ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Top Games

BOYS HOCKEY: Cloquet-Esko-Carlton at Duluth East 7:15 p.m. tonight, Thursday, Dec. 15 Heritage Sports Center, Duluth If you're a prep hockey fan, there's no better night than tonight. For years, the Lumberjacks and Greyhounds have been the best h...

We are part of The Trust Project.

BOYS HOCKEY:

Cloquet-Esko-Carlton at Duluth East

7:15 p.m. tonight, Thursday, Dec. 15

Heritage Sports Center, Duluth

  If you're a prep hockey fan, there's no better night than tonight. For years, the Lumberjacks and Greyhounds have been the best high school hockey show north of Hinckley. And nothing changes that tradition this winter.

ADVERTISEMENT

A year ago, these pair of Herculean hockey programs split, with CEC claiming a 4-3 finish in Cloquet last December, while East delivered the favor in February with their 6-3 win.

Lumberjacks and Greyhounds coaches Dave Esse and Mike Randolph are two of the state's most recognizable names in the sport, so when their prestigious programs meet, yearly bragging rights are always atop the list.

East is ranked 11th in the Class AA polls.

Plan to get to tonight's game plenty early. Parking can be like a game of Tetris at the Heritage, while seats will be at a premium for the many hockey lover's in our area. Arriving for the JV game beforehand is not frowned upon.

 

BOYS BASKETBALL:

Cloquet vs. Grand Rapids

7:15 p.m. tonight, Thursday, Dec. 15

ADVERTISEMENT

Cloquet High School

Perhaps you're a prep boys hoops fan? Then skip the hockey game and checkout Cloquet tonight, as the Lumberjacks play host to the Thunderhawks in a hardwood home-opening contest certain to entertain.

Cloquet and Grand Rapids are often a pair of picks poised to make runs come playoff time in March. That is a long ways from now, but that doesn't mean these two could meet for all of the marbles in a few months.

In fact, the Lumberjacks and Thunderhawks have combined to win seven of the past nine Section 7AAA titles, with Cloquet claiming the 2014 crown a year following Grand Rapids' rampage of the section from 2008-2013. It'd be a safe bet to take one of these two to do it again this winter. That makes tonight even more intriguing.

 

GIRLS BASKETBALL:

Esko vs. Mountain Iron-Buhl

7:15 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19

ADVERTISEMENT

Esko High School

  If prep girls basketball is your thing, the Eskomos and Rangers is a must-see matchup next Monday in Esko, as these pair of premier small schools are two of the top teams in the state, regardless of class.

Something will have to give next week, as both pace-pushing programs have yet to lose. Esko, ranked sixth in Class AA, has won its first five games, while MIB, Class A's top-ranked team, has claimed its opening six.

It's surprising this game isn't scheduled in the Twin Cities, as both schools have made Minneapolis their second home, with the Eskomos advancing to two of the past three state tournaments, while the Rangers have rattled off an unmatched six straight state trips southbound. Expect both to return again this March.

If state tournaments aren't enough, maybe sustained success is. Rangers coach Jeff Buffetta has 376 career wins, while the in the history of the Esko girls program, they hone 801 victories. Get to Esko Monday. It's worth every penny.

What To Read Next
Peterson’s unassisted goal lifts Springfield to the NAHL home win.
Thoreson’s third-period goal is the difference as Posch is tough in net for Minnesota.
Kevin Marx Noren's third-period goal decided it.
A replay review confirmed the puck entered the net with :00.3 seconds remaining.