Page 1

Volume XLVI • Number 22 • Issue 1238

March 22, 2018

! S P M A H C Andover took home the 12U A trophy. Find out what other youth associations won across the state on pages 15-18.

IN THIS ISSUE

DON LUCIA STEPS DOWN ... pg. 4 JOSH LEVINE

KIM MCCULLOUGH

ANDY NESS

DAVE SCHWARTZ

JACK BLATHERWICK

JACK BLATHERWICK

Darwitz leads Pipers to new heights ... pg. 9

Fixing skating issues ... pg. 6

Is playmaking the difference? ... pg. 7

Five dealbreakers for scouts ... pg. 8

Mike Richter Award finalists page 3

Refining technique ... pg. 12 The problem at the U is ticket prices ... pg. 13

ANDREW VITALIS

National title or bust for SCSU ... pg. 13

Summer 2018 Hockey Training & Development

There is nothing so likely to produce victory than to be well prepared to meet the enemy.

full clinic line-up & online registration at

www.mnmadehockeytraining.com


A K S N K O I P T E P E N R N I S M

CLASS AA STATE CHAMPS!

CONGRATULATIONS SKIPPERS! THE ROAD TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP MAY BE LONG, BUT WE ARE #TONKATOUGH! MORRIE’S MINNETONKA FORD IS A PROUD SUPPORTER OF

MINNETONKA HIGH SCHOOL HOCKEY


www.letsplayhockey.com

March 22, 2018

Let’s Play Hockey

3

Five finalists announced for 2018 Mike Richter Award

Let’s Play Hockey has announced the five finalists for the 2018 Mike Richter Award, which honors the most outstanding goaltender in NCAA men’s hockey. The fifth annual award will be presented at the 2018 NCAA Men’s Frozen Four in St. Paul, on Friday, April 6.

Matthew Galajda • Cornell • Freshman The ECAC Goalie and Rookie of the Year and an All-ECAC First Team selection, Matthew Galajda led the Big Red to the ECAC regular season championship while leading the conference in goals-against average (1.49), shutouts (9) and winning percentage (.815). A native of Aurora, Ont., he posted a 21-4-2 overall record and ranks first in the nation in goals-against average, shutouts and winning percentage, third in save percentage (.940) and tied for seventh in wins. The freshman netminder played over 83 percent of Cornell’s minutes, allowing two goals or less 21 times. Galajda stopped 30 or more shots in four games this season, and posted a .930 or better save percentage in 17 games. A Hobey Baker Award top 10 finalist, Galajda is a hotel administration major at Cornell. Tanner Jaille Jaillett • Den Denvv er • Senior The reigning Mike Richter Award winner, Tanner Jaillet, added more hardware this season, earning NCHC Goaltender of the Year and All-NCHC First Team honors while backstopping Denver to second place in the NCHC. The senior led the conference in save percentage (.929), goals-against average (1.85) and wins (21, tied with UMD’s Hunter Shepard). The native of Red Deer, Alberta., owns a 21-8-7 record and ranks fifth in the nation in goals-against average, tied for fifth in shutouts (5), seventh in save percentage and wins, and ninth in winning percentage (.681). Jaillet has posted six games with 30 or more saves and has notched a .930 or better save percentage in 22 games this season. The three-time NCHC Goalie of the Week has played over 91 percent of the Pioneers’ minutes this season and has allowed two goals or less 25 times. Jaillet is a real estate & built environment major at Denver.

2018 Mike Richter Award Finalists Name Matthew Galajda Tanner Jaillet Cale Morris Colton Point Cayden Primeau

School Cornell Denver Notre Dame Colgate Northeastern

Year Freshman Senior Sophomore Sophomore Freshman

Cale Morris • Notre Dame • Sophomore Cale Morris backstopped the secondranked Fighting Irish to a runaway win of the Big Ten regular season championship while leading the conference in save percentage (.946), goals-against average (1.92), shutouts (4, tied with MSU’s John Lethemon), wins (24), winning percentage (.766) and saves (1,089). The Big Ten Player and Goalie of the Year owns a 24-7-1 record and ranks first in the nation in save percentage, wins and saves, third in winning percentage, seventh in goals-against average, tied for 12th in shutouts and 18th in minutes played (1937:47). A native of Larskpur, Colo., Morris has allowed two goals or less 23 times and has posted a .930 or better save percentage in 25 games. He has stopped 30 or more shots in 23 games this season, including a career-high 55-save performance in a 2-2 tie at Penn State on Feb. 3. A Hobey Baker Award top 10 finalist, Morris is a business major at Notre Dame.

W-L-T 21-4-2 21-8-7 24-7-1 16-12-5 19-7-5

GAA 1.49 1.85 1.92 1.74 1.88

SV% .940 .929 .946 .944 .932

SO 9 5 4 6 4

Colton Point • Colgate • Sophomore Colton Point is a member of the ECAC AllConference Second Team and was a finalist for both the ECAC Player and Goaltender of the Year Awards. A native of North Bay, Ont., Point posted a 16-12-5 record and ranks second in the nation in save percentage (.944) and goals-against average (1.74), fourth in shutouts (6), eighth in saves (982) and 15th in minutes played (1997:05). In backstopping Colgate to a fifthplace tie in the ECAC, Point posted 17 games with 30 or more saves, including a career-high 51-save effort in a 2-0 win at Harvard on Jan. 27. Point earned a .930 or better save percentage in 25 games this season and was 5-4-6 in one-goal games on the year. A Hobey Baker Award top 10 finalist, Point is a fifth-round selection by the Dallas Stars in the 2016 NHL Draft and has not yet declared a major at Colgate. Cayden Primeau • Northeastern • Freshman An All-Hockey First Team selection and finalist for the league’s Rookie of the Year, Cayden Primeau led the Huskies to second place in Hockey East while leading the conference in goals-against average (1.88),

save percentage (.932) and winning percentage (.694). A native of Voorhees, N.J., he posted a 197-5 overall record and ranks sixth in the nation in goals-against average, save percentage and winning percentage, tied for 12th in shutouts (4) and 13th in wins. The freshman netminder played nearly 86 percent of the Huskies’ minutes, allowing two goals or less 21 times. Primeau stopped 30 or more shots in eight games this season, including a career-high 38 in a 5-2 win vs. Boston University on Feb. 12. The three-time Hockey East Rookie of the Week, two-time Goaltender of the Month and National Rookie of the Month for December honoree posted a .930 or better save percentage in 18 games. A seventh-round selection by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2017 NHL Draft, Primeau is a general studies major at Northeastern. The finalists combine for a 1.78 goalsagainst average, a .938 save percentage and a grade-point average of 3.08. The 2018 Mike Richter Award will be presented at ESPN’s #CawlidgeHawkey event at Tom Reid’s Hockey City Pub, on Friday, April 6 (7:15 p.m.), featuring John Buccigross and Barry Melrose. Fans are encouraged to attend the event, which will feature a Q&A, giveaways, autographs and lots of college hockey talk. More details will be announced next week. Candidates for the Mike Richter Award were determined by nominations from all 60 NCAA Division I men’s hockey head coaches. The finalists and winner are selected by a committee of coaches, scouts and members of the media. Past winners: 2017 Tanner Jaillet (Denver), 2016 Thatcher Demko (Boston College), 2015 Zane McIntyre (North Dakota), 2014 Connor Hellebuyck (UMass Lowell)

NOTES: There are three Canadians and two Americans among the finalists • Conference breakdown: ECAC 2, Big Ten 1, Hockey East 1, NCHC 1 • The finalists include one senior, two sophomores and two freshmen.


4

March 22, 2018

Let’s Play Hockey

www.letsplayhockey.com

Don Lucia steps down as Gopher hockey coach

Let’s Play Hockey photo by Mike Thill

University of Minnesota Athletics Director Mark Coyle and Head Coach Don Lucia announced Tuesday that Lucia will step down as Minnesota’s head men’s hockey coach, pending the approval of the University’s Board of Regents later this week. Coyle and Lucia have agreed that he will remain with Gopher Athletics as special assistant to the athletics director through June 30, 2019. “Gopher Hockey is not just a college hockey program, it’s a cultural institution in the state of Minnesota, built on more than 90 years of success and tradition. Few have contributed as much to that legacy as Don,” said Coyle. “He knows how much I appreciate everything he has accomplished in his 19 years as head coach, but he and I also agree that it’s time for someone else to lead our program. From his program’s commitment to academic excellence to the banners his teams raised into in our rafters, I can’t thank him enough for what he’s contributed to the success of Gopher Hockey.”

Don Lucia compiled a 457-248-73 overall record during his 19-year tenure at Minnesota.

“I want to thank Mark Dienhart for giving me a tremendous opportunity 19 years ago.

I came to Minnesota because of the tradition, and I hoped to add to the tradition when

Possible Gopher men’s hockey coach candidates Name Ben Barr Norm Bazin Scott Bell Mike Hastings Darby Hendrickson Phil Housley Mike Guentzel Trent Klatt Nate Leaman Jim Montgomery Bob Motzko Grant Potulny Todd Richards Steve Rohlik Scott Sandelin Robb Stauber Tom Ward

Current Position Massachusetts associate head coach UMass Lowell head coach Minnesota assistant coach Minnesota State head coach Minnesota Wild assistant coach Buffalo Sabres head coach Minnesota associate head coach N.Y. Islanders scout Providence head coach Denver head coach St. Cloud State head coach Northern Michigan head coach Tampa Bay Lightning assistant coach Ohio State head coach Minnesota Duluth head coach U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Buffalo Sabres assistant coach

Note Faribault native Inver Grove Heights native, Gopher alum Former Gopher assistant coach Richfield native, Gopher alum Grand Rapids native, Gopher alum, long-time Minnesota assistant Robbinsdale native, Gopher alum, former Grand Rapids HS coach Austin native, former Gopher assistant coach Gopher alum former Gopher assistant coach Crystal native, Gopher alum, former Wild head coach St. Paul native Hibbing native Duluth native, former Gopher assistant coach Richfield native, Gopher alum, former Gopher assistant

The Let’s Play Hockey Expo is set for March 8-9, 2019 at the St. Paul RiverCentre.

Follow Let’s Play Hockey on Twitter @LetsPlay_Hockey

I left. I am proud of the 14 banners that have been added to the rafters of 3M Arena at Mariucci. I am forever grateful to all the coaches, staff, and most importantly, the players who have worked so hard to accomplish this over the years,” said Lucia. “Most importantly to me, we did it the right way. Our players all graduate and have always represented themselves to the high standards of Gopher Hockey on and off the ice. It has been a tremendous honor and privilege to be the head hockey coach at the University of Minnesota.” Lucia steps down after 19 years leading one of the most decorated programs in college hockey history. His 457 wins are the most in program history, an average of more than 24 wins per season over his tenure at Minnesota. Since taking over as head coach in 1999, Lucia’s teams have raised 14 championship banners. His Gophers’ teams claimed eight regular-season conference crowns, as well as four conference tournament titles. Lucia guided five Gopher teams to the Frozen Four and won back-to-back national championships in 2002 and 2003. During his 31-year career as a Division I head coach, Lucia won 736 career games – ranking eighth all-time in NCAA history. He holds a 736-403-102 career coaching record, including a 457-247-73 mark at the University of Minnesota. In the classroom, his Gopher teams delivered results as well. The team’s collective, cumulative GPA was 3.15 following this year’s fall semester, and has been above 3.0 for more than six straight years. The team GPA for the fall semester alone was 3.31, the highest mark on record for the program. The NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate score for the program has been a perfect 1,000 for several years. Throughout his head coaching career, Lucia had 206 allconference academic honorees.

‘Like’ Let’s Play Hockey on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ letsplayhockey

Our PPar ar tner artner tnerss

Let’s Play Hockey 13 7th Street S. Sauk Centre, MN 56378 phone: (320) 333-3279 E-mail: letsplay@letsplayhockey.com E-mail team articles and photos to editor@letsplayhockey.com Founded in 1972 by Bob Utecht ISSN 0889-4795 Publisher Bryan Zollman • (320) 333-3279

Managing Editor Kevin Kurtt • (952) 288-9319

Metro Delivery Metro Distribution

Graphic Design David Terry

LET’S PLAY HOCKEY (LPH) is a newspaper devoted to covering all levels of hockey. LPH is published 29 times per year — once monthly in June, July, August and September; three times in October; and weekly November through April. Deadlines for news and camera-ready advertising are Mondays preceding each issue. Advertisements to be typeset must be in LPH office by the preceding Friday. All editorial copy, advertisements and photos remain the property of LET’S PLAY HOCKEY. LPH reserves the right to edit submitted stories and letters to the editor for length, grammar, punctuation and clarity. 29-issue subscription rates (U.S. funds): $68 one-year, third-class delivery $115 two-year, third-class delivery $110 one-year, Canadian delivery $199 one-year, Canadian delivery

Assistant Editor Beth Kurtt Columnists Jack Blatherwick, Kevin Hartzell, John Russo Contributors Chris Gernentz, Tim Kolehmainen, David LeGarde, Josh Levine, Mark Lichtenfeld, Kim McCullough, Andy Ness, Andrew Vitalis, Pete Waggoner Photography Susan McPherson, Mike Thill, Christine Wisch, Nick Wosika

Additional copies or back issues may be purchased by sending $3 to the LPH office. Send subscription inquiries, address changes and/or payments to: LET’S PLAY HOCKEY 13 7th Street S. Sauk Centre, MN 56378 or call (320) 333-3279 with questions. The opinions expressed in LET’S PLAY HOCKEY are not necessarily those of Let’s Play Hockey or Z Media, Inc., but of the individual columnists themselves. No articles or features may be reproduced without the permission of the publisher or the editor of Let’s Play Hockey. ©2017 Z Media, Inc. All rights reserved. LPH is online at www.letsplayhockey.com


March 22, 2018

www.letsplayhockey.com

5

Inside Minnesota Hockey www.minnesotahockey.org

Minnesota Hockey, an affiliate of USA Hockey, is the governing body of youth and amateur hockey in Minnesota and the premier developer of hockey players in the state. With over 67,000 registered players and coaches, it is the largest state governing body for amateur hockey in the United States.

Congratulations to the 2018 Minnesota Hockey State Champions The 2018 Minnesota Hockey season has finished with another great weekend of state tournaments. Congratulations to all of the teams that participated this weekend, including the 2018 State Champions! We hope you have numerous memories that will stick with you for years to come.

2018 Minnesota Hockey State Champions Tournament Junior Gold A Junior Gold B Junior Gold 16U Bantam AA Bantam A Bantam B PeeWee AA

Champion Edina St. Thomas Academy Stillwater Red Osseo/Maple Grove Edina Edina White Woodbury

Tournament PeeWee A PeeWee B 19U 15U A 15U B 12U A 12U B

Champion Warroad Edina Green Wayzata Edina Champlin Park/Coon Rapids Andover Stillwater Red

High School Nationals start Thursday in Plymouth

The 2018 Chipotle-USA Hockey National Championships will kick off on Thursday, March 22 in Plymouth, Minnesota, with the High School tournament. Featuring three divisions, including Division I Pure (for single-school teams), Division II Combined (for teams comprised of players from multiple high schools), and for the first time, a Girls Division, the High School tournament will be played at the Plymouth Ice Center. The North Star State has hosted USA Hockey Nationals on 41 previ-

ous occasions, most recently in 2016 when Blaine, Minnesota, was the site of USA Hockey’s Girls Tier I Nationals. Four teams from Minnesota, including the 2018 Junior Gold A State Champion Edina Hornets and the 2016 Pure Division National Champion and tournament host Wayzata Trojans, will be competing in the tournament. Joining them will be the Black and Green teams from the Minnesota Girls High School Coach Association’s Premier Prep League, who will be competing in the

inaugural Girls Division. USA Hockey, in conjunction with HockeyTV, will stream all the action online. Games are available live and on-demand by visiting USAHockey.HockeyTV.com, creating an account and purchasing a subscription. Also of note for tournament coverage is the USA Hockey National Championships app. Available for both Apple and Android devices, the app provides access to news, scores and schedules, as well as photos

and videos from fellow participants in the app social stream. In addition to streaming and mobile coverage, USA Hockey will provide stories, scoring, stats, standings and photos from each of the games on Nationals.USAHockey.com. Fans can follow all of the action from each tournament on Twitter (@USAHockey), Facebook (facebook.com/USAHockey) and Instagram (@usahockey) with the #USAHNationals hashtag.

CCM Minnesota Hockey High Performance Programs set to kick off Minnesota Hockey, in conjunction with CCM and the Minnesota Hockey Coaches Association (MHCA), announced today the kickoff of the 2018 CCM Minnesota Hockey High Performance season beginning Friday, March 23. The CCM Minnesota Hockey High Performance programs are designed to develop, train and identify the best players in Minnesota and to provide top players from each district or section the chance to play with and against the best players in the state. The action kicks off this weekend with the Ted Brill Great 8 Festivals being held at Doug Woog Arena in South St. Paul beginning Friday. For over 35 years, the Ted Brill Great 8 has provided high school seniors the opportunity to showcase their skills and abilities to coaches and scouts from junior, collegiate and professional teams. The event’s new format, which was initiated in 2017, features eight teams consisting of four teams selected from Senior players, and another four teams, referred to as

HP 18’s, determined from Junior players born in 2000. The Senior and HP 18 teams will be formed according to paired high school sections (Sections 1 & 3, Sections 2 & 6, Sections 4 & 5 and Sections 7 & 8). “The Ted Brill Great 8 is a fantastic way to start off the High Performance season,” said CCM Minnesota Hockey HP Director, Mike MacMillan. “We’re proud of these upperclassmen for their hard work and growth over their tremendous careers. Each year, Minnesota produces the most Division 1 hockey players in the country and our CCM High Performance Programs provide the opportunity for those coaches and scouts to see our top players perform.” Organized by the MHCA and Minnesota Hockey, the Ted Brill Great 8 is designated as a national development program by USA Hockey. Players are evaluated by qualified personnel, and 40 are selected to represent Minnesota in the Boys’ CCM National Invitational Tournament April 19 through 22

in Plymouth, Minn. Rosters and schedules for the Great 8 can be found at www.minnesotahockey.org. CCM Minnesota Hockey High Perfor-

mance events for the top hockey players will continue throughout the spring and summer.

2018 CCM Minnesota Hockey High Performance events Program CCM HP 16 & 17 Festival CCM Boys HP Final 54/CCM NIT & Boys HP 15 Festival CCM Girls HP Final 54/CCM NIT & Girls HP 15 Festival CCM Boys & Girls HP 14 Festival CCM HP 15 & HP 14 Summer Girls Camp CCM HP 15 & HP 14 Summer Boys Camp CCM HP Model Camp CCM Dave Peterson Goalie Camp

Dates April 13-15 April 19-22 April 19-22 April 20-22 June 9-14 June 16-21 July 23-27 August 2-5

Location Plymouth Ice Center Plymouth Ice Center Vadnais Sports Center Duluth Heritage Center Natl. Hockey Center • St. Cloud Natl. Hockey Center • St. Cloud Mariucci Arena • Minneapolis Natl. Hockey Center • St. Cloud

THANK YOU TO OUR CORPORATE SPONSORS


6

March 22, 2018

Let’s Play Hockey

www.letsplayhockey.com

Fixing skating issues A primer for parents

By Josh Levine Let’s Play Hockey

Let’s Play Hockey photo by Mike Thill

Skating right isn’t easy. Correcting bad form and technique is incredibly difficult, in large part because the consistency necessary to do so is something too many athletes are unwilling (or simply overscheduled and so unable) to do. Below is a list of some of the two common skating problems we see and general recommendations for what a training program should look like to fix them. 1. Lack of edge control, particularly with the outside edge: The toughest edge to hold the most pressure on is the outside edge. If a skater is having trouble, the first place we should look is at the ankle. Does the athlete have the ankle mobility and strength necessary? If not, we need to start there. In many cases, athletes simply have too wide of skates or are not lacing them up tight enough. Assuming ankle strength is not the issue, the next problem to investigate is motor control. Does the athlete understand how to hit an outside edge? It never ceases to amaze me how many players do not understand what an outside edge is, let alone how to properly hit it. Teaching these fundamental beginning skills often requires personal attention. Once an athlete knows them and understands them, it becomes about repetition and increasingly placing greater pressure at higher speeds on the outside edge. Too often, edge work becomes mundane. It’s the same thing over and over again. To some extent, it has to be, but we can vary

the pattern, the pressure and the radius of the turn, allowing players to be challenged and engaged. 2. Lack of knee bend and power: This is the most common issue and the solution is the least attempted. The story goes something like this: Johnny doesn’t get low enough when he skates. Well, Johnny also skates 4-5 times per week all winter season through about March 1. Then he joins his “AAA” organization or skating instructor on March 2. He plays in more games where his tired legs perform repetition after repetition of upright skating until it becomes habit. The parents get frustrated. “Johnny, why don’t you get lower!?” they exclaim on the ride home from games and practices. The problem IS a lack of athleticism! And it is accentuated by the constant non-stop hockey. You have to get off your skates. You need to take time off to heal or you’ll just

return to your baseline (past performance) and never improve. To solve the knee bend issue, players need to commit to an off-ice training program for a minimum of six weeks. Often times, it can take longer. They need to stay off the ice and re-train their muscles in the gym to get low. A lot of hockey players, surprisingly, will have weak hip abductors – the muscles used to stride away from the body. When they skate, the non-striding leg will not be aligned properly as the weak hip “escapes” toward the players’ center of mass,

Follow Let’s Play Hockey on Twitter @LetsPlay_Hockey

lessening the load on the front leg but also weakening its ability to push after the opposite leg recovers. This often leads to railroad skating. After we build the foundational athleticism, athletes need private and small group skating instruction where they can apply what they’ve learned and make sure every repetition is a quality one. It doesn’t take a ton of time, and dedicated athletes can take what they learn from an instructor and do on their own. Take the time to train this offseason. Forget the distractions and focus on what matters. Josh Levine is the Assistant Coach of the Bloomington Jefferson Girls Varsity Hockey team and owner of The Fortis Academy. Fortis works with youth associations to implement skill development programs with all teams, from Mites to Bantams. The program includes parent education seminars, coaching clinics and Fortis skill-based practices. If you’re interested in learning more, shoot Josh an email at joshletsplayhockey@gmail.com. Follow Fortis on Facebook and Instagram facebook.com/thefortisacademy and Instagram.com/thefortisacademy.

