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March 03, 2016

The Tourney '16 | Breaking down the Class AA field

Posted by: Feldman
 
Before we start, let's get the most talked-about question out of the way...
 
TV INFORMATION
• The tournament is being shown on KSTC-45 in the Cities. All championship-round games in both classes will be shown (quarterfinals, semifinals, championships).
• In Rochester, you can find it on over-the-air channel 6.2 OR Charter digital channel 192
• A webcast is available on Prep45.com for $6.97 per day or $14.97 for a four-day tournament pass.
• I do not know what channel to find the tournament on on DirecTV or Dish Network. If I can find that information, I will update this and also pass it along via Twitter.
• I'm told (by this link: http://www.mybobcountry.com/2015/10/05/bob-sports/) that the Class AA quarterfinals, as well as the semifinals and finals in both classes can be heard on the radio, on 107.5-FM in Rochester or 106.1-FM in the Twin Cities.
• Use and search #TheTourney16 for tournament updates and thoughts on Twitter. 
 
• • •
 
Wednesday was full of opening-round snoozers -- two games ended on running time, a third was within a goal of going to running time -- which I guess is nothing new for the Class A tournament. Thankfully, St. Paul Academy/Summit School and St. Cloud Cathedral put on an entertaining one to end the quarterfinal round, culminating in SPA's Dev McCabe ending up on SportsCenter for not only popping the water bottle, but breaking it.
 
I'd expect four much more competitive games today, starting with Section 1AA champion Farmington against Stillwater at 11 a.m. 
 
Everyone's unranked sleeper seems to be Burnsville, and while I don't disagree (B'ville is playing very well right now), Farmington could give Stillwater a game, too. The Ponies had to go OT to win their section final -- on another goal that ended up on SportsCenter -- and they shouldn't (and won't, I'm certain) look past Farmington. The Tigers bounced defending state champ Lakeville North in the 1AA final at the Rochester Rec Center a week ago. It was their third win this season against the Panthers.
 
Let's get onto today's games...
 
 
CLASS AA STATE TOURNAMENT
Today's quarterfinals
At the Xcel Energy Center
 
FARMINGTON vs. No. 2 STILLWATER
Game time: 11 a.m.
Farmington Tigers
Record: 18-8-1
Head coach: Greg May
Path to The X: Beat Rochester Century 7-0; beat Lakeville South 5-3; beat Lakeville North 6-2 in Section 1AA final.
Leading scorers: Sr. F John Siebenaler 18-26--44Sr. D Erik Holmstrom 13-30--43; Sr. F Wyatt Jensen 16-27--43.
Leading goalie: So. Gavin Enright 18-8-1, 2.27 GAA, .910 save pct., 4 SO.
Scouting report: Holmstrom and fellow senior D Tyler Jette were both nominated for the Reed Larson Award, given to the top senior defenseman in Minnesota. ... The Tigers beat defending state champion Lakeville North three times this season, but were the No. 2 seed in the section tournament because of two regular-season losses to Lakeville South. ... Farmington is in the Class AA state tournament for the first time. ... The Tigers are the first non-Lakeville school to represent 1AA at state since Rochester Century in 2009. ... Siebenaler has 9 points in three postseason games.
 
Stillwater Ponies
Record: 26-1-1
Head coach: Matt Doman
Path to The X: Beat Irondale 7-4; beat White Bear Lake 4-0; beat Hill-Murray 1-0 (OT) in Section 4AA final.
Leading scorers: Jr. F Noah Cates 23-37--60; Sr. F Jackson Cates 24-34--58; Jr. F Luke Manning 21-22--43.
Leading goalie: Sr. Josh Benson 22-1-1, 1.70 GAA, .923 save pct., 4 SO
Scouting report: The Ponies are a very sound defensive team. Benson didn't have to make more than 22 saves in a game in the Section 4AA tournament. They have allowed more than 30 shots in a game just twice this season. ... Stillwater can produce some offense, too. Four players have scored 20 more goals this season.
 
