We task our reporters with identifying several intriguing games throughout the state to assemble our Top Games of the Week. The matchups are presented in no particular order, and when there are additional games we want to highlight, we’ll include them with brief notes.
Only one more game remains between these Metro West Conference foes.
Orono and Holy Angels have anchored the top of their conference standings this season, not to mention the Class 1A state rankings. Orono is ranked No. 2 in the Class 1A coaches' poll released Jan. 12, with Holy Angels not far behind at No. 5.
The Spartans won the first meeting of the season (3-1 on Dec. 2).
Holy Angels will need its top scorer, Audrey Garton, (16 goals, 13 assists) to pile on some goals in the rematch. Aside from the skaters, the Stars will rely on their goaltender Celeste Rimstad, who has kept some impressive individual stats whilst uplifting her team's success this season. Rimstad has 12 wins up against two losses and a 1.45 goals-against average combined with an equally stingy .921 save percentage, as of Jan. 12.
Who's trying to beat Rimstad and lift Orono to a season sweep over Holy Angels? Well, the Spartans have just what the doctor ordered in forward Iyla Ryskamp.
Ryskamp leads the Spartans in both goals and assists this season with 21 and 23, respectively, for 44 points. She had two goals in the team's previous game against Holy Angels.
It's a three-team race in the Greater Minnesota Conference with Roseau, Warroad and Moorhead jockeying for final position atop the league standings and important games still to be played.
One of those is set for Saturday, when Moorhead travels to Warroad for a game that should also showcase some of the top talent in the hockey hotbed of northern Minnesota.
The Spuds are lead by Olivia Dronen and Bria Holm, who top the team with 22 and 19 points, respectively. Dronen is evenly split between goals and assists, while Holm also has 11 assists along with eight goals, as of Jan. 14.
Warroad has maintained its position as one of the top Class 1A teams, and it's not slowing down this season. The No. 1-1A Warriors have two 50-point scorers who have paced the team.
Talya Hendrickson has 57 points and is third in the state leaderboard for assists with 36. Teammate Kate Johnson has 56 points on the season and her 30 goals are tied for eighth best in the state. That duo will need to continue producing points against a Moorhead team that has won four consecutive games, including a 2-1 overtime victory at Roseau on Jan. 15.
Hockey Day Minnesota has fast become a staple of showcasing some of the most entertaining teams in the state — on the boys' and girls' sides and from youth to the collegiate ranks.
That tradition of exciting hockey games won't stop when Hockey Day visits Mankato this week, and Saturday's slate starts with a showcase of two of the top Class 2A teams in a highly anticipated matchup on the outdoor rink at Blakeslee Stadium.
Edina and Andover are familiar foes, having met in the last two Class 2A state title games.
Edina were champions in 2021 and the Hornets have yet to show signs that they ready to relinquish the crown, boasting a 16-1-0 overall record and winning six straight since a 3-2 overtime loss to Minnetonka on Dec. 28. Edina defeated Minnetonka 2-1 on Jan. 15 in a Lake Conference matchup.
The No. 3-2A Hornets are led from the back end by their stellar goaltender Uma Corniea. She is the only goaltender in the state to play more than 700 minutes and own a goals-against average below 1.00. Her GAA is 0.71.
Andover won the 2020 Class 2A state title and have the look this season of a team poised to bring home another behind a 17-0-0 overall record. A victory over the Hornets on Saturday could portent positively for the No. 1-2A Huskies.
Getting past Edina's stingy goaltending may not be easy, but Andover has plenty of offensive firepower behind a trio of scorers. Ella Boerger leads that group with 18 goals and 21 assists, while Isabel Goettl (15 goals, 14 assists) and Madison Brown (10G, 20 A) are far the pace.
Simley vs. Mound-Westonka, 5 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 22. Fourth-ranked Mound-Westonka faces seventh-ranked Simley in a match sure to shake up the Class 1A rankings going forward.
Rogers vs. Osseo/Park Center, 7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 18. Rogers looks to hold onto its No. 10 spot in the Class 2A rankings with a victory over Osseo/Park Center in this Northwest Suburban Conference matchup.
The MN Girls' Hockey Hub poll is for entertainment purposes only.