Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Mankato West/New Prague

I had the opportunity to take in a game between Mankato West High School and New Prague High School. I had picked each team to win their respective section, and because the last game I went to(Mankato East/Faribault) featured teams from their section, it was an interesting comparison.

New Prague won the game 9-2, and obviously controlled most of the play. Section 6 of Class A is generally stronger than Section 1. I believe New Prague also beat Mankato East last year by a similar score, and East ended up going to the State Tournament.

To me, it seemed like Faribault was a little faster than New Prague, though I think New Prague has a little more depth than Faribault. I'll definitely be interested to see the result when these two teams meet. I might give Faribault the slight advantage, but I think it would be a very close game.

Mankato East looks to be a little closer to Mankato West than I expected. West's top line is better than East's, but East is an extremly scrappy team that I think could give them a run for their money.

East scored four unanswered goals late in the third period to beat Section 1 rival Austin by a score of 8-7. Junior Isaac Kolstad scored three of those goals, including the game-tying and game-winning goals in the last minute of play. So it's a big win for Mankato East, but it looks Austin will be in the mix as well in Section 1. Albert Lea hasn't really played anyone yet, but they're probably one of the favorites as well. It should be a very interesting four-horse race in the section.