The Totino-Grace Eagles continue to lead the pack in the North Suburban Conference. The Eagles (15-4-1; 9-0, 18 pts.) continue to hold the top spot over St. Francis despite being tied with St. Francis in conference points. The tiebreaker right now is the number of in conference games St. Frances has played – 11, and their record within those games of 9-2, whereas the Eagles are still undefeated in conference play.
Totino-Grace picked up two of their four total losses in the past seven days when they fell to St. Thomas Academy 6-1 and Hermantown 4-0. St. Thomas Academy just had the right formula by being able to get the Eagles out of rhythm early and they just kept forcing the puck into the offensive end.
St. Thomas Academy’s persistence was rewarded by scoring six goals—three of them coming in the first period. Henry Hart scored first giving St. Thomas a one goal lead, but that was quickly answered when Charlie Miller found the back of the net on an assist from Derek Lodermeier and T.J. Roo to pull the Eagles back even.
From there, it was all St. Thomas Academy as they scored five unanswered goals en route to their 6-1 victory. Alex Johnson from St. Thomas put up a hat trick in the game providing the proverbial writing on the wall for Totino-Grace. The Eagles quickly regrouped beat St. Louis Park (4-16-1; 1-8, 2 pts) 7-1. Hermantown (16-4-1; 3-2, 12 pts) proved to be too much as they toppled over the 4-0 handing Totino-Grace their first shutout of the year.
Hermantown has been stellar all year, averaging nearly seven goals per game—naturally this game had the feel of a playoff game to it even though it wasn’t one. Optimism needs to be running through the locker room of Totino-Grace because even after losing 2-out-of-3 they still sit tied for first place in their conference and are still ranked third in the state.
Totino-Grace will get a chance to stop their minor skid by coming back to play two in conference games this week when they travel to Robbinsdale-Cooper (3-17-0; 0-8, 0 pts) for a 7 p.m. face-off inside the New Hope Ice Arena on Thursday night and then a 5:30 p.m. match-up against Spring Lake Park on Saturday at the Fogerty Arena in Blaine.