This is a week old now, since I never got around to finishing it, but I suppose the target audience isn't coming here for breaking news on the final score. Last Monday I trekked down to Mendota Heights to see St. Thomas Academy, the second ranked team in Class A take on Tartan High School.
St. Thomas came away with a 5-2 victory. St. Thomas is loaded with potential college prospects, while Tartan has one of their own in super-freshman Jake Horton.
You can read more about the game after the jump.
St. Thomas didn't play their best hockey here, but this team is so loaded with talent that they were able to make enough plays to win. St. Thomas didn't do much until Tartan open up the scoring in the first period, and the Cadets responded back less than a minute later with a pretty two-on-one goal finished off by Zach Schroeder. They stretched their lead to 4-2 in the second period, and cruised to a 5-2 win.
As easy as the win may have looked, Tartan definitely had a lot of quality scoring opportunities. Goalie Zach Wynne made some really nice saves for the Cadets.
Individually, Christian Isackson wasn't flashy, but his ability to control the puck is still impressive. Justin Crandall and Zach Schroeder both had nice goals, and AJ Reid had a big game with two goals.
Peter Krieger is the team's top sophomore forward, playing a regular shift on one of the top lines. The next best sophomore forward, Andrew Commers, is a nice player, that looked good when he started getting ice time in the third period.(It's also worth noting here that Krieger is a '93 birthdate and Commers is a '94).
On defense, Taylor Fleming has garnered a lot of interest from schools this year. He's not a big guy, but is a very agile skater. He reminds me a bit of Zach Palmquist last year. Palmquist was maybe a bit more explosive, but Fleming is a little stronger and more defensively responsible.
Senior JP Graveline doesn't stand out as much, but he's a very solid defender, that should probably play Jr. A hockey somewhere next year. Sophomore Eric Schurhammer also really impressed me. Sometimes it's a little tough to judge. He's one of the better sophomores I've seen this year, but he's a '93 birthdate like Fleming, and I don't think he's quite in Fleming's class.
Tartan's Jake Horton has drawn a lot of attention this year as one of the top freshman scorers in the state. He's a '94 birthdate, so he's a possible candidate to make the NTDP Final 40 camp this spring. What impressed me most was how strong he was on the puck, and that he made a lot of crafty offensive plays. He could develop into a pretty talented power forward.