• • • • •
 
BURNSVILLE vs. No. 3 WAYZATA
Game time: 1 p.m.
Burnsville Blaze
Record: 16-10-2
Head coach: Janne Kivilhalme
Path to The X: Beat East Ridge 9-0; beat Rosemount 4-1; beat St. Thomas Academy 7-1 in Section 3AA final.
Leading scorers: Sr. F Cade Borchardt 28-30--58; Sr. F Eric Otto 13-28--41; Sr. D Nolan Sawchuk 4-24--28.
Leading goalie: Sr. Nick Lee 14-6-1, 1.85 GAA, .910 save pct., 1 SO.
Scouting report: Borchardt has been ridiculously hot in the postseason. He has 9 goals and 14 points, including hat tricks in all three of Burnsville's playoff games. ... Burnsville is at state for a ninth time, and first since 2007. It won state titles in 1985 and '86.
 
Wayzata Trojans
Record: 19-8-1
Head coach: Pat O'Leary
Path to The X: Beat Armstrong/Cooper 9-3; beat Edina 5-3; beat Cretin-Derham Hall 4-1 in Section 6AA final.
Leading scorers: Sr. F Mark Senden 9-28--37; So. F Colin Schmidt 12-13--25; Sr. F Luke Paterson 4-19--23.
Leading goalie: Sr. Alex Schilling 16-7-0, 2.34 GAA, .895 save pct., 3 SO.
Scouting report: Wayzata is making its fourth state tournament appearance and second in four years. The Trojans finished fourth in 2004 and 2013; they also went to state in 1954. ... Sr. F Dillon Riley had five points in the regular season. He has eight points in three playoff games to lead the team in postseason scoring. 
 
• • • • •
 
ANOKA vs. No. 1 EDEN PRAIRIE
Game time: 6 p.m.
Anoka Tornadoes
Record: 18-9-0
Head coach: Todd Manthey
Path to The X: Beat Champlin Park 4-0; beat Centennial 6-2; beat Maple Grove 6-3 in Section 5AA final.
Leading scorers: Jr. F Isaac Johnson 24-24--48; Sr. F Michael Talbot 18-23--41; Sr. F Blake Neumann 12-28--40.
Leading goalie: Spencer Olson 14-7-0, 2.98 GAA, .884 save pct., 1 SO.
Scouting report: Anoka has won 10 consecutive games after a six-game losing streak to start 2016. ... The Tornadoes are in the state tournament for the first time since 2003. This is the sixth time in program history Anoka has been to state (1985, 90, 97, 98, 2003, 2016). ... A handful of players, including Talbot, were on Anoka's soccer team that has won the past two state titles.
 
Eden Prairie Eagles
Record: 19-7-2
Head coach: Lee Smith
Path to The X: Beat Chaska 6-0; beat Holy Family Catholic 4-2; beat Prior Lake 4-2 in Section 2AA final.
Leading scorers: Jr. F Casey Mittelstadt 28-40--68; Sr. F Michael Graham 16-33--49; Jr. F Nolan Sullivan 20-21--41.
Leading goalies: Sr. Shawn Durocher 10-3-2, 2.48 GAA, .889 save pct., 2 SO; Jr. Nick Wiencek 9-4-0, 2.27 GAA, .905 save pct., 2 SO.
Scouting report: Mittelstadt is committed to the University of Minnesota and is one of the best pure scorers in the state. He has 26 points on special teams this season (20 power-play points, 6 shorthanded points). ... Graham, a Notre Dame recruit, has more than 150 career points and is playing in a state tournament for the third time. ... Durocher and Wiencek split time in goal during the regular season, but Durocher has played in all three playoff games.
 
• • • • •
 
No. 5 BEMIDJI vs. No. 4 GRAND RAPIDS
Game time: 8 p.m.
Bemidji Lumberjacks
Record: 23-2-2
Head coach: Wade Chiodo
Path to The X: Beat St. Michael-Albertville 4-0; beat Moorhead 4-3 (OT) in Section 8AA final. 
Leading scorers: Jr. F Alex Pollock 16-28--44; Jr. F Brady Tatro 17-26--43; Sr. D Nick Leitner 13-28--41.
Leading goalie: So. Matt Fitzgerald 19-2-2, 2.00 GAA, .900 save pct., 3 SO.
Scouting report: The Lumberjacks are at state for a second consecutive season after snapping a 29-year drought last year. ... Bemidji went 0-2 at state last season. ... Leitner is the top-scoring defenseman in the tournament. ... The 'jacks are one of just two teams to beat Hermantown, the top seed in the Class A tournament, this season. ... Bemidji and Grand Rapids met back on Nov. 24 and tied 1-1.
 
Grand Rapids Thunderhawks
Record: 21-6-1
Head coach: Trent Klatt
Path to The X: Beat Cambridge-Isanti 10-2; beat Cloquet-Esko-Carlton 5-1; beat Duluth East 6-5 in Section 7AA final.
Leading scorers: Sr. F Mitchell Mattson 20-37--57; Sr. F Alex Adams 21-23--44; Sr. F Jonah Bischoff 16-19--35.
Leading goalie: So. Gabe Holum 16-1-0, 2.17 GAA, .894 save pct., 3 SO.
Scouting report: Grand Rapids beat Duluth East in the Section 7AA final, on a goal in the final 10 seconds. The win ended East's seven-year run as section champion. ... The Thunderhawks are at state for the 15th time and the first time since 2007, when they finished as state runners-up for a second conescutive year. ... Two Thunderhawks -- Mattson and sophomore F Gavin Hain -- are committed to the University of North Dakota. ... Klatt played in 782 NHL games, recording 200 assists and 343 points.
 
• • • • • • • •
 
PREDICTION TIME
 
Quarterfinals
Farmington vs. No. 2 Stillwater: Section 1 champs have pulled some upsets over the past 10 or so years. I'm tempted to pick the Tigers here, because of their ability to score quickly, but the Ponies have a chip on their shoulder after not being named the top seed. Stillwater 4, Farmington 2.
 
Burnsville vs. No. 3 Wayzata: Burnsville is the popular pick as a sleeper and I'm going to agree. Behind the red-hot Cole Borchardt, the Blaze score the first upset at state this year. Burnsville 4, Wayzata 3, OT.
 
Anoka vs. No. 1 Eden Prairie: Anoka is playing very well, having won 10 consecutive games. But the spotlight at The Tourney often seems to fall on the state's best goal-scorers. EP's Casey Mittelstadt is that guy. Eden Prairie 6, Anoka 3.
 
No. 5 Bemidji vs. No. 4 Grand Rapids: Grand Rapids finally figured out a way to get past Duluth East -- waiting to score the game-winner until there was no time left (OK, 6 seconds) in the Section 7 final. The 'Hawks carry that momentum over to state. G.R. 5, Bemidji 3 (en).
 
Semifinals
Stillwater vs. Burnsville: The Ponies want that 1 vs. 2 showdown in the title game and they do their part. Stillwater 5, Burnsville 2.
 
Eden Prairie vs. Grand Rapids: The Eagles do their part, too, to set up the state title game showdown. But the Thunderhawks don't fall easily. E.P. 5, G.R. 4, OT.
 
Championship
 
Stillwater vs. Eden Prairie: Like I said before, the spotlight at The Tourney seems to always end up on the tourney's best player. It did in 2011 for Eden Prairie's Kyle Rau. It'll do it again for Mittelstadt. Eden Prairie 3, Stillwater 1.

The Tourney '16 | Breaking down the Class AA field

Posted by: Feldman
 
Before we start, let's get the most talked-about question out of the way...
 
TV INFORMATION
• The tournament is being shown on KSTC-45 in the Cities. All championship-round games in both classes will be shown (quarterfinals, semifinals, championships).
• In Rochester, you can find it on over-the-air channel 6.2 OR Charter digital channel 192
• A webcast is available on Prep45.com for $6.97 per day or $14.97 for a four-day tournament pass.
• I do not know what channel to find the tournament on on DirecTV or Dish Network. If I can find that information, I will update this and also pass it along via Twitter.
• I'm told (by this link: http://www.mybobcountry.com/2015/10/05/bob-sports/) that the Class AA quarterfinals, as well as the semifinals and finals in both classes can be heard on the radio, on 107.5-FM in Rochester or 106.1-FM in the Twin Cities.
• Use and search #TheTourney16 for tournament updates and thoughts on Twitter. 
 
