Red hot start for Maple Grove boys hockey earns first #1 ranking

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Maple Grove boys hockey has flown out of the gate this season. Their 5-0 record and staggering goal-scoring pace has earned them the first #1 ranking in program history – and it’ll be put to the test this week.

Click the video box on this page to watch KSTP Sports’ interviews with Maple Grove players Sam Jacobs and Kyle Kukkonen along with head coach Todd Bergland – they discuss their 5-0 start to the season, their smoking-hot offense, the pride of earning the #1 ranking in the state poll and how disappointing finishes each of the last two seasons is driving them this year

The Crimson have outscored opponents 45-10 this season through five games.

The scoring barrage has been paced by an all-senioe line of Kyle Kukkonen, Sam Jacobs and Chris Kernan – a unit that’s been skating together for the last couple years.

Jacobs’ 11 goals, Kukkonen’s eight and Kernan’s two give the line an average of more than four goals per game.

The perfect start has earned Maple Grove what coach Todd Bergland says is the program’s first #1-ranking in the statewide poll – a distinction the players take a great deal of pride in, but they stress their primary goal won’t be measured until the end of the season.

The Crimson roster features twelve seniors, many of whom have played together all the way through youth hockey. Bergland attributes much of this season’s early success to the cohesion and bond among his players.

That senior class is being driven by coming up short of their goals the last two seasons.

As sophmores, the Crimson’s massive contingent of class of 2021’ers lost a dramatic Section Final to Blaine 2-1.

Last year, they finally reached the State Tournament but bowed out in a wild first round offensive shootout against Blake.

Maple Grove hosts #10 Andover on Thursday night. Andover was the #1-ranked team much of last season and are off to a perfect 6-0 start of their own this year.