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Boys' hockey update: 2A title match possible for Lakeville North, Edina

By Star Tribune, 01/19/15, 10:07PM CST

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Staff writer David La Vaque offers his mid-January assessment of top metro teams and players.


Lakeville North's Poehling brothers, Nick (center), Jack (left) and Ryan have the Panthers (17-0) in prime position for a rematch with Edina (14-1-2) in the Class 2A championship. Photo: Jeff Wheeler * jeff.wheeler@startribune.com

Lakeville North began this week unbeaten and untied. Edina’s lone loss came on the Panthers’ home ice. With four regular-season weeks remaining, a Class 2A state championship game rematch remains a strong possibility.

High expectations followed both program into the season. Edina is vying for its third consecutive big-school state title, a feat not seen since Bloomington Jefferson from 1992-94.

If Edina (14-1-2) is the favorite, then Lakeville North, led by six Division I recruits, is the worthy challenger. The Panthers (17-0) solidified their case by defeating Edina 3-1 on Dec. 4 and claiming No. 1 in the rankings.

Not that this season is all about two teams. No. 3 Hill-Murray and No. 4 St. Thomas Academy shook off early departures of standout players and remain among the elite programs. And No. 9 Bemidji (14-3-1) is on track for its most victories in a season in four years.

In Class 1A, No. 4 Mahtomedi, No. 6 Breck and No. 7 St. Paul Academy are holding their own behind the top three teams in the rankings: Northern powers Hermantown, Duluth Marshall and defending state champion East Grand Forks.

Metro player of the year candidates include Elk River/Zimmerman’s Jake Jaremko, Edina’s Dylan Malmquist and Lakeville North twin brothers Jack and Nick Poehling.

DAVID La VAQUE

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Edina's Ben Brinkman skates the puck out of his zone. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine