Photo by SportsEngine
We task our reporters with identifying several intriguing games throughout the state to assemble our Top Games of the Week. The matchups are presented in no particular order, and when there are additional games we want to highlight, we’ll include them with brief notes.
These two Class 1A, Section 8, Northwest Conference teams feature some of the top scorers in the state. Both teams average more than five goals per game.
Bagley/Fosston won the first meeting against Kittson County Central, 6-3 on Jan. 5 at home, as part of its season-long six-game winning streak. In the first meeting, Kittson County Central outshot Bagley/Fosston 31-25 but didn’t convert on five power-play chances. Kittson County Central held a 3-1 lead after one period before Bagley/Fosston scored five unanswered goals in the next two periods.
Bagley/Fosston is 16-8 overall this season and takes a five-game winning streak into this regular-season finale. Senior Markus Olson (35 goals, 44 assists) ranks fifth in the state in points and is coming off back-to-back hat tricks. Senior Breckin Levin (37 goals, 38 assists) is also in the top 10 in the state in points with multiple points in all but five games this season. Levin recorded a hat trick as part of his four-point effort in the first game against Kittson County Central.
Senior defenseman Quinten Friborg (22 goals, 21 assists) is third on the team in points. Bagley/Fosston’s top goaltender is senior Kassandra Fontaine. She is 13-6 with a 3.40 goals-against average and .878 save percentage this season.
Kittson County Central (13-9-1) comes into the finale having won four of its last five games, averaging 7.75 goals in those wins. Senior Tyler Hennen (68 goals, 49 assists) is not only the top goal scorer on the team, but also in the state of Minnesota. Hennen also ranks second in assists, and has scored in every game this season with 19 multi-goal games and a season-high six goals in back-to-back games.
Senior Hayden Olsonawski (39 goals, 37 assists) is tied for sixth in the state in points. Olsonawski has seven hat tricks this season. In goal, sophomore Jameson Turner (10-3-0) has a 3.57 goals-against average and .890 save percentage, while junior Isaac Lindegard (3-6-1) has a 4.97 goals-against average and .859 save percentage.
Warroad (24-0) is on the verge of a perfect regular season. All that stands in the way is one more game against Class 2A opponent Sartell-St. Stephen. This year’s Warroad team, ranked No. 1 in Class 1A since the Dec. 15 coaches’ poll, has outscored opponents 134-32.
The Warriors last had an undefeated season in 2004-05 when they went 29-0-2 to win the Class 1A championship with T.J. Oshie on the roster.
The last two state champions with perfect records were Gentry Academy (19-0), winning the Class 1A title in the shortened 2021 season, and Class 2A champ Lakeville North (31-0) in 2015.
Warroad has recorded nine shutouts this season, and have found the back of the net on average 5.58 times per game. But the Warriors have had two close calls.
The first was a 3-2 overtime victory on Dec. 10 at Grand Rapids when the Warriors came back from a two-goal deficit. More recently, Warroad held on for a 3-2 victory over East Grand Forks on Feb. 7.
Individually, Warroad is led by its top line of senior left wing Jayson Shaugabay (29 goals, 51 assists), junior center Carson Pilgrim (42 goals, 34 assists) and junior right wing Murray Marvin-Cordes (19 goals, 23 assists).
Shaugabay is one goal, five assists and three points away from setting career-high marks for a season in each category. His 288 career points put him in on the list among all-time state leaders; he passed Oshie (241 points) in early January for the best mark in Warroad history. Pilgrim ranks third in the state in goals and Shaugabay’s 51 assists are the most in the state.
Senior goaltender Hampton Slukynsky (23-0) has allowed 32 goals this season for the Warriors, with a 1.39 goals-against average and a state-best .947 save percentage.
Sartell-St. Stephen is atop the Central Lakes Conference (9-1-2) and holds a 15-4-2 overall record. While Warroad only has one game left on the schedule, Sartell-St. Stephen hosts Buffalo and Duluth Denfeld this week before welcoming Warroad for the season finale. Should things get close and head into extra time, Sartell-St. Stephen holds a 2-0-2 overtime record this season.
Junior Baylor Stebbins (17 goals, 21 assists) leads the scoring, putting up numbers well above his 10 goals and nine assists from last season. Senior Elliot Testa (13 goals, 22 assists) leads the team in assists, while junior Anthony Colatrella (16 goals, 18 assists) has a team-high seven power-play goals.
