Javier Hamlin, St. Paul Highland Park's top scorer, leads the Scots against St. Paul Johnson on Tuesday. Photo by Loren Nelson, LegacyHockeyPhotography.com
There's no such thing as the post-holiday season blahs. At least not when it comes to assessing this week's schedule. One of the nation's great high school rivalries is in top form, and there's plenty more great showdowns to track, including a couple involving Edina, an all-St. Paul trophy game and matchup that puts 'flyover country' on the map.
After a slow start to the season No. 5-1A Duluth Denfeld (9-2-0), led by top scorer Connor McClure (15 goals, 26 points), has rattled of eight straight wins heading into Tuesday’s showdown with Section 7A rival No. 1-1A Hermantown (8-1-0). … Prior Lake (4-6-0), the preseason favorite to win Section 2AA, can take a huge step toward resuscitating its season Thursday by knocking off section rival No. 13-2A Eden Prairie (6-5-0) and top scorer Jake Luloff (20 points). … No. 12-1A Fergus Falls (9-3-0) has slipped some in the rankings with two losses in its last four games, and the Otters face a formidable foe on Thursday in No. 9-1A Alexandria (3-4-1) and top scorer Joe Gronholz (19 points). … Woodbury (7-4-0) and East Ridge (4-6-1), high schools separated by less than four miles, renew their intracity rivalry on Thursday. … No. 5-2A Edina (8-3-0) finishes the week with another high-powered, high-ranked opponent in No. 7-2A Benilde-St. Margaret’s (7-4-0) and standout senior defenseman Tristan Sarsland (two game-winning goals).