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The Spirit of '77

By Loren Nelson, 12/20/22, 1:00AM CST


Top Games | Week of Dec. 19: Rochester John Marshall's all-for-fun state championship team to be honored; Orono faces Hermantown in battle of unbeatens; New Ulm leaves cozy confines of Big South

Senior goaltender Jack Erickson leads Hill-Murray against Benilde-St. Margaret's on Thursday. Photo by Loren Nelson,

A special get-together in Rochester, one of the best small-school matchups of the young season and a pair of premier private-on-private rivalries all highlight the coming week — diverse showdowns that offer something for everyone heading into the holidays.

State tournament history buffs have the opportunity to see some of the biggest stars in the event’s history Tuesday when Rochester John Marshall’s 1977 championship team is honored before the Rockets’ game against Rochester Century.

Hermantown, the No. 1-ranked team in Class 1A, heads south to play No. 4-1A Orono on Thursday in a battle of two of the state’s remaining unbeaten. 

Thursday is also Clash of the Private Schools day as St. Thomas Academy meets arch rival Cretin-Derham Hall and Hill-Murray loads up its east side pride for a trip to St. Louis Park against west metro behemoth Benilde-St. Margaret’s. All four private schools are in the top 13 in the Legacy Hockey’s latest Class 2A rankings.

Other Top Games

Other top games: Junior forward Carson Pilgrim (9 goals) leads No. 2-1A Warroad (5-0-0) against longtime Section 8A rival No. 11-1A Thief River Falls (2-4-1) on Tuesday. … Mankato supremacy is on the line Thursday when the puck drops on the latest edition of the Key City Classic featuring Mankato East (3-4-0) and and Mankato West (3-2-1). … Champlin Park (4-2-0) and Centennial (3-2-1), two of the better Northwest Suburban Conference teams — and both brimming with highly skilled forwards — meet Thursday at Centennial’s home rink in Circle Pines.

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