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Top Games: Stillwater heads to Hill-Murray for Class 2A, Section 4 showdown

By Drew Herron, Sport Ngin, 01/18/16, 4:00PM CST


Jan. 23: The emerging Ponies face the Pioneers in a game likely to decide the top seed in the playoffs.

Stillwater is 15-1-1 and ranked No. 5 in the Class 2A coaches' poll. On Saturday night, the Ponies hit the road to face Class 2A, Section 4 rival Hill-Murray in a pivotal showdown for postseason seeding. Photo by Rick Orndorf

The metro's east side is the focus for this week’s Top Games, as Aldrich Arena in Maplewood hosts two games likely to draw much interest, including Stillwater's showdown with Hill-Murray Saturday night in our Top Game of the Week.   

It’s a meeting between the likely top two seeds in the Class 2A, Section 4 tournament and a measuring stick for the emerging Ponies, ranked No. 5 in the Class 2A coaches' poll.

Five days before Saturday night's special, the No. 10-2A Pioneers host No. 2-2A Blaine in front of what will likely be a packed arena as Hill-Murray kicks off a revealing stretch of hockey.

In the state's northwest corner, Roseau and Moorhead meet in a game of significance in the Class 2A, Section 8 seeding process, and Thief River Falls hosts East Grand Forks with a similar situation in Class 1A, Section 8.

In the northeast, Grand Rapids hosts Wayzata in a Class 2A clash, and Greenway is at home against North Shore as both chase the likely top seed in Class 1A, Section 7A, Hermantown, which welcomes Mahtomedi in a top-5 tilt.

Meanwhile in the metro, Eden Prairie and St. Thomas Academy square off in a nonconference, non-section matchup, and Edina travels to Minnetonka for another chapter of fierce Lake Conference competition between teams and players well familiar with one another.

Down south, a rematch between South Suburban Conference and Class 2A, Section 1 rivals draws the spotlight as Farmington and defending Class 2A state champion Lakeville North meet. The Panthers fell to the Tigers in their first meeting six weeks ago.

Top Games of the Week

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