Class A Rankings 12-9-12

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Who do you think is the top team in state right now?

Poll ended at Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:41 pm

Saint Thomas Academy
14
61%
Hermantown
4
17%
Totino-Grace
0
No votes
East Grand Forks
5
22%
 
Total votes: 23

HShockeywatcher
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Class A Rankings 12-9-12

Post by HShockeywatcher » Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:41 pm

Well, there were a lot of changes this week. There were two match ups this week that shifted teams 2 thru 9 because of putting them into A beat B and B beat C order. One of two things will happen, the order will prove to be correct and everything will be perfect or going forward there will be chaos; the latter is more likely.

I added two teams who are doing well to the rankings this week and have a handful of teams watching. In a couple weeks, it'll likely be the top 15 with only a couple teams being watched.

With the parity below St Thomas and the fact that they had five 1-goal games with three different top 10 teams last year, there are many who could be on top in a month and a half.

Let the discussion begin!

1. [1] Saint Thomas Academy (2-1)
The Cadets had a solid week, controlling the top HF players, and playing a top 5 AA team really tight. On the docket this week are two large rivalry games. Expect the Saint Thomas Ice Arena to be packed on Tuesday night as the newest installment of the St Thomas/Cretin rivalry ensues. Then they host the Pioneers, in a match up where the boys in green are likely the favorite, seeing as how the Cadets have only won twice in the last ten match ups, none of the last four.
This week: Tues vs Cretin, Sat vs Hill-Murray

2. [3] Hermantown (4-0)
The Hawks benefit in the rankings from a stumble by Breck this week. They continue to win, although they haven’t played great teams yet. After being down 2-0 to Hopkins, they scored 3 unanswered goals to win. Followed that up with a road trip and away win over a TRF team with some question marks at this point in the season. Their lone game this week is against a section foe.
This week: Sat vs Rogers

3. [5] Totino-Grace (3-0-1)
The Eagles also benefit from teams ahead of them falling, not necessarily anything they did. They haven’t done anything wrong, but beating a down Blake team and Irondale are simply expected of a top team. They stay ahead of the EGF team they tied because that’s where they started. Luckily they will play many of the state’s top teams, so in the next month we will have a much better idea of where they should be. Can they keep Gersich in control Saturday the way the Cadets were able to?
This week: Sat @ Holy Family Catholic

4. [6] East Grand Forks (3-0-1)
The Green Wave have a tie with Totino-Grace and 3 shut outs on their schedule thus far, all away games. They have a very important section match up this Friday. If they can keep up their winning ways, I am likely to eat my words from last week and we will be seeing them at least a spot or two higher. With Warroad likely being the only [potential] challenge on their schedule until they play Roseau over a month from now on Jan 15th, Friday’s home game is very important.
This week: Tues @ Grafton, Fri vs Warroad

5. [9] Rochester Lourdes (3-1)
The Eagles beating the Crusaders was not what I expected after a close game with Hibbing this week. While they do play some lowly teams, they also play many top teams in Class A this year, so we will get a much better idea of how good they are as the season goes on. Likely a top team in state, they have two section opponents this week to secure their place atop the section.
This week: Thurs vs Northfield, Sat @ Red Wing

6. [7] St. Cloud Cathedral (3-2)
Beating Breck this week is huge for the Crusaders. While the EGF game was bad, it may end up being just a bad game, or maybe Cathedral is atop the teams just outside the top handful, time will tell. Unfortunately for everyone, they don’t play any games they should be challenged in until their first game of 2013 when they host Warroad.
This week: Tues @ Princeton, Thurs @ Delano, Sat vs Alexandria

7. [2] Breck (3-1)
“Surprising” would be a good way to describe the start to the Mustangs’ season. A win over Marshall was expected, but a loss to Cathedral and going to OT with Mahtomedi at home? One game this week followed by a 15 day rest before playing Duluth East in the Schwan Cup.
This week: Tues vs Rogers

8. [10] Little Falls (4-0)
The Flyers’ schedule is hard to interpret. From start to finish there are only 5 remotely notable games, one of them being their start to the season when they shut out Hibbing on the road. If they continue scoring and not allowing goals, that may be what helps them rise, we will have to see.
This week: Tues vs Alexandria, Fri @ Princeton

