RED LAKE FALLS, Minn.-Making the transition from Bantam A to high school varsity hockey was something Zak Kennett anticipated would take time.
"I was expecting some adjustments, having to get used to things,'' Kennett said. "High school hockey is faster paced, the guys are bigger, there's more hitting.
"It's been a bit of a surprise.''
That's because the Red Lake Falls sophomore has been a dominant scorer from Game 1 for the Eagles.
Kennett opened the season with two goals and three assists in a 6-5 loss to Mayville-Portland-CG in his first varsity game. That was the start of a run in which Kennett had two or more goals in nine consecutive games.
The run of multiple goal-games ended when he had a single goal Tuesday in a 5-2 loss to Kittson County Central.
"You see a few kids in smaller programs go on scoring streaks,'' RLF coach Trevor Page said. "But I don't know if its very often that it is that many games with multiple goals. That's pretty unbelievable.''
That Kennett has emerged as a scoring threat isn't a surprise to Page.
"Zak has speed, great hands and a nice shot,'' Page said. "And he sees the ice so well. He capitalizes on his chances.
"I expected him to come in and be one of our top players. But 23 goals in his first 10 games-I didn't see that coming.''
The outburst has included a four-goal game against Moose Lake and two other hat tricks. Kennett has had five or more points in four of RLF's first 10 games.
That production has Kennett among the state's elite scorers. Entering the weekend, according to the website mnhockeyhub.com, Kennett ranks tied for third in the state in goals scored and 11th in the state with his 35 points.
Kennett (23 goals-12 assists) and linemate Fred Landman (14-4) have been a strong one-two punch for the Eagles. Landman already has matched his season goal-scoring total from a year ago, when he led the team.
"Fred is more of a gritty, hard-to-the-net kind of player,'' Page said. "They work well together.''
The duo's combined 37 goals have accounted for all but six of the Eagles' scores this season. Their goals are only two shy of the total RLF scored the entire 2017-18 season, when the Eagles went 3-21-1.
Red Lake Falls is 3-7-0 this season, with almost every game close. The Eagles are 2-4 in games decided by one goal. Three other games were decided by two scores.
"It's surprising,'' Kennett said of his explosive start. "But it's disappointing that we didn't win more. It's more about our won-loss record.
"I'd like to keep this pace up. But if other guys are scoring and we're winning, that's all that matters.''