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AA Rankings for 12/16/12

 
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karl(east)



Joined: 18 Jul 2007
Posts: 5676

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:34 pm    Post subject: AA Rankings for 12/16/12 Reply with quote

It was a tumultuous week in AA, with a number of early season favorites stumbling on Saturday. Still, all in all things are starting to make more sense, and we’re getting close to the point where we can throw out the preseason rankings and judge teams strictly on their results so far. Here you go:

1. Edina (6-0)
-Nothing much to report here, as the Hornets got to rest while other teams fell, and await the start of the Holiday Classic later this week. There are plenty of interesting plot lines to that tournament, which features enigmatic Eden Prairie and a pair of 7AA teams with top ten aspirations, but in need of a good test on the road. Edina will be the obvious favorite, but they’ll face an interesting variety of tests as they look to head into the Schwan Cup in the top spot.
This week: Edina Holiday Classic—Thurs vs. #12 Grand Rapids, Fri vs. #9 Elk River, Sat vs. #14 Eden Prairie

2. Minnetonka (7-0)
-With Hill and Benilde both tumbling downwards, the Skippers edge up into the #2 spot. Their win over Maple Grove was a bit tight for comfort, but they rebounded with an offensive explosion against Roseau, and the win over STA looks more impressive now that the Cadets have taken down Hill. On paper both of their games this week are wins, but neither is a total guarantee; if they can take care of business, #2 would be a pretty impressive ranking for this team heading into the Schwan Cup, considering what they lost off of last season’s team.
This week: Thurs at Stillwater, Sat vs. Moorhead

3. Hill-Murray (5-1)
-A week after the big win over Benilde, the Pioneers suffered something of a letdown offensively, mustering only 3 goals in a shutout win over South St. Paul and an anemic one against St. Thomas; they hold on to a spot in the top three because Benilde also lost, and I don’t want to get too carried away with Blaine quite yet. They have a three-game week ahead of them, with all four games coming against 4AA foes; the White Bear rivalry always has the possibility of some intrigue, and Tartan is 7-0, but they’ll be heavy favorites in all three.
This week: Tues at White Bear Lake, Thurs at Tartan, Sat vs. North St. Paul

4. Blaine (4-0-1)
-The Bengals slipped out of St. Louis Park with an impressive 6-5 win over Benilde, which catapults them into the top five. The defense isn’t phenomenal, but they have some very impressive depth up front along with a strong top pair on D, and that could be enough to carry them pretty far this year. Their win capped off an impressive week for the Northwest Suburban Conference, which has several teams climbing up the rankings this week. Up next is a somewhat lighter week, with a potentially interesting game against Moorhead as the headliner.
This week: Thurs at Armstrong, Fri vs. Moorhead

5. Benilde-St. Margaret’s (3-2)
-I’m being fairly generous to the Red Knights here: their losses have both been to very good teams, and they’ve played an incredibly difficult schedule in the early going. Their second loss was a very tight game in which they did not get a single power play, and they were missing T.J. Moore from that prolific top line. But all these explanations can’t hide a very real concern: they look shaky in back. Of course they looked shaky in back last year also, but then, we knew they had the talent to fill that gap in players like Glover and Collins; this year, I’m a little more skeptical about the depth. The offense is even better than last season, so it can cover up a lot of mistakes; as the Holy Angels game this week showed, they have little trouble destroying thin teams. But in order to reclaim their preseason favorite status, they have some questions that need answering. The week ahead is a pretty easy one by the standards of their new schedule; first they visit inexperienced but improving Maple Grove, and then they head north for a pair of games against Class A opponents.
This week: Mon at Maple Grove, Fri at Duluth Marshall, Sat at Hibbing

6. Wayzata (6-1)
-No games last week for the Trojans, so they tread water in the rankings. They have one game this week, a home game against Stillwater, which should serve as a good tune-up for the St. Louis Park Tournament, when we’ll probably learn if they truly deserve to be this high.
This week: Sat vs. Stillwater

7. Duluth East (3-1)
-The Hounds took care of business with a steady effort against Cloquet, and now head on the road to for a tough week against two quality NWSC teams, one of which is also a section foe. Both games are likely to be defensive contests; we’ll see if the Hounds’ attack can build off their improvement as the Cloquet game went along.
This week: Tues at #11 Centennial, Sat at #13 Andover

8. Eagan (4-2)
-Escaped with a narrow win over Lakeville South, then used a third period explosion to stave off a decent Jefferson team. Huge week for positioning in the conference ahead of them, with Burnsville and Prior Lake on the docket; as with East, a pair of wins would really solidify their standing in the top ten.
This week: Tues at #10 Burnsville, Fri vs. Prior Lake