9. [4] Duluth Marshall (4-1)
The Hilltoppers fall four spots while going 2-0 this week because of what happened ahead of them. The OT game with Hibbing doesn’t look good for the overall rankings, but 7A teams all seem to play each other well yearly, so the win is what I see. They travel to Rapids this week, host Benilde next week and will likely play two of WI’s top teams in their holiday tournament, so by 2013 we will all know a lot more about Marshall.
This week: Fri @ Grand Rapids, Sat vs Crookston

10. [8] Thief River Falls (1-4)
The Prowlers’ record sure isn’t great at this point, but they also haven’t lost to any bad teams. They are idle this week, so they may slip even more if some of the good teams below them can continue to win.
This week: No games

11. [-] Warroad (4-1)
The Warriors would be a little bit higher had they beat Rapids, but the teams they have beaten haven't been better than the teams TRF has lost to. This week they play EGF so we will learn a lot about both teams and as the season goes on they play many good teams. If they are pretty good, there is a shot they end the season with more than 20 wins.
This week: Tues @ Bemidji, Fri @ East Grand Forks

12. [-] Delano (4-1)
The only blemish on Delano's schedule is a close game with Breck; they play what should be two good games this week and there will be plenty more opportunities this season to see how good they are.
This week: Thurs vs St Cloud Cathedral, Sat @ New Ulm

Some teams to watch:

Windom Area (4-0)
This week: Sat @ Achiever NE Academy

St Paul Academy (4-1)
This week: Fri @ Chisago Lakes Area

Mahtomedi (2-1)
This week: Thurs @ New Prague, Sat vs Spring Lake Park

Rogers (2-1-1)
This week: Tues @ Breck, Sat @ Hermantown

Alexandria (2-1-1)
This week: Tues @ Little Falls, Thurs vs Willmar, Sat @ Cathedral

Crookston (4-1)
This week: Fri @ Eveleth-Gilbert, Sat @ Duluth Marshall

karl(east)
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Post by karl(east) » Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:53 pm

We posted at the exact same time. Was that planned? :lol:

Seems like there's some pretty good competition going on beyond the obvious #1 is Class A this year.

HShockeywatcher
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Post by HShockeywatcher » Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:17 pm

karl(east) wrote:We posted at the exact same time. Was that planned? :lol:

Seems like there's some pretty good competition going on beyond the obvious #1 is Class A this year.
I know my opinion is often different from others, but I still don't see the evidence they dominated last year, or that others aren't as good as St Thomas this year. A couple weeks from now, I could see someone else making a case for the top spot.

If you look at their schedule from last year, they didn't dominate against any of the good teams they played.
During the season Marshall and Breck took them to OT and their wins over SSP and Totino were both by a score of 1-0.
Then in the playoffs, Totino took them to OT in the section finals and they only beat Breck 1-0 in the state semi-finals. Their win over Hermantown was really the only "dominating" win they had over a "top" team last year.

None of this is even mentioning the fact that they lost to the 3 best teams they played in East, Edina and Hill.

So, they definitely benefit from only graduating 4 non-goalies last year and the fact that their current leading scorer wasn't on the team last year, but to say they dominated (as many have said) is simply not the case.

:mrgreen:

HawkeyPower
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Post by HawkeyPower » Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:33 pm

St. Thomas Academy is the defending champs and didn't lose much from last year. They are the #1 team in Single A until they don't make it to State or lose at State. The pole is a waste of time till that happens. Maybe the poll should read best of the rest. As much as I would like to have someone else up there, it will remain that way. I think what would be more interesting would be to add them into the AA rankings. They play a AA quality schedule anyway. And thats not a rap against them or a shot at playing Single A. I ike the schedule they play.

karl(east)
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Post by karl(east) » Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:58 pm

HShockeywatcher wrote:
I know my opinion is often different from others, but I still don't see the evidence they dominated last year, or that others aren't as good as St Thomas this year. A couple weeks from now, I could see someone else making a case for the top spot.
I guess I'd take a longer-term perspective to describe "dominance." No, they haven't been destroying every top team they've played...no team in the modern era, A or AA, has really done that. But have they ever dropped out of the top two since 07-08? Even in the years they lost to Mahtomedi, they were a pretty clear favorite from start to finish. Even the best of the AA powers have had stretches where they've dropped into the 5-10 range in the rankings over the past few years, and Breck and Hermantown have had some dips, too. But STA just hasn't. That, to me, is dominance, and being at the games and in the press conferences at State last season showed me just how much that mindset has taken over.