‘Like’ Let’s Play Hockey on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ letsplayhockey


www.letsplayhockey.com

March 22, 2018

Let’s Play Hockey

Is passing/playmaking the difference?

By Jack Blatherwick Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

Let’s Play Hockey photo by Mike Thill

This is just an opinion column. I’m not quoting hard data. I believe the winners of (almost) all recent major hockey tournaments played a more skillful, passing game compared to other contenders who tried to overcome superior skills with dump-chasehit game plans. Review the list of winners from the last decade or so, and see how many exceptions there are to this generalization. What style of play characterized Stanley Cup winners, Olympic gold medalists, high school, bantam and college champions? No doubt, dump-and-chase is part of a winning strategy at times, because when the defensive team traps effectively, it’s one way for the offense to regain possession of the puck. “You take what the defense gives you.” However, dump-and-chase becomes less viable if forwards who dump it in are not allowed to skate 70 feet at top speed and run the defense into the boards. Right now, the referees are part of the strategy by ignoring these charging infractions. The 2018 Minnesota Hockey Bantam AA and Minnesota State High School League boys’ Class AA champs were a refreshing model for the game of hockey. Osseo/ Maple Grove Bantam AA and Minnetonka High School did a lot of things right, of course: going after loose pucks and forechecking super-hard. They protected the puck with their body more than they hit bodies for the sake of hitting, but you better not carry the puck with your head down, because they can also be physical. Skating speed and agility, stickhandling, shooting skills and tenacious defense were painfully obvious to every opponent. Yes, these are great players individually, but the same could be said

The Pittsburgh Penguins win Stanley Cups because of their synergy, created partly by intelligent passing.

of many opponents. It’s the INTERDEPENDENCE of OMG and Tonka – the way they moved the puck and used teammates to attack on offense. That’s what set these two teams apart from others. For many teams, some talented Bantams are able to carry the puck through traffic, beat everyone on the other team and deke the goaltender. The top forward (or two or three) for OMG have that ability, but they choose, instead, to pass deceptively at just the right time. Because the leaders do it, the whole team does, and the result is unbeatable SYNERGY. This means the impact of their attack is greater than the sum of individual parts. The U.S. and Canadian women were evenly matched going into the Olympics. They’re the best skaters in the world, the

most skillful, and they’re all gritty competitors. Many exhibition games ended up in overtime, and the gold medal game was won in a shootout. But – this is my biased opinion again – as the game moved into the third period and overtime, the U.S. team kept up their speed-skill-passing game. The

7

Canadians’ skill and speed were not as evident as in the first two periods. High-speed skill and puck possession wore them down. We’ve seen it in every NCAA Frozen Four in the last decade or more: the most skillful team – Google the list – the best passing team won it all. So perhaps we’re recovering slowly from the devastating impact the 1970s Philadelphia Flyers had on the game. The Broad Street Bullies who won the 1974 and 1975 Stanley Cups made no pretense of playing by the rules. Fred Shero, the mastermind coach, knew the refs would call the same number of penalties on each team, so they broke bones and carved out facial lacerations while the other team got softer penalties for accidental trips. Not that hockey didn’t have its goons throughout history, but the Flyers took it to another level, establishing for every coach the fact that (illegal) intimidation works. Sadly, the evolution of the dump-and-chase game has relied on that to some extent. So I applaud those teams who do it with skill, and at higher levels of hockey – like the playoffs – skill means interdependence. Passing. To the winning coaches and players, I say: WELL DONE.

E-mail your hockey stories and photos to editor@letsplayhockey.com.


8

March 22, 2018

Let’s Play Hockey

Five dealbreakers for scouts

By Kim McCullough

you’re going to screw up out there. And so are your teammates. What will your body language say about the mistake you just made? Will you slam your stick on the ice? Will you shake your head or droop your shoulders? Will you slow down or speed up? Will you keep going full-out as if nothing ever happened? Bad body language is selfish and distracting, and it is a huge red flag for every coach and scout out there.

After spending the past 10 years coaching players who aspire to play hockey at the college hockey level and speaking with the scouts who are constantly narrowing down their shortlists of players who they are interested in, I know exactly how much the little details of the game make a big difference. If you want to play at the next level, you have to pay attention to the little details and avoid these five dealbreakers for college coaches:

2. Disappears as game/tournament goes on Everyone is excited and energized for the first shift of the game and the first game of the tournament. But can you sustain it? It is great to be a rock star at the start of the game and tournament, but if you are invisible in the third period or in the third game of the tournament, scouts will notice. You have to be consistent. It’s one of the hardest things for young players to learn,

Photo: Christine Wisch

1. Doesn’t stop on pucks Every player has heard their coach tell them to stop and start. There is nothing worse than watching a player do a “fly-by” on their check and do a big circle to recover back instead of stopping and starting. Whether it is after a turnover or while trying to angle your opponent, if you miss the puck or make a mistake, you have to stop and start instead of doing the big circle. It is so noticeable when players do it – I heard so many coaches and scouts expressing their frustration at “fly-bys” in every rink.

www.letsplayhockey.com

Delivering a consistent effort is critical if you want to get to the next level.

but it is absolutely critical if you want to get to the next level. Coaches want to know that you can deliver a consistent effort from shift-to-shift and game-to-game if they are going to even consider bringing you into their college program some day. 3. No second effort This one is just painful to watch. We all make mistakes on the ice. We miss the puck, miss our check, miss the net and mishandle the puck. How do you react when you make that mistake? Some players give up when they mess up, and that’s a serious red flag for every coach. It’s inevitable that you are going to make mistakes on the ice, but how will you recover from that mistake?

A player who is unwilling to make the second effort will not see the ice at the college level – if they even make it there at all. 4. Lazy changes This one is easy. You need to skate hard to the bench at the end of your shift and come off the bench like you’ve been shot out of a rocket to start your next shift. Lazy changes stick out like a sore thumb. Come out flying at the start of your shift and then work as hard as you can to change quickly so that your teammate can go out and get their job done.

These five dealbreakers have NOTHING to do with elite level skill. These are all CHOICES. You simply DECIDE that you are going to pay attention to these details. Differentiate yourself from the crowd by deciding to always be the hardest working player on the ice. Period. Don’t give a scout a reason to cross your name off the list. If you are playing spring or summer hockey in the offseason, remember that there is always someone watching and you never get the second chance to make a first impression. For a step-by-step guide to the whole scholarship process, visit http:// totalfemalehockey.com/scholarshipproject. Coach Kim McCullough, MSc, YCS, is an expert in the development of aspiring female hockey players on and off the ice. She is a former NCAA Division I captain at Dartmouth and played in the National Women’s Hockey League for six years. She is the Director and Founder of Total Female Hockey and the head coach of the TorontoLeaside Jr Wildcats in the Provincial Women’s Hockey League (PWHL).

5. Bad body language Body language doesn’t lie. As I said above,

Officially Speaking: The clock

Mark Lichtenfeld

“I’m counting it down!” I retort. “15, 14, 13 ....” And suddenly, Team Red scores with a dozen seconds to take a 76 lead. “That’s bull droppings,” hollers Team Yellow’s bench. “You have to stop play. The clock wasn’t moving.” “Not so,” I confidently protest. “I know the clock didn’t start and you heard me counting down the time.” “You suck!” screams this bearded guy with a yellow jersey. “In the NHL and USA Hockey, the play gets shut down when the clock doesn’t’ start. That’s the rule!” “That’s not the rule,” I counter. “USA Hockey specifically requires the game to continue while the referee counts down the time.

Let’s Play Hockey photo by Mike Thill

No one likes collective punishment, but the ignorance of a limited percentage of beer leaguers gives the entire adult league community a bad name. Case in point, an “A” league butcher game. It’s a 6-6 contest, and things are going well, despite the fact that we had to draft a scorekeeper from the stands, one guy gets inadvertently clipped in the pie hole twice in the third period, and this being the final game of a triple-set, the last thing we need is a shootout. Now, the scorekeeper was doing a fine job. That’s because there was no sheet, so all the guy had to do was start and stop the clock. He was doing great. And then, with 30 seconds remaining in the third, the guy doesn’t start the clock on the faceoff. I’m on the bench side at the blue line as my partner drops the puck at the neutral zone. “The clock’s not going!” hollers Team Yellow.

Now look, anyone who knows OS also knows that no one argues with OS about rules pertaining to time. “Wrong!” bellows the bearded guy with his Team Yellow mates in collective unison. The guy is screaming right in my visor. “Are you lining up for the faceoff at center?” I query. “Or is the game over?” “No, we’re not. We’re done because you don’t know the rules.” Game over. Nice. So what is the rule, you ask? Easy. It’s right in front of the USA Hockey Rulebook. Just check Rule 108, Signal and Timing Devices, and proceed to Casebook Situation 3.

A faceoff occurs with 10 seconds remaining in the period. As play begins, one of the On-Ice Officials notices that the clock has not started. Should the Official stop play immediately to remedy the situation? No. Rule Reference 108(b). As soon as the Official notices that the clock has not started, he must begin counting down the remaining seconds in his head. If he counts down to 0:00 and the period should have ended but didn’t, he must stop play to end the period. If the Official properly counts down to 0:00 in the above situation, but does not stop the play for whatever reason, any goal that has been scored after he counts down to 0:00 shall be disallowed. Now who doesn’t know the rule! Gotta love butcher league. And it’s OS’s job to educate the “A” level guys. “B” and “C” players, too. That’s how to stop collective punishment. What’s the goal? Easy. We need to raise the level of beer league rule knowledge so the entire adult hockey community can shed its adverse reputation. Questions and comments can be sent to editor@letsplayhockey.com, via Twitter @OSpeaking or through the Let’s Play Hockey Facebook page.

HOCKEY REFEREE CAMPS Online & Personal Training Systems Exclusively for Hockey Referees Year Round Training - JOIN NOW

Buy the “Band of Brothers” T-Shirt at UO Store FREE POWER SKATING VIDEOS ONLINE Go to: www.UltimateOfficials.com


www.letsplayhockey.com

March 22, 2018

Let’s Play Hockey

Natalie Darwitz leads Hamline to new heights

9

Third-year coach led the Pipers to third place in last weekend’s NCAA Division III Women’s Hockey Tournament By Dave Schwartz Let’s Play Hockey

Let’s Play Hockey photo by Mike Thill

When former Gopher and Olympic gold medal winning hockey star Natalie Darwitz took over the helm of the Hamline women’s hockey program three years ago, her expectations were modest. “I don’t really know if I had a timeline,” Darwitz told me by phone. “I’m just really competitive. I don’t like to lose, my heart beats a little bit differently and so we just grinded the last two years.” This year, the grinding paid off. In her third year as head coach and with just her second recruiting class, Darwitz and the Pipers took third place in the NCAA Division III Women’s Hockey Tournament. The year before she began coaching at Hamline, they had just six wins. In her first season, they went 913-3. In her second season, they were 1213-1. This year, they posted an astounding 21-4-3 record, finishing third in the MIAC during the regular season, the best finish in school history and won the MIAC postseason tournament for the first time. The progression his been nothing short of miraculous, but it’s anything but a miracle. It was simply about changing the culture. “There is only one player from the old coaching staff on our team,” Darwitz says. “We set the bar high and you want to surround yourself with people who want to do the same, and it makes for a good recipe for building up a program.” Darwitz has succeeded at every level she has played or coached, and there are no challenges that she has backed down from, including this latest. Coaching hockey isn’t easy, and at the Division III level it’s even

Third-year head coach Natalie Darwitz led Hamline to third place at the NCAA Tournament this season.

tougher. Personal relationships with the players are key and recruiting the right players means everything. “Number one, you have to get the right kids in here that have the same vision (as you),” Darwitz says. “And they are chomping at the bit and salivating to be a part of that. Then from an everyday, process standpoint, we have high standards as a program.” Her biggest secret to success, however, is really no secret at all: Darwitz cares immensely for her players. One of the biggest challenges in being one of the best in the game is trying to coach others to do it like you did. Very few can play the game of hockey like Darwitz, but she’s not trying to get her players to do that. In fact, she’s less

interested in the X’s and O’s, and more interested in making sure her players know that she cares about them, with the idea that the rest will fall into place. So far, for Darwitz and the Pipers, it certainly has. “I think that is where I have grown as a coach,” Darwitz says. “A few years ago, I thought it was all X’s and O’s, or at least the majority of it, but it’s not. It’s about reaching every individual player and how to talk to them in different ways. I have to talk to my captain in a different way than I talk to one of my freshman players. You have to learn how they tick and what motivates them.” Darwitz is motivated by winning, success and seeing just how great she can be. So

naturally she sees this early success as something to enjoy. But even in the midst of our conversation about how well this year went, there is a thought about more. That’s just how Darwitz’s mind works. It’s what made her an elite athlete and now an elite coach. One time, one successful season is never enough. There’s always that motivation to make it continue and she sees the culture being changed here. “I am enjoying the moment, I am definitely proud of the team and the staff and there are a couple of seniors, Sarah Bobrowski and Darby Dodds,” Darwitz says. “We’re lucky to have those two as leaders and they have paved the way for our players.” Thanks in part to the national third-place finish, Darwitz’s name is going to soon be recognized for more than just playing. The artwork she has painted on Hamline’s blank canvas is sure to get noticed by higher levels of competition. One day, Darwitz admits, she might be interested in that. But for now, her two most important jobs, mother and wife, have to be able to balance with her other true love of hockey. “I think if you are comfortable in your setting, then you get a little complacent,” Darwitz says. “There is always gonna be that question in my mind: ‘What could I do at the next level?’ Could I do it?’ Everything is about getting better each day and if that happens for me in 10 or 15 years, I’ll take a look at it, but for now this is a good spot for me.” No one at Hamline will disagree with that, as Darwitz and the Pipers continue to rise to new heights and re-write the school’s record books.


10

March 22, 2018

Let’s Play Hockey

www.letsplayhockey.com

Three Minnesota teams earn NCAA Tournament bids

Three teams from Minnesota – Minnesota Duluth, Minnesota State and St. Cloud State – have been awarded berths to the NCAA Hockey Tournament. The three teams were each placed in the NCAA West Regional in Sioux Falls, S.D. The four regional champions will advance to the 2018 NCAA Men’s Frozen Four which will be held April 5 and 7 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Minnesota Duluth: For the fourth consecutive year and sixth time in the last eight seasons, Minnesota Duluth has secured a spot in the NCAA Tournament and this Friday will pay a visit to the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls for the West Regional. UMD (21-16-3), the 2017 national runner-up, will face WCHA regular season champion Minnesota State (29-91) in the first round on Friday. The Bulldogs and Mavericks met twice during the 2017-18 regular season with UMD prevailing 3-1 on Nov. 25 in Duluth and Minnesota State posting a 1-0 home triumph two months later (Jan. 23). The two former WCHA rivals collided 53 times previously, but never in NCAA Tournament play. The NCAA Tournament berth is the 12th ever for UMD. UMD has compiled a 19-120 lifetime record in the NCAA Tournament and a 13-6-0 mark since Scott Sandelin's arrival in 2000-01. Minnesota State: Minnesota State,

the recipient of the 2018 MacNaughton Cup as WCHA regular season champion, will be making its fifth appearance in the NCAA Division I tournament and fourth appearance in the last six years. The Mavericks also played in the 2003 East Regional in Providence, R.I., the 2013 Midwest Regional in Toledo, Ohio, the 2014 Northeast Regional in Worcester, Mass., and the 2014 Midwest Regional in South Bend, Ind. St. Cloud Stat e : Top-ranked St. Cloud State State (25-8-6) will open play in the NCAA Tournament against Air Force in Sioux Falls, S.D. on Friday. SCSU is the regional's number one seed followed by number two seed Minnesota State, Mankato, number three Minnesota Duluth and number four Air Force. This will be SCSU's 12th NCAA tournament appearance since 1989. The Huskies have gained NCAA bids in 1989, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. In 2013, SCSU won its first regional title at the Midwest Regional in Toledo and also advanced to the NCAA Frozen Four for the first time. Since 2010, SCSU is 5-5 in NCAA playoff games under the direction of head coach Bob Motzko. SCSU will enter the tournament as the No. 1 seed, while Air Force comes into tournament play as the Atlantic Hockey Conference champs with a 22-14-5 record this season.

Clarkson women repeat as NCAA Champions By Mar ynn & Maryy LLynn Susan Rennie McPherson

Photos: Susan McPherson

Clarkson University won their third women’s hockey national championship in four years and repeated as NCAA Champions in a 2-1 overtime victory over Colgate at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis last weekend. The Golden Knights finished the year with a record of 36-4-1 and won their last 10 games. Clarkson scored at 16:29 in the first period when Colgate turned the puck over at the red line to Clarkson’s Kelly Mariani. Mariani passed it over to Cassidy Vinkle, who went top-shelf past Julia Vandyk. Colgate answered at 2:27 of the second period when Breanne Wilson-Bennett stole the puck from a Clarkson player and passed to Olivia Zafuto, who found Malia Schneider at the left side of the crease, who put it past Clarkson goalie Shea Tiley. The 2018 NCAA Women’s Frozen Four will be known as the year of overtime. Both semifinals went in to overtime with No. 1 Clarkson beating Ohio State in an extra frame and No. 3 Colgate stunning No. 2 Wisconsin in double overtime. The championship game was no exception. At

the end of regulation, the game remained tied 1-1. At 7:55 in overtime, Clarkson freshman Elizabeth Giguère stole the puck, broke through the defense, got tripped up on the way to the goal and deked Vandyk to score the game-winner unassisted. “I just saw the defense cutting in the middle, and I was like, ‘I need to put pressure as F1.’” Giguère said. “I won that

battle and I was alone with the goalie, and I kind of blacked out. I can’t really remember what happened. But it went in the net, and that’s all that matters, and I am just so proud of this team.” Colgate coach Greg Fargo congratulated Clarkson on their national championship win: “Congratulations to Clarkson on a great game, another national championship

today. That was a great hockey game. Four overtime games this weekend. I don’t think you can ask for much more in terms of the display of talent out on the ice. It was phenomenal. Obviously it’s a heartbreaking moment for us in the game, but I’m so incredibly proud of this team for not only the way that they played but the way that they handled themselves all year.”

