Edina, Blake, Warroad — these, and others, have been the teams most talked about in high school girls' hockey this season. When it comes to individuals, however, Red Wing senior forward Taylor Heise has attracted as much attention as anyone in the state.
The Minnesota commit has thrived as one of the state's top scorers, tallying 42 goals and 18 assists, and those numbers come despite missing time in earlier this month while captaining Team USA to a fourth consecutive gold medal at the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation Women's Under-18 World Championship in Russia.
After falling to Northfield 2-0 in the Class 1A, Section 1 championship a season ago, Heise and the Wingers, ranked No. 5 in the Class 1A coaches' poll, are determined to advance to the state tournament for the first time since 2015.
First, though, Red Wing must face one of its toughest regular-season tests with a game against perennial power South St. Paul on Tuesday in our Top Game of the Week.
Heise, who is coming off a two-goal performance in a 3-0 win against Owatonna on Saturday, will likely need to display her scoring prowess for the Wingers (16-4, 8-1) to defeat the No. 6-1A Packers.
South St. Paul boasts on of the state's best goaltenders in senior Kaity McKenzie. The Cornell commit has posted a 1.31 goals-against average and .939 save percentage this season.
The Packers (16-4-2, 6-2-1) are also seeking to end their season playing at the Xcel Energy Center after being upset by Mahtomedi 4-3 in the Class 1A, Section 4 semifinals a season ago, and Tuesday's contest with Red Wing will provide South St. Paul an opportunity to see how it stacks up against another potential state tournament team.