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Spuds prepare for No. 1 team

It may be early, but this one is still a biggie. Second-ranked Moorhead heads to top-ranked Roseau tonight for a boys hockey battle. "This will be a good test for us, and it's definitely something a lot of people are talking about," Spuds coach D...

It may be early, but this one is still a biggie.

Second-ranked Moorhead heads to top-ranked Roseau tonight for a boys hockey battle.

"This will be a good test for us, and it's definitely something a lot of people are talking about," Spuds coach Dave Morinville said. "It's two good teams, and this one's at their rink. ... We're ranked first and second, but it's still early. Time will still tell if we deserve to be up there."

Tonight's matchup should go a long way in determining if the Spuds (3-0) and Rams

(5-0) are legit, but Morinville warns that it's still a regular-season game, and it's still the middle of December.

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"There is a lot of hype, no question, but there isn't a trophy for whoever wins this one," Morinville said. "It's early. We see them again in January, and I'd be surprised if we didn't see them again in the playoffs."

There is still a lot of season left, but the winner of this game will be the early frontrunner for the top seed at the Class 2A, Section 8 tournament.

"This obviously sets the tone for that No. 1 spot in the section," Morinville said. "From that standpoint, it's very big."

Tonight's game is the start of a mini-gauntlet for the Spuds. After the game with the Rams, Moorhead hosts Grand Rapids on Friday and Duluth East on Saturday.

Grand Rapids is 3-1, while Duluth East (4-0) is ranked seventh. The Thunderhawks' lone loss was to No. 3 Cloquet-Esko-Carlton.

"When you take a look at this week, it's a great test for our team," Morinville said. "You can't look past anybody during a week like this, and we'll have to stay focused. Right now, we're just worrying about Roseau."

Readers can reach Forum sports writer Kerry Collins at (701) 241-5548

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