Daryl Watts wins 2018 Patty Kazmaier Award Daryl Watts (Toronto, Ont.), a freshman forward from Boston College, was awarded the 2018 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award last weekend at the McNamara Alumni Center as part of the NCAA Women’s Frozen Four weekend hosted by the University of Minnesota. The award, in its 21st year, is presented annually to the top player in NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey by The USA Hockey Foundation. Watts, who became the first freshman ever to claim the honor, was selected from a group of top-three finalists that included senior forward Victoria Bach (Milton, Ont./ Boston University) and junior forward Loren Gabel (Kitchener, Ont./Clarkson University). “I’ve been fortunate to coach some very elite players in my career at BC and Daryl

Watts has put herself in that category after just one year,” said Boston College head coach Katie Crowley. “Her statistics prove she’s the most dynamic player in the country and rank her with the best players in NCAA history. Daryl has set a new standard, not just for young players, but all players.” The BC Eagle is the nation’s leading scorer with 82 points, and found the scoresheet in 32of-34 regular-season games this season. She recorded multiple points in 25 games, including 11 multi-goal games, and tied the Hockey East singleseason records for goals (30) and points

(55). In addition to setting the Hockey East freshman points, goals and assists’ records, Watts also achieved the second highest single-season point total in Boston College history. The 18-year-old was awarded with the Cammi Granato Award as Hockey East’s Player of the Year, as well as the Rookie of the Year award. In addition, she was honored with the Hockey East Three Stars Award and named to the Hockey East AllRookie Team. Earlier this season, she was selected as the Hockey East Player of the Month for October, as well as Hockey East Rookie of

the Month and American Hockey Coaches Association Rookie of the Month three times each (October, November, January). Watts was also a two-time Hockey East Player of the Week and a seven-time conference Rookie of the Week. NOTES NOTES: Daryl Watts is the first freshman in history to win the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, and the second Boston College player, joining Alex Carpenter who claimed the title in 2015 … The 2018 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner and the top-three finalists were chosen by a 13-person selection committee made up of NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey coaches, representatives of print and broadcast media, an at-large member and a representative of USA Hockey.


NAHL.com

www.letsplayhockey.com

March 22, 2018

11

INSIDE THE NAHL

Aberdeen’s Langer notches 500th win

If you had asked Aberdeen Wings head coach Scott Langer over the past week if he knew how close to 500 career wins he was, he would have answered with a very succinct “no.” Now, he doesn't have to worry about it. Last Friday, the Aberdeen Wings posted a 3-1 win over the Brookings Blizzard, and with that, gave Langer his 500th career coaching victory. For Langer, who also recorded career win No. 450 during his first season on the bench for the Wings one year ago, getting the 500win milestone couldn’t have happened in a better place than the Hub City. “Getting it was special, and doing it (for) Aberdeen, it’s just great,” Langer said. “To be able to share it with people who really care about me and my family is just a great feeling. The Oddes had a belief in me when they brought me here, so to share this win with them and with this team, who’s done such a great job all year, its special, no question about it. “I am very proud to coach in the North American Hockey League, and that all of my 500 wins were earned in this league. I think that the ability to produce not only wins, but also advancement for our players, is a direct result of the quality of the league. It allows me to do my job easier, and create successful results.” NAHL Commissioner and President Mark Frankenfeld also offered his congratulations to Langer on his 500th win: “Scott is one of the most dedicated and professional coaches I’ve had the pleasure to know. Scott takes the recruiting, developing and promoting responsibilities very seriously and has developed some unbelievable young men and hockey players. It is not by accident that all the hard work and commitment he puts forth for his players that the byproduct has produced success on the ice and in the win column. Scott has built winning programs at every stop along the

way and we are proud of what he has done for the NAHL and the Aberdeen Wings.” Langer was hired by the Wings on April 13, 2016. Since that point, he has compiled a 64-39-11 record with Aberdeen the past two seasons. Last year, the Wings finished in fourth place during the regular season, but won the Central Division playoff title as a No. 4 seed and were an overtime goal away in Game 3 of the Robertson Cup semifinals from advancing to the Robertson Cup National Championship game. Named NAHL GM of the year in 2010, and Coach of the Year in 2011, Langer has also been a coach at the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament nine times. He has a very successful track record for graduating studentathletes and has helped place over 250 junior hockey players into NCAA college programs or professional hockey. Langer’s teams have finished no less than second place in their division, including several Division Championships, one Regular Season League Championship, and three trips to the Robertson Cup Tournament. As for beyond the 500-win mark, Langer does have one accomplishment on his agenda. “We want to win the Central Division regular season title,” Langer said. “This group has earned it and to finish as regular season champs is something they deserve at this point.” Langer has been coaching for 21 years, and has been a head coach in the NAHL for the past 14 years with three different clubs, the Aberdeen Wings, the Topeka RoadRunners, and Santa Fe RoadRunners. He has a combined record of 501 wins, 218 losses, and 71 overtime/shootout losses in those 14 seasons, with an impressive 68% win percentage. Eleven of those seasons had over 30 wins, while four of them had over 40 wins.

2018 Robertson Cup finals coming to Fogerty Arena

The NAHL’s 2018 Robertson Cup National Championship will be played at the Fogerty Arena in Blaine, Minn., from May 10-13. The Robertson Cup is awarded to the playoff champion of the NAHL. The oldest junior hockey trophy in the U.S., the Robertson Cup is named in honor of Chuck Robertson, a pioneer of junior hockey in the NAHL and youth hockey in the state of Michigan. One of the things the NAHL does better than any other junior league is seeing their players earn an NCAA opportunity while playing in the NAHL. To date, over 90 NAHL players have already made an NCAA Division I commitment during the 2017-18 season and last year a record number of 305 NAHL players made an NCAA commitment. The NAHL’s Robertson Cup Championship plays a big

role in that success, with dozens of players earning an NCAA Division I opportunity following their participation in the event. For more information, visit www.robertsoncup.com The four NAHL divisional playoff champions will advance to the Robertson Cup Championship. Once the four NAHL Divisional Playoff Champions are determined, clubs will be seeded 1-4 based upon their finish in the NAHL regular-season standings. The game schedule will be as follows: The #1 seed will face the #4 seed in a best-of-three series. The #2 seed will face the #3 seed in a best-of-three series. The two series’ winners will advance onto a one-game championship to determine the Robertson Cup National Champion.

2017-18 NAHL College Commitments Aberdeen Wings Nathan Burke Jimmy O’Brien Andrew Sinard Nate Smith* Joey Strada Dalton Weigel

St. Cloud State Colorado College Miami Minnesota State Arizona State Air Force

Amarillo Bulls Cameron Bartkoski Jason Brancheau Brandon Bussi Marcus Chorney Bray Crowder* Billy Duma Luke Edgerton* Anthony Firriolo Brendan Furry Brendan Michaelian Trevor Miccucci Austin O’Rourke

Utica Ferris State St. Lawrence Quinnipiac Omaha Air Force Niagara Colorado College Niagara Robert Morris Buffalo State UMass Lowell

Austin Bruins Jacob Berger* Zach Driscoll* Travis Kothenbeutel Che Landikusic Kyle Looft* Alex Mella Joseph Mysak Dan Petrick Chase Pilawski Alex Schilling Levi Stauber

Minnesota State Bemidji State Nebraska Omaha Lake Superior State Bemidji State Northeastern Alaska Anchorage Northeastern Lake Superior State Air Force Michigan Tech

Bismarck Bobcats Tristan Ashbrook* Grant Johnson Jared Resseguie Adam Stacho Alex Troumbley Ryan Ullan Tanner Vescio

RPI Northern Michigan Denver American Int’l Ohio State Northern Michigan Northern Michigan

Brookings Blizzard Benjamin Beck Cade Borchardt Blake Pietila Parker Revering Max Sasson Taylor Schneider* Marek Wazny

Maine Minnesota State Michigan Tech American Int’l Maine Bowling Green New Hampshire

Corpus Christi Ice Rays Matt Acciaioli Cam Burggrabe Joey Kubachka Griffin Loughran* Brendan Miller Aleksi Peltonen Angus Scott Chris Smith Chad Veltri Coltan Wilkie

Northern Michigan Northern Michigan Cornell Northern Michigan Air Force Wisconsin Tufts Mercyhurst Niagara Colorado College

Coulee Region Chill Trenton Bliss* Nick Bowman Matt Doran* Brady Ferner* Brandon Koch Emil Zetterquist

Michigan Tech RPI Alaska RPI Air Force St. Lawrence

Tanner Schachle Nolan Schaeffer Erkka Vanska Hunter Wendt

Alaska Anchorage Robert Morris Holy Cross Ferris State

Janesville Jets Joey Abate* Grant Anderson Regan Cavanagh Carter Ekberg Kip Hoffmann Robert Lebedeff Brenden MacLaren Ian Malcomson Jakov Novak TJ Polglaze Sam Renlund

Omaha Omaha Bentley Air Force Robert Morris Wisconsin Ferris State Northern Michigan Bentley Michigan Tech Colorado College

Johnstown Tomahawks Joey Baez Hunter Carrick Justin Cmunt* Zak Galambos* Donovan Ott Vinnie Purpura Andrew Quetell

Alabama Huntsville Penn State Mercyhurst Minnesota State RPI Boston University Army

Lone Star Brahmas Justin Addamo Blake Evennou* Mitchell Gibson Kyle Hallbauer Steven Ipri Drew Lennon Ture Linden Ryan Orgel Chase Pletzke Jon Russell A.J. Vanderbeck* Jordan Wishman*

Robert Morris Ferris State Harvard RPI Mercyhurst Alabama Huntsville RPI Denver Bowling Green Harvard Ohio State Michigan State

Minnesota Magicians Ethan DeStefani Zach Dubinsky* Calvin Dybicz Jarrett Lee Josh Luedtke Griffin Ness* Eric Otto* Tino Passarelli Blais Richartz* Isaiah Saville Bram Scheerer John Schuldt* Cole Weaver*

Merrimack RPI Michigan State Northern Michigan Northern Michigan Air Force American Int’l Miami Michigan Tech Omaha Colorado College Omaha Niagara

Minnesota Wilderness Garrett Daly Chase Ellingson* Eric Gotz Brian Hurley* Dylan Mills * Alex Truscott Ben Ward

Bowling Green Alaska Miami Clarkson Niagara Niagara St. Cloud State

Minot Minotauros Alex Adams Dakota Boutin Colby Enns Aaron Grounds Luke Johnson* Grant Loven Luke Manning* Spencer Meier* Lake Superior State Miroslav Mucha Army Jack Robbel Bentley Nolan Sawchuk Alaska

Fairbanks Ice Dogs Robert Blueger Daniel Haider Luke Orysiuk Samuel Ruffin

Bemidji State Northern Michigan Omaha Ohio State Providence Northern Michigan Air Force St. Cloud State Lake Superior State Lake Superior State UMass Lowell

New Jersey Titans Maxim Andreev* Brad Becker* Nicholas Boyagian Matthew Cameron Jimmy Dowd, Jr. Chris Garbe Todd Goehring Tate Singleton Ryan Wheeler

Cornell Utica Sacred Heart RPI Penn State Brown Sacred Heart Army Connecticut

Northeast Generals Colin Bilek Louis Boudon Brian Chambers Matt Demelis Justin Jallen Colin McCabe

Army Lake Superior State UMass Lowell Northeastern Brown Connecticut College

Odessa Jackalopes Matt Brown Lucas Herrmann Zac Herrmann Evan Somoza Ludwig Stenlund*

UMass Lowell Niagara Niagara Utica Niagara

Philadelphia Rebels Ben Allen* Andrew Bellant Jonathan Bendorf Diarmad DiMurro Bryant Gunn Michael Underwood* Kolby Vegara Jensen Zerban

Alabama Huntsville Michigan Tech RPI Dartmouth Amherst Clarkson Massachusetts Air Force

Shreveport Mudbugs Jonatan Asplund Jack Clement Cam Cook Jake Cox* Kieran Durgan Zach Faremouth Gueorgui Fedulov Gustavs Grigals Jack Hatton* Dominick Procopio Jake Transit*

Michigan State Omaha Niagara S. New Hampshire Air Force Western Michigan Mercyhurst Alaska St. Mary’s UMass Lowell Ferris State

Springfield Jr. Blues Aiden Beck Danny DiGrande* Fletcher Fineman TJ Freidman* Jordan Muzzillo Zach Tyson* Marcus Walter

Canisius RPI Union Quinnipiac Alaska Hobart Bentley

Topeka RoadRunners Nick Granowicz Joey Moore* Ryan Snowden*

Michigan Hamilton Ohio State

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights Jeff Belstrand Penn State Tyrone Bronte Bemidji State Paul Cimilluca Wilkes Justin Engelkes Miami Anthony Firriolo Army Mike Gelatt Skidmore Greg Japchen Omaha Paul Maust* Mercyhurst Jack Olmstead Michigan Reed Robinson Niagara Gabe Temple Michigan Tech NAHL Alumni Roman Kinal * NAHL Alumni

Connecticut

2017-18 NAHL Standings & Stats Central Division Team GP x Aberdeen 54 x Austin 53 MN Wilderness 54 Minot 54 Bismarck 56 Brookings 54

W 35 28 28 26 24 20

L 15 17 21 22 26 27

OTL 3 4 2 4 4 2

SOL 1 4 3 2 2 5

PTS 74 64 61 58 54 47

GF 174 147 161 151 152 150

GA 125 143 167 155 160 189

DIFF 49 4 -6 -4 -8 -39

PCT 0.685 0.604 0.565 0.537 0.482 0.435

PIM 815 816 677 782 1011 704

East Division y Philadelphia x New Jersey x W-B/Scranton Northeast Johnstown

54 52 53 52 55

37 26 26 25 21

14 18 21 23 30

3 6 5 3 2

0 2 1 1 2

77 60 58 54 46

183 180 154 162 126

119 152 177 181 179

64 28 -23 -19 -53

0.713 0.577 0.547 0.519 0.418

847 991 695 885 1057

Midwest Division y Fairbanks 55 x Janesville 53 x Springfield 55 x MN Magicians 53 Coulee Region 54 Kenai River 55

43 34 28 26 17 15

6 11 21 20 28 37

3 6 5 5 4 1

3 2 1 2 5 2

92 76 62 59 43 33

206 157 157 152 150 136

108 125 159 163 187 221

98 32 -2 -11 -37 -85

0.836 0.717 0.564 0.557 0.398 0.300

681 764 632 739 544 1234

85 73 61 56 48 36

180 146 164 143 141 114

94 103 144 160 182 193

86 43 20 -17 -41 -79

0.787 0.689 0.575 0.519 0.444 0.346

1052 855 1022 1150 1207 1055

South Division x Shreveport 54 40 x Lone Star 53 32 x Odessa 53 28 Corpus Christi 54 24 Amarillo 54 19 Topeka 52 16 x = clinched playoff position Leading Scorers PLAYER Jakov Novak Travis Kothenbeutel Samuel Ruffin

TEAM JNE AUS FAI

9 3 2 12 5 4 20 3 2 22 3 5 25 7 3 32 2 2 y = clinched division P F F F

GP 50 49 55

G 32 21 20

A 64 37 37

PTS 66 58 57


12

March 22, 2018

Let’s Play Hockey

www.letsplayhockey.com

Refining technique after the season

By Andy Ness At the end of a long season, you may notice that most players’ skating technique begins to suffer. Minor things like a skater’s stride getting choppy or a skater not bending his/her knees is most evident. While most teams work on power play, penalty kill, breakouts and forechecks during the season, there leaves little room for skating and skill development. As spring and summer are upon us, it is time once again to take a step back and revisit technique. Form skating and refining technique are essential. Being able to focus on a stride slowly, as well as concentrating on a deep knee bend, are crucial in continuing to progress as a skater. You will notice in the photos a couple of pros woking on mechanics and a deep knee bend during their session. Again, these are

spring and summer sessions, the perfect time to sharpen technique. Last year I had a number of pros come back after their season (later if they made the playoffs). Some were out with concussions for most of the year so they really wanted to focus on just skating and skill work. There is no rush. Training camp does not begin again until late August, so we take things slow, making sure to do things right. Starting from edges, balance and turns is always a good place to start. This will usually be the focus for a couple of weeks. From there, stride and crossover technique will then become our main areas for improvement. At this point, a skater should feel very comfortable with their knee bend and good command of their edges. Eventually, we will move into more difficult maneuvers such as transitions, mohawks and escapes. Not until we have a solid foundation will

we move on to full-speed skating. As the summer progresses, we can then move into quick starts and overspeed. The key is to get these skaters feeling confident in everything we do before we increase the speed. The key to all of this is starting with a solid foundation. We always use the analogy of building a house. The first and most important step is building a solid foundation. Once a house has a solid foundation, you can then begin to build on top of it. The ironic part is that no one wants to go see a concrete slab in the ground. They want to see fancy lighting, and upgraded appliances. Much like skating, we get kids that want to learn how to do a spin-o-rama before they can hold an outside edge. The only way we can work on advanced skills with a skater is if there is something there to work with.

Once we have a skater with a strong base, solid knee bend and strong edges, then everything becomes much easier. Until then, we would basically be spinning our tires in the sand. Spend some time building that foundation. When you look at any sport, it always comes down to executing the fundamentals. Hockey is no different. These skills will take some time to develop. Don’t rush through them, and practice them regularly, especially when you get some time in the offseason. Good luck. Andy Ness is the head skating and skill coach for the Minnesota Wild. He has also been an assistant skating instructor for the New Jersey Devils, the University of Minnesota men’s and women’s hockey teams and the U.S. Women’s Olympic Hockey Team.

Update Buhl commits to Aquinas The Granite City Lumberjacks announced that defenseman Cole Buhl has committed to play college hockey for Aquinas College, a member of the NAIA. Buhl, 20, has played for Granite City in the NA3HL the past two seasons. The 510, 190-pound native of South St. Paul, Minn., recorded 20 points (4 goals, 16 assists) in 43 regular season games during the 2017-18 season. Buhl also has four points in 11 career NA3HL playoff games. Prior to playing for the Lumberjacks in the NA3HL, Buhl was a standout defenseman for South Saint Paul Secondary, playing three years of high school hockey and earning Metro East All-Conference Honorable Mention honors. “I really like the location of the campus and the top-notch facilities that are available,” stated Buhl. Buhl will be studying economics while at Aquinas. “Cole worked hard in the off-season and that has paid off for him this year. He is an offensive defenseman and will easily make the transition to college hockey. We are excited for Cole's commitment and wish him the best of luck on his next chapter in hockey,” said Lumberjacks head coach Brad Willner. Marquardt commits to Iowa State The La Crosse Freeze announced that defenseman Nathan Marquardt has com-

mitted to play ACHA Division I collegiate hockey for the Iowa State University hockey program. Marquardt joined the Freeze back in the 2016-17 campaign from Shattuck-St. Mary’s Prep School. As a rookie, Marquardt finished the 2016-17 season with 18 points in 51 games played. This season, he is seeing the same success and has led the Freeze as team captain. In 43 games played, the native of Lakeville, Minn., has 11 points. The Iowa State Cyclones head coach Jason Fairman had this to say about the Marquardt commit: “Cyclone Hockey is pleased that Nathan has committed to Iowa State University for the 2018-19 season. His defensive reliability and strength of character will be a welcome addition to our program, and we look forward to seeing him wearing the cardinal and gold next season.” “We are extremely excited for Nathan’s commit to Iowa State University, one of the nation’s top collegiate programs. His dedication and leadership as our captain has been a key part to our success this season and we look to his continued success as a Cyclone,” Head Coach Jon Vaillancourt said. The Freeze would like to thank Nathan for his hard work and dedication the past two seasons with the organization and wish him the best of luck as he continues his academic and athletic careers.

NA3HL.COM @NA3HL NA3HL

Leading Scorers • Regular Season PLAYER TEAM P Brad Becker BNG F Eric Vanderhoff SKY F Riley Butler YEL F Connor Inger MET F Cole Stewart YEL F Ryan Reifler BNG F Logan Nelson ALX F Tyler Bump NIO F

GP 47 47 46 45 39 36 46 45

G 53 53 40 41 37 33 38 29

A 63 53 54 52 54 57 47 56

PTS 116 106 94 93 91 90 85 85

Defenseman Scoring • Regular Season PLAYER TEAM P Mason Stewart YEL D Tim O’Connor BNG D Cole Ouellette LEA D Matt Goodman PTM D Alec Skar ALX D Cole Barney WOO D

GP 47 49 45 45 46 45

G 13 31 18 23 11 12

A 66 31 41 31 42 40

PTS 79 62 59 54 53 52

Save Percentage • Regular Season PLAYER TEAM GPI Drew Scites NIO 21 Reid Waszczenko YEL 33 Brady Anderson BNG 22 Carson Murison TEX 28 Tyler Hawk PIT 16

MINS 1224 1951 1309 1551 964

W-L-OTL-SOL 20-0-0-0 24-6-1-2 17-1-1-2 24-2-0-0 14-2-0-0

GAA 1.42 1.85 1.38 1.43 1.62

SV% .949 .947 .945 .939 .938

Goals-Against Average • Regular Season PLAYER TEAM GPI Brady Anderson BNG 22 Drew Scites NIO 21 Carson Murison TEX 28 Brian Tallieu MET 23 Tyler Hawk PIT 16 Andrew Ghimpeteanu NWE 20 * bold indicates Minnesota native

MINS W-L-OTL-SOL SV% 1309 17-1-1-2 .945 1224 20-0-0-0 .949 1551 24-2-0-0 .939 1209 18-2-0-0 .935 964 14-2-0-0 .938 1189 15-3-1-0 .931 * More stats on NA3HL.com

GAA 1.38 1.42 1.43 1.54 1.62 1.67


www.letsplayhockey.com

March 22, 2018

Let’s Play Hockey

13

The problem at the U is ticket prices, not coaches

By Jack Blatherwick Let’s Play Hockey Columnist

Let’s Play Hockey photo by Mike Thill

To the University of Minnesota President and Athletic Director: What do you do when administrators before you spent too much money building elaborate stadiums and arenas, then left town and stuck you with the debt? How would I know? I can’t balance a bank account whose biggest entry is a Social Security check. But I have a strong hunch about this: The answer isn’t about hiring and firing coaches. Gopher hockey lacks energy in the arena, the basketball program needs a “Get Out of Jail” card and football can’t compete with Alabama and Ohio State. So what do you do to rebuild Gopher enthusiasm to that of the good ol’ days? I’ll offer only the obvious suggestions: Stop spending. Get out there and raise money to pay down the debt. And lower the damn ticket prices. How? That’s where you wouldn’t want my unsolicited advice. I don’t know the first thing about raising money. I do know this, however: When you start with a sky-high face value for tickets and add the mandatory Golden Gopher Fund do-

Minnesota averaged 8,726 fans at the 10,000-seat 3M Arena at Mariucci during the 2017-18 season.

nation, the exorbitant price eliminates your hockey fan base. It means the corporate buyers – when they show up – will add as much energy to the arena as they do in church.

I suggest you take your search committee to a hockey game at the University of Nebraska Omaha where you’ll see enthusiasm like that in the old barn (Williams Arena, then Mariucci) across the street from

our present morgue. That’s what rabid fan support looks like, and it’s in the middle of corn country where most people never saw a hockey rink. Students get in free, and ordinary Joes like me pay $10-15 bucks. Check out St. Cloud and Mankato on your trip, but be prepared for noise you haven’t heard at Gopher games. Why do those teams beat the Twin Cities pucksters? Energy in their arenas. When recruits visit, it looks like fun. Some irresponsible decisions were made, and the Minnesota athletic department built up an unmanageable debt. Then, because Gopher hockey fans were the most loyal in the country, administrators thought they could charge anything and folks would continue to support. The sky’s the limit. But you first lost the blue-collar fans who brought their entire team of PeeWees along with them. Then the fan base diminished further as the cost of tickets, parking and popcorn soared to the ridiculous. The greatest tradition in the country was lost in just a few years. My last suggestion: Get your administrative act together and stop blaming coaches.

National title or bust for St. Cloud State

A loss in the NCHC Final Faceoff championship game has refocused the Huskies on their ultimate goal By Andrew Vitalis Let’s Play Hockey

Let’s Play Hockey photo by Mike Thill

When a team loses, there is always an ongoing debate over whether or not the loss had more to do with a squad’s lack of execution, or if it was the play of the opponent that derailed the train. More often than not it’s both. This past Saturday, in St. Cloud State’s 41 setback against Denver in the NCHC Frozen Faceoff championship game, the Pioneers used their stifling defense to shut down the nation’s fourth-best scoring team, but it was also apparent that the Huskies’ normally high-powered offensive attack was sputtering at times. The speed was there, so was the creativity. The execution was not. Numerous times, SCSU seemed to be a skate behind (or ahead) of the puck. Sticks – a lot of them – seemed to disrupt the play more than normal and commonly the best passing team in the nation was missing the “toe” to their tic and tac. “Sometimes the pucks aren’t going your way and the bounces don’t go your way,” Mikey Eyssimont, the Huskies’ second leading scorer, said. “I think our creativity and what makes us a fun team to watch, it can get us in trouble sometimes and it did against Denver. A lot of that is just going back to the basics and sometimes just playing a solid two-way game instead of trying to force too many things too early. This past weekend was definitely an eye-opener for us in the sense that we need to be more on our game and more on our toes and our linemates need to be on the same page.” Rarely have the Huskies been accused of not playing on the same sheet of music this season. St. Cloud State has grown the reputation as being one of the best scoring teams in the land this season, and for good reason. After finishing the regular season averaging more than 3.7 goals per contest, SCSU sported three of the top 10 scorers in the conference. As a matter of fact, heading into last weekend, the Huskies had a jaw-dropping 17 players in double digits in points. No wonder SCSU has been an on-going highlight reel, and despite their most recent loss, are still the No. 1 seed in the West Region heading into this weekend’s first round match-up against fourth seeded Air Force. Opposing coaches from across the

St. Cloud State enters the NCAA Tournament as the nation’s fourth-ranked scoring team with 3.67 goals per game.

nation know that in order to tame the dogs, making them one dimensional is essential. When asked about the game plan as to how to beat SCSU, limiting their firepower is where everything begins. “Their team is filled with skill,” Air Force head coach Frank Serratore said. “They have skill up front and skill on the back end. They go up and down, they move the puck, they are clever and creative. They have four lines of guys who can hurt you on the front line and they may have the best back line in terms of offensive defensemen. They get the puck out of their zone, join the play; they hurt you on the power play. They have a lot of weapons.” You can debate the numbers all day long, but typically a story begins to develop. If SCSU head coach Bob Motzko was to name his book it would probably be something like “balance and beauty.” The Huskies have the balance, and when all 18 skaters are flying in the same direction, it can be overwhelmingly powerful. While they sometimes can pass the puck too much, SCSU is at their best when they are getting everyone involved. Among the 143 goals scored this season, the Huskies have also compiled 252 team assists, almost 100 more helpers than their opponents. Individually, SCSU has 12 different players with 10 or more assists and five with 20 or more. When you compare that to

the Huskies’ first-round opponent this Friday in Air Force, the Falcons have 166 team assists. Yes, it’s true that St. Cloud has simply scored more goals than most, but one of the things that has made the NCHC regular season champs so difficult to beat is that when they score, it truly has been a family affair. The red light might be the end result, but the puck seems to travel miles and miles before it gets there. At any one moment, every Husky on the ice is a target for a pass and the architect of a goal that is about to be scored. Just for impact, when looking at the Huskies’ 5-on-5 goals this season, there have been two assists accompanying a goal 84 percent of the time. “I think it’s just grown from the time guys get here as freshmen as we have gotten older,” Jimmy Schuldt, St. Cloud State’s cocaptain and a Hobey Baker finalist, said. “Last year was definitely a learning process for us, and I think with all of the ups and downs from last year, we took every downfall as a learning opportunity. A lot of guys took the fact that we didn’t make the tournament personally last year and really put in the work this offseason to get better, to get a little faster and stronger. That just makes the teamwork part of the game like sharing the puck easier; you are able to get places faster. When you get used to each other, the more you communicate, the

easier it gets.” That’s certainly part of it. Assistant head coach Bob Gibbons thinks there is even more to the equation. Gibbons brings it back to the man calling the shots – NCHC Coach of the Year Bob Motzko. After taking over the program 13 years ago, the former Husky grad and Herb Brooks’ protégé had an idea when it came to the type of player he wanted to recruit and the brand of hockey he wanted to play. Still, just because the plan is put on paper doesn’t mean it will lead to the desired result. You may have the parts, but that doesn’t guarantee the engine is going to run. Most who surround the 2017-18 Huskies, however, believe that this team is simply different, and so far, things have finally played out just how the head-man envisioned it. “I think a big part of it is credit to Bob Motzko and the style that he plays,” Gibbons said. “A roster full of talented players and they thrive in this environment. Most hockey players want to play offense, so the talented hockey players are excited about coming to St. Cloud State and coming to play for Bob. On the recruiting trail, I think one of the first things that we look for is someone who has hockey instincts. You can work on passing all you want and you can work on all of the different skills, but if you don’t have the hockey intellect and the ability to slow the game down a little bit, you aren’t going to be able to make the pass – you’re not going to be able to see it. When the play is there, a really good hockey player is going to make that play. I think it starts on the recruiting trail by recruiting intelligent hockey players.” Blake Lizotte, a Lindstrom, Minn., native, wasn’t a marquee name coming out of high school. As a matter of fact, in an effort to advance his game, the 5-9 center skated in the NAHL for Minot during the 2014-15 season before moving to the USHL and suiting up for Fargo for two more years. While playing for the Force, he quietly became known as a playmaker, a magician in the faceoff circle and a two-way player who despite his size, played with speed and grit. Now as a freshman for the top-ranked team in the nation, Lizotte was recently named to the NCHC All-Rookie Team and ranks fifth on the Huskies’ roster in scoring, Continued on next page


14

March 22, 2018

Let’s Play Hockey

www.letsplayhockey.com

St. Cloud State continued from page 13

including 19 assists. Most recently paired with Eyssimont and junior Patrick Newell, the line has been Motzko’s most dynamic and most relentless. Individually, over his last 15 games, Lizotte has registered 12 points while Eyssimont has added 15. Newell, who has missed games due to injury, has three goals and nine assists over his last 10 games. “Some years are better than others,” Lizotte said. “We looked at things this summer and I think we realized that we might have a pretty good team this year. I think in some cases, we’ve been even better than what we originally thought. All of our lines, pretty much anyone can get it done each and every night which is something that is really special and something most of the good teams have. That’s been really special. We have just been trying to capitalize on that strength because it doesn’t come around very often. “When you are trying to find chemistry, it’s not just taking a player’s skill and putting them together, it’s not something that’s going to work every time. Personality plays a big factor. Pretty much everyone in our room gets along. It’s a really good place to be and it’s fun coming to the rink. When you get along with all 25 guys on your team, that is really special.” And that’s just one line. Leading the pack in points scored with 42 is Robby Jackson, a junior from Alameda, Calif. Then there is Ryan Poehling and Easton Brodzinski’s 14 goals, tying them for second on the team in that category. On the blue line, it begins and

St. Cloud State freshman forward Easton Brodzinski (Blaine, Minn.) owns totals of 14-10--24 in 37 games this season.

ends with Schuldt, but if you sleep on everyone else, the likes of Jon Lizotte (5-12--17), Will Borgen (2-12--14) or Jack Ahcan (320--23) will make you pay. At the NCHC Frozen Faceoff, while SCSU was slowed on offense, the four Husky goals against the Hawks and Pioneers were scored by four different players. As a matter of fact, in 39 games, a single Husky has scored more than one goal in a game just 11 times, making their opponent’s mission of focusing on just one line or one specific person a gigantic task. “It’s a lot of fun to be a part of a team that gets along as well as ours does,” Schuldt said. “It’s not every year that teams are really close and gel like we have this year, and I think there is something to be said about

Minnetonka Squirt A wins District 6 title

The Minnetonka Squirt A Skippers defeated the Edina Green team 3 to 2 recently to capture the District 6 championship at the Bloomington Ice Garden Arena. Minnetonka players were Ian Grussing, Ryan Bonthius, Tyson Mahady, Gabe Miller, Tate Jabs, Brady Nelson, Winston Wheaton, Gus Berger, Bryce Wiitala, Rowan Vaughn, Benjamin Barth, Brecken Koland, Benjamin Ferguson, Micheal Berchild, Chay Simons, and William Dunlap. Coaches were Brad Thompson, Mike Nelson, Josh Jabs.

Cottage Grove Squirt C wins district championship

Cottage Grove Squirt C Green Hockey Team wins Flight B Squirt District Championship. Cottage Grove Squirt C Green were 4-0 in the tournament with a shutout against South Saint Paul with Aidan Miller in net. Standing: Bradley Johnson, Caleb Ethan, Tony Blomgren, Brock Anderson, Zac DeVaan, Jack Tannahill, Zane Wobig, Luke Dahlstrom, Nick Bailey, Kneeling: Nikko Heller, Jacob Morrissette, Alex Gustafson, Eli Strusz Laying: Aidan Miller. Coaches in back: Derek Tannahill, Michael Miller, Dan Blomgren.

that. I think it does help us have success through the season. Everyone has bought in and wants to win no matter what; it’s not about points for anyone. Our team doesn’t have any superstars who care just about points. We have four lines who can all create offense. All six defensemen have the ability to create offense and be effective on both ends of the ice. It makes it a lot of fun to see everyone having the type of success they are having and to see our team playing together so well.” “I think we are one of the deepest teams in the league from our first to fourth line, from our front end to our goalie,” Eyssimont said. “I think when we are playing well, we feed off our energy when we are scoring goals, and that’s something we are going to focus on this upcoming weekend. We are going to do our best to play that complete game and to get back to having that fun we have been having all year. That usually comes when we are working hard and playing well.” Now the challenge becomes proving it. Licking their wounds from their most recent setback, Eyssimont and company believe that the loss to the Pioneers just might be exactly what the team needed. There is no doubt that winning the NCHC Tournament was one of the team’s goals established before the season, but nothing compares to their ultimate goal of winning the national title at the end of the year. The Huskies are four wins away. “Obviously, you want the hardware; you want to be remembered as the team who won the Frozen Faceoff,” Eyssimont said

“Good for DU, they accomplished that. That was one of our goals all year and they took it from us. At the end of the day, though, that’s not the ultimate goal for our team. It was a good learning experience if you want to call it that. We can take a lot of the bad things that happened to us and the bad things we did and learn from it. The main thing is just keeping our composure and going to battle every night and playing like it’s just another hockey game. We are a team that has fun and plays hard. If we do that, we put ourselves in a position to win every game.” Prior experience can often be the greatest teacher. Whether it’s the sting of a recent defeat or the painful memory of a loss to Ferris State two years ago as the No. 1 seed, the Huskies have experienced the emotions that go along with playoff hockey. This group, more than any other, understands the power of chemistry and the difference a laugh and a smirk can make. Throw out the rankings, the records and the pressure of being the top seed. First and foremost, it has to begin with simply having fun playing the game. When that happens, the rest seems to always fall into place. “We all realize that we are all here for one reason: to win a national championship,” Lizotte said. “There are a lot of good teams out there, anyone can beat anyone on any given night. I think when you hear someone talking about the No. 1 team in the nation, there is that risk of getting that sense of entitlement where you think, we are the No. 1 team, so we should do this or do that. We are not like that at all. We come out and work every night and have fun playing the game together. “Staying humble is going to be a key for us through this. If you don’t approach things the right way, you are going to get beat. There are too many good teams in college hockey to contend with. We just need to keep doing things the right way and stay focused on the main goal.” The Huskies and Falcons drop the puck this Friday at 3 p.m., in Sioux Falls, S.D., followed by Minnesota Duluth and Minnesota State. The game will be a homecoming of sorts for Eyssimont who played junior hockey in Sioux Falls for the Sioux Falls Stampede and helped them win the Clark Cup in 2015. Andrew Vitalis can be reached at lphprep@yahoo.com.

Osseo/Maple Grove PeeWee AA wins State consolation title

Osseo/Maple Grove PeeWee AA captured the Minnesota Hockey State Tournament consolation championship. After a 4-3 loss to Moorhead, OMG defeated Rosemount 6-3 and Chaska/ Chanhassen. OMG advanced to State after winning the Peewee AA South Region Tournament with a 8-2 victory over Edina. The Leafbirds began the tournament by defeating Shakopee 7-0, followed by Champlin Park 6-3. Bottom row (l-r): Luke Margenau, Beau Blashack, Jackson Betker (goalie), Jacob Bodin, Jacob Sinclair, Finn Brink, Evan Villagomez (goalie), Connor Stelljes. Middle row (l-r): Danny Nelson, Wyatt Olson, Jack Kernen, Grant LeNeau. Top row (l-r): Landon Gunderson, Beck Picconatto, Gavin Anderson, Jayden Grant, Jay Ellingson.


www.letsplayhockey.com

Let’s Play Hockey

March 22, 2018

The Drive To State

15

Champions crowned in the State of Hockey All around the State of Hockey last weekend teams gathered, players prepared, parents cheered and coaches coached as Minnesota Hockey presented the youth state tournaments. Sites spanned from Eden Prairie to Duluth to Thief River Falls. Great hockey was played, fun was had, and of course, champions were crowned. Here is a run down of each state tournament that took place. Peewee AA Woodbury was the winner of the Peewee AA tournament held in Duluth with a 4-2 win over Hermantown. Woodbury scored the first four goals of the game. In the first period they took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Jake Fisher. In the second they expanded their lead to 4-0 on tallies by Grant Kohnen, Ty Henricks and Kevin Joyce. Hermantown rallied for two goals in the third period by Max Plante and Kade Kohanski, but Woodbury was able to hold them off when the final buzzer rang. Woodbury defeated Rosemount 6-3 in the quarterfinals and then beat Moorhead 7-3 in the semifinals. Moorhead defeated Stillwater for the third place game and Osseo-Maple Grove defeated Chaska-Chanhassen in the consolation finals 5-2. Peewee A Warroad was the victor in the Peewee A state tournament with a 6-3 win over Sartell. After Sartell took a 1-0 lead off a goal by Teddy McCabe, Warroad answered with a goal from Ryan Lund. In the second period Warroad went up 2-1 when Kayven Theriault found the back of the net. But the lead was short-lived as Sartell’s Jack Schmitz scored twice to take a 3-2 lead. Warroad answered with a goal before the end of the second to tie the game off the stick of Jayson Shaugabay. Warroad owned the third period with three goals on their way to the state title win. Murray Marvin-Cordes, Lund and Carson Pilgrim scored to seal the victory. Warroad defeated Maple Grove in the semifinals 4-3 and Sartell beat Alexandria 5-3 to advance. Alexandria beat Osseo-Maple Grove 5-2 in the third place game and Duluth Denfeld beat Apple Valley 4-1 for the consolation title. Peewee B Edina Green took home the Peewee B championship with a 7-2 win over Farmington. They defeated Lakeville South and Stillwater to get to the title game. Jimmy Mendel scored two goals to lead Edina to the win. Also scoring were Will Sherod, Silas Bowman, Hugh Deinema, Johnny Warpinski and Max Vonklinggraeff. Farmington got goals form Jarret Minchow and Cade Fitzloff. Wayzata Gold beat Lakeville South 6-5 in the third-place game and Morris-Benson Silver beat Lake of the Woods 9-3 for the consolation title. Bantam AA After two hard-fought victories over Hermantown in the semifinals 2-0 and Wayzata in the semifinals 2-1, Osseo-Maple Grove coasted to a 7-2 win in the title game against Eden Prairie. Eden Prairie had beaten Cloquet 4-1 and Minnetonka 4-3 to get to the finals. After Eden Prairie took a 2-0 lead, Osseo-Maple Grove scored seven unanswered goals. Kyle Kukkonen scored a hat trick with other goals coming from Christopher Kernan, Justin Janicke, Brandon Reller and William Matzke. Drew Holt and Carter Batchelder scored for Eden Prairie. Minnetonka defeated Wayzata 5-1 in the third place game and Cloquet beat Rosemount 5-3 for the consolation prize. Bantam A Edina outlasted Cottage Grove for the Bantam A title. The Hornets took a 2-0 lead on goals by A.J. Doll and Prescot Sexton. Cottage Grove rallied with a goal by Dalton Anderson in the second period, but a scoreless third period sealed the deal for Edina, who won all three tourney games by a one-goal margin. They defeated Roseville 4-3 in the quarterfinals before beating East Grand Forks 2-1 in the semifinals. Cottage Grove also had some tight

Edina celebrates after beating Stillwater 5-0 in the championship game of the Junior Gold A state tournament held at Fogarty Arena in Blaine. PHOTO BY CHRISTINE WISCH games with a 3-2 win over Little Falls in the quarters and a 5-3 win over Sartell in the semis. East Grand Forks beat Sartell handily in the third place game 8-1, and Roseville defeated St. Paul 5-4 for the consolation title. Bantam B Held in St. Cloud, Edina White defeated Osseo-Maple Grove 5-0 to claim the Bantam B title. The Hornets got goals from five different skaters including Sam Garza, Malcolm Johnson, Colin Dorsey, Gage Reiners and Henry Wattson. Edina skimped by St Paul in the quarterfinals with a 3-2 win over St. Paul. They then beat Moorhead Black 8-1 in the semifinals. Morris-Benson defeated Moorhead Black in the third place game 5-4, and Forest Lake beat Lakeville North 6-1 in the consolation title game. JR Gold A Edina won the state title in the JR Gold A division by defeating Stillwater 5-0. Edina got goals from four different players. Stephen Doll got the team on board in the first, and then in the second period Edina scored twice when Nicholas Azar and Thomas Waterloo each lit the lamp. In the third it was Jack Bailey and Azar again for the 5-0 win. Edina beat St. Louis Park and Blaine to get to the final. Stillwater beat Eagan and White Bear Lake. White Bear Lake then defeated St. Louis Park 3-0 in the third place game, and Lakeville beat Minnetonka 6-4 to win consolation. JR Gold B St. Thomas Academy took home the gold in the JR Gold B division with a convincing win over Edina, 5-1. The win came after a close victory over Elk River Black, 4-3, in the semifinals. In the title game, the Cadets got two goals form Patrick O’Meara. Also scoring were Cole Huettl, Ethan White and Jack Kubes. Thomas Mahoney scored the lone goal for Edina. Elk River Black defeated Minnetonka Blue for the third place title in a 4-2 game. Duluth beat Woodbury 3-2 in the consolation game. JR Gold 16U Two Stillwater teams made the JR Gold 16 state tournament but it was Stillwater Red who prevailed by defeating Minnetonka 3-2 in the finals. Haden Kraft scored the game winner at 12:53 of the third period to lift Stillwater Red to the state title. Stillwater took a 2-0 lead in the first on goals by Carter McGraw and Wyatt Patzner, but Minnetonka battled back with goals by Nicky Lutz and Nick Bonthius to tie it. Stillwater Black beat St. Thomas Academy 7-2 in the third-place game, and Centennial Black defeated Wayzata 4-3 in the consolation game.

