Benilde-St. Margaret’s, ranked 12th in MN Boys Hockey Hub early rankings, will play 11 games in the first 31 days of the season.
That slate of games features the 2020 and 2021 Class AA state champions, Hill-Murray (4th) and Eden Prairie (15th), along with Section 6AA foes Cretin-Derham Hall (2nd) and 2021 state tournament participant Wayzata (11th), along with top-10 teams Maple Grove (3rd) and Moorhead (7th), and Class A power and pre-season top-ranked Hermantown.
“There will be no hiding in the first month of the season,” Red Knight head coach Ken Pauly said. “We will know what type of team that we have by January as the schedule is front-loaded with some great teams."
The first month of the season also features a pair of major events, the Champions Cup, Dec. 6-7, and The Tradition at the Park, Dec. 28-30, both of which will be held at the St. Louis Park Recreation Center.
BSM opens the season Nov. 30 at Hill-Murray and, three days later, take part in the Champions Cup, which will feature public schools Eden Prairie and Hermantown facing private schools Benilde-St. Margaret’s and Hill-Murray.
The Red Knights will take on Hermantown, Dec. 3, and take on Eden Prairie the following day before closing out 2021 with eight games in 23 days six of which will be at the SLP Rec Center.
"The North-South Challenge weekend has been revised as Hill-Murray will take the place of Brainerd,” Pauly said.
“What a great test. With Hill-Murray and Eden Prairie you have the last two state championship teams and Hermantown is a great powerhouse and champion as well."
The Tradition at the Park event sees BSM facing Rogers, Dec. 28, followed by a featured matchup the following evening versus Maple Grove, before closing out the tournament, Dec. 30, by taking on Stillwater.
"The Christmas tourney provides two teams that we normally don't see,” Pauly stated. “We will have our mettle tested by a Maple Grove team that will most likely be considered one of the best teams in the state again. We will come out of the Christmas break with a great idea of where we are at."
The 2022 portion of the schedule continues that loaded schedule as, after an eight-day layoff, BSM faces Edina, Jan. 8, at Braemar Arena.
Nine of the final 13 games of the season make up the Metro West Conference schedule and include conference newcomers New Prague, Orono and Waconia.
The four non-conference games feature a pair of formidable foes in St. Thomas (14th) and another Class A power in Mahtomedi (6th).
"We welcome some new teams into the Metro West Conference,” Pauly said. “It will be fun to see some new programs on the schedule.
“We still hang onto our power scheduling so we get the benefits of conference play and still playing a great non-conference schedule."