're all about equal. Throw the names in a hat and draw for the top 3 seeds. It's nothing to fret about, I don't see much likelihood of any of them playing on Friday at the X*, save for the possibility of a wily Lex outcoaching an opponent with little to no tournament experience.

*Oh, hell, we all know WB won't be at the X on Friday.
It's got to be tough to be a hill fan this year. Lech only coaches as well as his players show up. This year they are no shows.
Should be interesting.

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Re: AA Rankings for 1/22/23

Post by karl(east) » Sun Jan 22, 2023 7:08 pm

elliott70 wrote:
Sun Jan 22, 2023 10:16 am
Sections coming next week?
Yep!

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Re: AA Rankings for 1/22/23

Post by BlueLineSpecial » Sun Jan 22, 2023 8:43 pm

Smooth wrote:
Sun Jan 22, 2023 12:56 pm
East Side Pioneer Guy wrote:
Sun Jan 22, 2023 12:10 pm
The three way race in 4AA is convoluted indeed. Adding to the convolution is the outdoor game. I think it's sketchy at best to draw any conclusions from that game. The parallels to an indoor section contest would seem to be slim at best. White Bear's surprisingly soft schedule doesn't help clarify matters, and a better won/lost record against a lesser field should not influence anyone.

If you ask me, and no one has, I think they're all about equal. Throw the names in a hat and draw for the top 3 seeds. It's nothing to fret about, I don't see much likelihood of any of them playing on Friday at the X*, save for the possibility of a wily Lex outcoaching an opponent with little to no tournament experience.

*Oh, hell, we all know WB won't be at the X on Friday.
It's got to be tough to be a hill fan this year. Lech only coaches as well as his players show up. This year they are no shows.
Should be interesting.
You can go the route of a soft schedule and have a heady win-loss record or you can pack your schedule with tough competition and, on occasion, have an average win-loss record.

If your goal is going to State, or making a deep tourney run, or in the case of Hill and several other blue blood programs, competing for a championship…then you usually pick the latter. The regular season, for intents and purposes, is meaningless. It’s an opportunity to build, grow, mature and develop.

Who knows where Hill’s season will end up. I would bet Hill against Stillwater and WBL in sections - they’re even teams and Hill’s schedule in my opinion will have toughened them up.
The City of Hill Murray is beautiful this time of year

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Re: AA Rankings for 1/22/23

Post by Sparlimb » Sun Jan 22, 2023 10:03 pm

BlueLineSpecial wrote:
Sun Jan 22, 2023 8:43 pm
Smooth wrote:
Sun Jan 22, 2023 12:56 pm
East Side Pioneer Guy wrote:
Sun Jan 22, 2023 12:10 pm
The three way race in 4AA is convoluted indeed. Adding to the convolution is the outdoor game. I think it's sketchy at best to draw any conclusions from that game. The parallels to an indoor section contest would seem to be slim at best. White Bear's surprisingly soft schedule doesn't help clarify matters, and a better won/lost record against a lesser field should not influence anyone.

If you ask me, and no one has, I think they're all about equal. Throw the names in a hat and draw for the top 3 seeds. It's nothing to fret about, I don't see much likelihood of any of them playing on Friday at the X*, save for the possibility of a wily Lex outcoaching an opponent with little to no tournament experience.

*Oh, hell, we all know WB won't be at the X on Friday.
It's got to be tough to be a hill fan this year. Lech only coaches as well as his players show up. This year they are no shows.
Should be interesting.
You can go the route of a soft schedule and have a heady win-loss record or you can pack your schedule with tough competition and, on occasion, have an average win-loss record.

If your goal is going to State, or making a deep tourney run, or in the case of Hill and several other blue blood programs, competing for a championship…then you usually pick the latter. The regular season, for intents and purposes, is meaningless. It’s an eopportunity to build, grow, mature and develop.

Who knows where Hill’s season will end up. I would bet Hill against Stillwater and WBL in sections - they’re even teams and Hill’s schedule in my opinion will have toughened them up.
As Karl said, Hill could be as low as the 7th seed this year. I don't really care, it means nothing. They aren't good, and they aren't going to win state. So a title to them is winning the section, and I think they can do it. That said, WBL, Gentry, Stillwater, and even Roseville have a good chance too. Honestly, this is the year for someone who doesn't often go to make it. So I'd be fine with Roseville, Stillwater or even the Bears. The trick isn't the result of an outdoor game. The real test is can Hill win one of two from Edina the next weekend. That will say a lot. It's more fun in 4AA when its wide open. Too bad Johnson isn't around to upset WBL again...

