AA Rankings for 12/22/19

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karl(east)
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AA Rankings for 12/22/19

Post by karl(east) » Sun Dec 22, 2019 9:39 am

This process has gotten ugly early this season; no one past #3 is making a strong case right now, though I was feeling a little more clarity toward the back half of the rankings. Here’s my offering:

1. Eden Prairie (7-0)
-The Eagles didn’t have an easy time of things in the Edina Holiday Classic, but they did win all three games, and they are now AA’s lone remaining unblemished team. They’re certainly not on a different level from the other good teams—one could certainly argue that Andover is playing better hockey right now—but they haven’t done anything to lose this spot quite yet. Their holiday adventure includes a section game and two potentially dangerous opponents.
This week: Hockey for Life—Thurs vs. #14 St. Thomas Academy, Fri vs. Chaska, Sat vs. #13 Moorhead

2. Andover (6-1)
-The Huskies made a statement by cruising past Maple Grove and are looking like a well-oiled machine, to the point where I think they have a legitimate case to be ranked #1 despite having a loss. If they keep rolling through the next week while Eden Prairie struggles to put opponents to way, that could happen. The first of their three in St. Louis Park is the most interesting on paper.
This week: Tradition in the Park—Thurs vs. #5 Rosemount, Fri vs. Minnetonka, Sat vs. Holy Family

3. White Bear Lake (8-0-1)
-The Bears’ dramatic win over Hill had the feeling of a changing of the guard: suddenly, they’ve won three in a row over their archrivals and are in command of the race for the top seed in 4AA, which is not insignificant in a section with three good teams. On the flip side, they also had some challenges putting away Park, which shows how shaky the rankings can be this season. Their remaining schedule could allow them to run up an awfully gaudy record, but for now, they rest on their laurels.
This week: Idle

4. Hill-Murray (6-1-1)
-I certainly don’t love this after the Pioneers fell to White Bear and (more significantly, from a ranking perspective) failed to put away from St. Thomas, but no one else is making a compelling case, and the Pioneers have done enough so far this season to stay up here. Their opening game in Plymouth is their most interesting one on paper.
This week: PIC Classic—Thurs vs. #10 Wayzata, Fri vs. Cloquet, Sat vs. St. Michael-Albertville

5. Rosemount (8-1)
-The Irish rebounded from the Lakeville South loss by thrashing a decent Chaska team, and they handled Farmington as well; if only because I don’t feel confident in anyone else, that’s enough for me to boost them back into the top five. Now, the moment of truth for a team that has something to prove: how can they handle two of the best the state has to offer?
This week: Tradition in the Park—Thurs vs. #2 Andover, Fri vs. #7 Maple Grove, Sat vs. Elk River

6. Lakeville South (6-1)
-I couldn’t quite find it in myself to put this team in the top five, but they continue to plug along, their most recent conquest being a solid win over a Burnsville team that had just beaten Lakeville North. Benilde and Maple Grove highlight what should be a telling trip to St. Louis Park.
This week: Tradition in the Park—Thurs vs. Elk River, Fri vs. Benilde-St. Margaret’s, Sat vs. #7 Maple Grove

7. Maple Grove (6-1)
-The Crimson took their lumps in a loss to Andover and now slide backward. Moreover, a serious injury to Kyle Kukkonen leaves this team without its star, and that alone led me to edge them downward. They’ve got an interesting mix of competition in St. Louis Park this week.
This week: Tradition in the Park—Thurs vs. Minnetonka, Fri vs. #5 Rosemount, Sat vs. #6 Lakeville South

8. Blaine (5-2)
-The Bengals blasted Champlin Park in their lone game this past week. They can clearly score in bunches and slaughter weaker opponents, though they’ll need to prove they can score consistently against stronger teams. They can show that this week, as they face three teams that are ranked below them but probably capable of giving them a game.
This week: PIC Classic—Thurs vs. Cloquet, Fri vs. #12 Cretin-Derham Hall, Sat vs. #10 Wayzata

