Girls' hockey preview: Five story lines

  • Updated: November 19, 2012 - 10:33 PM

Sidney Morin, left, and Minnetonka skated past Megan Wolfe and Eagan on their way to a second consecutive Class 2A title. Both talented players return for their senior seasons.

Photo: Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune file

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Experienced (two consecutive Class 2A state championships) and ultra-talented (five players committed to NCAA Division I schools), Minnetonka is in position to become the first team to win three consecutive state titles. It starts with defense and goaltending, units that helped the Skippers hold opponents to 38 goals in 31 games last season. But the seas could turn rough. Mark this game down: Section 6 championship on Feb. 15. The Skippers likely will see Benilde-St. Margaret's in a showdown of the state's two best teams.


While Minnetonka, Benilde-St. Margaret's (located in St. Louis Park) and Edina are some of the best in the west metro, what about the other side of the horizon? Graduation hit Hill-Murray (located in Maplewood) and state runner-up Roseville hard. And Stillwater has struggled of late in the postseason. The trio resides in what is typically a tough Section 4, but this season, at this point, it looks less capable of producing a real title challenger.


A half-dozen of the state's finest players are bound for reigning national champion Minnesota in 2013-14: forwards Dani Cameranesi (Blake), Kate Flug (Roseville), Kate Schipper (Breck) and Megan Wolfe (Eagan) and defensemen Kelsey Cline (Bloomington Jefferson) and Paige Haley (Red Wing).


Local legends Natalie Darwitz and Krissy Wendell are in their second seasons as Lakeville South head coach and Cretin-Derham Hall assistant coach, respectively. Three additional former standouts are making their head coaching debuts: Aubri Lindberg (North Metro), Laura May (Mathomedi) and Allie Thunstrom (North St. Paul). May and Thunstrom return to their alma maters; Lindberg played at Anoka.


The Minnesota State High School League took unprecedented steps midway through last season, leveling stiffer penalties and zero tolerance for three dangerous hits: checking from behind, boarding and contact to the head. This season, referees have more discretion in contact-to-the-head situations. Direct contact will result in a five-minute major penalty and potential 10-minute disqualification. If referees believe the contact is indirect, they can call a minor penalty. The rule change also applies to boys' hockey.


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Pittsburgh - LP: F. Liriano 0 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 4
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Odorizzi 0 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 3
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Hammel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 3
St. Louis - LP: J. Kelly 1 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: W. Peralta 5
NY Mets - WP: D. Gee 5 FINAL
Arizona - LP: B. McCarthy 2
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 1 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: C. Lee 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 2
Cleveland - WP: Z. McAllister 3 FINAL
Detroit - LP: A. Sanchez 2
Washington - WP: D. Storen 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: M. Dunn 3
Seattle - LP: F. Rodney 2 FINAL
Texas - WP: P. Figueroa 3
Boston - WP: C. Capuano 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: L. Garcia 4
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 6 FINAL
Houston - LP: J. Williams 4
Toronto 0 Postponed
Minnesota 0
Oakland - LP: D. Pomeranz 4 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: J. Smith 5
Colorado - LP: J. De La Rosa 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: A. Cashner 4
Los Angeles - LP: J. Howell 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: J. Machi 2
Chicago 86 FINAL
Charlotte 91
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Milwaukee 103
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Memphis 106
Detroit 111 FINAL
Oklahoma City 112
Houston 100 FINAL
New Orleans 105
LA Lakers 113 FINAL
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Brooklyn 85 FINAL
Cleveland 114
Philadelphia 100 FINAL
Miami 87
Utah 136 FINAL
Minnesota 130
Washington 118 FINAL
Boston 102
Toronto 92 FINAL
New York 95
Golden State 116 FINAL
Denver 112
LA Clippers 104 FINAL
Portland 110
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Sacramento 99
Montreal 5 FINAL(OT)
Tampa Bay 4
Columbus 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 4
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Anaheim 4
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 2





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