I defended STA some a few years ago, but things have changed now. I'm glad they're moving up.

pekyman
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Post by pekyman » Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:23 pm

karl(east) wrote:
HShockeywatcher wrote:
I know my opinion is often different from others, but I still don't see the evidence they dominated last year, or that others aren't as good as St Thomas this year. A couple weeks from now, I could see someone else making a case for the top spot.
I guess I'd take a longer-term perspective to describe "dominance." No, they haven't been destroying every top team they've played...no team in the modern era, A or AA, has really done that. But have they ever dropped out of the top two since 07-08? Even in the years they lost to Mahtomedi, they were a pretty clear favorite from start to finish. Even the best of the AA powers have had stretches where they've dropped into the 5-10 range in the rankings over the past few years, and Breck and Hermantown have had some dips, too. But STA just hasn't. That, to me, is dominance, and being at the games and in the press conferences at State last season showed me just how much that mindset has taken over.

I defended STA some a few years ago, but things have changed now. I'm glad they're moving up.
=D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D>

northern_guy
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Post by northern_guy » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:55 pm

i look forward to these class A rankings every week because of the insightful commentary on why teams fall where they fall. I couldnt agree more with your little falls rankings and commentary as well cathedral and love where you put breck. I think EGF might deserve a higher place next week if they keep up their great play.

HShockeywatcher
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Post by HShockeywatcher » Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:12 am

northern_guy wrote:i look forward to these class A rankings every week because of the insightful commentary on why teams fall where they fall. I couldnt agree more with your little falls rankings and commentary as well cathedral and love where you put breck. I think EGF might deserve a higher place next week if they keep up their great play.
Thanks for the compliment. I try to be as consistent as possible; constructive criticism always welcome [-o<

What would you need to see out of them to be convinced of that? There may get to a point where I don't look at where they started in the rankings anymore, but it's tough to look at their schedule and compare. With the exception of TRF, there is no team all of Hermantown, TG and EGF play and they and Hermantown both play Cathedral.

My guess is, if they can beat Warroad at home this week, they will get to 14-0-1 with somewhere in the range of 10 shut outs. With 3 through 4 games, all away, it's hard to think anything else. If they do that, how do you compare them to either of the other two?

After beating SCC 4-0, is it even possible Hermantown does better?
Is any loss on either TG or Herm's schedules enough for the Green Wave to jump?

Looking for opinions here as I could see a possibility of not moving any of the top 4 until at least Feb 2nd when Hermantown makes the trip to the cities to play Totino.

Thanks!

northern_guy
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Post by northern_guy » Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:30 am

HShockeywatcher wrote:
northern_guy wrote:i look forward to these class A rankings every week because of the insightful commentary on why teams fall where they fall. I couldnt agree more with your little falls rankings and commentary as well cathedral and love where you put breck. I think EGF might deserve a higher place next week if they keep up their great play.
Thanks for the compliment. I try to be as consistent as possible; constructive criticism always welcome [-o<

What would you need to see out of them to be convinced of that? There may get to a point where I don't look at where they started in the rankings anymore, but it's tough to look at their schedule and compare. With the exception of TRF, there is no team all of Hermantown, TG and EGF play and they and Hermantown both play Cathedral.

My guess is, if they can beat Warroad at home this week, they will get to 14-0-1 with somewhere in the range of 10 shut outs. With 3 through 4 games, all away, it's hard to think anything else. If they do that, how do you compare them to either of the other two?

After beating SCC 4-0, is it even possible Hermantown does better?
Is any loss on either TG or Herm's schedules enough for the Green Wave to jump?

