AA Rankings for 12/6/15

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karl(east)
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AA Rankings for 12/6/15

Post by karl(east) » Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:24 am

Here’s the first set of in-season rankings. Teams have played anywhere between two and seven games, which means these are all a combination of expectations and on-ice results. I try not to overreact to a single early season win or loss, as these things often sort themselves out over time, and slavishly following ‘X beat Y so X must be higher’ logic leads to teams getting jerked around without any logic. As always, the goal here is to see beyond one or two results and get the big picture.

1. Eden Prairie (3-0)
-The Eagles came in as #1 and have done nothing to lose that spot so far, scoring five or six goals each game against respectable competition. The bigger questions are on defense, and they’ll get a huge test this week against high-powered Benilde in an early season 1-vs.-2 matchup.
This week: Tues vs. Cretin-Derham Hall, Fri at #2 Benilde-St. Margaret’s

2. Benilde-St. Margaret’s (5-0)
-The Red Knights have exploded out of the gate with one impressive win after the next, which launches them up near the top. Their puck movement is superb, and they look a few steps ahead of the competition when it comes to their cohesion and balance. We’ll see if they can maintain that edge over the course of the season.
This week: Tues vs. Woodbury, Fri vs. #1 Eden Prairie

3. Duluth East (4-0)
-The Hounds grabbed some attention by flattening Wayzata, though they did struggle to put away some weaker competition this past week. When at their best they can roll with anyone, but the discipline so far leave something to be desired. This week will be an interesting test in that regard; their two opponents aren’t high-powered on paper, but trips to Cloquet are never easy, and STMA took them to overtime last year.
This week: Thurs at Cloquet, Sat at St. Michael-Albertville

4. Blaine (4-0)
-This pick also feels like a reach; it’s just hard to find a clear order behind the top two at the moment. Still, they’ve got an overtime win over Edina and have cleaned up against everyone else. They face the two next-best teams in the Northwest Suburban this week, which will help provide some better measurement.
This week: Thurs at #15 Centennial, Sat vs. #13 Elk River

5. Grand Rapids (4-1-1)
-A narrow loss to streaking Benilde is no great concern, and the Thunderhawks’ tie with Bemidji is no slouch, either. They’ve taken care of business against everyone else. The stakes get a little higher this week, as they visit a 7AA rival and take on the defending champs.
This week: Tues vs. Cloquet, Sat at #8 Lakeville North

6. Bemidji (2-0-1)
-The Jacks threw down the gauntlet in 8AA with a 5-0 win over Moorhead, and also held high-powered Grand Rapids to a 1-1 tie. The win over Apollo was a bit tight, but the Eagles have a strong goalie, and most importantly, the Jacks are looking strong in back despite some losses to graduation. Given their schedule, they’ll probably stay close to Grand Rapids for a while here by virtue of that tie. A bunch of Class A teams now await them.
This week: Tues at Thief River Falls, Thurs at Warroad, Sat at Rogers

7. Wayzata (4-2)
-The Trojans’ start to the year included strong wins over Edina and Hill, but a rough road trip north handed them a pair of losses. Some flashes of offense are an encouraging sign to go with their characteristic D. Breck this week looks like a real challenge, and Anoka isn’t a free win either.
This week: Thurs vs. Breck, Sat vs. Anoka

8. Lakeville North (1-1)
-A 6-5 loss in their opener against Stillwater despite a huge shot edge exposed the Panthers’ soft underbelly. One figures they can only go up from there, but it’s definitely something to watch. This week’s game with Grand Rapids may push that defense and goaltending even further, and the Farmington game, while it should be a win, will be a key 1AA barometer.
This week: Thurs at Farmington, Sat vs. #5 Grand Rapids

9. Edina (5-2)
-No one played more than the Hornets over the first couple weeks, and while they picked up a few quality wins, they also lost both their top ten games. This isn’t the classic high-powered Edina team, though there is plenty of potential in its young stars, and they have a lot of developing to do over the course of the season. They now get to wait until their Holiday Classic as other teams shift around them.
This week: Idle