9. Edina (4-4-1)
-The Hornets’ record in the Holiday Classic may not look like anything exceptional, but they did look pretty good in the process, as they dispatched of a decent Grand Rapids team with little trouble and gave Eden Prairie a very good fight. They have a chance to be very dangerous despite their record, and—don’t look now—are the highest-ranked team in their section at the moment. A strong holiday tournament could boost their standing even further.
This week—Hockey for Life—Thurs vs. #13 Moorhead, Fri vs. #14 St. Thomas Academy, Sat vs. Chaska

10. Wayzata (5-3-1)
-The Trojans’ tie with Benilde shows they can play big games on their terms and further clutters 6AA in the process, though in typical Wayzata fashion, they also struggled to put away St. Cloud. They have a fairly challenging draw in their own tournament and will have a chance to make some noise against a couple of higher-ranked teams.
This week: PIC Classic—Thurs vs. #4 Hill-Murray, Fri vs. St. Michael-Albertville, Sat vs. #8 Blaine

11. Blake (6-3)
-Picked off St. Louis Park in their lone game; I’ve edged them upward as their Andover and St. Thomas wins are aging well. They don’t have the most challenging draw in Plymouth this week, but the Cretin game certainly has major section implications.
This week: PIC Classic—Thurs vs. St. Michael-Albertville, Fri vs. Centennial, Sat vs. Cretin-Derham Hall

12. Cretin-Derham Hall (6-2)
-A win over Benilde punctuates a six-game winning streak for the Raiders, who are looking more and more like a serious contender in 6AA—and yes, I have four 6AA teams in a row here right now. Games with Blaine and Blake will tell us if this team is building some momentum.
This week: PIC Classic—Thurs vs. Centennial, Fri vs. #8 Blaine, Sat vs. #11 Blake

13. Moorhead (6-2-1)
-A tie with St. Michael-Albertville gives the Spuds a second concerning result against a section opponent. Outside of 8AA they’re taking care of business nicely, but some questions linger. They have a loaded week ahead of them that will tell us a lot.
This week: Hockey for Life—Thurs vs. #9 Edina, Fri vs. Lakeville North, Sat vs. #1 Eden Prairie

14. St. Thomas Academy (4-3-1)
-A tie with Hill just adds to the Cadets’ marvelous inconsistency to start this season. They’ve now shown on multiple occasions that they can compete with anyone, but also appear subject to stray bad losses. They’ve got some big Lake Conference games in the Hockey for Life ahead of them.
This week: Hockey for Life—Thurs vs. #1 Eden Prairie, Fri vs. #9 Edina, Sat vs. Totino-Grace

15. Stillwater (7-1)
-The Ponies are plugging along, though Mounds View did give them a ride on Saturday. With their only game against ranked competition to date coming against #1 they remain a bit of a mystery, and that won’t change this week, either.
This week: Idle

The Next Ten

Benilde-St. Margaret’s (4-3-2)
-The Red Knights’ power outage is now looking like more of a steady state than an early season aberration. A loss to Cretin damages their 6AA standing, and the Wayzata tie doesn’t exactly boost their cause either. The Lakeville South game is particularly interesting this coming week, but I don’t think we can guarantee any of this team’s games at this point.

Roseau (6-3)
-Rolled past Bemidji in their only game. Their annual holiday tournament shouldn’t pose any challenges for them.

Grand Rapids (4-4)
-It’s a learning curve for the Thunderhawks, as they mustered little against Edina but stuck around with Eden Prairie for most of a game. They’ve got a section game against Forest Lake this coming week.

Duluth East (5-4)
-The Hounds were nearly left for dead a week and a half ago, but now they’ve rattled off four straight, including three pretty convincing wins against respectable opposition. Just one game this week, and it comes against Champlin Park.

