Media DirectorUpper Midwest High School Elite League
Despite winning just one game, Team Southeast still managed to have an unbeaten weekend – thanks to two ties - and remain in first place after four weeks of play in the Upper Midwest High School Elite League.
Playing at the Grand Rapids Civic Center, Coach Sean Toomey’s squad got two goals from Eagan’s Will Merchant in a 6-3 victory over Team Great Plains. Justin Kloos, the league’s leading scorer, also had a goal and two assists. Saturday night, Kloos and Connor Hurley scored in a 2-2 tie with Team North. In Sunday’s finale, Scott Nelson of Eastview exploded for four goals in a 5-5 tie with Team Southwest. Kloos and Jake Guentzel each had three assists in the game.
Team Northeast earned a share of second place with a 1-1-1 week. In Tuesday’s showcase game, Northeast earned a 5-5 tie with Team Northwest as Lucas Kohls, Joey Hess and Bo Brauer each had a goal and an assist. The weekend games – played at Stevens Point, Wisconsin – began with an 8-3 loss to Shattuck despite a goal and an assist from Jay Dickman of St. Paul Johnson. On Sunday, Dickman again had a goal and assist, while teammates C.J. Franklin, Zach LaValle, Nick Anderson and A.J. Ruppert all scored in a 5-1 win over Team Wisconsin. Goalie Anders Franke of Elk River stopped 28 of 29 shots for the win.
Two ties and a loss dropped Team Northwest into a tie for second. In Tuesday’s 5-5 tie with Northeast, Christian Horn of Benilde-St. Margaret’s scored twice, while Grant Besse and Sam Majka each had two assists. Grant Opperman had two goals and an assist, while Besse again added two helpers, in a 6-6 tie with Wisconsin on Saturday. Besse and Horn, along with Connor Thie, scored goals in a 6-3 Sunday loss to Shattuck-St. Mary’s.
Hosting games in Grand Rapids, Team North had a 1-1-1 weekend. After a 6-3 loss to Team Southwest, North jumped out to a 2-0 lead over Team Southeast on goals by Matthew Serratore and Mitch McLain, but settled for a 2-2 tie. Goalie Blake Cates of Stillwater had a brilliant 44-save effort for North. The northerners then picked up their first win of the weekend by beating Team Great Plains 4-2 behind two goals from Duluth East’s Trevor Olson and a pair of assist from Jared Thomas of Hermantown and Dom Toninato of East.
Team Southwest reached the .500 mark and climbed into fifth place with an unbeatean 2-0-1 weekend. Max Coatta of Minnetonka, the league’s goal-scoring co-leader, netted two while Jimmy Schuldt and Sam Rothstein each had two assists in a 6-3 victory over Team North. Conor Andrle had a goal and three assists to lead a 5-3 win over Team Great Plains on Saturday night, and on Sunday, Southwest rallied for three third-period goals to earn a 5-5 tie with league-leading Team Southeast. Tanner Holmquist of Hopkins scored twice in the final seven minutes to bring Southwest back from a 5-3 deficit. Rothstein also had a pair of goals, and goalie Nick Malvin of Blaine made 38 saves.
Hosting at Stevens Point, Team Wisconsin knocked off Shattuck-St. Mary’s 5-2 to open the weekend. Goalie Chris Nell made 35 saves, while Matt Fosdick and Ashton Wackym each had a goal and an assist. Saturday night, Jason Ford’s goal with just 1:45 left lifted Wisconsin to a 6-6 with Team Northwest. Wackym and Tim Davison each had two assists for Wisconsin, who then lost 5-1 to Team Northeast on Sunday.
After suffering the loss to Wisconsin, Shattuck-St. Mary’s bounced back with an 8-3 win over Team Northeast as Jacob Montgomery, Sebastian Lemm and Samuel Fejes each scored twice. On Sunday, Zachary Aman’s two goals paced a 5-3 win over Team Northwest.
Team Great Plains suffered through another winless weekend despite a two-goal effort on Saturday from East Grand Forks’ Tommy Hajicek, who scored twice and leads the team in scoring.
NOTES: After consecutive weekends out of town, the Elite League returns to New Hope Arena for this weekend’s action. Tuesday night’s showcase game pits teams Northwest and Northeast – currently tied for second place – in a 7:00 p.m. game at New Hope. On Wednesday, Shattuck will host Team Southwest at 7:00 p.m. on Shattuck’s campus in Faribault….Lakeville South’s Justin Kloos continues to lead the league in scoring with 29 points, averaging 2.47 points a game. He and Minnetonka’s Max Coatta share the goal-scoring lead with 12, while Kloos and Southeast teammate Jake Guentzel lead in assists with 17. Guentzel is second in the league in scoring, followed by T.J. Roo of Team Northwest.