10. Stillwater (3-0)
-The win over Lakeville North is a very solid start to the year, but I’m going to pump the brakes some: they still gave up 5 goals, and didn’t carry the play much. I want to see another big win—and get a better idea of what North’s defense and goaltending look like going forward—before I toss them up near the top. Their schedule over the next two weeks, unfortunately, doesn’t give them many such opportunities.
This week: Tues at Hastings, Thurs at East Ridge, Sat at Park

11. Holy Family (4-2)
-The Fire have done a good job of being competitive so far, picking up a top 15 win over Minnetonka and losing narrowly to Edina and Breck. They seem to do a good job of controlling play, though that hasn’t always translated into large goal totals against quality teams. St. Thomas offers their next test of any magnitude.
This week: Tues vs. Waconia, Thurs at Hutchinson, Sat at St. Thomas Academy

12. Hill-Murray (1-2)
-It’s a slow start for the Pioneers, as they got thumped by Benilde and lost to Wayzata. One figures they’ll come around, but there may be some growing pains for a fairly young offense and a defense that could use some experience beyond the top pair. The rivalry renewal with White Bear is unusually early this year, and there’s probably more uncertainty around both teams this year than at any other time in recent memory.
This week: Tues vs. White Bear Lake, Sat at Maple Grove

13. Elk River (3-0)
-Not much to say about the Elks in the early going, who beat three teams they should have beaten over the first two weeks. Things get noticeably tougher this week, as they run through three of 5AA’s top four in quick succession.
This week: Tues at Maple Grove, Thurs vs. Anoka, Sat at #4 Blaine

14. Minnetonka (2-2)
-A win over St. Thomas keeps the Skippers afloat in the top 15. There’s not much shame in losses to Holy Family and Grand Rapids, but this young team will likely need a bit more time before they really put things together.
This week: Sat at Moorhead

15. Centennial (2-1)
-The Cougars lost a decent game against Edina and are otherwise untested. That’s enough for a temporary top 15 placement, and this week’s Blaine game gives them a chance to make a move.
This week: Tues at Armstrong-Cooper, Thurs vs. #5 Blaine, Sat at Andover

On the Bubble

Prior Lake (2-1)
-The Lakers lost to Eden Prairie, but rolled past a couple of mid-tier South Suburban teams. They continue with conference play over the next couple weeks, with Lakeville South and Eagan up next.

Moorhead (2-1)
-The Spuds steamrolled two weaker opponents, but the 5-0 loss to Bemidji leaves them with a big hill to climb in 8AA. Section rival Roseau is up this week, along with their next serious statewide test against Minnetonka.

St. Thomas Academy (2-1-1)
-It’s been a decidedly slow start of the Cadets, with a narrow escape against Rosemount, a tie against Eastview, and a loss to Minnetonka. This isn’t a huge surprise given how much they lost, so we’ll see if they can start to turn a corner against Holy Family.

Lakeville South (0-1)
-It’s just one game, but the Cougars didn’t show much fight in an opening loss to Holy Family. Prior Lake this week will provide a stronger test.

Eastview (3-0-1)
-The Lightning are off to a decent start, and their tie with St. Thomas throws them in with Bloomington Jefferson and Burnsville as 3AA contenders to dethrone the Cadets.

A laundry list of other teams somewhere in the conversation: Farmington, Burnsville, Bloomington Jefferson, White Bear Lake, Anoka, Maple Grove, Cloquet, Duluth Marshall, Roseau, St. Michael-Albertville

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Post by GoldenBear » Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:35 am

Thanks for the early Sunday morning reading. A lot better than the funny pages. GB

WestMetro
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Post by WestMetro » Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:49 am

Good job Karl. I agree on your top 5 and then the next 5. Although I might tweak the order within each a little. Compliments on being quick to adjust your original thinking on some teams. I certainly was wrong on my own preseasons for wayzata and HM, although a big part of Pioneers problem is loss of Mills. Anyway, agree with the comment someone made last week: we're going to have many top teams losing five games this year[/code]

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Post by alcloseshaver » Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:57 am

Nice job Karl, very astute observations.

