The Top Ten (Preseason ranking in parenthesis)
1. Benilde-St. Margaret's (1)
2. Eden Prairie (2)
3. Edina (3)
4. Duluth East (4)
5. Hill-Murray (8)
7. Eagan (7)
8. Blaine (9)
9. Grand Rapids (5)
10. Burnsville (NR)
Not much movement at the very top yet. A lot of people are putting Edina in that second spot after they were very impressive on television last week. I debated it, put will keep Eden Prairie #2 until they show otherwise. Those two teams meet coming up at the Edina Classic which should be a very fun game to watch. Two and three are a lot closer to number one in the rankings than they are to four and five.
Elsewhere, Hill-Murray was the big mover, already notching two quality wins over Burnsville and Eagan. They're very good for a team that lost two of the best players in the state to early departure. I dropped Grand Rapids after their disappointing loss to Forest Lake, but it should be noted that they're playing without a couple key guys right now, including Jake Bischoff who is out with an injury. It does show that depth is going to be a bit of a concern for them though. Burnsville was on the edge of my poll to start the season, and their close loss to Hill looks a little better than Andover's close loss to Centennial(though Centennial is looking much better than I expected early in the season).
Minnetonka's Tommy Vannelli committed to play for the University of Minnesota.
Key Games This Week
Eagan at Minnetonka, Tuesday December 4th, Pagel Activity Center
These tough early season tests should show just how good Eagan really is after they lost so much to graduation last year. The Skippers may have less to prove, but it should help prepare them for a difficult Classic Lake Conference schedule.
Burnsville at Benilde-St. Margaret's, Thursday December 6th, St. Louis Park Rec Center
Benilde blew out a pretty strong Moorhead team in their first game of the season. They'll get their first test against a top ten team in a talented Burnsville that could show just how big the gap is between BSM and the rest of the state.
Hermantown at Thief River Falls, Saturday December 8th, Ralph Englestad Arena(the one in TRF, not Grand Forks)
These should be two of the best public schools in Class A, and the type of fun match-up that Class A hockey should be all about.