The question facing Holy Family Catholic is: Has it been bad luck or a case of not being on the same level as the elite teams in Class 2A?
The Fire opened their season with several close losses to challenging opponents. Outside of a 2-1 defeat to Wayzata on Nov. 24, a 5-3 setback on Dec. 1 against Blake and a 2-1 loss to St. Thomas Academy on Dec. 8, Holy Family Catholic (6-6-1, 3-0-0) has spent much of the rest of the time on fire, including an 11-1 win at Hutchinson on Dec. 6 and winning four consecutive games in December by a combined score of 31-4. And in a rematch with Wayzata to finish The Tradition at the Park tournament at the St. Louis Park Rec Center on Dec. 29, the Fire netted a 4-4 tie.
Despite the mixed results, Holy Family Catholic's offense has remained constantly productive and has outscored opponents by almost 2.5 goals per game entering the week.
The Fire’s Garrett Pinoiemi is second in the state in points (40) this season thanks to 14 goals and 26 assists. The Minnesota commit leads an offense that includes Lucas Jorgenson (10 goals, 20 assists) and Michael Spinner (5 goals, 15 assists).
The Fire's next big test comes in the form of Blaine, ranked No. 8 in the Class 2A coaches' poll from Jan. 2, in our Top Game of the Week.
The Bengals have been competitive in their losses — a 3-2 overtime contest against No. 4-2A Maple Grove on Dec. 15 and a 7-6 shootout to No. 6-2A Eden Prairie a week later.
With the exception of the game against the Eagles, Blaine (7-2-2, 3-1-1) boasts a stout defense, one seemingly capable of extinguishing the Fire on Saturday.
The Bengals are allowing 1.82 goals per game, which is tied for 11th best in the state. Goaltender Joe Daninger has a 1.92 goals-against average and .922 save percentage to go with three shutouts.