It was a tough opening week for the defending Class 2A champions, the Wayzata Trojans, and the first installment of the Let's Play Hockey weekly rankings reflect that.
Wayzata (0-2-0) opened the season with a 5-2 loss to Maple Grove at the Turkey Trot tournament in Plymouth last weekend, before falling 4-1 to Edina (2-1-0) the next night. The Trojans, who graduated 11 seniors last spring, are the only team to have dropped more than a few spots from their preseason poll position -- from No. 5 to No. 11.
Wayzata will have a shot to climb back into the top 10 this week, but the Trojans will have to find their first wins of the season when hosting No. 1-1-1A Hermantown on Dec. 2, and No. 10-2A Duluth East on Dec. 3.
Last season's Class 2A runners-up, Eden Prairie remains No. 1 from the preseason ranking as the Eagles haven't yet played a game. Teams who have yet to play have generally maintained their position in the preseason poll, but with Wayzata dropping outside of the top 10, teams like Duluth East (0-0-0), which moved up from No. 12 to No. 10, and Centennial (0-0-0), which moved from No. 10 to No. 9, have closed the gap.
After beating No. 7-2A Edina in the opening round of the Turkey Trot last weekend, Holy Family Catholic moved up from No. 9 to No. 5 in the Class 2A rankings.
While there was a lot of shifting in the top-20 in Class 2A, don’t get used to the current rankings: Six ranked teams have yet to play a game and only Edina has played more than two games so far, so expect there to be plenty more shifting in the early goings.
Defending Class 1A champion Hermantown, which has yet to play a game, remains the top position in the Class 1A poll, taking all 10 first-place votes.
Delano/Rockford jumped up from fourth to second in this week’s poll, and deservedly so. The Tigers (2-0-0) topped preseason No. 14 Blake 9-0 to open the season last Saturday, before upsetting preseason No. 2 Breck 5-2 on Nov. 29. The loss pushed Breck (0-2-0) to fourth in this week’s poll.
The next handful of games for Delano/Rockford come against unranked opponents, so the Tigers will have to continue winning to stay at the top.
Outside the top five shakeup, there weren’t significant changes from the preseason rankings.
Mahtomedi (0-1-0) remained in sixth after a season-opening loss to No. 3-1A St. Paul Academy (2-0-0). The Greenway Raiders check-in at No. 7, kicking off the 2016-2017 campaign with a 4-1 win over Mound Westonka, and a 5-4 overtime victory at home over Eveleth-Gilbert.
Additionally, Orono, East Grand Forks and Alexandria retained their eighth, ninth and tenth-place preseason rankings, with each team winning its first game.
Blake’s loss to Delano/Rockford dropped the Bears to No. 19, despite Blake rebounding with a 7-5 win over unranked Mound Westonka.
While the general outlook in the Class 1A rankings hasn’t changed significantly in the first week of play, eight teams did shift positions, and it’s a safe bet that even more teams will move around in the coming weeks.