Edina, ranked No. 2-2A, has been on a roll ever since game No. 4 of the season. Its section-rival Wayzata has been near the top all season, too, and these talented hockey teams will clash one more time before the playoffs.
Edina won the first meeting, a 5-3 decision on Jan. 26 at Braemar Arena in which the Hornets were outshot 41-28. But Edina grabbed a 3-0 lead early thanks to a three-point night from junior Jackson Nevers. Wayzata got within a goal early in the third period before the empty-netter sealed it for Edina.
Each team has a top-10 goaltender on its side, too. Might this regular-season finale be a preview of the Class 2A, Section 6 title game?
The Hornets will try to shake off the sting of its only two losses since early in the season, a pair of shutouts against Lake Conference foe Minnetonka. The latest loss snapped a six-game winning streak.
Edina's senior goaltender Robbie Clarkowski (14-5-1) has made a season-high 38 saves twice this season, including in the victory over Wayzata. He’s second in the state with a .946 save percentage and ranks eighth with a 1.49 goals-against average.
Leading the offensive efforts on the blue line are team assists leader, junior Bemidji State commit Eddie Revenig (one goal, 17 assists) and senior Charlie Sandven (five goals, 10 assists). Revenig has six assists in his last six games.
Wayzata dropped to No. 6-2A in the rankings, its lowest placement of the season following a 0-4-1 stretch, which included the 5-3 loss to Edina. But the Trojans rebounded to win the next three games (outscoring opponents 13-1) and could take a four-game winning streak into this finale with a win at Rogers on Feb. 16.
While Clarkowski holds down the crease for Edina, senior Will Ingemann is the rock for Wayzata. He’s third in the state with a .944 save percentage and ranks fifth with his 1.38 goals-against average. He’s allowed a season-high four goals in a game three times this season. One of those was the first Wayzata game.
Junior Cade De St. Hubert (11 goals, 10 assists) snapped an eight-game scoreless drought and has three goals and an assist in his past two games. Freshman Jacob Kvasnicka (eight goals, 26 assists) is Wayzata's assists and points leader.
Benilde-St. Margaret’s vs. Chanhassen, 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 14. No. 7-2A Benilde-St. Margaret’s is undefeated in Metro West Conference play, including a 4-1 home victory over No. 4-2A Chanhassen on Jan. 26. Chanhassen sits in second place in the conference, with its earlier game against the Red Knights standing as one of its three losses on the season (20-3 overall).
Hibbing/Chisholm vs. Rock Ridge, 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 14. Both Hibbing/Chisholm and Rock Ridge – Class 1A, Section 7 squads – have consistently found themselves in the top-20 of Class 1A rankings this season, with Hibbing/Chisholm sitting at No. 6 and Rock Ridge currently at No. 19. Hibbing/Chisholm won the first meeting this season, 1-0, on Dec. 28.
White Bear Lake vs. Cretin-Derham Hall, 7:15 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 14. No. 11-2A Cretin-Derham Hall hosts No. 12-2A White Bear Lake for a Suburban East Conference matchup that should be a good one. The Bears are 16-5-0 overall and hold the top spot in the conference (9-2-0, 18 points) ahead of the Raiders (15-8-1, 7-1-1). They just met Feb. 4 at White Bear Lake, with the Raiders taking that game 3-2 thanks to a pair of goals, including the game-winner, from senior Jake Fisher.
Moorhead vs. Hill-Murray, 3 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 18. These are two programs that historically thrive come the postseason. For this meeting, the Class 2A clubs sit at No. 17 (Hill-Murray) and No. 18 (Moorhead) in the rankings. Hill-Murray (11-11-1) looks to rebound to finish on a strong note, having lost three of its last four games before a meeting with No. 8-2A Maple Grove and the Moorhead finale. While Moorhead checks in with a 14-9 record, six of its losses have come against top-10 teams in Class 2A, plus losses to Hermantown and Warroad in Class 1A.
The MN Hockey Hub poll is for entertainment purposes only.
Tag(s): Home Central Lakes Sartell-St. Stephen Lake Edina Wayzata Iron Range Rock Ridge Lake Superior Hibbing/Chisholm Mariucci Moorhead Warroad Metro East Hill-Murray Metro West Benilde-St. Margaret's Chanhassen Northwest Bagley/Fosston Kittson County Central Suburban East Cretin-Derham Hall White Bear Lake