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Tourney Team Preview: Minnetonka

Minnetonka rolls into St. Paul the winners of the most highly-anticipated section final in the state.

Alex Lunski of Minnetonka High School.

Section 2AA

No. 1 Minnetonka Skippers


Coach: Sean Goldsworthy

Final Let’s Play Hockey Ranking: No. 1


Players to Watch: #19 F Hagen Burrows, #15 F Gavin Garry, #22 F Javon Moore, #23 D John Stout, #31 G Kaizer Nelson

7th Appearance

Last Appearance: 2018

1 State Championship

Minnetonka rolls into St. Paul the winners of the most highly-anticipated section final in the state. The Skippers defeated No. 3AA Chanhassen 2-1 in double overtime of the Section 2AA title game at Braemar Arena in Edina last Thursday.

The Skippers will make their first appearance in St. Paul since Bobby Brink and company won the 2018 Class AA state title.

After appearing at No. 7 in the preseason Class AA Let’s Play Hockey poll, Minnetonka hasn’t dropped lower than third in the rankings since. They’ve been sitting comfortably at No. 1 since late January and bring a 17-game winning streak with them to the ‘X’

Even though the Skippers don’t have a Mr. Hockey or Frank Brimsek finalist, they’re absolutely loaded with talent. Hagen Burrows and Gavin Garry lead the team in points with 45 and 42, respectively, and the team has eight players in total with more than 20 points this season.


Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament coverage including game recaps, photos, brackets, schedules and more from The Rink Live

Alex Lunski, a St. Thomas commit who scored the game-winner in the section final, and Minnesota commit Javon Moore are also players to watch.

The incredibly balanced scoring has helped keep Minnetonka with the state’s best offensive teams while averaging nearly four and a half goals per game against a tough Lake Conference schedule. The Skippers have outscored their opponents 125-31 this season, including a 51-6 advantage in the second period.

The defense is helped by senior goalie Kaizer Nelson and his .933 save percentage. He’s giving up just over a goal per game in net for the Skippers and came up big in the section final when called upon.

The only goal that got past him against Chanhassen was a bad bounce off the end glass that redirected in front of the crease while Nelson was behind the net to play the puck.

Even playing against a very strong team in the section final, the Skippers were largely able to limit opposing chances and keep the Storm out of scoring areas in front of the net. Minnetonka has the ability to shut down any team in the state when it’s playing its game, and it’ll have the chance to prove it this week at the ‘X’.

That shutdown ability, a deep lineup, strong special teams and four Division I commits will make the Skippers a tough out in St. Paul.

Ranked Wins (Based on Feb. 23 Let’s Play Hockey Rankings): No. 5AA Andover (4-1, Nov. 26), No. 15AA Moorhead (3-0, Dec. 3), No. 6AA Rogers (5-0, Dec. 17), No. 20AA Eastview (5-0, Jan. 10), No. 9AA Duluth East (4-1, Jan. 14), No. 2AA Edina (4-0, Jan. 19; 1-0, Feb. 11), No. 19AA Eden Prairie (3-2, Jan. 21; 4-3, Feb. 16), No. 13AA Lakeville South (5-2, Jan. 28), No. 7AA Wayzata (4-2, Feb. 2), No. 16AA Shakopee (3-1, Feb. 25), No. 3AA Chanhassen (2-1 2OT, March 2)

Ranked Losses: No. 3AA Chanhassen (4-1, Dec. 10), No. 7AA Wayzata (3-1, Jan. 7)


Ranked Ties: N/A

Eli is an audience engagement specialist for Forum Communications Co., with experience in producing and designing content on a variety of digital platforms. He works closely with team members to enhance content to improve audience experience.
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