Osseo-Maple Grove players celebrate after a goal in their championship win in Bantam AA over Eden Prairie. PHOTO BY CHRISTINE WISCH

Stillwater faced off against Edina Green in the Peewee B state tournament held in St. Cloud. Above, Brock Lynskey for Stillwater battles against Edina’s J. Warpinski. Edina Green went on to win the state title.


16

March 22, 2018

Let’s Play Hockey

www.letsplayhockey.com

CONGRAT MINNESOTA H

Thank you to all the p who made this year’s

THE DRIVE TO STATE presented by

Jr. Gold A - Edina

Peewee AA - Woodbury

Peewee A - Warroad

Peewee B - Edina Green

Bantam A - Edina

19U - Wayzata

12U A - Andover


www.letsplayhockey.com

Let’s Play Hockey

March 22, 2018

TULATIONS TO THE 2018 HOCKEY STATE CHAMPIONS!

players, coaches, parents, officials and volunteers s Chevy Drive to State an unforgettable experience!

Jr. Gold B - St. Thomas Academy

Jr. Gold 16 - Stillwater Red

Bantam B - Edina White

Bantam AA - Osseo/Maple Grove

15U A - Edina Green

15U B - Champlin Park/Coon Rapids

12U B - Stillwater Red

www.minnesotahockey.org

17


18

March 22, 2018

Let’s Play Hockey

www.letsplayhockey.com

Girls’ State Champions Crowned Teams from around the state battle it out

The ever-growing game of girls’ hockey in Minnesota didn’t disappoint last weekend as several state champions were crowned after a long hard-fought season. Tournaments were held in Stillwater (19U), Thief River Falls (15UA), Woodbury (15UB), Eden Prairie (12UA) and South St. Paul (12UB). Great venues, great hockey. Here is how it all played out: 12UA In a hard-fought win over Edina, Andover claimed the state title with a 3-1 victory. Isa Goettl got Andover on board in the first and then Halle Dunleavy followed to make it 2-0. Edina closed the gap with a goal by Lauren Reppenhagen in the win over Apple Valley-Burnsville, and Centennial beat Proctor-Hermantown 3-2 for the consolation title. 12UB Held at Doug Wood Arena in South St. Paul, Stillwater Red claimed the Girls 12UB championship with three hard fought wins, including a 1-0 nail biter over New Ulm-Sleepy Eye in the finals. Brooke Nelson scored the lone goal of the game at 5:52 of the third period. In the third place game, Hibbing-Chisholm defeated Eagan-IGH 2-1. Hutchinson beat Moose Lake for the consolation championship. 15UA After a hard-fought victory over Minnetonka in the semifinals 2-1, Edina Green defeated Proctor-Hermantown 4-0 in the finals to claim the 15UA state championship. Kylie Roberts scored twice, bookending goals by teammates Vivian Jungels and

Champlin Park-Coon Rapids battled Alexandria in the state title game in the 15UB state tournament. Champlin ParkCoon Rapids won the game 1-0.

Isa Goettl races up the ice for Andover, who claimed the 12UA state championship last weekend. Berit Lindborg to help secure the win. Minnetonka Black won the third place game with a 4-0 victory over Centennial, and Alexandria defeated Roseville-St. Paul 3-0 in the consolation game.

15UB Champlin Park-Coon Rapids took home the title in the 15UB state tournament with a 1-0 overtime win over Alexandria.

Keely Christenson scored the game winner, a short-handed goal no less, to give Champlin the state title. Champlin had narrowly gotten to the finals with close wins over Stillwater (32) in the quarterfinals and Osseo-Maple Grove (2-1) in the semifinals. Edina beat Osseo-Maple Grove 3-2 in the third place game and Shakopee beat Mankato 6-3 for the consolation championship. 19U Wayzata defeated Osseo-Maple Grove in the championship game 6-2 to claim the girls’ 19U title. Edina beat Blaine 4-3 for third place.


www.letsplayhockey.com

St. Thomas Academy wins Junior Gold B state title

The Saint Thomas Academy Junior Gold B team skated to a decisive 5-1 victory over Edina to win the 2018 Minnesota Hockey State Championship. Senior goalie Jack Killian played an outstanding game, stopping 39 of 40 shots, while captain and senior center Patrick O’Meara scored two goals for the Cadets. The team’s championship, its second in three years, followed a hardfought 4-3 overtime win in its semifinal game against Elk River and a 4-1 opening win over Eastview. The Cadets capped a fantastic season with a 32-5 record and the top spot in the state. Senior forwards Cole Huettl, Jack Kubes, O’Meara and Nathan Pucel led a powerful offense that broke a Junior Gold record with 172 goals, while the defense led by seniors Seve Palattao, Louis Kelly, Charles Haugh, Griffin Gagnier, Peyton Smith and Killian posted one of the lowest goalsagainst numbers this season. “We started our year competing against high school teams at a national invitational tournament, and ended it by earning a state

March 22, 2018

Let’s Play Hockey

championship,” Head Coach Jim Eha said. “We are a fast-paced competitive hockey team that can skate and score with anyone. The boys really love the game and playing for each other. I’m very proud of how our seniors have led this team through their determination and strong play, whether we’re up against a physical opponent or one with speed. Our team really came together toward the end of the season with everyone playing hard and contributing, which carried over to great success in the playdowns and at the state tournament.” The State Champion Cadets are #1 Charlie Miller, #2 Seve Palattao (A), #3 Louis Kelly, #5 Mike Goblisch, #7 Gavin Gagnier, #8 Charles Haugh, #9 Griffin Gagnier, #10 Patrick O’Meara (C), #11 Bo Marvin, #12 Logan Berg, #14 Jack Kubes, #15 Cole Huettl, #16 Peyton Smith, #19 Hans Heck, #21 Nathan Pucel (A), #22 Ethan White, #23 Patrick Gaertner, #30 Jack Killian, head coach Jim Eha and manager Stephen Haugh. “Carry High the Blue and White.”

Alexandria PeeWee A finishes third at State

19

Woodbury PeeWee AA wins state championship

On Sunday, March 18, at the Essentia Health Center in Duluth, the Minnesota Peewee AA state tournament final matched the Hermantown Hawks and the Woodbury Predators. The matchup went well beyond simply a battle of two outstanding and wellcoached hockey programs. The teams have a very unique bond, born from four consecutive years of camaraderie where Hermantown has graciously hosted this particular group of Woodbury players from the Squirt level through this year in what has become an annual event that marks the Woodbury calendar as one of the highlights of the hockey season. Through this bond and the various opportunities that hockey in Minnesota provides, these kids are friends on and off the ice who share a bond that goes well beyond the rink. The Predators made their way to the PeeWee AA final with successive wins in the lower bracket over the Rosemount Irish (6-3) and over an emotionally-charged Moorhead club ( 7-3) with a four-goal third period that broke open a hard-fought contest that was tied after 35-plus minutes of action. The Hawks moved through the upper bracket with wins over Edina 5-3 and a stunning 4-3 overtime victory vs. Stillwater, proving their season-opening No. 1 state ranking was an accurate mark for a team that had success all season. The Hawks and Predators met on two separate occasions during the 2017-18 regular season with the Hawks winning 3-2 in the final of the Big Pumpkin Invitational in October and Woodbury getting the better of the Hawks 5-2 in early February. In front of a large pro-Hermantown crowd, Woodbury hit the board first with a goal by Jake Fisher on a wrister that found the lower corner to put the Predators up 1-0 at the 6:36 mark of the first period. The Predators extended the lead when Grant Kohnen deposited a centering pass from Ty Henricks into the back of the Hawks net at 14:01 of the second period. The Predators contin-

ued to press and scored two goals within 25 seconds near the end of the second period, the first by Ty Henricks and the latter by Kevin Joyce as he converted a goal-mouth scramble into a 4-0 Predators lead with 2:47 to go in the second period. The intermission brought energy to the Hawks who came out firing to start the third with a goal at the 14:40 mark of the period by Max Plante to close the gap to 4-1, and added another off the stick of Cade Koharski at the 8:18 mark of the third period, driving home a loose puck that lay in the crease to tighten the score to 4-2. However, that was as close as the Hawks would come as the Woodbury Predators would take the 2018 Minnesota State PeeWee AA title with a 4-2 victory and their 39th win of the season to cap off a magical run in Duluth. The title was only the third in Woodbury’s history as an association and the first at the Peewee and AA levels for the city and organization. As the championship trophy was awarded to Woodbury, everyone in the Essentia Health Center took notice that this final was different than others. As a defined example of the class and sportsmanship of the Hermantown Hawks PeeWee AA players, coaching staff and organization, the Hawks not only remained on the ice exchanging congratulatory embraces and words of praise with their friends and combatants of the last 45 minutes from the Woodbury side, but both teams posed together for a final picture with both the championship and runner-up trophies in view, highlighting the successes of both clubs over the 2018 season. The gesture was among the highest levels of sportsmanship that will ever be witnessed in youth hockey and is a testament to both organizations for guiding their teams in the right direction in every facet of the sport. It was something that Minnesota hockey is undoubtedly proud of and will cite as an example and model of how championship hockey should be contested.

Pictured (l-r): Tripp Shatek, Mason Loch, Coach Jason Peterson, Braeden Sladek, Tyler Kludt, Joe Lamski, Brayden Berg, Jack Breitzman, Elijah Rasmusen, Nick Peterson, Keegan Lucy, Beck Liden, Zaven Noetzelman, Head Coach Adam Olsen, Gavin Olson, Luke Russell, Coach Dusty Clarquist, Leo Kompelien.

The Alexandria PeeWee A team completed a strong season by finishing third in State with a 5-2 win over previously topranked Osseo/Maple Grove. The Cardinals started the tournament with a 5-3 win over Apple Valley. In the semifinal game, Alexandria fell to Sartell in a hard-fought battle, losing 5-3. The Sunday afternoon third-place game was a tightly-contested affair with no score

after the first period. The Cardinal boys withstood an attempted comeback at the beginning of the third period by OMG, managing to swing the momentum back in their favor with three unanswered goals to finish the game and secure a third-place finish in the State Tournament. The Alexandria PeeWee A team finishes with a 34-6-2 record on the season.

Follow Let’s Play Hockey on Twitter @LetsPlay_Hockey

‘Like’ Let’s Play Hockey on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ letsplayhockey


20

March 22, 2018

Let’s Play Hockey

Morris-Benson Bantam B finishes third at State

www.letsplayhockey.com

Edina Green captures PeeWee B1 state title

Front row (l-r): Tyler Hadfield, Ian Rajewsky, Hunter LeClair, Brett Hansen, Sam Thompson, Brady Loge, Brady DeHaan, Levi Gunlogson, Ryan Tolifson. Middle row (l-r): Head Coach Aaron Goff, Assistant Coach Justin LeClair, Brady Goff, Zander Hoffman, Brady Backman, Peyton LeClair, Tim Blume, Hunter Blume, Assistant Coach Jeff DeHaan, Assistant Coach Ryan Loge. Back row (l-r): Mason Austvold, Reece Kuseske.

The 11th-ranked Morris Benson Bantam B Storm faced off vs. No. 8 Hastings Friday afternoon at the Minnesota Hockey State Tournament. The game was evenly contested through two periods as the game was scoreless. MBA got on the scoreboard early in the third to take a 1-0 lead. From there the Storm took control of the game, adding another goal midway through the third and moved on with a 2-0 victory. “We got in penalty trouble early in the game and had to stave off a few penalty kills,” head coach Aaron Goff said. “Hastings played a very patient game that we’re not used to. As we got accustomed to what they were trying to do, we were able to adjust and create some scoring chances. The kids played one of their best defensive games of the year shutting out Hastings.” Saturday’s semifinal match-up faced the Storm up against Osseo/Maple Grove. OMG put heavy pressure on the Storm throughout the game. The Storm stayed composed, but OMG went into the second intermission with a 2-0 lead. The Storm came out in the third period and punched in a goal to close the gap to one, but time ran out on MBA as OMG took the game 2-1 to advance to the state championship game. “OMG played the complete opposite game of Hastings,” Goff said. “They put heavy pressure on us, and transitioned the puck very well. Their second goal took a bad bounce off the wall in our end, and ended up right on one of their players’ stick who put it in our net. Our kids fought hard and never gave up. They battled to get back into the game, but the clock just ran out on us. They had nothing to hang their heads about. It was just a hard-fought game between two very good teams.” The season just wouldn’t have ended right without District 15 rivals MBA and Moorhead facing off one more time in the third-place game. The Storm and Spuds met four previous times this season. All games were decided by one goal with two going to overtime. Moorhead won the first three, and the fourth was an overtime win by the Storm in the North Region Championship.

Moorhead came out determined in the game after a lopsided loss to Edina in the semifinals. The Storm found themselves in penalty trouble early on where they were able to stave off a 5-on-3, but with just seconds left in the second penalty kill, Moorhead found a goal to take the early lead. The Spuds kept rolling through the first and part way through the second period as they amassed a 4-1 lead. Slowly the tide turned as MBA began to sustain some momentum. Midway through the second period, the Storm pulled the game within one with two quick goals. The two quick goals forced Moorhead to take a time out. Following the time out, the game was played evenly to close out the second period with Moorhead leading 4-3. Once again as the third period began, the Storm were the stronger skating team, but couldn’t find a way to put the puck in the net. With under a minute to go, MBA pulled the goalie to add the sixth skater on the ice, and put one past Moorhead with 14 seconds left in the game to tie it up 4-4. Time would expire in regulation, and once again took the two teams to overtime for the third time this season. MBA didn’t waste any time, as just 21 seconds into the overtime, they put the puck in Moorhead’s net, claiming third place in the State Tournament with four unanswered goals. “What a win,” Goff said. “Moorhead came out really strong against us to open up the game, but slowly lost momentum as the game went on. The depth of our team just wore them down, and we had more left in the tank at the end of the game than they did. Hats off to our kids that they never gave up and just kept at it. It was a great way to cap off our season.” This is MBA’s first Bantam team to reach the State Tournament. Finishing third at State is the best finish for any MBA team that has reached the State Tourney. The MBA Bantams complete their season with a 34-11-5 record. The MBA Bantam team would like to thank all the fans and community’s support they got throughout the tournament.

Alexandria 15U A captures state consolation crown

The Alexandria 15U A team completed their season by finishing Consolation Champs in State with a 3-0 win over Edina, the eventual State Champion. In the consolation semifinal game, Alexandria defeated Woodbury 4-1 to advance to meet St Paul Roseville. PIctured (l-r): Maci Tilleskjor, Reise Waldorf, Lauren Maras, MaKenna Aure, Riley Nyberg, Ella Johnston, Brookelyn Stender, Jodan O’Kane, Ella Westlund, Peyton Boesl, Aliejah Castle, Hanley Block.

Top row (l-r): Assistant Coach Kirk Nielsen, Jimmy Mendel, Johnny Warpinski, Alex Witzke, Jack Bourget, Connor Knowles, Max Vonklinggraeff, AJ Russo, Assistant Coach Mark Bourget, Head Coach Rob Mendel. Middle row (l-r): Assistant Coach Tim Perunovich, Chase Mesner, Silas Bowman, Will Sherod, Will Perry Bottom: Owen Nielsen, Ben Dietzen, Robby Hoyt, Aiden Jones, Liam Moser, Hugh Deinema.

Edina Green took the PeeWee B1 State Championship by a score of 7-2 over Farmington on Sunday at the Municipal Athletic Center in St. Cloud. The game seemed closer than the score would indicate as both teams competed hard for a full 45 minutes of game time. Edina started the scoring off early in the first period at 5:25 when Will Sherod picked up a loose puck in the zone and fired a sweet shot that beat the goalie to the back of the net. Five minutes later, Owen Nielsen sent Silas Bowman into the zone along the boards. Farmington was defending well and kept Bowman outside, but he fired a shot from the corner that somehow found its way in off the goalie to make it 2-0. Edina got one more at 12:59 when Connor Knowles sent a low shot in from the point. The goalie made the initial save, but Hugh Deinema sent the rebound to Jimmy Mendel all alone on the back door to make it 3-0 to end the first. Farmington started the second period

with a 5-on-3 advantage and scored at 1:01, just as the first penalty expired to bring the score to 3-1. Edina answered back at 5:09 when Nielsen this time found Deinema who buried the puck to make it 4-1. That score held up for most of the period until Farmington again had a 5-on-3 advantage and scored to make it 4-2 at 13:42. The third period started with Farmington pushing back hard and the next goal would be huge. Then, Jack Bourget got the puck to Mendel for his second goal just three minutes into the period to make it 5-2. Johnny Warpinski added a goal at 5:52 from AJ Russo and Max Vonklinggraeff another at 9:45 from Deinema for a final score of 7-2. Goalie Robby Hoyt stopped every evenstrength shot, including a couple of breakaways and Edina’s defensive corps kept Farmington at bay all game. Edina Green finished the season with an impressive 42-3-1 record to claim the title of State Champions.

