The North-South Classic moves to Brainerd this season. Last year Eden Prairie and forward Garrett Smith squared off with Hermantown and goaltender Cole Manahan in the Twin Cities. Photo: Loren Nelson, SportsEngine
The metro vs. outstate rivalry that makes Minnesota high school hockey great plays out again this year at the North-South Classic.
The four-team tournament, which debuted last season, features Benilde-St. Margaret’s and Eden Prairie heading to Brainerd for games with the host Warriors and Hermantown. The games are scheduled for Dec. 7-8 at the Essentia Health Sports Center.
Eden Prairie and Hermantown play at 6 p.m. Friday followed by Benilde-St. Margaret’s and Brainerd. On Saturday, Eden Prairie plays Brainerd at 12:30 p.m. with Benilde-St. Margaret’s facing Hermantown afterward.
Eden Prairie hosted last year’s inaugural classic. The Eagles won both of their games while Benilde-St. Margaret’s split.
Game of the Week
State of Hockey, a subsidiary of the Minnesota Wild, is presenting a Game of the Week on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the 2018-19 season at the TRIA Rink in downtown St. Paul.
Two girls’ games have already been played. The remaining nine games involve boys’ teams from throughout the metro and beyond. They will live-streamed at the website stateofhockey.com.
On Dec. 8, Cloquet-Esko-Carlton, ranked No. 10 in the coaches’ preseason poll, plays Eagan. Other notable games include No. 6 Cretin-Derham Hall and No. 11 Wayzata on Dec. 15 and No. 4 Andover and No. 18 White Bear Lake on Jan. 26.
Hill-Murray’s Bill Lechner, who enters the season with 497 career victories, is poised to become the just the second active coach (and the 14th overall) with 500. Duluth Marshall’s Brendan Flaherty will remain stuck on 399 while sitting out this season to recover from throat cancer treatments. He already scored a big victory earlier in November when doctors declared him cancer free.
Matt Funk left St. Paul Academy for Cretin-Derham Hall. Tyler Palmiscno, who won two Class 1A state titles at East Grand Forks, heads back behind the Green Wave bench. Janne Kivihalme moved from Burnsville to Lakeville South. Former Edina standout Mike Terwilliger is the new coach at nearby Bloomington Jefferson while Andy Sackrison returns to his alma mater of St. Louis Park.