Prior Lake (5-2-1)
-The Lakers tied Eastview in their only action, which isn’t a bad result but does little to boost their case in these parts, either. A section game with Chaska on Thursday headlines their Hockey for Life tournament, and conference foe Lakeville North also looms.

Hastings (7-1)
-The Raiders continue to do what they need to do, albeit with the occasional adventure, against inferior competition; as a result, they are somewhat at the whims of what teams around them do. They play in the South St. Paul Premier Tournament, which opens on Saturday with a game against the hosts.

Burnsville (4-2-1)
-The Blaze collected a quality win over Lakeville North, but fell short against South in their second Lakeville game of the week. They’re in Duluth this week for games against Fort Frances, Duluth Marshall, and Brainerd.

Lakeville North (5-2-1)
-The Panthers suffered a reality check in losses to Burnsville and Duluth East. Their Hockey for Life draw includes a conference battle with Prior Lake and a game with Moorhead that could allow them to help themselves a bit.

Minnetonka (3-5)
-For all their struggles to date, none of the Skippers’ losses are bad, and they picked up a valuable section win over Chaska this past week. They run a gauntlet of Maple Grove, Andover, and Benilde in St. Louis Park this coming week.

St. Michael-Albertville (3-3-1)
-A tie with Moorhead gets this team on the radar; beyond that, they’ve beaten teams they should beat and lost to teams they should lose to. Their week in Plymouth will either be punishing or a chance to truly rise, as they’ve got Blake, host Wayzata, and Hill-Murray.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

WestMetro
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Re: AA Rankings for 12/22/19

Post by WestMetro » Sun Dec 22, 2019 10:20 am

Difficult task this week/this year

Appreciate the effort- guessing this is several hours of work each Saturday night , not to mention time during the week

The only point I would make is - should Lakeville South be ahead of Rosemount based on their head to head substantial win ? Especially if you’re going to use head-to-head OT win logic to move White Bear Lake ahead of Hill

TheNightman
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Re: AA Rankings for 12/22/19

Post by TheNightman » Sun Dec 22, 2019 11:00 am

What's Kukkonen's injury?

SEC Scotty
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Re: AA Rankings for 12/22/19

Post by SEC Scotty » Sun Dec 22, 2019 11:10 am

Rosemount, Maple Grove and probably LVS are better hockey teams than Hill. Hill will struggle with any team with a good defensive structure and that can stay out of the box. They thrive on a quick transition game with a forward floating in the neutral zone.

O-townClown
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Re: AA Rankings for 12/22/19

Post by O-townClown » Sun Dec 22, 2019 11:39 am

SEC Scotty wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 11:10 am
Rosemount, Maple Grove and probably LVS are better hockey teams than Hill. Hill will struggle with any team with a good defensive structure and that can stay out of the box. They thrive on a quick transition game with a forward floating in the neutral zone.
I’ll watch for this. Pioneers really impressed me putting Blake into running time.
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O-townClown
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Re: AA Rankings for 12/22/19

Post by O-townClown » Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:24 pm

http://minnhock.com/ps2020.htm

For comparison.

Biggest changes...computer ranking doesn't think as much of Hastings, Roseau, and Burnsville. You have Wayzata, Grand Rapids, White Bear, Rosemount, and a few others a few ticks higher.

You have Duluth East, Prior Lake, Lakeville North, and some others a little lower.

By far the biggest surprise to me is Cretin-Derham Hall. Seeing them last year I felt this would be a rough go. Nice to see them doing well. Gleason deserves.
Be kind. Rewind.

blueblood
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Re: AA Rankings for 12/22/19

Post by blueblood » Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:56 pm

It’s not the surprising they are 6-2-0. They have beaten up on the bottom of the Suburban East and are 5-0-0 vs those teams
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karl(east)
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Re: AA Rankings for 12/22/19

Post by karl(east) » Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:59 pm

Good stuff in the comment section, as always. Stray replies:

-Lakeville South vs. Rosemount: certainly there's a good case to favor the head-to-head result; maybe I'm overly skeptical that South's one real quality win is enough to make them top 5. Admittedly, Rosemount has arguably even less of a record to stand on, but they're still getting some preseason bonus points. (I hope to be done with any of that in my thinking by next week.) Interesting to see the Cougars in the top 4 in PS2 now also. They've got some solid margins of victory over respectable teams, though the North loss didn't age well over the past week.

