Holy Family Catholic vs. 

St. Thomas Academy

3 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 9

Holy Family Catholic, ranked seventh in the Class 2A coaches’ poll, has a relatively brief history among the metro area’s private school programs. The Fire made their first section final last season, losing the Class 2A, Section 2 title game to Eden Prairie to end a landmark season.

This week, Holy Family Catholic (2-1-1, 0-0-1) will be tested with a game against St. Thomas Academy, one of the top prep school programs in recent history. The Cadets won five small-school championships before moving up to Class 2A, and last year they took the Class 2A consolation title.

St. Thomas Academy recorded a 2-1 victory over Holy Family Catholic a season ago on Ben Stucker’s goal in the final minute of regulation. Hopefully this year's meeting will have an equally dramatic finish, and that potential is why we've named Saturday's matinee our featured Top Game of the Week.

Wisconsin signee Ben Almquist is Holy Family Catholics's most potent scoring threat. The senior netted 22 goals and 35 assists last season and will be expected to lead a squad that saw four players depart the program early.

His teammates haven’t shown any trouble filling those vacancies, as six different players have notched multi-point games. Since losing 7-0 to No. 1-2A Edina on Nov. 24, the Fire have outscored their competition 17-4.

St. Thomas Academy is riding a three-game winning streak, with victories over No. 5-2A Moorhead (7-4), Eastview (5-1) and Farmington (4-2), since falling 5-4 in overtime to No. 3-2A Minnetonka. Brendan McFadden has been an offensive catalyst for the No. 4-2A Cadets (3-1), posting seven assists in four games this season.