By RYAN SCHLEICHER – Sun FOCUS Newspapers
The Irondale Knights continue to impress by remaining the best team in the North Suburban Conference.
Their last game was a 7-0 shutout of Saint Francis, another conference opponent and helped the Knights remain a single conference point in front of second place Totino-Grace. Irondale has been able to make major strides this season in large part due to the success of Samantha Donovan and her team high, 20 goals. Strong defense and a big presence between the pipes have limited the opportunities that opposing teams have had to do any damage against the Knights.
One surprise for Irondale this year has been the play of their goalie, Sophomore Anna Patte who has put up an impressive 91-percent save rate — a major contributing factor to the success of this team. Irondale has a big week of hockey shaping up for them as they will take on two teams in hot pursuit of them. On Thursday night at 7:30 Irondale (12-6-0; 5-2-0, 10 pts.) will travel to the Fogerty Ice Arena in Blaine to take on Spring Lake Park (5-12-1; 2-3-1, 5 pts.), that game will then set-up what is to be one of the biggest games all season to this point when they will take on an improving Totino-Grace team (9-7-4; 4-2-1, 9 pts.)—a game that could very well decide who wins the North Suburban Conference title.
Totino-Grace is coming off two-wins out of their last three games. Most recently, Totino-Grace shut out a Chisago Lakes team 5-0. Totino-Grace will be able to counter the strong defense of Irondale with a balanced offensive attack and strong goalie play as well. Sophomore Logan Knip has recorded a 92-percent save percentage to go along with four shutouts this season when she will try to prevent Irondale from finding the back of the net. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. Saturday might, at the Parade Ice Arena in Minneapolis.
Boys Hockey: Conference remains unsettled
The North Suburban Conference on the boy’s hockey side of things remains completely unsettled as three teams sit atop the conference with eight points apiece.
Those three teams are Chisago Lakes (12-5-1; 4-1-0, 8 pts), Saint Francis (9-6-0; 4-1-0, 8 pts), and Totino-Grace (10-2-1; 4-0, 8 pts). Totino-Grace continues to be a standout team this season as they have been able to take care of getting crucial wins against conference opponents such as Irondale (4-1), Spring Lake Park (4-0), and Saint Francis (7-2). Derek Lodermeier has been outstanding for the Eagles as he has tallied a team high 20-goals, TJ Roo has a team high 43-points and Senior Goalie Michael Larson has a 93-percent save percentage.
Totino-Grace has a huge opportunity to separate themselves in the conference this Thursday when they go up against shared leader Chisago Lakes (12-5-1, 4-1) at the Brooklyn Park Community Center at 7 p.m.
Contact Ryan Schleicher at [email protected]