Edina 15U B takes third at State Tournament

Edina 15U B began the season with the goal of improving their hockey skills, building new friendships and above all else, having fun! Along the way, the team was fortunate enough to have a few third-place tournament finishes, charter a bus to Grand Forks for the away tournament trip, had a few player (and parent) parties and completed a volunteer event as a team. The team finished the season with a record of 20-10-1-1. Edina played a number of strong teams within the district throughout the season, and was able to finish first overall, allowing for a direct berth to the State Tournament. The team faced three solid opponents in the State Tournament, securing a win on Friday against Mankato, losing a close one

to Alexandria on Saturday and ending the Tournament with a double-overtime win against Osseo/Maple Grove for third place on Sunday. The team had a fierce combination of skill and speed from the front lines of Harper Carsello, Bella Finn, Kelly Hurley, Riley Knapp, Allison Mackey and Allison Nelson. They had strong, tight reinforcement from the defense play of Shelby Henninger, Addie Kelly, Caroline Nelson, Annika Page and Libby Strittmater. And they had brick-wall goaltending from Belle Kelly, keeping the team in each of the games. The team would like to thank coaches Mike Hurley, Jamie Carsello and Emily Bruns for their time and support throughout the season.


www.letsplayhockey.com

Shakopee 15U B earns state consolation title

The inaugural Shakopee 15U B girls’ hockey team found great success in the last month and a half of their 2017-18 hockey season, starting with the “Prelude to the Playoffs” Eden Prairie tournament where they took home the championship trophy with a 4-0 win against Sartell/Sauk Rapids on Feb. 11. Shakopee met up with the Storm’n Sabers once again March 3 for the chance to have a spot at State. Shakopee got the 3-2 win and the great achievement of making it to State! This past weekend, the girls were Statebound and it was exciting to say the least. Their first game on Friday, March 16 was a nail biter against Osseo/Maple Grove. The Shakopee girls fought hard, but came out with a 4-3 loss in double overtime. Not deterred and with possibly more of a fire in their eye, they came back Saturday and beat Stillwater 3-2. This win put them in the consolation championship game against Mankato on Sunday. Shakopee came out on top with a 6-3 win and the state consolation trophy to add to the case! The 15U B parents and girls would like to thank our two head coaches, Sam (Berens) Zagar and Brynn Berens, both brand new to coaching but not to the community. Sam and Brynn are Shakopee alumni and played Shakopee varsity girls’ hockey. Here is what

March 22, 2018

Let’s Play Hockey

they had to say on the season: “As first-time hockey coaches, this season has been a long, but fulfilling ride! It wouldn’t have been possible without a great group of young ladies AND their families! We are so proud of what our team has accomplished, from taking first in the Eden Prairie Tournament to ending fifth in the state of Minnesota! They worked hard and improved so much. These girls were a joy to work with on and off the ice. I’ve never seen such a cohesive group. I think the main reason why we wanted to coach was not to just teach them the sport, but to help them grow as individuals as well. Knowing we had an impact on them and getting their feedback and reassurance made it all worth it. We already miss meeting them at the rink, but can’t wait to see what they have in store for the future!” Last but not least, thank you to assistant coach Jon Parker for your time and an eventful season! Not only has our Shakopee community grown by leaps and bounds, but so has Shakopee girls’ hockey. This was Shakopee’s first year of having a 15U girls’ hockey team, and as hockey parents and members of this community, we look forward to watching girls thrive at the 15U level for many years to come!

21

Andover 12U A wins state championship

Andover Huskies 12UA – STATE CHAMPS! The girls beat Warroad 10-2 and Apple Valley/ Burnsville 9-0 before defeating Edina (3-1) in the championship game for the title. These girls finished 53-2-3 for this year. Back row (l-r): Jeremy Tammi, Dan Mumm, Paul Heath, Craig Ahlstrand, Jason Hemp. Middle row (l-r): Elly Klepinger, Emma Heath, Halle Dunleavy, Josie Hemp, Katie Downs, Cailin Mumm, Eva Bock, Emma Tammi. Front row (l-r): Carly Musta, Isa Goettl, Annika Ahlstrand, Layla Hemp, Pacie Krause.

Minnetonka 15U A Black takes third at State

Minnetonka Black celebrated the end of a wonderful season with a win in the third-place game of the Minnesota Hockey 15U A State Championship in Thief River Falls. The Skippers faced Woodbury in the quarterfinal game, winning 7-3. Next up in the semifinals was undefeated Edina Green. Edina scored the game-winner with four minutes left in the game, breaking a 1-1 tie. Minnetonka played Centennial in the third-place game, winning 4-0. Minnetonka Black won 38 games over the course of the season. This group of girls really enjoyed being around one another, especially singing and dancing to music whenever they had the opportunity. Their coaches are extremely proud of all that they accomplished throughout the season!

Hermantown PeeWee AA takes second at State Wayzata PeeWee B1 Gold takes third at State

Front row (l-r): Garron Opsahl, Brody Mathews, Max Plante, Sam Swenson. Middle row (l-r): Wyatt Carlson, Kade Kohanski, Ty Hanson, Evan Gunderson, Head Coach Nick Jones. Back row (l-r): Assistant Coach Hunter Bergerson, Dallas Vieau, Will Esterbrooks, Matt Kauppinen, Josh Kauppinen, Josh Muelbauer, Aaron Evjen, Zam Plante, Nolan Barker, Assistant Coach Greg Hanson.

The Hermantown PeeWee AA team’s season was nothing short of a success. The team was picked back in October from a group of 59 kids. The Hawks finished their season with an overall record of 39-7-2. They accomplished multiple tournament championships, including The Big Pumpkin, Gales of November and MN North Regional Tournament and a second-place finish in

the State Tournament in Duluth. The young Hawks maintained a top position among the state’s best teams all year and ended with one of the best finishes in Hermantown Youth Hockey history. The Hermantown PeeWee AA’s were coached by Head Coach Nick Jones, Assistant Coach Hunter Bergerson and Assistant Coach Greg Hanson.

First row (l-r): Trey Albertini (goalie), Evan Lyke (manager), Henry Bellone (goalie). Second row (l-r): Jonathan Pribula, Brady Bocksell, Jonah Mogeni, Sam Ask, Joel Mogeni , Adam Christopherson (holding trophy). Third row (lr): Ben Kearin, Jordan Vanvalkenburg, Jacob Leisen, Zach Pettit. Fourth row (l-r): Drew Pellinger, Tyler Lyke. Coaches (l-r): Troy Bocksell, Josh Vanvalkenburg, Brian Lyke, John Leisen.

The Wayzata PeeWee B1 Gold team took third place in the State Tournament by beating Lakeville South 6-5 in overtime. Wayzata kicked off the state tournament with a 5-1 win over St. FrancisNorth Branch, moving on to face Farmington in the semifinals. Wayzata fell

to Farmington 4-2, sending them to the third-place game. Wazyata battled hard against a tough Lakeville South team, having to come from behind two times to win in overtime. What a great ending to an amazing season for a great group of boys.


22

March 22, 2018

Let’s Play Hockey

Warroad PeeWee A wins state title

www.letsplayhockey.com

Cottage Grove Bantam A finishes second at State

Warroad captured the 2018 Minnesota Hockey PeeWee A State Championship, defeating Cottage Grove 7-0, Osseo/ Maple Grove 4-3 and Sartell 6-3.

Lakeville North Bantam B wins state consolation crown

The Lakeville North Bantam B Hockey Team was crowned State Consolation Champion at the Bantam B State Tournament in St. Cloud. The team lost their opening round game to Moorhead Black 8-4, followed by back-to-back victories against St. Paul Capitals 5-2 and Forest Lake 61 . The tteam eam ffinished inished their season with an oover ver all recor d of 441-1 1-1 2-5. verall record 1-12-5. Players: Landon Atkins, Ryan Brodin, Alex Charchenko, Preston Fisk, Duncan Fransdal, Jett Gibbons, Joey Grillo, Kaleb Hurd, Josh Haugen, Finn Jacques, Matt Njaa, Griffin Pehrson, Luke Poehling, Jared Schmeling, Gavyn Schraufnagel, Garrett Springer, Jude Weber, Quinn Eigner. Head Coach: Mike Pehrson. Assistant Coaches: Brad Charchenko, Brian Jacques.

The Cottage Grove Bantam A Wolfpack culminated a 52-9-2 season with a secondplace finish in the State Tournament last weekend at Parade Ice Garden in Minneapolis. The weekend began with a hard-fought victory over Little Falls. The Wolfpack got on the board first with a goal by Dalton Anderson, but the Flyers answered back to tie it 1-1. The Wolfpack went up 2-1 on a goal by Luke McCarthy in the second, but the Flyers knotted it up again in the third. The Wolfpack took the lead for good on Anderson’s second goal of the game to seal the 3-2 win. Conner Nelsen made 24 saves to backstop the victory. The Wolfpack faced Sartell in the semifinals. It was the third meeting of the year between the teams, with the Wolfpack winning the previous two. This game would be no different. Despite falling behind early,

the Wolfpack carried the majority of the play, throwing 39 shots on the Sartell netminder. Logan Porter netted a hat trick, Sam Janski had three assists, and Jack Weidner and Colin Jungwirth each added two points to send the Wolfpack into the championship game. Josh Gutzman made 16 saves in the 5-3 victory. The Wolfpack faced Edina in the title game. The Hornets came out of the gates flying, but the Wolfpack appeared to weather the storm, down only 1-0 after the first. Edina would increase the lead to 2-0 in the second, but the Wolfpack answered with a power-play goal by Dalton Anderson to trim the lead to one. Despite a hard-fought third period, neither team would score, and the Hornets skated to a 2-1 victory. It was the first defeat for the Wolfpack since a 6-4 loss to Roseville on Feb. 3, ending an 11game win streak.

Proctor/Hermantown 15U A takes second at State

Minnetonka Bantam AA takes third at State

Minnetonka Bantam AA took third at the State Tournament. The team went on a great run in the second half of the year, winning the Spirit of Duluth tournament and the East Regional. Tonka lost a heartbreaker in the state semifinals 4-3 to Eden Prairie, but rebounded and beat Wayzata 5-1 in the thirdplace game.

These group of players will be successful for years to come in high school. Duke Kiffin was one of the key leaders on the team and is a player that you will hear about a lot in the future as he is a Division I caliber hockey player. We had a great year and look forward to seeing these players excel at the high school level.

The Proctor/Hermantown Mirage 15U A team finished the season with an impressive 40-2-2 record. This is the third consecutive State appearance for many of the players. The Mirage won several tournaments this year, starting with the All American Girls Tournament in Blaine, followed by the Mirage Winter Classic in Proctor/Hermantown and the Grand Rapids Star of the North Tournament. They also had a strong finish in the Icebreaker Invitational gold division, losing only to Edina in an overtime game shootout. Head Coach Todd Sieger said, “This is a very dedicated, talented and hard-working group of girls who never give up. I couldn’t be more proud of this team and all they accomplished. We played a very competitive schedule and were often on the road.” The Mirage traveled to East Grand Forks

for the regional tournament where they finished first, and then was on the road again two weeks later to Thief River Falls for the state tournament. The Mirage defeated highly-ranked Roseville and Centennial to advance to the championship game against Edina, where the Mirage finished second in State. The Proctor/Hermantown Mirage program has a bright future ahead with its high school team, 15U A and 12U A team all making State appearances this year. It’s an impressive program as two small community schools have come together with limited numbers to create a strong program, thanks to dedicated coaches, managers, parents and players. Many of the girls are multi-sport athletes and leaders on other teams.


www.letsplayhockey.com

Roseville Bantam A lands state consolation title

Front row (l-r): Zak Goodwin, Ian Macklem, Gavin Carlson, Joey O’Neill, Max Moriarty, Tyler Robillard, Joey Heiple (G), Bjorn Anderson, Ian Scott (G). Second row (l-r): Grant Courtney, Burke Gaffney, Tony Leahy, Trey Schabacker, Charlie Clysdale, Hunter Heffernan, James Bartel, Bryce Hadlich. Back row (l-r): Assistant Coach Shane McKibben, Head Coach Luke Christiansen, Assistant Coach Mike O’Neill, Goalie Coach Bryan Comiskey, Assistant Coach Brad Macklem, Assistant Coach Mike Heffernan.

Bouncing back from an opening night, overtime defeat to eventual champion Edina, the Roseville Raider Bantam A squad persevered throughout the weekend to claim the Bantam A Consolation championship for 2017-18. As the No. 1 seed from the East Region, Roseville drew the defending champion Edina Hornets on the opening night of State play. A Bantam A state tournament recordbreaking 13 penalties were called in the first 30 minutes, including three misconducts totaling 50 minutes. For two teams who had gained 24 of their 28 fair play points during the season, the number of penalties called was a significant aberration. Raider Joey Heiple was a perfect 22 of 22 at the second intermission, including several point-blank opportunities during the ongoing penalty kills. The dual shutout held until 12:44 of the third period, when sustained pressure on the power play forced a turnover in the Edina zone. Bryce Hadlich corralled a tipped pass and fed James Bartel at the far point. Bartel let loose a wrister that was stopped by the Edina goalie, but Joey O’Neill corralled the rebound and slipped a backhander into the net for the first lead. Edina got the next two goals, but Roseville’s Max Moriarty would find the answer. Edina attempted to clear the zone, but the puck was held in by Zak Goodwin at the point. Goodwin fed Bjorn Anderson in the slot for the shot as Moriarty crashed the net for the rebound to tie the score. When Edina countered two minutes later to take a late lead, Roseville answered as time was running out. With Heiple on the bench for an extra attacker, Anderson buzzed past a Hornet behind the net and fed Tony Leahy out front. When Leahy’s shot was blocked, Hadlich found the equalizer with 22.8 seconds left. On his first shift of sudden-death, Gavin Carlson rifled a shot 90 seconds into overtime that overpowered the goalie and fell back behind him, but any opportunity to win was dashed as the puck trickled past the right pipe. Overtime ended after 3:20 when Edina scored, sending the Raider squad, and packed stands of Raider fans, home disappointed. With sights now set on winning the consolation bracket, Roseville faced a familiar opponent in Owatonna. The teams played a disciplined, scoreless game until 2:20 of the second period, when Burke Gaffney broke the scoreless tie, firing a shot stick side just under the crossbar on the power play. At 4:28 of the second period, Roseville doubled the lead. Goodwin recovered a clearing pass at center ice. The resulting dump-in was corralled by O’Neill, who found Leahy alone in the slot for the 2-0 lead. Just prior to the second intermission, Owatonna broke the shutout and gave Roseville a staggering blow just before the needed break.

March 22, 2018

Let’s Play Hockey

Roseville pressed the advantage and dominated play in the third, scoring just three minutes in to take a commanding lead. Again, the line of Leahy-O’Neill-Hadlich found the net. Hadlich’s board work fed O’Neill behind the end line, who once again found Leahy in the slot for the final tally. With Owatonna needing a score during the final 12 minutes to continue their season, they were outshot 8-3 as the Raiders continued to pound the offensive zone. Blocked shots by Grant Courtney and Tyler Robillard sealed the win, while Heiple finished with 13 saves in the 3-2 win. Roseville faced a familiar opponent in the consolation championship, their D2 rival St. Paul. The North rink at Parade was packed as fans from both sides filled the stands. Roseville opened the scoring at 8:03 of the first. Ian Macklem won his third offensive draw of the shift, finding Charlie Clysdale at the point. Clysdale’s effort banged off the end-boards, where Trey Schabacker beat the goalie short-side for the temporary lead. As they had all year, the Capitals immediately countered for the tying goal. Roseville took the lead again at 5:02 of the first when Leahy recovered the puck in his own zone, and motored into St. Paul territory. Dumping the puck to O’Neill on the right wing, O’Neill found Hadlich streaking into the high slot. Hadlichs’ wrister beat the goaltender for the prettiest Roseville passing combo of the weekend. The lead lasted until the third period, when the teams traded heavyweight punches throughout the stanza. At 11:56, Grant Courtney fired an outlet pass to center ice, finding O’Neill at the scorer’s table. O’Neill mid-air, back-heel volley redirect found Leahy alone across the ice. Leahy recognized the soccer give-and-go and hit O’Neill mid-stride for the breakaway and a 3-2 lead, but St. Paul again responded almost immediately. Five minutes later, Leahy’s forecheck forced a turnover to Hadlich at the blue line. Hadlich found a hard-charging O’Neill at the far circle for a 4-3 lead, but again St Paul rallied, this time with 97 seconds left in the game on a power play. Regulation ended in a 4-4 tie, forcing bonus hockey. Overtime lasted less than two minutes. After sustained pressure, both Carlson and Moriarty took turns forcing turnovers deep in the St. Paul zone. After Carlson attempted a wraparound and attracted both defenders, Moriarty was given the chance at a backhander that snuck in the far pipe, sending the Raiders and their fans into a supportive frenzy. Roseville ends the year with hardware as D2 conference champions, D2 tournament champions, East Region Champions, and Bantam State Consolation Champions, sporting a 37-16-3 record. Roseville is coached by Luke Christiansen, Shane McKibben, Mike O’Neill, Mike Heffernan, Brad Macklem and Brian Comiskey.

23

Stillwater Red 12U B wins state championship

The Stillwater Ponies 12U B Red team rode into hockey tradition-rich South St. Paul as the dark horse pick to win State and left with the championship trophy! The Stillwater Ponies played three tough games against very high-quality competition. However, over the course of the weekend, Stillwater’s stellar goaltending, dependable and steady defense and relentless offense would prove to be too much. The Stillwater Red team is led by South St. Paul’s own, Joe Cheney, and assisting him this season was Stillwater’s biggest

hockey fan, Matthew Williams, along with goalie coach and team photographer Aaron Thompson. The Ponies’ team consists of Zoe Laming, Mira Schantzen, Rosie Cronk, Maddie Williams, Lu Williams, Paige Fasching, Brooke Nelson, Grace Cheney, Olivia DeJarnett, Cassidy Keykal, Crimson Keykal, Lily Novotny, Mary Thompson and Ava Mosley On behalf of the Stillwater Red 12U B Ponies, we would like to thank South St. Paul for putting on a top notch, well-run state tournament!

Alexandria 15U B finishes second at State

The Alexandria 15U B team completed an impressive season by finishing as runner-up at the State Tournament with a 1-0 overtime loss to Champlin Park/Coon Rapids. The Cardinals started the tournament with a 5-1 win over St. Paul/Roseville. In the semifinal game, Alexandria defeated Edina 4-3 to advance to meet CPCR. The Alexandria 15U B team finishes with a 28-6-1 record on the season and ranked No. 2 in the State. Proudly, we’re a small team – 11 skaters and a fantastic goalie. Several times this season, we competed with only seven skaters and our goalie. If you want to know who our top scorer was, that player probably wouldn’t know because we didn’t focus on individual stats. If you want to know who our team leader is, pick any player from our team picture and you’ll be right. No captain, no select power play, no set penalty kill, no shorting the bench. All hands on deck, because each girl had the same responsibility

– work to your fullest potential! The final game of our season was the 15U B Minnesota State Championship and we enjoyed every bit of it. During the first intermission, we ditched the marker board to sing “Sweet Caroline” from our bench to our families and friends in the stands. During the time outs, we laughed and made jokes with each other to calm the nerves. For three periods, plus a little bit more, the girls gave everything they had! The result: a fantastic, emotional, heart-breaking 1-0 loss in overtime. No mistakes, no failures – the other team just scored a goal first. And we can’t be more proud of our team! Players: Aubrie Porter, Analise Schroeder, Taylor Johnson, Kylee James, Olivia Strand, Keely Christianson, Elise Patience, Mya Klimek, Shelby Peters, Lauren Rebrovich, Morgan Houfburg, Ella Houska, and Autumn Blahosky. Head Coach: Jeff Patience. Assistant Coaches: Darin Johnson, Brittney Lind.


24

March 22, 2018

Let’s Play Hockey

Stillwater Red Junior Gold 16 wins State Tournament

Stillwater 16U Red edged Minnetonka 32 to win the first ever State Title for a Stillwater 16U Junior Gold team. Stillwater Red was ranked No. 3 going into the state tournament below No. 1 Minnetonka and No. 2 St. Thomas Academy. The first game was played against Lakeville who Stillwater lost to during the regular season but beat in the first round of playdowns to win their ticket to State. It was a hard-fought game with Stillwater coming out with the 3-1 victory to move on to the semifinals. The semifinal game against St. Thomas Academy was another close game, but Stillwater came out with a 3-2 victory to

move into the State Championship game. In the title game vs. defending champion Minnetonka, Stillwater took an early 2-0 lead in the first period. Minnetonka answered with two goals to tie up the game in the second period. Both teams came out and played hard in the third period but Stillwater scored to win the State Title 3-2 over Minnetonka. Stillwater’s three strong offensive lines, solid defense, rock-solid goaltending and team mentality all contributed to their successful season. It was a season that will never be forgotten by coaches, players and parents.

Stillwater Junior Gold A takes second at State

After a strong season, Stillwater Junior Gold A was ranked No. 2 with a record of 26-8-5 heading into the State Championship game against the top-ranked powerhouse Edina team with a record of 38-1-1. With 17 seniors and two juniors, head coached by the tenured Mike Wasko, the team was posed to contest the Hornets. Unfortunately, they were unable to overtake Edina and placed second.

