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Top Games: Stillwater, Lakeville North clash on final day of a wild month

01/30/2017, 12:00pm CST
By Drew Herron, SportsEngine

Jan. 31: The Ponies and Panthers look to rebuild winning streaks after late-January stumbles.

Stillwater boys' hockey players on the bench during a timeout. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine

Stillwater (pictured) faces Lakeville North on Tuesday in a clash of teams ranked in the top 10 of the Class 2A coaches' poll, and both are looking to rebound from recent disappointing losses. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine

The calendar flips to February this week, which means the section tournament is right around the corner. 

In Class 2A, Section 7, Duluth East and Elk River clash in a game certain to have significant impact on the section seeding process, and the same goes for Moorhead’s visit to St. Cloud, where Section 8 shuffling will take place at the top.

League races heat up as well. In the Metro West Conference, St. Louis Park heads to Chaska with first place en tow, and Burnsville hosts rival Prior Lake as the Blaze try to make at run at the South Suburban Conference title. And in the Lake Conference, Edina and Eden Prairie square off for control of first place in a Saturday night special at Braemar Arena.

A few other nonconference matchups prove noteworthy this week as Cretin-Derham Hall and St. Thomas Academy square off in an east side showdown, and on Saturday, Grand Rapids heads south to face White Bear Lake while Lakeville South hosts Holy Family Catholic. 

But the week's big event rests in Stillwater, as the Ponies prepare to face Lakeville North in a clash between teams ranked in the top 10 of the Class 2A coaches' poll. Both squads would like to end the month with a win after each stumbled recently. The contest is sure to draw a crowd at the St. Croix Valley Rec Center Tuesday night, and it’s our pick for Top Game of the Week.

Top Games of the Week

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Moorhead's Jack Stetz (21) throws his arms up as he and his teammates celebrated the win. ] ANTHONY SOUFFLE • anthony.souffle@startribune.com

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