Cretin-Derham Hall and White Bear Lake look to be the early season favorites for the Suburban East Conference title, and Saturday will serve as one of two crucial meetings in determining which team will become the front-runner in the title chase.
Sophomore Matt Gleason (23-20-43) posted a Cretin-Derham Hall freshman-record 23 goals a season ago, leading the team in scoring. Gleason headlines a group of 12 returners who made significant contributions last year and showed their prowess in a 6-3 upset of No. 8-2A Eden Prairie last Saturday. Grayson Milosch made three crucial assists for the No. 16-2A Raiders (1-0) in the win.
The No. 10-2A Bears return their top line from last winter in seniors Chase Hamstad (15-27-42), Max Jennrich (21-15-36) and Austin Carroll (9-23-32). The trio will set the tone for an underclassmen group that won the Bantam AA state title in March and is expected to compete for varsity time.
Freshman Owen Gallatin has already made major contributions this season, tallying a goal and three assists. His first varsity goal helped White Bear Lake (2-0-1) force a 3-3 tie against No. 2-2A Duluth East last Friday.