• • •
 
Wednesday was full of opening-round snoozers -- two games ended on running time, a third was within a goal of going to running time -- which I guess is nothing new for the Class A tournament. Thankfully, St. Paul Academy/Summit School and St. Cloud Cathedral put on an entertaining one to end the quarterfinal round, culminating in SPA's Dev McCabe ending up on SportsCenter for not only popping the water bottle, but breaking it.
 
I'd expect four much more competitive games today, starting with Section 1AA champion Farmington against Stillwater at 11 a.m. 
 
Everyone's unranked sleeper seems to be Burnsville, and while I don't disagree (B'ville is playing very well right now), Farmington could give Stillwater a game, too. The Ponies had to go OT to win their section final -- on another goal that ended up on SportsCenter -- and they shouldn't (and won't, I'm certain) look past Farmington. The Tigers bounced defending state champ Lakeville North in the 1AA final at the Rochester Rec Center a week ago. It was their third win this season against the Panthers.
 
Let's get onto today's games...
 
 
CLASS AA STATE TOURNAMENT
Today's quarterfinals
At the Xcel Energy Center
 
FARMINGTON vs. No. 2 STILLWATER
Game time: 11 a.m.
Farmington Tigers
Record: 18-8-1
Head coach: Greg May
Path to The X: Beat Rochester Century 7-0; beat Lakeville South 5-3; beat Lakeville North 6-2 in Section 1AA final.
Leading scorers: Sr. F John Siebenaler 18-26--44Sr. D Erik Holmstrom 13-30--43; Sr. F Wyatt Jensen 16-27--43.
Leading goalie: So. Gavin Enright 18-8-1, 2.27 GAA, .910 save pct., 4 SO.
Scouting report: Holmstrom and fellow senior D Tyler Jette were both nominated for the Reed Larson Award, given to the top senior defenseman in Minnesota. ... The Tigers beat defending state champion Lakeville North three times this season, but were the No. 2 seed in the section tournament because of two regular-season losses to Lakeville South. ... Farmington is in the Class AA state tournament for the first time. ... The Tigers are the first non-Lakeville school to represent 1AA at state since Rochester Century in 2009. ... Siebenaler has 9 points in three postseason games.
 
Stillwater Ponies
Record: 26-1-1
Head coach: Matt Doman
Path to The X: Beat Irondale 7-4; beat White Bear Lake 4-0; beat Hill-Murray 1-0 (OT) in Section 4AA final.
Leading scorers: Jr. F Noah Cates 23-37--60; Sr. F Jackson Cates 24-34--58; Jr. F Luke Manning 21-22--43.
Leading goalie: Sr. Josh Benson 22-1-1, 1.70 GAA, .923 save pct., 4 SO
Scouting report: The Ponies are a very sound defensive team. Benson didn't have to make more than 22 saves in a game in the Section 4AA tournament. They have allowed more than 30 shots in a game just twice this season. ... Stillwater can produce some offense, too. Four players have scored 20 more goals this season.
 
• • • • •
 
BURNSVILLE vs. No. 3 WAYZATA
Game time: 1 p.m.
Burnsville Blaze
Record: 16-10-2
Head coach: Janne Kivilhalme
Path to The X: Beat East Ridge 9-0; beat Rosemount 4-1; beat St. Thomas Academy 7-1 in Section 3AA final.
Leading scorers: Sr. F Cade Borchardt 28-30--58; Sr. F Eric Otto 13-28--41; Sr. D Nolan Sawchuk 4-24--28.
Leading goalie: Sr. Nick Lee 14-6-1, 1.85 GAA, .910 save pct., 1 SO.
Scouting report: Borchardt has been ridiculously hot in the postseason. He has 9 goals and 14 points, including hat tricks in all three of Burnsville's playoff games. ... Burnsville is at state for a ninth time, and first since 2007. It won state titles in 1985 and '86.
 
