Garrett Worth redirects a shot for a goal as Team North cruised to a 7-3 win over Southwest on Sunday. Credit: Peter Odney.
The Upper Midwest High School Elite League kicked off over the weekend at New Hope Ice Arena, and for the second season in a row, Team North has gotten off to the hottest start in the field.
Powered by Duluth East forwards Austin Jouppi and Ricky Lyle, Team North stormed to three wins, downing Wisconsin, Team CCM and Southwest by a combined score of 24-8.
Jouppi and Lyle both totaled six points over the weekend, with Jouppi scoring once and adding five assists and Lyle notching two goals and four helpers.
Fellow Greyhound Lukan Hanson picked up two wins between the pipes for North, posting a goals against average of 1.32 and a save percentage of .957. East Grand Forks netminder Carter Krier picked up the other win for North.
Team Northwest also went undefeated over the weekend, edging North East and Great Plains by scores of 6-4 and 2-1, respectively, and earning a 3-3 tie with Southwest on Saturday.
Elk River’s Jack Perbix currently paces Northwest in scoring with two goals and four assists, tied for a league-best six points with the aforementioned Jouppi, Lyle and Team Wisconsin forward Jack Gorniak.
Finishing the weekend in third place with a record of 2-1 is Southeast, which bounced back after a season-opening loss to Southwest on Saturday morning.
A highlight for Southeast is its penalty kill, which is running at an effective 94 percent clip thus far, after surrendering just one power play goal and scoring three times while shorthanded.
Great Plains, Northeast and Team CCM are all knotted at two points and emerge from New Hope in a three-way tie for fifth place, while Wisconsin brings up the rear after going 0-3 over the weekend.
Coming up, Northeast and Northwest will square off on Tuesday night, while the league will host its second weekend slate of games at both the IRA Civic Center in Grand Rapids and Greenheck Arena in Wasau (Wis.) on Sept. 16 and 17.
Team Northwest celebrates its 2-1 win over Great Plains on Sunday morning at New Hope Ice Arena. Credit: Peter Odney.