-Kukkonen has a serious leg injury and my understanding is he's done for the year.

-I liked Hill upon my one viewing of them (Blaine), though the gameplan SEC Scotty describes was certainly in evidence there. It's hard to win big games consistently at this level playing counterpunch hockey. Still, they're 15 seconds away from an undefeated season at this point, which isn't nothing. We'll learn more about the Pios shortly.

-Always enjoy the PS2 comparisons, and I occasionally recalibrate based on what it does, especially for teams I haven't seen yet. Blake's rise this week is in some ways an example of that.

-Cretin has certainly benefited from beating up on some weak teams, and the Benilde win may be more of a statement on Benilde's current state of affairs than anything about the Raiders. That said, they are beating teams they should beat by solid margins, and PS2 seems to like them.

MNHockeyFan
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Re: AA Rankings for 12/22/19

Post by MNHockeyFan » Sun Dec 22, 2019 6:22 pm

karl(east) wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:59 pm
-Cretin has certainly benefited from beating up on some weak teams, and the Benilde win may be more of a statement on Benilde's current state of affairs than anything about the Raiders.
Does anyone have any insight as to what's behind Benilde's problems? As I recall Karl had them ranked No. 1 - or very close to it - at the start of the season. Has any team in recent memory fallen from the top, to not even being ranked, by Christmas :?:

WestMetro
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Re: AA Rankings for 12/22/19

Post by WestMetro » Sun Dec 22, 2019 8:02 pm

MNHockeyFan wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 6:22 pm
karl(east) wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:59 pm
-Cretin has certainly benefited from beating up on some weak teams, and the Benilde win may be more of a statement on Benilde's current state of affairs than anything about the Raiders.
Does anyone have any insight as to what's behind Benilde's problems? As I recall Karl had them ranked No. 1 - or very close to it - at the start of the season. Has any team in recent memory fallen from the top, to not even being ranked, by Christmas :?:
May have been over ranked

Just plain not scoring enough goals . Averaging only 2 per game if you throw out Duluth Marshall and Armstrong lopsided wins

D and Limesand doing their job , statistically speaking, and in the 2 games I’ve seen

LSQRANK
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Re: AA Rankings for 12/22/19

Post by LSQRANK » Sun Dec 22, 2019 11:57 pm

karl(east) wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:59 pm
-Cretin has certainly benefited from beating up on some weak teams, and the Benilde win may be more of a statement on Benilde's current state of affairs than anything about the Raiders. That said, they are beating teams they should beat by solid margins, and PS2 seems to like them.
Saw the CDH vs BSM game on Saturday. BSM is very good team, no problems there. CDH just ramped it up because they have something to prove. If CDH learns from this game how to improve, look for them to be at the X in March.

blueblood
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Re: AA Rankings for 12/22/19

Post by blueblood » Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:35 am

Section 6 is a total log jam with 5 teams that can represent at State.

To early to start picking a team, however, if there was a game that I had to point to it would be Edina holding Ep to 1 goal, losing 1-0. All coaches will be watching the video of that game to see how to slow down the eagles.
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elliott70
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Re: AA Rankings for 12/22/19

Post by elliott70 » Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:48 am

blueblood wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:35 am
Section 6 is a total log jam with 5 teams that can represent at State.

To early to start picking a team, however, if there was a game that I had to point to it would be Edina holding Ep to 1 goal, losing 1-0. All coaches will be watching the video of that game to see how to slow down the eagles.
Holy Angels, St Louis Park and Hopkins are out of consideration?

blueblood
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Re: AA Rankings for 12/22/19

Post by blueblood » Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:30 am

Ok wise guy, those three are in Section 6AA. I don't see them getting out of the Section QF's.

