It's safe to say that the most significant showdown of the regular season (so far) is set for Monday. That's when the top two teams in the state coaches' poll released on May 8 clash as No. 2 Prior Lake visits No. 1 Eden Prairie in a must-see contest and our pick for Top Game of the Week.
With each team cruising through their respective schedules and boasting perfect records against in-state competition, it is possible that a victory could also be defining moment for both teams that have legitimate state title aspirations.
The top two teams in the state clash when No. 2 Prior Lake visits No. 1 Eden Prairie in our pick for Top Game of the Week. And with both teams cruising through their respective schedules, it is possible that there could be a rematch in the state tournament.
Monday's matchup is a chance for Prior Lake to add another contender to the list of teams it has topped this season and gain valuable experience it can use to navigate a run to an elusive state championship.
The Lakers (9-0, 6-0) have been close before, going to the state tournament three times in the last four years, including a season ago when they were stopped short by eventual state champion Apple Valley.
But this season, nothing has stopped Prior Lake thanks to a potent offense that has outscored opponents 157-35 through nine games heading into this week.
The gap may continue to increase thanks to several standout players. Payton Bloedow and Mackenzie Salentre have each scored more than 20 goals this season, and goaltender Grace Mattox has a .545 save percentage through eight games.
While Prior Lake is trying to take its program to the next level, Eden Prairie is trying to maintain its standing as the state's premier program.
The Eagles were one of only two programs (Blake was the other) to have won a state title since the sport was sanctioned by the Minnesota State High School League, and they were working on securing their fourth straight championship last season but fell to Apple Valley in the title game to end both feats.
Eden Prairie has been a dominant force this season, falling only to Loyola Academy, a school from Illinois.