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Re: AA Rankings for 1/22/23

Post by East Side Pioneer Guy » Mon Jan 23, 2023 3:16 pm

Yeah, I was going to mention that WB is due for another quarterfinal upset. Or, if they grab the 1 seed, it could come in the semis this year.

Like Spar, I know Hill won't win the championship this year, so for that reason, I'm not much concerned about the playoffs in that respect. But I do like to see the kids get some experience in a section final as well as at the X. I'd much rather our kids get that than another program.

In any case, the 4AA entrants will likely be in their own cozy beds on the second Friday night in March.
Hockey Is For Everyone

Smooth
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Re: AA Rankings for 1/22/23

Post by Smooth » Mon Jan 23, 2023 3:17 pm

As long as hill has that white bear kid in goal they have a chance in every game.

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Re: AA Rankings for 1/22/23

Post by SEC Scotty » Mon Jan 23, 2023 5:52 pm

Smooth wrote:
Mon Jan 23, 2023 3:17 pm
As long as hill has that white bear kid in goal they have a chance in every game.
Bears sophomore goalie pretty good as well.

East Side Pioneer Guy
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Re: AA Rankings for 1/22/23

Post by East Side Pioneer Guy » Mon Jan 23, 2023 8:38 pm

Smooth wrote:
Mon Jan 23, 2023 3:17 pm
As long as hill has that white bear kid in goal they have a chance in every game.
I guess he's smart enough to know not to play for Sagar*.

*All Pioneer fans wish to take this opportunity to encourage the White Bear hockey community to continue to support Coach Sagar for many years to come.
Hockey Is For Everyone

Smooth
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Re: AA Rankings for 1/22/23

Post by Smooth » Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:10 am

Poor Sager can't get no respect for a national champion 😆

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Re: AA Rankings for 1/22/23

Post by stpaul » Thu Jan 26, 2023 11:19 am

HMPioneers.net posted a list of the top ten all time HM-WBL games. Great list. Brings back memories of some great nights at the Met Center and the Coliseum.
https://www.hmpioneers.net/hockey/

East Side Pioneer Guy
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Re: AA Rankings for 1/22/23

Post by East Side Pioneer Guy » Thu Jan 26, 2023 6:30 pm

stpaul wrote:
Thu Jan 26, 2023 11:19 am
HMPioneers.net posted a list of the top ten all time HM-WBL games. Great list. Brings back memories of some great nights at the Met Center and the Coliseum.
https://www.hmpioneers.net/hockey/
Whoa, talk about a flood of memories. I was at all of them, with the exception of the one that occurred before I was born.
Hockey Is For Everyone

Smooth
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Re: AA Rankings for 1/22/23

Post by Smooth » Thu Jan 26, 2023 6:42 pm

Should have added '94, 95, 96. Three more wblk wins in the section finals.

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Re: AA Rankings for 1/22/23

Post by Sparlimb » Fri Jan 27, 2023 1:02 pm

East Side Pioneer Guy wrote:
Thu Jan 26, 2023 6:30 pm
stpaul wrote:
Thu Jan 26, 2023 11:19 am
HMPioneers.net posted a list of the top ten all time HM-WBL games. Great list. Brings back memories of some great nights at the Met Center and the Coliseum.
https://www.hmpioneers.net/hockey/
Whoa, talk about a flood of memories. I was at all of them, with the exception of the one that occurred before I was born.
I didn't see the first two, but have the rest. And I did see NSP (my team growing up) play the section finals against Mariner in '81 and '82. Will go down as the last time NSP made the tourney as they no longer even have a team. Mariner had good squads back then...

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Re: AA Rankings for 1/22/23

Post by Smooth » Fri Jan 27, 2023 2:25 pm

Hill is finally at full strength. Should be a barn burner!

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Re: AA Rankings for 1/22/23

Post by East Side Pioneer Guy » Fri Jan 27, 2023 7:04 pm

Smooth wrote:
Fri Jan 27, 2023 2:25 pm
Hill is finally at full strength. Should be a barn burner!
I wish.

This is a good year for Hill to participate in this foolish non-sense, since we don't need to concern ourselves with losing a player a mere 6 weeks before the state final.
Hockey Is For Everyone

BodyShots
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Re: AA Rankings for 1/22/23

Post by BodyShots » Sat Jan 28, 2023 2:22 pm

East Side Pioneer Guy wrote:
Thu Jan 26, 2023 6:30 pm
stpaul wrote:
Thu Jan 26, 2023 11:19 am
HMPioneers.net posted a list of the top ten all time HM-WBL games. Great list. Brings back memories of some great nights at the Met Center and the Coliseum.
https://www.hmpioneers.net/hockey/
Whoa, talk about a flood of memories. I was at all of them, with the exception of the one that occurred before I was born.
A HM friend of mine wants to know which one? 😳

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