Wayzata Trojans
Record: 19-8-1
Head coach: Pat O'Leary
Path to The X: Beat Armstrong/Cooper 9-3; beat Edina 5-3; beat Cretin-Derham Hall 4-1 in Section 6AA final.
Leading scorers: Sr. F Mark Senden 9-28--37; So. F Colin Schmidt 12-13--25; Sr. F Luke Paterson 4-19--23.
Leading goalie: Sr. Alex Schilling 16-7-0, 2.34 GAA, .895 save pct., 3 SO.
Scouting report: Wayzata is making its fourth state tournament appearance and second in four years. The Trojans finished fourth in 2004 and 2013; they also went to state in 1954. ... Sr. F Dillon Riley had five points in the regular season. He has eight points in three playoff games to lead the team in postseason scoring. 
 
• • • • •
 
ANOKA vs. No. 1 EDEN PRAIRIE
Game time: 6 p.m.
Anoka Tornadoes
Record: 18-9-0
Head coach: Todd Manthey
Path to The X: Beat Champlin Park 4-0; beat Centennial 6-2; beat Maple Grove 6-3 in Section 5AA final.
Leading scorers: Jr. F Isaac Johnson 24-24--48; Sr. F Michael Talbot 18-23--41; Sr. F Blake Neumann 12-28--40.
Leading goalie: Spencer Olson 14-7-0, 2.98 GAA, .884 save pct., 1 SO.
Scouting report: Anoka has won 10 consecutive games after a six-game losing streak to start 2016. ... The Tornadoes are in the state tournament for the first time since 2003. This is the sixth time in program history Anoka has been to state (1985, 90, 97, 98, 2003, 2016). ... A handful of players, including Talbot, were on Anoka's soccer team that has won the past two state titles.
 
Eden Prairie Eagles
Record: 19-7-2
Head coach: Lee Smith
Path to The X: Beat Chaska 6-0; beat Holy Family Catholic 4-2; beat Prior Lake 4-2 in Section 2AA final.
Leading scorers: Jr. F Casey Mittelstadt 28-40--68; Sr. F Michael Graham 16-33--49; Jr. F Nolan Sullivan 20-21--41.
Leading goalies: Sr. Shawn Durocher 10-3-2, 2.48 GAA, .889 save pct., 2 SO; Jr. Nick Wiencek 9-4-0, 2.27 GAA, .905 save pct., 2 SO.
Scouting report: Mittelstadt is committed to the University of Minnesota and is one of the best pure scorers in the state. He has 26 points on special teams this season (20 power-play points, 6 shorthanded points). ... Graham, a Notre Dame recruit, has more than 150 career points and is playing in a state tournament for the third time. ... Durocher and Wiencek split time in goal during the regular season, but Durocher has played in all three playoff games.
 
• • • • •
 
No. 5 BEMIDJI vs. No. 4 GRAND RAPIDS
Game time: 8 p.m.
Bemidji Lumberjacks
Record: 23-2-2
Head coach: Wade Chiodo
Path to The X: Beat St. Michael-Albertville 4-0; beat Moorhead 4-3 (OT) in Section 8AA final. 
Leading scorers: Jr. F Alex Pollock 16-28--44; Jr. F Brady Tatro 17-26--43; Sr. D Nick Leitner 13-28--41.
Leading goalie: So. Matt Fitzgerald 19-2-2, 2.00 GAA, .900 save pct., 3 SO.
Scouting report: The Lumberjacks are at state for a second consecutive season after snapping a 29-year drought last year. ... Bemidji went 0-2 at state last season. ... Leitner is the top-scoring defenseman in the tournament. ... The 'jacks are one of just two teams to beat Hermantown, the top seed in the Class A tournament, this season. ... Bemidji and Grand Rapids met back on Nov. 24 and tied 1-1.
 
