White Bear Lake was undefeated and on top of the world (well, Minnesota’s high school hockey Class 2A rankings, anyway) when it suffered the biggest upset of the season to date, a 4-1 loss to Irondale last Thursday. The same Irondale team the No. 1-2A Bears thumped 10-1 on Nov. 23 to open the season.
Now what? Well, White Bear Lake (9-1-1, 7-1-0) plays an equally confounding Minnetonka team on Saturday in what has the look and feel of a pick ’em matchup. No doubt Bears goaltender Tyler Steffens, who ranks among the state’s top four in goals against average (1.27) and save percentage (.944) will be seriously tested.
Minnetonka (6-7-0, 2-0-0) had defeated three straight quality opponents — No. 3-2A Andover (2-1 on Dec. 27), Benilde-St. Margaret’s (3-1 on Dec. 28) and No. 7-2A Wayzata (5-2 on Jan. 2) — before suffering a 2-1 loss to struggling Duluth East at home on Saturday.
Senior Teddy Lagerback has eight goals to lead the Skippers, who have plenty of solid forwards but lack the two or three (or more) gamebreakers most top teams possess.