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Post by TheHockeyDJ » Sun Dec 06, 2015 10:04 am

Anyone know if there will be video streaming of the Duluth East/Cloquet game on Thursday?
YouTube.com/BarbellMedicine

kniven
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Post by kniven » Sun Dec 06, 2015 11:28 am

TheHockeyDJ wrote:Anyone know if there will be video streaming of the Duluth East/Cloquet game on Thursday?
no video stream but audio stream as are all the Cloquet games.

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Post by TheHockeyDJ » Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:20 pm

kniven wrote:
TheHockeyDJ wrote:Anyone know if there will be video streaming of the Duluth East/Cloquet game on Thursday?
no video stream but audio stream as are all the Cloquet games.
That's awful. The game will sell out no matter if it is streamed or not. Horrible decision that this isn't online.
YouTube.com/BarbellMedicine

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Post by MNHockeyFan » Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:20 pm

TheHockeyDJ wrote:Anyone know if there will be video streaming of the Duluth East/Cloquet game on Thursday?
When I was watching the stream of the BSM/Hill-Murray game I heard Pete Waggoner and his color guy talk about doing the DE/Cloquet game. One issue is that I don't know how to verify it in advance as there doesn't appear to be a schedule of the games they're doing. But you could check it out around game time by logging into:

http://minnesotahockeymag.com/video/min ... streaming/

P.S. I believe they are also planning to travel to Grand Rapids when they host DE.

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Post by TheHockeyDJ » Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:27 pm

Yeah, I knew about GR/DE. 3 choices for video streaming, Pete W, grhs on nfhsnetwork.com, and Duluth's My9 ifan.tv. I hope Pete is going to Cloquet on Thursday
YouTube.com/BarbellMedicine

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Post by TheHockeyDJ » Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:33 pm

Yeah, I knew about GR/DE. 3 choices for video streaming, Pete W, grhs on nfhsnetwork.com, and Duluth's My9 ifan.tv. I hope Pete is going to Cloquet on Thursday
YouTube.com/BarbellMedicine

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Post by BodyShots » Mon Dec 07, 2015 8:25 am

Big picture.......

Stillwater goes into Lakeville and knocks off the team that hadn't lost a game all last year!

Give them some respect for at least one week!

:oops:

observer
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Post by observer » Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:28 am

Thanks Karl!

A little surprised by Benilde and then the strength of the north (3 of top 6). Not specifically that the north is strong (ie Elite League) but that the metro teams aren't showing more.

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Post by Sats81 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:35 am

observer wrote:Thanks Karl!

A little surprised by Benilde and then the strength of the north (3 of top 6). Not specifically that the north is strong (ie Elite League) but that the metro teams aren't showing more.
Its early still.

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Post by green4 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:12 am

BodyShots wrote:Big picture.......

Stillwater goes into Lakeville and knocks off the team that hadn't lost a game all last year!

Give them some respect for at least one week!

:oops:
They had 12 shots, that usually does not work in the long run. I think you have to wait and see if they can build off that win.

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Post by BodyShots » Mon Dec 07, 2015 12:35 pm

green4 wrote:
BodyShots wrote:Big picture.......

Stillwater goes into Lakeville and knocks off the team that hadn't lost a game all last year!

Give them some respect for at least one week!

:oops:
They had 12 shots, that usually does not work in the long run. I think you have to wait and see if they can build off that win.
I agree, long run LN will more than likely end up ahead of SW, but in the ranking after week 2, SW deserves to be ahead of LN based on their victory on LN's ice surface. For example, Alabama after losing to Ol Miss is ranked below Ol Miss. Now after several weeks of play, Alabama is back in front of Ol Miss. Pre season rankings are based on projections. In season rankings should be based on results on the ice leading up to that ranking.

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Post by Sats81 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 1:40 pm

Speaking of Farmington, anyone from there or in the know about what the heck happened with Siebenaler? Elite league player, best returning forward...heard he just quit last week.