Like I said before, lay off the CBD man.
Play Like a Champion Today

elliott70
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Re: AA Rankings for 12/22/19

Post by elliott70 » Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:53 am

blueblood wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:30 am
Ok wise guy, those three are in Section 6AA. I don't see them getting out of the Section QF's.

Like I said before, lay off the CBD man.
Oh I agree with you just making sure you agree with me.

elliott70
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Re: AA Rankings for 12/22/19

Post by elliott70 » Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:53 am

I must get some CBD.

TTpuckster
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Re: AA Rankings for 12/22/19

Post by TTpuckster » Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:19 am

elliott70 wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:53 am
I must get some CBD.
Don’t need it Mark
You’re on a natural high :)
What is a Green Wave anyway?

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Re: AA Rankings for 12/22/19

Post by WarmUpTheBus » Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:24 am

LSQRANK wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 11:57 pm
karl(east) wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:59 pm
-Cretin has certainly benefited from beating up on some weak teams, and the Benilde win may be more of a statement on Benilde's current state of affairs than anything about the Raiders. That said, they are beating teams they should beat by solid margins, and PS2 seems to like them.
Saw the CDH vs BSM game on Saturday. BSM is very good team, no problems there. CDH just ramped it up because they have something to prove. If CDH learns from this game how to improve, look for them to be at the X in March.
Matt Gleason is the best two way player I have seen this year. I think his leadership by example helps CDH immensely.

ryguyMN
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Re: AA Rankings for 12/22/19

Post by ryguyMN » Mon Dec 23, 2019 2:05 pm

Hopefully the Christmas tournaments/showcases will break up some of the parity we are seeing so far this season, especially with Tradition in the Park featuring many top teams. I do see Edina trending up and Maple Grove trending down as well.
Ryan

612hockeytown
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Re: AA Rankings for 12/22/19

Post by 612hockeytown » Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:47 pm

TheNightman wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 11:00 am
What's Kukkonen's injury?
Broken leg. Done until next Fall. Huge loss for the Crimson. Hopefully he bounces back even stronger

InThePipes
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Re: AA Rankings for 12/22/19

Post by InThePipes » Tue Dec 24, 2019 7:35 am

ryguyMN wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 2:05 pm
I do see Edina trending up and Maple Grove trending down as well.

Agree the loss of Kukkonen is a big one for the Crimson

TheNightman
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Re: AA Rankings for 12/22/19

Post by TheNightman » Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:20 am

612hockeytown wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:47 pm
TheNightman wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 11:00 am
What's Kukkonen's injury?
Broken leg. Done until next Fall. Huge loss for the Crimson. Hopefully he bounces back even stronger
Yikes, I think Blaine becomes the favorite in 5AA now.

kniven
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Re: AA Rankings for 12/22/19

Post by kniven » Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:26 am

You think he’ll come back to Maple 🍁 Grove?
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muckandgrinder65
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Re: AA Rankings for 12/22/19

Post by muckandgrinder65 » Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:00 pm

KK had a significant, leg injury. We are talking almost, but not quite, the Joe Theismann type.
Still scheduled for surgery. If it was only a break he would probably be back for his senior year.
Months of rehab most likely.
At this point I hope he gets to skate again....Hopefully in the UP!!

hockey59
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Re: AA Rankings for 12/22/19

Post by hockey59 » Tue Dec 24, 2019 8:59 pm

muckandgrinder65 wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:00 pm
KK had a significant, leg injury. We are talking almost, but not quite, the Joe Theismann type.
Still scheduled for surgery. If it was only a break he would probably be back for his senior year.
Months of rehab most likely.
At this point I hope he gets to skate again....Hopefully in the UP!!
My info from a reliable source is that KK already had the surgery.

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