9. Elk River (4-1)
-Kept up a string of strong defensive performances with low-scoring wins over Holy Family and Osseo. Now it’s time to really test this team; they have a rare four-game week, and head into the Edina Holiday Classic as the second-ranked team in the field, which is something of a surprise. The first two games give them a chance to beef up this ranking, while the finale on Saturday will be key for 7AA seeding.
This week: Tues vs. Anoka, Edina Holiday Classic—Thurs vs. #14 Eden Prairie, Fri vs. #1 Edina, Sat vs. #12 Grand Rapids

10. Burnsville (4-2)
-Needed OT to get by pesky Lakeville North, but also took down Rosemount to remain undefeated in South Suburban Conference play. They seem to be skating a fine line in many of these early games, but it’s working for now. Tuesday’s game with Eagan will likely decide the early frontrunner in the conference.
This week: Tues vs. #8 Eagan, Fri at Apple Valley

11. Centennial (4-2)
-The Cougars deserve some attention after their 5-1 win at Moorhead; defense and goaltending had been their strength, but the offense appears to be waking up now as well. Their only losses are to top five teams, and they now have quality wins against Andover and the Spuds. The week ahead is a big one—they have a chance to really make a splash in the rankings against Duluth East, and the game against Maple Grove is huge for positioning in 5AA.
This week: Tues vs. #7 Duluth East, Thurs vs. Maple Grove

12. Grand Rapids (5-1)
-Continue to plug along against decent northern teams, as they managed to shut down Duluth Marshall in their only game this past week. The Thunderhawks’ task grows immeasurably more difficult this week, when they head down to Edina. They’re still not at full strength, which could make it an uphill battle, but with Eden Prairie reeling and Elk River still something of an unknown, the potential for a big week is there.
This week: Edina Holiday Classic—Thurs vs. #1 Edina, Fri vs. #14 Eden Prairie, Sat vs. #9 Elk River

13. Andover (3-3)
-The Huskies’ win over Eden Prairie is a big step in the right direction, proving they will indeed be a force to be reckoned with in the state this year. They aren’t going to score a ton of goals, but with Chase Perry, tight D, and some opportunistic scoring, they’re capable of beating anyone. Their three losses are all against quality teams, and Centennial’s success makes that loss look much better. After Coon Rapids, the Huskies will play one of the bigger home games in program history on Saturday, as they battle for position in 7AA with Duluth East.
This week: Thurs at Coon Rapids, Sat vs. #7 Duluth East

14. Eden Prairie (3-3)
-We all know this team should be better than this, but nothing seems to be working for the Eagles in the early going. The lower lines and defensive pairs could probably use some tinkering, and even their very talented top group wasn’t clicking in the Andover loss. With all of that said, the Holiday Classic could prove pivotal to this team’s fortunes. If they keep on playing the way they have been the season could go downhill in a hurry, while they also have the talent to win all three. I’m curious to see which Eagles squad shows up.
This week: Edina Holiday Classic—Thurs vs. #9 Elk River, Fri vs. #12 Grand Rapids, Sat vs. #1 Edina

15. Lakeville North (4-2)
-This is a very difficult spot to fill, so we’ll go with the hot hand here: the Panthers put together two pretty impressive games this past week, knocking off Eden Prairie and taking Burnsville to the brink as well. If it weren’t for the ugly loss to Eastview they’d be a shoo-in in the top 15, but as it is, I wouldn’t read too much into this quite yet. The tough tests continue this week, as they visit Jefferson before putting 1AA supremacy on the line against rival Lakeville South.
This week: Tues at Bloomington Jefferson, Thurs vs. Lakeville South

The Next Ten

Bloomington Jefferson (4-1)
-Two three-goal games this past week, one in either direction: a solid win over Prior Lake, and a stumble against Eagan. Looking decent, but will need another substantial win to get into the top 15. Lakeville North might actually provide that opportunity.

Moorhead (5-2)
-The Spuds grabbed a slight early lead in the 8AA race with an OT win over rival Roseau, but the 5-1 loss to Centennial exposed some defensive issues that keep them on the outside looking in. This week looks like a very tough one; after a visit to Brainerd, they have a weekend road trip to face a pair of top five teams in the Metro, Blaine and Minnetonka. A win in either should get them back into the top 15.

Prior Lake (2-3)
-The loss to Jefferson drops the Lakers from the rankings for now, but they finally put a pair of wins on the board later in the week, and will now look to build momentum in SSC games against Rosemount and Eagan.

Holy Family (4-2)
-The 5-1 win over Totino-Grace is a nice positive for the Fire, and they also managed to give Elk River a decent run after a rough first period. They continue to prove they belong somewhere near the bottom of the top twenty, but their schedule doesn’t really offer the quality AA opponents they’ll need to move up until mid-January. This week features home games against a pair of decent squads, Rochester Lourdes and East Ridge.

Maple Grove (3-4)
-Their most impressive achievement to date is a narrow loss to Minnetonka, which isn’t saying all that much—but with the Skippers up to #2, it’s a step in the right direction. The rough early schedule continues this week, with Benilde and Centennial up next.

Roseau (3-3-1)
-It was a tough week for the Rams, as they fell in OT to Moorhead and got handled rather soundly by Minnetonka. Things get much easier from here; they don’t have a single ranked AA opponent left on their schedule, though there are some decent A teams, plus Holy Angels and the Moorhead rematch. No games until the holiday tournament they host over a week from now.

Mounds View (4-1-2)
-Had a chance to make a move into the top twenty after the win over White Bear, but wound up tying East Ridge. They may be the best team in the SEC, but they aren’t far enough ahead of the field for anything to come easily. No games this week.

White Bear Lake (3-2-1)
-The Bears showed some flashes of what they’re capable of this week, earning a 6-2 win over East Ridge, getting by Cretin in OT, and losing a barnburner to Mounds View. The firepower for a strong season is there, but the inexperienced D will have to play a lot better to have any shot at beating Hill on Tuesday.

Holy Angels (1-2)
-Thrashed by Benilde, and continued struggles by Eden Prairie mean that narrow loss no longer looks quite as impressive. Should be able to bulk up the record some this week with a pair of games in the Missota Conference.

Cloquet (4-3)
-Didn’t muster much against Duluth East, which makes them unlikely to move much higher anytime soon, given the weakness of their schedule for the rest of the month. This Saturday’s battle with Forest Lake will be important for section seeding.

There are a ton of big games this week, with a number of contests between ranked teams, and the always-entertaining Edina tournament. Teams are into the full swing of the season—go out and enjoy it!


Last edited by karl(east) on Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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GTTN



Joined: 01 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great job! If you were to add STA to this list where would they fall?
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karl(east)



Joined: 18 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GTTN wrote:
Great job! If you were to add STA to this list where would they fall?


Well, they've lost to #2 Minnetonka and beaten #3 Hill, plus they have three very comfortable wins over decent teams, so #3 would be the logical spot. I thought they were probably good enough to make the top 5 regardless of class at the start of the season, and it looks like they're proving they'd belong so far.

If these rankings hold up, the top five teams in the state will be in the Schwan Cup Gold next week, plus another team that could certainly slip into the top five at some point in Duluth East. The tournament is always strong, but I can't remember it ever being that strong.
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Ogie



Joined: 13 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
5. Benilde-St. Margaret’s (3-2)
-I’m being fairly generous to the Red Knights here: their losses have both been to very good teams, and they’ve played an incredibly difficult schedule in the early going. Their second loss was a very tight game in which they did not get a single power play, and they were missing T.J. Moore from that prolific top line. But all these explanations can’t hide a very real concern: they look shaky in back. Of course they looked shaky in back last year also, but then, we knew they had the talent to fill that gap in players like Glover and Collins; this year, I’m a little more skeptical about the depth. The offense is even better than last season, so it can cover up a lot of mistakes; as the Holy Angels game this week showed, they have little trouble destroying thin teams. But in order to reclaim their preseason favorite status, they have some questions that need answering. The week ahead is a pretty easy one by the standards of their new schedule; first they visit inexperienced but improving Maple Grove, and then they head north for a pair of games against Class A opponents.
This week: Mon at Maple Grove, Fri at Duluth Marshall, Sat at Hibbing

Saw that.

They were running the wheels off of Patrick Graham last night.
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starmvp



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great rankings!! I am really looking forward to the Edina vs. EP game because that will give EP yet another chance to redeem themselves or atleast turn their season around. Now I just have to figure out what is up with Benilde.....
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wbmd



Joined: 23 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:50 am    Post subject: Re: AA Rankings for 12/16/12 Reply with quote

karl(east) wrote:


White Bear Lake (3-2-1)
-The Bears showed some flashes of what they’re capable of this week, earning a 6-2 win over East Ridge, getting by Mounds View in OT, and losing a barnburner to Mounds View. The firepower for a strong season is there, but the inexperienced D will have to play a lot better to have any shot at beating Hill on Tuesday.


Hmmmmm, White Bear got 'by Mounds View in OT' and lost 'a barnburner to Mounds View.'???

It's more like White Bear lost in OT to Mounds View and beat Cretin in OT.
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old goalie85



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Karl- If FL wins both this week, do they slide into the top twenty ???
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karl(east)



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

old goalie85 wrote:
Karl- If FL wins both this week, do they slide into the top twenty ???


I won't guarantee it, since so much depends on what other teams do. But with three wins against pretty good teams and a 7-2 record, I'd say their odds would be pretty good.
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karl(east)



Joined: 18 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ogie wrote:
They were running the wheels off of Patrick Graham last night.


