Yes, the playoffs are months away. But the second full week of the season includes several games with playoff implications along with the renewal of some of the state's best rivalries. Oh, and let's see how one of Minnesota's top teams in Gentry Academy stacks up against Hudson, Wisconsin's No. 1-ranked squad and the state's defending large-division champion.
Mankato East (1-3-0) and Mankato West (0-2-0) renew their intracity rivalry on Tuesday in a preview of their Hockey Day outdoor game showdown scheduled for Jan. 21 at Minnesota State’s Blakeslee Stadium. … No. 6-1A Little Falls (5-0-0), led by Matt Filippi and his state-best nine goals, attempts to extend its unbeaten streak to start the season when it takes on No. 16-1A Alexandria (1-1-0) on Tuesday. … No. 20-2A Blaine (1-1-1) and No. 17-2A Rogers, paced by junior Sam Ranallo’s five goals, meet on Thursday in a Northwest Suburban Conference clash. … Two of the state’s best senior goaltenders square off Thursday when No. 6-2A Hill-Murray (1-2-0) and Nick Erickson face off against No. 2-1A Mahtomedi (3-1-0) and Ben Dardis.