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Junior Jonathon Arko is one of the key returners from White Bear Lake's state tournament team from last season. Photo by Brian Nelson

White Bear Lake is riding a 24-game Suburban East Conference win streak. The Bears have reached the state tournament in 2008, 2011 and last year, when they finished fourth.

Few programs can match White Bear Lake’s recent success, although dominance of the north and east metro doesn’t garner the same level of respect powerhouse programs from the brimming-with-talent south and west receive.

Bears coach Brandon Husak has tried to venture out of the program’s comfort zone as much as possible in recent years, and White Bear Lake is coming off Saturday’s 5-4 loss to three-time state champion (2007, 2010, 2011) Benilde-St. Margaret’s.

It’s right back into the Suburban East for the Bears (4-1) on Monday, however, against an undefeated East Ridge team hungry to knock White Bear Lake off its perch. The Raptors (6-0) feature a shutdown defense that has allowed just 15 goals for a 2.5 per-game average.

White Bear Lake has defeated East Ridge by scores of 12-5, 10-3, 13-2, 16-4 and 16-5 in the past four years, but this matchup figures to be much more competitive.

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