Very true--he had another great night tonight against Maple Grove. Sprang had his best effort I've seen in goal so far, too. They did a good job of holding off a very energetic MG team despite some absences in the lineup. Naas has slid into the top line seamlessly these past two games, though losing him from the second line has hurt their depth some. The big guns had all five goals tonight.

Hey BSM people...how long can we expect Moore to be out?

If MG can do a better job of finishing, they have some potential down the stretch--the top line is solid, Passolt had some flashy moments, and the goaltender played well, too.
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MNHockeyFan



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

karl(east) wrote:
Very true--he had another great night tonight against Maple Grove. Sprang had his best effort I've seen in goal so far, too. They did a good job of holding off a very energetic MG team despite some absences in the lineup. Naas has slid into the top line seamlessly these past two games, though losing him from the second line has hurt their depth some. The big guns had all five goals tonight.

Hey BSM people...how long can we expect Moore to be out?

If MG can do a better job of finishing, they have some potential down the stretch--the top line is solid, Passolt had some flashy moments, and the goaltender played well, too.


I could only watch/listen to parts of the game tonight, but I thought I heard that at least one player was out because of the flu? I did not catch the name(s) but obviously TG Moore was not in the lineup...was it him they were referring to or is he out because of injury?

From what I saw the main difference in the game is that BSM could finish but MG could not, despite probably a half dozen glorious chances (that I saw - there were probably more). If Benilde wants to get through 6AA again and advance to State they will need to tighten things up defensively A LOT! They simply cannot expect to outscore the best teams ON A CONSISTENT BASIS playing the way they are. And I'm not talking about just the defense; the forwards need to do a much better job when they don't have the puck too.

P.S. Sprang did play very well tonight, and if you're a Benilde fan you are thankful he did.
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Metrohockeyfan



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agree 100% with the last two posts. Best game I've seen sprang play by far. Still a lot to figure out in 6AA
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celly93



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alec Baer was out with the flu, sounds like Moore has a shoulder issue. He dislocated his shoulder at state last year, no clue if it's the same one or not.
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C-dad



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

celly93 wrote:
Alec Baer was out with the flu, sounds like Moore has a shoulder issue. He dislocated his shoulder at state last year, no clue if it's the same one or not.


Moore took a hard hit against AHA last week and came off with his arm hanging limply. He played again later, but I can't help but wonder if he should have stayed on the bench and maybe missed the Blaine game as well.
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Wside



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

C-dad wrote:
celly93 wrote:
Alec Baer was out with the flu, sounds like Moore has a shoulder issue. He dislocated his shoulder at state last year, no clue if it's the same one or not.


Moore took a hard hit against AHA last week and came off with his arm hanging limply. He played again later, but I can't help but wonder if he should have stayed on the bench and maybe missed the Blaine game as well.


Moore did sit out during the Blaine game.
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Sats81



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rankings look very good as usual.

Karl-are you "mnhockeyprospects" on twitter?!

Maybe I'm late to the party on that one. lol
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hockeyhockeyhockey



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

why has holy angels only played 3 games? it is hockey season right?

Holy Angels (1-2)
-Thrashed by Benilde, and continued struggles by Eden Prairie mean that narrow loss no longer looks quite as impressive. Should be able to bulk up the record some this week with a pair of games in the Missota Conference.
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karl(east)



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sats81 wrote:
Rankings look very good as usual.

Karl-are you "mnhockeyprospects" on twitter?!

Maybe I'm late to the party on that one. lol


I don't run the Twitter account or mnhockeyprospects.com, but I've been working with them a bit since the beginning of last season--that's why my rankings appear over there, too.

hockeyhockeyhockey wrote:
why has holy angels only played 3 games? it is hockey season right?


I've never understood why, but AHA always has a very light December schedule. In some years they haven't even played their first game until mid-December.
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scorekeeper



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

karl(east) wrote:
another team that could certainly slip into the top five at some point in Duluth East.


Currently 17th
http://myhockeyrankings.com/rank.php?y=2012&a=1&v=702

Don't hold your breath Wink
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pekyman



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scorekeeper wrote:
karl(east) wrote:
another team that could certainly slip into the top five at some point in Duluth East.


Currently 17th
http://myhockeyrankings.com/rank.php?y=2012&a=1&v=702

Don't hold your breath Wink


Or 22nd...
http://myhockeyrankings.com/rank.php?y=2012&a=4&v=701
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karl(east)



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pekyman wrote:
scorekeeper wrote:
karl(east) wrote:
another team that could certainly slip into the top five at some point in Duluth East.


Currently 17th
http://myhockeyrankings.com/rank.php?y=2012&a=1&v=702

Don't hold your breath Wink


Or 22nd...
http://myhockeyrankings.com/rank.php?y=2012&a=4&v=701


Yeah, not anytime soon after the Centennial loss. Though I suspect the ranking will go up as their SOS improves over the next few weeks.
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