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Post by 100percenteffort » Mon Dec 07, 2015 1:47 pm

Sats81 wrote:Speaking of Farmington, anyone from there or in the know about what the heck happened with Siebenaler? Elite league player, best returning forward...heard he just quit last week.
Sounds like he is back, just in time to play North :o

Sats81
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Post by Sats81 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 2:01 pm

100percenteffort wrote:
Sats81 wrote:Speaking of Farmington, anyone from there or in the know about what the heck happened with Siebenaler? Elite league player, best returning forward...heard he just quit last week.
Sounds like he is back, just in time to play North :o
Is this confirmed? Glad if true, didn't want any excuses when the boys go into Farmington Thursday night and show them who the boss still is in 1AA :D :D :D

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Post by karl(east) » Mon Dec 07, 2015 2:13 pm

BodyShots wrote:
green4 wrote:
BodyShots wrote:Big picture.......

Stillwater goes into Lakeville and knocks off the team that hadn't lost a game all last year!

Give them some respect for at least one week!

:oops:
They had 12 shots, that usually does not work in the long run. I think you have to wait and see if they can build off that win.
I agree, long run LN will more than likely end up ahead of SW, but in the ranking after week 2, SW deserves to be ahead of LN based on their victory on LN's ice surface. For example, Alabama after losing to Ol Miss is ranked below Ol Miss. Now after several weeks of play, Alabama is back in front of Ol Miss. Pre season rankings are based on projections. In season rankings should be based on results on the ice leading up to that ranking.
Hence the note at the top of the page--I just don't want to jerk teams around too much. Stillwater climbed 5 spots on one game alone, and LVN fell 6...that's pretty substantial in both directions. The season here is double the length of an NCAA football season. One game doesn't matter *that* much.

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Post by East Side Pioneer Guy » Mon Dec 07, 2015 8:55 pm

WestMetro wrote:Good job Karl. I agree on your top 5 and then the next 5. Although I might tweak the order within each a little. Compliments on being quick to adjust your original thinking on some teams. I certainly was wrong on my own preseasons for wayzata and HM, although a big part of Pioneers problem is loss of Mills. Anyway, agree with the comment someone made last week: we're going to have many top teams losing five games this year[/code]
Oh, I wish it were as simple as getting Mills back. Unfortunately, it goes much deeper than that. I doubt he would have scored 4 against BSM or 2 or 3 against Wayzata. Every little bit helps, but Mills isn't enough.

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Post by WestMetro » Tue Dec 08, 2015 3:41 pm

ESPG

3 elite forwards, 1 elite Dman, and arguably one of top few goalies in state. And one of best coaches. Heck of a base to build on. All elites had decent elite seasons.( One could have argued one more Pioneer was deserving of Elite also.)Then you added Helgeson from Roseau for a future draft choice. Without disclosing trade secrets , what the heck is going on? What more could a ESPG have wanted? And will this January games be worth a long cold late drive from Aldrich back to the west metro?

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Post by elliott70 » Tue Dec 08, 2015 3:47 pm

WestMetro wrote:ESPG

3 elite forwards, 1 elite Dman, and arguably one of top few goalies in state. And one of best coaches. Heck of a base to build on. All elites had decent elite seasons.( One could have argued one more Pioneer was deserving of Elite also.)Then you added Helgeson from Roseau for a future draft choice. Without disclosing trade secrets , what the heck is going on? What more could a ESPG have wanted? And will this January games be worth a long cold late drive from Aldrich back to the west metro?

Huh?

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Post by WestMetro » Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:10 pm

That's a good one Elliott! (I had enough 4 hour long cold drives to/from Bemidji when my son was going to BSU in the 90s)

By the way, I've been meaning to ask you. Once again, it appears the Bemidji goalie machine has turned out another top goaltender, I see Fitzgerald is leading the AA schools in his save percentage

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Post by elliott70 » Wed Dec 09, 2015 12:04 pm

WestMetro wrote:That's a good one Elliott! (I had enough 4 hour long cold drives to/from Bemidji when my son was going to BSU in the 90s)

By the way, I've been meaning to ask you. Once again, it appears the Bemidji goalie machine has turned out another top goaltender, I see Fitzgerald is leading the AA schools in his save percentage
Matt Fitzgerald is a very good athlete. Maybe the best 3rd baseman I have ever coached.
He is capable of being great, but no one wants to get too excited yet. Also, he has some very good D and D minded F and coaches.

And his back up is a good tender also.

And he looks good in a tux.

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