Eden Prairie hosted Minnetonka in a big Lake Conference matchup that could have ramifications on who may win the Conference down the road. Between the two teams you had 6 division 1 commitments along with other players who will become Division 1 players down the road.
Eden Prairie was without one of their top 6 forwards in Carter Batchelder (Colorado College) but still displayed one of the top lines in the state featuring John Mittelstadt (Minnesota), Ben Steeves (Minnesota-Duluth) and Drew Holt. Minnetonka is considered one of the deeper teams in the state and led by their big time goal scorer Teddy Lagerback (Arizona State). Keep in mind that these two defensive cores are great with each displaying a top power play running defender on the blue line in Luke Mittelstadt (Eden Prairie/Minnesota) and Duke Kiffin (Minnetonka).
Eden Prairie jumped out to a lead and controlled most of the game but some penalty trouble left them holding on as the Skippers made a push. Minnetonka fought their way back and had a big power play late to tie the game but was held scoreless on the man advantage. Eden Prairie held on to win 4-3 in this class of Lake Conference foes.
SEE BELOW FOR PLAYER GAME GRADES:
Luke Mittelstadt (D, L, 5’11”, 180, Eden Prairie HS, 01/22/2003, Minnesota) – Luke is only a Junior but may be the best defenseman in the State of Minnesota. He absolutely can do it all and tonight was no exception. On the power play he took command while moving the puck or hammering it from the blue line. He scored a great one-time goal on a pass from Busby in the 1st period. What really separates him is that he can defend top players off the rush or down low. His positioning and feet are great and it was tough to gain the offensive zone on him. When he got his ahold of opponents he was strong enough to push them off the puck. The University of Minnesota has to be very excited to get him on campus in a couple years.
John Mittelstadt (F, L, 5’8″, 160, Eden Prairie HS, 11/27/2001, Minnesota) – John played with a ton of pace and energy all game which game him several chances to score. He cashed his using his quick release while coming off the wall in the 1st period. He made a bit time behind the back pass setting up Steeves for a tap in goal from behind the net. His stick was quick and it allowed him to get pucks to his fore hand and release them quickly surprising the goaltender. His second effort and willingness to compete allowed him to have the puck on his stick early and often.
Ben Steeves (F, L, 5’8″, 150, Eden Prairie HS, 05/10/2002, Minnesota Duluth) – Ben put a couple big time moves on defenders off the rush and showed his skill level off. He is smooth and skilled which game defender’s issues. For a smaller forward he was strong on the puck and fought off checks. When given the chance he showed he is willing to go to the net, which resulted in him scoring twice from within 10 feet. He should only get better as he gains strengths and has the making of a very good college hockey player.
Mason Langenbrunner (D, R, 6’2″, 166, Eden Prairie HS, 09/14/2002, Harvard) – The long rangy defender made his mark on the game with his puck moving and ability to shut down rushes with his reach. He showed the ability to handle the puck while moving up ice or going back to retrieve it. He can turn well with defenders and push them out of time and space. He made strong reads with the puck and got it up ice to his play makers.
Luke Busby (D, L, 5’11”, 180, Eden Prairie HS 02/28/2002) – Luke is a smooth skater with mobility while handling the puck. He was shifty and could turn very well. He made an impact on the power play by handling pucks while moving and opening up lanes to move the puck. Made a great pass to Luke Mittelstadt that set up a one-time power play goal. His skating ability allowed him to keep his feet in front of attackers off the rush and leave them nowhere to go.
Riku Brown (F, L, 6’1″, 220, Eden Prairie HS, 10/22/2002) – Riku is a large power forward but has quick hands that allowed him a lot of time with the puck down low. He turned back on defenders while handling the puck close to his body in tight. This made it very hard for defenders to get him off the puck. Quick feet as well for a big forward to go along with his hands. Although he was held scoreless, he wore defenders down in the offensive zone and had an impact on the game. He has upside down the road as he enters Junior hockey and beyond.
Teddy Lagerback (F, R, 6’0″, 190, Minnetonka HS, 08/21/2001, Arizona State) – Teddy was his normal self again being a complete nightmare for defenders to separate him from the puck. He played his normal heavy game down low using his quick hands and body to shield defenders from the puck. Always a threat to score at any time with his heavy shot that comes off quickly. He hammered a one timer on the power play that found the back of the net quickly. Eden Prairie had a hard time defending him but they were able to limit him to only one power play goal.
Duke Kiffin (D, R, 6’0″, 181, Minnetonka HS, 11/15/2002) – Duke always had his head up with the puck and was able to adjust his body to move it quickly. Very poised and confident with it while walking the blue line. He found lanes to shoot or was able to put the puck right on the money for his team mates to shoot it. Set up a great one timer on the power play for the Lagerback goal by putting it right in his wheel house. The smooth skating defender handles the puck very well and is on the rise by having a breakout season.
Hunter Newhouse (D, L, 5’8″, 150, Minnetonka HS, 01/01/2002) – Hunter was very slippery as he never appears to be skating really hard but he is so efficient on his edges that he glided away from defenders. His edges and ability to change direction left defenders reaching all game long. He has great hands and one on one ability which made the Eden Prairie defenders miss often. He was very pass first and set his line mantes up with scoring chances by threading the needle. His shot is accurate and he could’ve been a bit more aggressive as he passed up some shots. He was a play waiting to happen when he touched the puck..
Griffin Streeter (F, R, 5’8″, 160, Minnetonka HS, 08/23/2001) – Griffin can skate and used that ability to open up time and space when he had the puck on his stick. He played with pace and energy throughout. He didn’t get on the scoresheet but had an impact by putting pressure on defenders with speed and making things happen offensively. With the puck he made quick plays and moved the puck quickly as well as show he can get it off his stick quickly and put it to the net.
Photo Credit: Dan Hickling/ Hickling Images