Posted by: Feldman
The eyes of the state (high school hockey followers, anyway) are on Graham Arena tonight. The only game scheduled in the state is a good one.
Top-ranked and defending Class A state champ St. Thomas Academy comes to Graham tonight for a 7 p.m. showdown with No. 4-ranked Lourdes. The Eagles' ranking could well change when the newest polls come out today (after a loss at No. 19 Little Falls on Saturday, I'd expect Lourdes to fall out of the top 5, but not the top 10).
There are lots of reasons to get out and watch this one. When these teams met last season up at STA, Lourdes had the Cadets on the ropes before falling in OT. So, will it be another close battle tonight? Will STA prove it is No. 1 with a bullet? Will Lourdes prove it is worthy of a top-5 ranking in the state?
ST. THOMAS ACADEMY at LOURDES
When: 7 p.m. tonight
Where: Graham Arena I
Records: No. 1-ranked STA 1-1-0; No. 4 Lourdes 4-1-0
Last game: STA lost to Hill-Murray, 2-1, on Saturday; Lourdes lost at Little Falls, 5-2, on Saturday.
Last meeting: STA edged Lourdes, 6-5 in OT, on Feb. 8, 2011, at St. Thomas Ice Arena in Mendota Heights. AJ Reid scored 1:08 into OT for the victory.
Spotlight players: STA defenseman Eric Schurhamer does not have a point yet this season, but the 5-foot-10, 180-pound senior is a force on the blue line. He had 9 goals, 23 assists last season for the state champion Cadets. About three weeks ago, he verbally committed to play college hockey at Maine, where former Rochester Mayo defenseman Bill Norman is a freshman this season. Schurhamer also had 15 points in 20 games this fall in the Elite League. ... Lourdes forward Landon Farrell had arguably his best game of last season against STA in early February. He scored two goals (one short-handed) and had an assist. More importantly, he was dominant at both ends of the ice and controlled the pace of the game by himself in stretches. In big-game situations like these, Lourdes needs its playmakers to step up. The Eagles top line not only needs to provide offense tonight, it needs to be responsible at both ends.
Of note: Both teams have just one loss. STA lost to the No. 10-ranked team in Class AA, Hill-Murray (2-1), while Lourdes lost to 18th-ranked Little Falls (5-2).