This will be an intriguing season, with Duluth Marshall making the move up to Class AA (ahem…Hermantown?) and Duluth East looking to make it eight straight trips to the State Class AA tournament. Here are 16 games in the immediate area this coming season.
11/23–Marshall at Cloquet; Marshall makes its debut in Class AA traveling to Cloquet to meet up with a 7AA foe.
11/27–Benide-St. Margaret’s at Marshall; the Red Knights are unique in that they have State title in both classes. Their matchups with Marshall are also interesting and entertaining.
11/28–Wazyata at Duluth East; the Hounds kick off their 2015-16 campaign with a visit from another team regarded in the top 10 in Minnesota.
12/3–Hermantown at Marshall; with Marshall having moved up to Class AA, this leaves less competition for Hermantown in its drive for another trip to the Class A state tournament. Hermantown is favored in 7A. For what it’s worth.
12/10–East at Cloquet; a game with 7AA implications, it also is the biggest rivalry in NE Minnesota and perhaps the entire state. If Cloquet wants a high seed in the section, a win over East would help.
12/16; Marshall vs East (Amsoil Arena)–these teams have not played since 1999, the last season East was in the Lake Superior Conference. They will play this one at Amsoil Arena, which tells you how much interest there is in this game!
1/2/16–Blaine at East; Blaine is favored in section 5AA this season, and this game gives area fans a chance to see Riley Tufte, recently committed to a college hockey career at UMD.
1/4/16–Denfeld at East; the city public school rivals face of at Heritage Sports Center. Denfeld always “gets up” for this one.
1/12/16–Grand Rapids at Cloquet; another big 7AA rivalry between 7AA foes. Rapids thinks they have what it takes to upend East in the section this season, and they could well be right.
1/15 & 1/16/16–Roseau at Cloquet/Roseau at East; Roseau resumes their trips to the Duluth area to take on Cloquet and East on back-to-back nights
1/19/16–Grand Rapids at Marshall; another key 7AA matchup
1/23/16–St. Thomas Academy at Marshall; three years ago both these teams were in Class A. STA went to state in Class AA last season and is favored to return to State this year.
1/30/16–Elk River at East; East came back from three goals down to upend the heavily favored Elks in the 7AA title game last season; Elk River would like nothing more than to make a statement here. Even if they do, East has had the Elks number in section games for a long time.
2/1/16–Cloquet at East; a rematch of their Dec. 10 game
2/6/16–Lakeville North vs East at Bayfront–the marquee Hockey Day In Minnesota matchup as this rematch of last year’s State Class AA title game occurs outside on what will hopefully be a frozen rink.
And there you have it. See you at the rinks!!