Apple Valley vs. Shakopee

7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 26

Back in the mid-1990s, when girls’ hockey was skyrocketing in popularity and became a Minnesota State High School League-sanctioned sport, Apple Valley was the state’s preeminent program. In 1995, the Eagles beat South St. Paul 2-0 in the inaugural state championship. They added another title in 1998. 

Apple Valley has mostly gone dark since. The Eagles have made just one other state tournament appearance, in 2003, and they've mainly been outsiders to top-team rankings and who-can-win-it-all discussions. It’s too early to say if the glory days are back, but Apple Valley (5-0-0, 2-0-0) is off to an umblemished start behind the scoring of the Morans (Mandy, Makayla and Marie; combined nine goals and 22 points) and superb goaltending from senior Keni Allen (1.19 goals against average, .945 save percentage).

Shakopee has never appeared in a state tournament, but the Sabers (4-0-0, 0-0-0) are also off to an unbeaten start thanks to the play of senior goaltenders Sidney Hearn and Brianna Eastman, each of whom have two victories and sterling statistics.