Goaltending will be critical for Eden Prairie in its November 14 game versus Hill-Murray. Photo credit: YHH.
Lakeville North at Lakeville South - November 17
A rematch of last season’s Class 2A, Section 1 final kicks off the South Suburban Conference schedule for two teams that return some serious talent. Senior forward Morgan Manes (11 G, 19 A) and sophomore defender Maggie Flaherty (14 G, 12 A) lead the Panthers against a staunch Cougar defense, led by senior goaltender Chloe Crosby (20-6-1, 1.89 GAA, .909 SV%).
Minnetonka at Roseville - November 25
The Class 2A State Tournament runner-up last season, Minnetonka returns senior forward and University of Wisconsin commit Presley Norby (25 G, 19 A) and senior forward Annelise Rice (22 G, 11 A) for this year. The pair should pace the Skippers to another successful season. Three years removed from its last State Tournament appearance, Roseville may have the talent to make a return to the big stage this season. Senior forward Taylor Henthorne (11 G, 9 A) and junior forward Madison Gaffney (13 G, 9 A) will be the primary offensive threats for the Raiders.
Andover at Elk River/Zimmerman - December 15
Another postseason rematch from last year, Andover edged Elk River/Zimmerman 5-4 in overtime in the Class 2A, Section 7 title game. Leading scorer Michelle Holmes (15 G, 16 A) returns to the Huskies, and Elks forward Breanna Simon (16 G, 17 A) also returns.
Minnetonka's Emma Bigham (No. 22) scores to take 1-0 lead against Hopkins in last year's 6AA semifinals. Minnetonka was the Class 2A State Tournament runner-up last season. Photo credit: YHH.
St. Paul United at Red Wing - November 17
St. Paul United, a co-op of St. Paul Academy and Visitation, brings back two of its leading scorers from last season in junior forward Josie Phelps (37 G, 24 A) and sophomore forward Samantha Burke (23 G, 32 A). United will need all the scoring it can get against Red Wing, which has made the last five Class 1A state tournaments. The Wingers have the talent to make it six straight, returning sophomore forward Taylor Heise (30 G, 49 A) and senior forward Maddy Hardyman (36 G, 14 A).
Mound Westonka at Alexandria - November 20
Mound Westonka has excellent experience in the nets, with junior goaltender Emma Polusny returning after playing in every game last season. Sophomore forward Liz Schepers (24 G, 12 A) leads the Whitehawks on offense. Alexandria’s statistical output won’t shock anyone, but the Cardinals have reached the State Tournament four of the last five years. Senior goaltender Amy Jost could be a key for the Cardinals after racking up five shutouts last season as a junior.
Thief River Falls at Minnetonka - December 4
Last season’s Class 1A State Champion Prowlers travel South to face the Class 2A runner up Skippers in this important matchup. The Prowlers lost to the Skippers in an early season game last season 4-0, but junior forward Kara Torkelson (27 G, 24 A) and senior defender and Bemidji State commit Briana Jorde (11 G, 21 A) could reverse that result this year.
Blake at Breck - December 12
The Bears have ended the Mustangs’ season in each of the past three Class 1A, Section 5 title games. Blake returns its leading scorer in senior forward Carly Bullock (49 G, 36 A) and senior defender Sylvie Wallin (4 G, 26 A), who will hold down the blue line. Both Bullock and Wallin have committed to Princeton. Breck junior forward and Minnesota commit Grace Zumwinkle (39 G, 25 A) is always a threat to score on offense.
Blake's Karlie Lund (hidden behind Breck's No. 4 Grace Zumwinkle) scores in a game against Breck last year. The two teams face each other again on December 12. Photo credit: YHH.