Looking for opinions here as I could see a possibility of not moving any of the top 4 until at least Feb 2nd when Hermantown makes the trip to the cities to play Totino.

Thanks!
I don't want your job of ranking EGF...tough to say how or why to move EGF up but I think cathedral will beat hermantown and make it easier for you to slide them up.

cooperalls4ever
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Post by cooperalls4ever » Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:28 am

I'm not sure you're suggesting Hermantown will be undefeated when they play Totino? ..."maybe" in A play? I see Anoka and likely Eagan at some point over the holiday's followed by a Jan. schedule of I think D. Marshall, Grand Rapids, SCC, L Falls, Cloquet prior to the T-G game.

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Post by trev2k1 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:59 am

PRINCETON
huge win for them as they beat Cathedral tonight 4-3
A lunchbox team(hard workers) moves to 5-1 and is on the rise
big game friday in Princeton against Little Falls

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Post by HShockeywatcher » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:50 am

Thoughts on Princeton?
Lost to St Francis but just beat Cathedral. Was this a fluke, or are they legit? They are in section 5A and play Rogers once and Cathedral again so it looks like the #2 seed (or even theoretically #1) is theirs to lose at this point.
cooperalls4ever wrote:I'm not sure you're suggesting Hermantown will be undefeated when they play Totino? ..."maybe" in A play? I see Anoka and likely Eagan at some point over the holiday's followed by a Jan. schedule of I think D. Marshall, Grand Rapids, SCC, L Falls, Cloquet prior to the T-G game.
I'm not at all suggesting they'll be undefeated. Look who they'll lose to though.
As I said last year when EGF showed glimpses of being good, and I'm saying it again, they could conceivably end up with with less than 3 losses; if they are as good in Class A as everyone thinks, Roseau/Moorhead are the only ones who'll possibly challenge them. But even with that, is that enough to leap frog a Hermantown team who likely won't lose to an A opponent or a Totino team who likely won't either?
They are to Hermantown/TG what Hermantown was to St Thomas last year, imo.

Now, if they are 14-0-1 with 10 shut outs, or make it to state something like 26-1-1 with somewhere in the area of 15 shut outs (possible with the start they've had), I doubt St Thomas would be ranked ahead of them.

So, I'm curious what others are thinking...

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Post by trev2k1 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:26 am

HShockeywatcher wrote:Thoughts on Princeton?
Lost to St Francis but just beat Cathedral. Was this a fluke, or are they legit? They are in section 5A and play Rogers once and Cathedral again so it looks like the #2 seed (or even theoretically #1) is theirs to lose at this point.
Got to watch Princeton for the first time this season, and they have a nice squad. pretty good defensive team with size and an above average goaltender. only complaints from my point of view is the PP and the focus on hitting. they had about 6 PPs tonight, and looked awful(altough little falls defended pretty good). 6 PPs lead to 18 shots tonight. they were a very physical team which isnt bad, but noticed they had many chances to turn some odd man rushes but chose to just punish opponent with crushing hits. section 5 will be competitive again this year, im sticking with my prediction: SCC

Northern Defender
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Post by Northern Defender » Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:44 pm

So Trev I'm curious. If Princeton has these deficiencies you talk about, and SCC just lost to them by 2, what do you think are the issues holding back your eventual 5A Champs?

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Post by trev2k1 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:09 pm

Northern Defender wrote:So Trev I'm curious. If Princeton has these deficiencies you talk about, and SCC just lost to them by 2, what do you think are the issues holding back your eventual 5A Champs?
Princeton has a nice squad, and it sometimes helps flying under the radar a bit. I'll admit i overlooked princeton all preseason. i picked cathedral this year as i was impressed by them on a lot of different levels last season, even though they lost their top scorer(watched 4-5 games last season). i haven't watched them at all this season yet, but looking at stats the usual are contributing, but others havent filled voids from last year. i plan on going to the warroad at scc on january 4, cannot wait to watch that game and you can get a better feel for a team come january. still pretty early in season and hermantown is still the favorite in section 5.

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