Stillwater’s success at Junior Gold (A, B, 16) over the last several years has been largely due to parent and coach encouragement to the boys that hockey beyond Bantams and high school does very much exist. In contrast to high school hockey, you can play twice the games, get more playing time, at a fraction of the politics and pressure. Sounds like more fun to me, and isn’t that what it’s about?

www.letsplayhockey.com

Edina Bantam A wins State Tournament

The Edina Bantam A Hornets walked into Parade Ice Arena knowing two things: They wanted to defend the State title earned by Edina in 2017 and if any of their games went to overtime, they liked their chances. A back-and-forth affair in the opening game ended up going as the script suggested it might. A Roseville goal with just over three minutes remaining in regulation tied the game 3-3 and served to provide Hornet and Raider fans some free hockey. Unlike their previous overtime victories during their playoff run that involved multiple extra frames, Edina was able to put home the winner after six minutes to advance to Saturday’s semifinal. As soon as the handshakes were done, the young Hornets turned their attention to the top-ranked team in the state, the Green Wave that had made its way down to the Twin Cities from East Grand Forks. In a mostly defensive affair, Edina held a 1-0 lead for most of the game, but a late powerplay goal for EGF set the table for some more overtime heroics. Unable to muster much pressure in over a period and a half of overtime, the Hockey Gods smiled upon the Hornets for the fourth time in their postseason. A seeing-eye wrist shot from the side boards found its way through

multiple bodies, into the back of the EGF net and set off an eruption amongst the Hornet fans as they would advance and play to defend their State title on Sunday afternoon. Edina faced off with Park Cottage Grove on Sunday afternoon for the State title with a bevy of fans having made the short drive from Edina for the championship game. Edina Hockey Association board members, players and coaches from the Hornets Varsity, Junior Varsity, Junior Gold, Bantam and PeeWee teams, players who had been coached in the past by Ryan Elbing and Co., as well as parents, grandparents, siblings and friends packed themselves into Parade Ice Arena. Edina would not disappoint those fans on this afternoon. Heading into the locker room after two periods with a 2-1 lead, every fan wearing green had that familiar feeling in the pit of their stomach as overtime seemed inevitable. But a strong defensive effort in the third period and a persistent forecheck made any additional time unnecessary. As the horn went off and the scoreboard still showing Edina up 2-1, the players poured over the boards to celebrate what will be a lifelong memory for parents, players and coaches. #GoHornets #LetsGoBoys

Farmington PeeWee B1 takes second at State

Coaches (l-r): Rich Wolf, Cory Bell, and Jeff Weinberger. Back row (l-r): Dylan Wolf, Vince Vonbank, Austin Kalmes, Nick Simon, Jason Mrosla, Jack Burdick, Jared Martin. Middle row (l-r): Luke Harris, Cade Fitzloff, Jarret Minchow, Zach Bell, Tyler Weinberger, Luke Rice, Noah Kirby. Goalies (l-r): Nick Fuller, Mitch Getting.

The stands at the MAC in St. Cloud are still buzzing with the roar of the absolutely electric Farmington fans. This past weekend, they cheered their Tigers to a stellar second place finish in the PeeWee B State Tournament. The Tigers finished the season with a 37-12-2 record and were the first PWB team ever to represent Farmington in the State Tournament. The Tigers’ success came through hard work, sticking to the fun-

damentals of good clean hockey, and a positive team-first attitude. All season long, the Tigers conducted themselves with integrity on and off the ice, whether they won or lost, and demonstrated sportsmanship that reflects their commitment to the spirit of hockey and youth sports. You may not have taken first, but you have proven yourselves to be worthy Champions. Congratulations on a great season!


www.letsplayhockey.com

Champlin Park/Coon Rapids wins 15U B state title

After a successful regular season, finishing first in their District, the Champlin Park/Coon Rapids 15U B team, with head coach Brandi DelCastillo at the helm, took on their ultimate goal: a State Tournament title. Relying on all the hard work they had put forth this season, and the sisterhood of their teammates, CPCR battled first to a 21 victory over Stillwater, then a hard-fought 3-2 win over Osseo/Maple Grove. The team’s skill on the penalty kill and notoriously fantastic goaltending were highlighted in the championship game on

March 22, 2018

Let’s Play Hockey

Sunday afternoon vs. a formidable Alexandria team. Three periods of high level, passionate play left both teams scoreless in regulation. CPCR began overtime with the challenge of killing off over a minute of 5on-3. They managed to battle through and emerged victorious after a stunning shorthanded goal! A phenomenal team effort against a really strong opponent! CPCR’s State Championship is the first in Association history at any level of girls’ hockey! Way to make history and inspire a whole new generation of girls!

Centennial 12U A claims state consolation crown

25

Wayzata 19U captures state championship

Wayzata 19U team’s state championship victory was over a very talented Osseo/ Maple Grove team. Osseo/Maple Grove beat the defending 2017 State Champions and No. 1 seed, Edina, to get into the Championship Game. The first period of the Championship Game was a high-speed, back-and-forth affair with no goals scored. Both teams were playing at their highest level of the year. The second period brought more shots and physicality by both teams, ending with a 2-1 score favoring Wayzata. Osseo/Maple Grove came fighting back to tie up the game early in the third period, 2-2. Both teams’ goalies continued to play well. As the third period continued to the midpoint, the game got more physical. Finally, Wayzata broke the tie with a couple of quick goals by Mekena Burke and Elizabeth “Bit” Peterson. Wayzata went on to win the game 6-2. This year was a Carpe Diem (seize the day) season for the Wayzata 19U Team. Wayzata had not participated in the 19U

league for a couple of seasons. They started with seven players and no goalie. “Looking around at that first parent-player meeting was a bit awkward,” said Head Coach Tov Rezabek. But with the determination of the team’s coaches and the initial players, the team recruited the players’ friends and their friends. Within a few weeks, the team expanded to 14 eligible skaters with a goalie and a part-time goalie. “Ending the year as State Champions given our start was a real Carpe Diem story for our girls. They just gave it their all and seized the opportunity they were given,” said Rezabek. The 19U League delivers good competitive hockey. With the excitement around women’s hockey fueled by the recent Olympic gold medal won by Team USA, this League is a great pathway for girls that want to stay involved in hockey, continue to develop and have fun. Congratulations Wayzata 19U!

Centennial Junior Gold 16 Black wins state consolation title Centennial won the 12U A State Tournament Consolation Championship with a thrilling 3-2 win over Proctor-Hermantown. The Cougars fell to Apple Valley-Burnsville 4-1 in the opening round round of the tournament but roared back with a 2-1 win over Warroad which put them in the consolation ffinal. inal. The tteam eam ffinished inished their memor able season with a recor d of 441-1 1-1 4-3. memorable record 1-14-3. First row (l-r): Aly Vogelsang, Alexa Backmann, Kaitlin Groess, Ellie Newpower. Second row (l-r): Noelle Hemr, Lauren O’Hara, Ella O’Hearn, Brea Ritter, Greta Anderson, Anna Jarpey. Third row (l-r): Hannah Thompson, Callie Cody, Sophie Clauson, Brooke Klemz.

New Ulm/Sleepy Eye 12U B finishes second at State Front row kneeling (l-r): Joe Cassidy (holding trophy), Emmet Walley, Jack Clauson. Second row kneeling (lr): Blake Dewberry, Emmett Fruth, Marcus Olson, Brett Sonderman. Standing: Hunter Berger, Colin Moch (injured), Carter Wierzbinski, Jake Gregg, Gage Holeman, Ethan Doll. Back row (l-r): Sam Emmer, Brock Serna, Cole Hook, Ben Zandstra, TJ Harmon.

The Junior Gold 16U Centennial Black Chiefs skated away with the Consolation Championship in the State Tournament on Sunday, March 18. After a very rough start to the tournament with a quarterfinal loss to Stillwater Black, the Chiefs drew Edina in the consolation semifinal. The team came out energized and rebounded with a resounding 5-0 win over the Hornets. This set up a consolation championship

New Ulm/Sleepy Eye 12U B ended its season 43-3, with the only losses coming to Eagan, Edina and Stillwater. This team of only nine skaters and one goalie beat all of their expectations with hard work and dedication to make it to the State Championship game. Front row (l-r): Ava Brennan, Lillyana Neuman (Worthington, back up goalie). Second row (l-r): Ashely Schaefer, Brooke Gramentz, Jada Rahe, Mya Hornick, Pesley Dockter. Third row (l-r): Assistant Coach Chris Rahe, Ella Dockter, Brooke Merkel, Afton Hulke, Malorie Anderson, Coach Matt Dockter.

Follow Let’s Play Hockey on Twitter @LetsPlay_Hockey

game with Wayzata. After building a 3-0 lead in the second period, the Chiefs were able to fend off a late charge by the Trojans and held on for the 4-3 win. A special thanks goes out to our parents and fans for all of their support during a great season and to our coaches, Jim Berger (head coach), Bob Clauson (assistant) and Troy Fruth (goalie coach), and Mary Harmon (manager).

‘Like’ Let’s Play Hockey on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ letsplayhockey


26

March 22, 2018

Let’s Play Hockey

www.letsplayhockey.com


www.letsplayhockey.com

Let’s Play Hockey

Stillwater 15U B enjoys memorable season

By Jim YYoung oung Above is a picture of the Stillwater 15U B girls’ hockey team standing on Lily Lake. We had our share of wins, more losses, but the girls never seem to act like they lost a game. We were hard to play against and we had more ties than Men’s Warehouse. We are backstopped by two good goalies in Sarah Strub and Kayla Nelson. They kept us in many games and then our forecheck took over. I would put these girls through the same level of practice intensity and drills as I did the boys’ JV teams at Hill-Murray. We started out with a bit of turmoil when our top forward didn’t want to buy into team culture. We juggled the roster and the team attitude has been incredible win or lose. With very few 15U B teams in the state, most away games are 45 minutes to 2.5 hour drive. Our first game was in Sartell on a Saturday night. Samantha Young was not able to play because she was finishing her role in the Hill-Murray play and Isabel “Knowly” Knowlan, our top power forward, forgot her equipment. Sartell is too far away to run home to get your gear, so we improvised. Everyone dug through their bag and found something extra they had. We took a helmet in lost and found, rented a pair of skates and the Sartell association lent us a pair of goalie breezers. She looked ridiculous, but she played and played well. This display of “can-do attitude” and everyone chipping in to help each other was a good start for our team. We had another away game in Alexandria. We decided to pretend we were the Charlestown Chiefs and rented a coach bus. We loaded up and watched, “Miracle” on the way up and, “The Mighty Ducks” on the way back. The girls played one of the best teams in the state and almost won. Honestly, they probably didn’t realize that they lost. They had so much fun riding the

bus, eating pizza and watching the movies that they didn’t care, yet they tried the hardest they had all year. It just goes to show you that chemistry and energy overcomes talent. We went on to win or tie our next six games. We also won the Baldwin tournament. Lastly, we were a team of good kids with well-rounded interests. My daughter, Samantha, missed a few things because she excels at singing and was in a show. A few of our other players, such as leading scorer Kylie Ehler missed a few things because she is in orchestra along with Greta Nanni and Isabel Knowlan. We let one of our two goalies be a sub for Mahtomedi all year. In the qualifier for state, one of our goalies played for them and their game got moved to immediately before our game. It was supposed to be three hours after us. Our opponent noticed our goalie playing, called Minnesota Hockey to ask that our goalie be ineligible for our game. There is a two-hour rest rule between games and we lent a goalie so they could have a game. No good deed goes unpunished. They must have thought we would have to forfeit or play with six skaters. Little did they know we had two outstanding goalies and the other goalie played for our game, so we spanked them for tattling on our good deed. I coached many years with boys and girls varsity and JV, always focusing on the talent and winning games. Many of those kids were playing to get to the next level and focused only on hockey. Most of these kids have a lot of well-rounded interests. They play multiple sports and do things such as band and theater. I can honestly say this year we focused entirely on effort and never on winning or losing. The kids focused on each other and we focused on letting them have fun. In the end, they made it to State, even if they might not have known the difference.

Centennial Bantam AA takes second at West Region

Centennial Bantam AA finished in second place at the West Regional in St. Cloud, Minn., to earn a spot in the Minnesota Hockey State Tournament. Centennial opened the Regional with a 7-1 win over Hastings before falling 5-3 to eventual champion Wayzata in the semifinals. The team responded in the lower bracket, defeating Sibley 5-3, Mahtomedi 2-0 and St. Michael-Albertville 5-0 to qualify for State.

March 22, 2018

27

Minnetonka Junior Gold 16U takes second at State

Minnetonka Junior Gold 16U had an amazing season, ending with a total record of 26-6-4. Earning State Runner-up, Minnetonka beat out Edina and Stillwater Black, and then played a hard-fought championship game, but fell to Stillwater Red by a score of 3-2. These players worked hard all season and never gave up. Congratulations on a wonderful season! Goalies: Owen Gunderson, Ray Moose. Skaters: Sam Roux, Quentin Kinney, Andrew Nickolas, Jake Oppegaard, Cullen Doyle, Matthew Meredith, Harry Anderson, Andrew Hamborg, Griffin Orman, Nick Bonthius, Thomas Graupmann, Nicky Lutz, Tyler (Mark) Gorans, Andrew Richens, Scott Vilinskis, Brody Witta, Carson Velcheck, JJ Schechtman. Coaches: Phil Bonthius, Eric Turnquist, Dave Oppegaard, Jay Witta.

Edina Bantam B2 White wins District 6 championship

Unfortunately for Bantam B2’s there is no state tournament (not nice, unfair ... ) For District 6 Bantam B2 players, the district tournament with the double elimination format is the final tournament. If you are a lower seed, you play every night until you lose or are lucky enough to win enough games to get to double elimination rounds. Now, it is no easy task to lose and then come back and win. It takes playing every night in a faraway place without rest. Luckily, Edina White won every game they played in District, so they made the other teams do the grind. The first game was against a highly aggressive Prior Lake team. Daniel Vega and Edina White defense shut out Prior Lake with a 3-0 win. Andrew Cavender had two goals, and Aditya Mehta and Andrew Joing each had two assists. The second game was against Edina Green which got off to an early 2-0 lead. Edina Green’s only tie in the regular season was with White and they had won every other game which was quite impressive. Jack Wilde put White on the board with the first goal assisted by Isaac Tabor. Mehta had the second goal unassisted. The third goal was by Joey Clarkowski assisted by Joey Sullivan, followed by another goal by Mehta with assists to Cavender and Joing. The next goal was scored by Cavender with an assist by Mehta. This gave White a commanding 5-2 lead in the third period, but Green on the power play clawed back to a tie, sending the game to overtime. The overtime was short and

Mark Kaju and Clarkowski together banged the game-winner home. Charlie Dentz played big in goal down the stretch when Green was making a push. The next game was against Edina Black. White won 4-0. Scott Sipprell shot a puck on blue line assisting a misdirection goal by Mehta. Kaju scored a goal with assists to JP Hughes and Ryan Quick. The next goal was also scored by Kaju on a power play. Tommy Broderick got the next goal on assists by Michael Ovikian and Wilde. Vega inked his second shutout of the tournament. The championship game was against Edina Green again, who should be commended for perseverance for coming through the double elimination bracket and eliminating Prior Lake, Jefferson and Edina Black after they had lost to White. Edina Green brought their best as they would have needed to win twice to gain the crown. White set the pace in this game, first with a goal by Cavender assisted by Mehta and Joing. The second goal was scored by Mehta with assists to Sipprell and Joing. The final goal was an empty net by Clarkowski. Ethan Deal, despite injury, supported his team throughout the tournament, lending encouragement and strategy. Dentz played big in goal for the shutout. Edina White won 3-0 and took home District Championship. The team had a dominating finish to the season with three shutouts and an overtime win, going 4-0. Coaches Jess Quick and Pat Sullivan were proud of the boys and how they played for each other.

The Let’s Play Hockey Expo is set for March 8-9, 2019 at the St. Paul RiverCentre.


28

Tournament Calendar

March 22, 2018

www.letsplayhockey.com

2018 Let’s Play Hockey Tournament Calendar

All invitational tournaments held in Minnesota must first go through a district tournament coordinator before being sent to the Minnesota Hockey tournament coordinatir, Tim Sweezo, for final approval. The list below is of Minnesota Hockey tournament coordinators for each district. Please call them if you need information about a certain tournament. District 1 Tom Mickus (651) 248-3075; District 2 Jake Reinseth (651) 274-9023; District 3 Chad Nicholls (952) 5440808; District 4 Kris Hohensee (507) 360-6787; District 5 Jeff Carlen (320) 274-3509; District 6 Brad Hewitt (952) 2506431; District 8 Zac Dockter (612) 735-9703; District 9 Troy Marquardt (507) 384-7386; District 10 Mark Osmondson (612) 747-8308; District 11 Clark Coole (218) 590-0703; District 12 Craig Homula (218) 744-5566; District 15 Cyndi Young (218) 731-5899; District 16, Mark Dragich (218) 7910229; Senior Women, Nancy Wefler (763) 537-7837. Tournament entrants from outside Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota: Be informed that Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota Squirt, PeeWee and Bantam teams will likely have some players up to six months older than the USA Hockey age guidelines for those classifications. Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota are using a July 1 age cut-off date while USA Hockey is using a January 1 age cutoff date. If you are concerned about this issue, you should contact the tournament director immediately to determine whether or not you should register for the tournament.

MARCH 2018 23-25 Nashville, TN: 19+, 25+, 30+, 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+, 55+; A, B, C, D, E Levels; Men’s & Co-ed; Contact (877) 7025701 or info@weekendhockey.com or visit www.weekendhockey.com 23-25 River Falls, WI: Fat Boys/Old Timer, Up to 40plus; Contact Doug Black at ddblack@vector1776.com 23-25 Somerset, WI: Spartan Senior Men’s, Over 40, Over 30, Open; Contact Dan Gilkerson (715) 222-2448 or digilkerson@somersethockey.com or visit www.somersethockey.com

Follow Let’s Play Hockey on Twitter @LetsPlay_Hockey

APRIL 2018 5-8 Twin Cities, MN: Ignite the Ice AAA Season Kickoff, Boys 2003-09; Contact Tim Hawkinson (952) 9208826 or tim.hawkinson@showcasehockey.com or visit www.unitedaaahockey.com 6-8 Blaine, MN: AAA Opener, Boys Open 2009-10, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002; Contact Randy at randy@northlandhockeygroup.com or visit www.aaatournaments.com 6-8 Las Vegas, NV: 19+, 25+, 30+, 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+, 55+; A, B, C, D, E Levels; Men’s, Women’s & Co-ed; Contact (877) 702-5701 or info@weekendhockey.com or visit www.weekendhockey.com 6-8 Nashville, TN: 19+, 25+, 30+, 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+, 55+; A, B, C, D, E Levels; Men’s, Women’s & Co-ed; Contact (877) 702-5701 or info@weekendhockey.com or visit www.weekendhockey.com 6-8 Sioux Falls, SD: AAA Opener, Boys 2010/09, 2008, 2007, 2006; Contact Randy at randy@ northlandhockeygroup.com or visit www.aaatournaments.com 6-8 Twin Cities, MN: Border Battle AAA Tournament, Boys 2003-10; Contact Dan Gilkerson (715) 222-2448 or dgilkerson@somersethockey.com or visit www.blazehockey.net 12-15 Twin Cities, MN: Walser Cup, Boys Open 200410; Contact Adam Hauser (952) 641-6887 or adamh@mnmadehockey.com or Steve Mularky (612) 701-4140 or stevem@mnmadehockey.com or visit www.mnmadehockeytournaments.com 13-15 Duluth, MN: Girls’ Battle By The Bay Tournament, Girls U10, U12, U14 & U16; Contact northernstormhockey@ yahoo.com or visit www.northernstorn.net 13-15 Sioux Falls, SD: AAA Opener, Boys 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002; Contact Randy at randy@ northlandhockeygroup.com or visit aaatournaments.com 13-15 St. Cloud, MN: AAA Opener, Girls Open 10U, 12U, 14U, 16U; Contact Randy at randy@ northlandhockeygroup.com or visit www.aaatournaments.com 13-15 Twin Cities, MN: Border Battle AAA Tournament, Boys U16, U18, Girls U16, U14, U12, U19; Contact Dan Gilkerson (715) 222-2448 or dgilkerson@ somersethockey.com or visit www.blazehockey.net

13-15 Twin Cities, MN: Early Trailblazer, Boys 20022009, U16, Girls U10-U19; Contact dan@midwesthockey.net or (763) 225-7320 19-22 Twin Cities, MN: Minnesota Meltdown Tournament, Boys 2004-10 Invite, Boys 2004-10 Open, Girls 10U19U; Contact Eric Knutsen (952) 920-8826 or eric.knutsen@ showcasehockey.com or visit www.showcasehockey.com 20-22 Clearwater Beach, FL: 19+, 25+, 30+, 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+, 55+; A, B, C, D, E Levels; Men’s, Women’s & Coed; Contact (877) 702-5701 or info@weekendhockey.com or visit www.weekendhockey.com 20-22 Green Bay, WI: Cheese Cup, Boys 2005, 2004, 2003; Contact Jay Boxer (920) 403-2000 or jboxer@netnet.net 20-22 Green Bay, WI: Girls 14U, 12U, 10U; Contact Jay Boxer (920) 403-2000 or jboxer@netnet.net 20-22 Montreal, QC: 19+, 25+, 30+, 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+, 55+; A, B, C, D, E Levels; Men’s & Co-ed; Contact (877) 7025701 or info@weekendhockey.com or visit www.weekendhockey.com 20-22 St. Cloud, MN: Mountain Dew Blast, Boys Open 2010/09, 2008, 2007; Contact Randy at randy@ northlandhockeygroup.com or visit www.aaatournaments.com 20-22 Twin Cities, MN: Early Trailblazer AA, Boys 2002-2009, U16, Girls U10-U19; Contact dan@midwesthockey.net or (763) 225-7320 26-29 Twin Cities, MN: Shock Doctor Shootout, Boys 2003-09; Contact Tim Hawkinson (952) 920-8826 or tim.hawkinson@showcasehockey.com or visit www.unitedaaahockey.com 27-29 Duluth, MN: Wings Showdown, Boys 20042009, Girls 12U (06/05); Contact Bryan Mortenson (218) 41065-26 or bgmortenson@msn.com or visit www.northernwings.net 27-29 Green Bay, WI: Cheese Cup, Boys 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006; Contact Jay Boxer (920) 403-2000 or jboxer@netnet.net 27-29 Niagara Falls, ON: 19+, 25+, 30+, 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+, 55+; A, B, C, D, E Levels; Men’s, Women’s & Co-ed; Contact (877) 702-5701 or info@weekendhockey.com or visit www.weekendhockey.com 27-29 Ottawa, ON: 19+, 25+, 30+, 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+, 55+; A, B, C, D, E Levels; Men’s, Women’s & Co-ed; Contact (877) 702-5701 or info@weekendhockey.com or visit www.weekendhockey.com 27-29 St. Cloud, MN: Mountain Dew Blast, Boys Open 2006, 2005, 2004; Contact Randy at randy@ northlandhockeygroup.com or visit www.aaatournaments.com 28-30 Chicago, IL: Elite AAA & AAAA, all ages; Visit www.onehockey.com

MAY 2018 3-6 Twin Cities, MN: Stars & Stripes, Boys Elite & Open 2004-11, Girls 8U-16U; Contact Adam Hauser (952) 641-6887 or adamh@mnmadehockey.com or Steve Mularky (612) 701-4140 or stevem@mnmadehockey.com or visit www.mnmadehockeytournaments.com 4-6 Atlantic City, NJ: 19+, 25+, 30+, 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+, 55+; A, B, C, D, E Levels; Men’s & Co-ed; Contact (877) 702-5701 or info@weekendhockey.com or visit www.weekendhockey.com 4-6 Blaine, MN: Mountain Dew Blast, Boys Open 2002; Contact Randy at randy@northlandhockeygroup.com or visit www.aaatournaments.com 4-6 Blaine, MN: Mountain Dew Blast, Girls Open 10U, 12U, 14U, 16U; Contact Randy at randy@ northlandhockeygroup.com or visit www.aaatournaments.com 4-6 Boston, MA: 19+, 25+, 30+, 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+, 55+; A, B, C, D, E Levels; Men’s & Co-ed; Contact (877) 7025701 or info@weekendhockey.com or visit www.weekendhockey.com 4-6 Fargo, ND: Mountain Dew Blast, Boys Open 2010/09, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004; Contact Randy at randy@ northlandhockeygroup.com or visit www.aaatournaments.com 4-6 Niagara Falls, ON: 19+, 25+, 30+, 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+, 55+; A, B, C, D, E Levels; Men’s & Co-ed; Contact (877) 702-5701 or info@weekendhockey.com or visit www.weekendhockey.com 4-6 Toronto, ON: 19+, 25+, 30+, 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+, 55+; A, B, C, D, E Levels; Men’s & Co-ed; Contact (877) 7025701 or info@weekendhockey.com or visit www.weekendhockey.com 10-13 Edina, MN: The Clash Hockey Tournament, Girls U18-U19; Contact J Lindsay (612) 747-3030 or jlindsay@ lindsaygroup.com or visit www.theclashtourney.com 11-13 Alexandria, MN: Alexandria Blizzard Hockeyfest, Boys 2008 & 2009; Contact matt@ alexandriablizzard.com or visit www.alexhockeyfest.com 11-13 Twin Cities, MN: Spring Stampede, Boys 20022010, U16, Girls U10-U19; Contact dan@midwesthockey.net or (763) 225-7320 17-20 Twin Cities, MN: Independent Classic, Boys 2003-09, 16U, 18U, Girls 8U-19U; Contact Tim Hawkinson (952) 920-8826 or tim.hawkinson@ showcasehockey.com or visit www.eastonaaa.com


Tournament Calendar

www.letsplayhockey.com 18-20 Alexandria, MN: Alexandria Blizzard Hockeyfest, Boys 2006 & 2007; Contact matt@ alexandriablizzard.com or visit www.alexhockeyfest.com 18-20 St. Cloud, MN: Boys Open 2003; Contact Randy at randy@northlandhockeygroup.com or visit www.aaatournaments.com 18-20 Twin Cities, MN: Boys Open 2010/09, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004; Contact Randy at randy@ northlandhockeygroup.com or visit www.aaatournaments.com 18-20 Twin Cities, MN: Spring Stampede AA, Boys 2002-2010, U16, Girls U10-U19; Contact dan@midwesthockey.net or (763) 225-7320 25-27 Alexandria, MN: Alexandria Blizzard Hockeyfest, Girls 10U & 12U; Contact matt@ alexandriablizzard.com or visit www.alexhockeyfest.com 25-27 Duluth, MN: MN Female Elite Prospects Showcase, Girls 16U & U19; Contact Kevin Mudrak at kmudrak@yahoo.com or visit www.mnfemalehockey.com 31-3 Duluth, MN: Boys’ Battle By The Bay Tournament; 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009; Contact northernstormhockey@yahoo.com or visit www.northernstorn.net 31-3 Rapid City, SD: Rushmore Cup, Boys Squirts, Minor PeeWees; Contact Dave at dave@ northlandhockeygroup.com or visit www.aaatournaments.com

AUGUST 2018

Alexandria, MN: Alexandria Blizzard 1-3 Hockeyfest, Boys 2005; Contact matt@ alexandriablizzard.com or visit www.alexhockeyfest.com Atlantic City, NJ: 19+, 25+, 30+, 35+, 40+, 45+, 1-3 50+, 55+; A, B, C, D, E Levels; Men’s, Women’s & Co-ed; Contact (877) 702-5701 or info@weekendhockey.com or visit www.weekendhockey.com 7-10 Rapid City, SD: Rushmore Cup, Boys Major PeeWees, Bantams; Contact Dave at dave@ northlandhockeygroup.com or visit www.aaatournaments.com 7-10 Twin Cities, MN: Shock Doctor Shootout, Girls U10-U19; Contact Tim Hawkinson (952) 920-8826 or tim.hawkinson@showcasehockey.com or visit www.unitedaaahockey.com 8-10 Alexandria, MN: Alexandria Blizzard Hockeyfest, Boys HS; Contact matt@alexandriablizzard.com or visit www.alexhockeyfest.com 22-24 Blaine, MN: NHG Cup, Boys Open 2010/09, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002; Contact Randy at randy@northlandhockeygroup.com or visit www.aaatournaments.com 22-24 Nashville, TN: 19+, 25+, 30+, 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+, 55+; A, B, C, D, E Levels; Men’s, Women’s & Co-ed; Contact (877) 702-5701 or info@weekendhockey.com or visit www.weekendhockey.com

2-5 Twin Cities, MN: AAA Hockey Showdown, Boys 2004-10 Invite, Boys 2004-10 Open; Contact Eric Knutsen (952) 920-8826 or eric.knutsen@showcasehockey.com or visit www.showcasehockey.com 3-5 Alexandria, MN: Alexandria Blizzard Hockeyfest, Boys 2003; Contact matt@ alexandriablizzard.com or visit www.alexhockeyfest.com Sioux Falls, SD, MN: NHG Cup, Boys Open 2010/ 3-5 09, 2008, 2007, 2006; Contact Randy at randy@ northlandhockeygroup.com or visit www.aaatournaments.com Twin Cities, MN: Blaze Cup AAA Tournament, 3-5 Boys 2003-10, Boys U16; Contact Dan Gilkerson (715) 2222448 or dgilkerson@somersethockey.com or visit www.blazehockey.net 9-12 Twin Cities, MN: Rumble at the Rink, Boys Elite 2007-10; Contact Adam Hauser (952) 641-6887 or adamh@mnmadehockey.com or Steve Mularky (612) 701-4140 or stevem@mnmadehockey.com or visit www.mnmadehockeytournaments.com 10-12 Twin Cities, MN: Combat Cup, Boys Open 2010/ 09, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002; Contact Randy at randy@northlandhockeygroup.com or visit www.aaatournaments.com 16-19 Twin Cities, MN: Easton AAA Cup, Boys 200410 Invite, Boys 2004-10 Open, Girls 10U-19U; Contact Eric Knutsen (952) 920-8826 or eric.knutsen@ showcasehockey.com or visit www.showcasehockey.com 17-19 Sioux Falls, SD: Combat Cup, Boys Open 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002; Contact Randy at randy@ northlandhockeygroup.com or visit www.aaatournaments.com 17-19 Twin Cities, MN: Combat Cup, Girls Open 10U, 12U, 14U, 16U; Contact Randy at randy@ northlandhockeygroup.com or visit www.aaatournaments.com 17-19 Twin Cities, MN: Summer Round-Up AA, Boys 2002-U18, Girls U10-U19; Contact dan@midwesthockey.net or (763) 225-7320 23-26 Twin Cities, MN: Summer Finale AAA Hockey Classic, Boys 2003-09, 16U, 18U, Girls 8U-19U; Contact Tim Hawkinson (952) 920-8826 or tim.hawkinson@ showcasehockey.com or visit www.eastonaaa.com 24-26 Duluth, MN: World Cup of Youth Hockey, Squirts, PeeWees; Contact Dave Druk (763) 242-9575 or dave@northlandhockeygroup.com or visit www.aaatournaments.com 24-26 Stillwater, MN: World Cup of Youth Hockey, Mites, Squirts, PeeWees, 12U Girls; Contact Dave Druk (763) 242-9575 or dave@northlandhockeygroup.com or visit www.aaatournaments.com 24-26 Twin Cities, MN: Summer Round-Up, Boys 2002U18, Girls U10-U19; Contact dan@midwesthockey.net or (763) 225-7320

JULY 2018

SEPTEMBER 2018

Alexandria, MN: Alexandria Blizzard 6-8 Hockeyfest, Boys 2004; Contact matt@ alexandriablizzard.com or visit www.alexhockeyfest.com 13-15 Alexandria, MN: Alexandria Blizzard Hockeyfest, Girls HS; Contact matt@ alexandriablizzard.com or visit www.alexhockeyfest.com 20-22 Alexandria, MN: Alexandria Blizzard Hockeyfest, Boys HS; Contact matt@alexandriablizzard.com or visit www.alexhockeyfest.com 20-22 Duluth, MN: Northern Exposure, Boys 2001/022009; Contact Kasey Yoder (651) 432-1840 or kaseyyoder@ gmail.com or visit www.northernexposureaaahockey.com

14-16 Fargo, ND: World Cup of Youth Hockey, Mites, Squirts, PeeWees, 12U Girls; Contact Dave Druk (763) 2429575 or dave@northlandhockeygroup.com or visit www.aaatournaments.com 14-16 Sioux Falls, SD: World Cup of Youth Hockey, Mites, Squirts, PeeWees, Bantams; Contact Dave Druk (763) 242-9575 or dave@northlandhockeygroup.com or visit www.aaatournaments.com

JUNE 2018

March 22, 2018

29

Chaska/Chanhassen PeeWee A wins District 6 title

Chaska/Chanhassen PeeWee A captured the District 6 Championship and a No. 1 seed heading into Regions. They ended the regular season as the No. 1 seed going into the District 6 playoffs with a record of 35-12-4. During District 6 Playoffs, they held their winning streak by winning all three playoff games and ending the season at 38-12-4. Front row (l-r): Caleb Heil, Parker Furman. Middle row (l-r): Drew Jensen, Jack Christ, Caden Lee, Ethan Hall, Tyler Smith, Ben Curti, Nickolas Azanov. Back row (l-r): Keyan Schugel, Riley Grimm, Joey Parker, Tommy Agerland, Alex Kauffman, Erik Charchenko, Thomas Laaksonen. Coaches: Coaches Antti Laaksonen, John Christ, Jeff Heil, Eric Jensen

Minneapolis Bantam AA caps off season with fun on the ice

To list your tournament in this calendar, contact Let’s Play Hockey at (320) 333-3279. No portion of the tournament calendar may be copied, reproduced or transmitted without written permission from Let’s Play Hockey and its publisher.

Osseo/Maple Grove Bantam B1 wins District 3 title

The Osseo/Maple Grove Bantam B1 Team captured the District 3 Championship on Feb. 25, by beating Wayzata 3-0. The team went 19-0 in District play this season and advanced as the No. 1 seed to the West Regional Tournament in Sartell. Players: Tyler Kraus, Mason South, Chayton Fischer, Gabe Klitz, Alex Doucette, Cameron Elder, Kyle Stelljes, Matthew Holien, Gavin Jones, Ben Strehlow, Tyler Friedrichs, Carter Winkelman, Carson Streich, Alec Juenke. Coaches: Matt Stelljes, Steve Fischer, Kevin Streich, Jake Stelljes.

E-mail your hockey stories and photos to editor@letsplayhockey.com.

The Minneapolis Bantam AA team capped off their regular season by taking on the people that make playing youth hockey possible. The boys laced up and skated against their coaches and dads for some straight-up hockey fun. Thanks to the great coaches, dads and one sister that made for a great hour on the ice!

Eagan Squirt C Green claims Breezy Point crown

Congratulations to the Eagan Squirt C Green Wildcats for bringing home a Breezy Point Championship during the last weekend in February. The team played great hockey all weekend, defeating Minneapolis, Edina, Detroit Lakes and New Prague. Congratulations boys and thank you to Breezy Point for a wonderful tournament. Players: Micah Strop, Drew Sinna, Jacob Voelbel, Eric Morin, Hayden Davis, Evan Cook, Dylan Haugland, Max Brown, Theo King, Josh Morin, Garrett Larson, Jack Vitek, Camden Sexton. Coaches: Jim Sexton, Brian Vitek, Nick Larson, Wade Strop.

The Let’s Play Hockey Expo is set for March 8-9, 2019 at the St. Paul RiverCentre.


30

March 22, 2018

Let’s Play Hockey Rankings

www.letsplayhockey.com

Want tto o be a yyouth outh hoc key rank er? Send an e-mail tto o edit or@le tspla yhoc key.com. hock ranker? editor@le or@letspla tsplayhoc yhock

HS BOYS AA FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

MINNETONKA Duluth East Edina St. Thomas Academy Holy Family Catholic Wayzata Andover White Bear Lake St. Michael-Albertville Cretin-Derham Hall Centennial Eastview Moorhead Brainerd Duluth Marshall Cloquet-Esko-Carlton Lakeville North Hill-Murray Rosemount Elk River/Zimmerman

HS BOYS A FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

BANT AM AA BANTAM FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

OSSEO/MAPLE GROVE Eden Prairie Minnetonka Wayzata Cloquet Rosemount Centennial Hermantown Grand Rapids Andover Mahtomedi Chaska/Chanhassen Prior Lake/Savage Sibley Lakeville North St. Michael-Albertville Edina White Bear Lake Duluth East Champlin Park

STILLWATER RED Minnetonka Stillwater Black St.Thomas Academy Eagan Centennial Black Wayzata Lakeville Edina Centennial Red

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

BANT AM A BANTAM FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

JUNIOR GOLD 16U FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

ORONO Alexandria Hermantown Mahtomedi Greenway St. Cloud Cathedral Mound Westonka East Grand Forks Sartell-St. Stephen Virginia/MI-B Minneapolis Delano Thief River Falls Monticello Simley Warroad South St. Paul North Branch Mankato East/Loyola Litchfield/D-C

HS GIRLS AA FINAL

EDINA Cottage Grove East Grand Forks Osseo/Maple Grove Roseville Sartell St. Paul Capitals Owatonna Little Falls Duluth Denfeld Tartan Minnetonka Delano Warroad Eveleth-Gilbert/ME Armstrong/Cooper Virginia Wayzata Litchfield/D-C Hutchinson

WAYZATA Osseo/Maple Grove Edina Blaine White Bear Lake

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

BANT AM B1 BANTAM FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

GIRLS 19U FINAL 1 2 3 4 5

EDINA Centennial Blake Andover Hill-Murray Blaine Maple Grove Wayzata Forest Lake Eagan Eden Prairie Lakeville South Brainerd/Little Falls Roseau Farmington Minnetonka White Bear Lake Mounds View Cretin-Derham Hall Shakopee

EDINA WHITE Osseo/Maple Grove Morris/Benson Moorhead Black Wayzata Minnetonka Lakeville North St. Paul Capitals Forest Lake Hastings Edina Green Crookston Grand Rapids Elk River Waconia Prior Lake/Savage St. Cloud Red Becker Big Lake Owatonna North Shore

EDINA GREEN Proctor/Hermantown Minnetonka Black Centennial Alexandria Roseville/St. Paul St. Cloud Woodbury Black Wayzata Blue Edina White

JUNIOR GOLD A FINAL

JUNIOR GOLD B FINAL

BRECK Warroad Alexandria St. Paul United Proctor/Hermantown Red Wing South St. Paul East Grand Forks Thief River Falls New Ulm Delano/Rockford Mahtomedi Duluth Marshall Hutchinson Rochester Lourdes Fergus Falls Orono Hibbing/Chisholm Mound Westonka River Lakes

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

EDINA Stillwater White Bear Lake Wayzata St. Louis Park Lakeville Minnetonka Eagan Blaine Eden Prairie

PEEWEE AA FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

GIRLS 15U A FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

HS GIRLS A FINAL

WOODBURY Hermantown Moorhead Stillwater Osseo/Maple Grove Chaska/Chanhassen Edina Rosemount Rogers Andover Minnetonka Blaine Duluth East Rochester Champlin Park Mahtomedi Farmington Prior Lake/Savage Eastview Eden Prairie

GIRLS 15U B FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

PEEWEE A FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

WARROAD Sartell Alexandria Osseo/Maple Grove Duluth Denfeld Apple Valley Stillwater Chaska/Chanhassen Minneapolis Chisago Lakes Forest Lake Fergus Falls Cottage Grove Delano Luverne East Grand Forks Tartan Sibley Burnsville Coon Rapids

PEEWEE B1 FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

GIRLS 12U A FINAL

CHAMPLIN PARK/CR 1 2 Alexandria 3 Edina 4 Osseo/Maple Grove 5 Shakopee 6 Mankato 7 Roseville/St. Paul 8 Stillwater 9 Mahtomedi 10 Sartell

ANDOVER Edina Eagan/IGH Apple Valley/Burnsville Centennial Proctor/Hermantown Orono/Westonka Warroad Waconia Blaine/SLP

ST. THOMAS ACAD. Edina White Elk River Black Minnetonka Blue Duluth Woodbury Prior Lake Navy Edina Green Eastview Burnsville

EDINA GREEN Farmington Wayzata Gold Chaska/Chan Gold OMGHA Black Lakeville South Morris/Benson/Silver Lake of the Woods Moorhead Black Stillwater Buffalo Black Edina White Waconia St. Francis-North Branch White Bear Lake Black Pine City Champlin Park Rochester Red St. Cloud Red Winona

GIRLS 12U B FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

STILLWATER RED New Ulm/Sleepy Eye Hibbing/Chisholm Eagan/IGH Blue Hutchinson Moose Lake Litchfield/D-C Stillwater Black Armstrong/Cooper Edina White


hit the ice with a new lineup

the new axe gold collection

Š2018 Unilever TGT18033


MAKE OUR ICE, YOUR ICE. JOIN THE WARMING HOUSE,

A WAITING LIST FOR SEASON TICKETS.

651.222.WILD | TICKETS.WILD.COM

March 21 2018 Issue  

This issue features youth state champions from around the state of hockey!

March 21 2018 Issue  

This issue features youth state champions from around the state of hockey!