Grand Rapids Thunderhawks
Record: 21-6-1
Head coach: Trent Klatt
Path to The X: Beat Cambridge-Isanti 10-2; beat Cloquet-Esko-Carlton 5-1; beat Duluth East 6-5 in Section 7AA final.
Leading scorers: Sr. F Mitchell Mattson 20-37--57; Sr. F Alex Adams 21-23--44; Sr. F Jonah Bischoff 16-19--35.
Leading goalie: So. Gabe Holum 16-1-0, 2.17 GAA, .894 save pct., 3 SO.
Scouting report: Grand Rapids beat Duluth East in the Section 7AA final, on a goal in the final 10 seconds. The win ended East's seven-year run as section champion. ... The Thunderhawks are at state for the 15th time and the first time since 2007, when they finished as state runners-up for a second conescutive year. ... Two Thunderhawks -- Mattson and sophomore F Gavin Hain -- are committed to the University of North Dakota. ... Klatt played in 782 NHL games, recording 200 assists and 343 points.
 
• • • • • • • •
 
PREDICTION TIME
 
Quarterfinals
Farmington vs. No. 2 Stillwater: Section 1 champs have pulled some upsets over the past 10 or so years. I'm tempted to pick the Tigers here, because of their ability to score quickly, but the Ponies have a chip on their shoulder after not being named the top seed. Stillwater 4, Farmington 2.
 
Burnsville vs. No. 3 Wayzata: Burnsville is the popular pick as a sleeper and I'm going to agree. Behind the red-hot Cole Borchardt, the Blaze score the first upset at state this year. Burnsville 4, Wayzata 3, OT.
 
Anoka vs. No. 1 Eden Prairie: Anoka is playing very well, having won 10 consecutive games. But the spotlight at The Tourney often seems to fall on the state's best goal-scorers. EP's Casey Mittelstadt is that guy. Eden Prairie 6, Anoka 3.
 
No. 5 Bemidji vs. No. 4 Grand Rapids: Grand Rapids finally figured out a way to get past Duluth East -- waiting to score the game-winner until there was no time left (OK, 6 seconds) in the Section 7 final. The 'Hawks carry that momentum over to state. G.R. 5, Bemidji 3 (en).
 
Semifinals
Stillwater vs. Burnsville: The Ponies want that 1 vs. 2 showdown in the title game and they do their part. Stillwater 5, Burnsville 2.
 
Eden Prairie vs. Grand Rapids: The Eagles do their part, too, to set up the state title game showdown. But the Thunderhawks don't fall easily. E.P. 5, G.R. 4, OT.
 
Championship
 
Stillwater vs. Eden Prairie: Like I said before, the spotlight at The Tourney seems to always end up on the tourney's best player. It did in 2011 for Eden Prairie's Kyle Rau. It'll do it again for Mittelstadt. Eden Prairie 3, Stillwater 1.

March 02, 2016

The Tourney '16 | Breaking down the Class A field

Posted by: Feldman

Before we start, let's get the most talked-about question out of the way...
 
TV INFORMATION
• The tournament is being shown on KSTC-45 in the Cities. All championship-round games in both classes will be shown (quarterfinals, semifinals, championships).
• In Rochester, you can find it on over-the-air channel 6.2 OR Charter digital channel 192
• A webcast is available on Prep45.com for $6.97 per day or $14.97 for a four-day tournament pass.
• I do not know what channel to find the tournament on on DirecTV or Dish Network. If I can find that information, I will update this and also pass it along via Twitter.
• I'm told (by this link) that the Class AA quarterfinals, as well as the semifinals and finals in both classes can be heard on the radio, on 107.5-FM in Rochester or 106.1-FM in the Twin Cities.
• Use and search #TheTourney16 for tournament updates and thoughts on Twitter. 
 
• • •
 
Now, moving right along...
 
It's the most wonderful time of the year!
 
I know I say that about a half-dozen times of year, but this truly is THE best time of year for a hockey fan in Minnesota. The Wild are back inside the Western Conference playoff bubble for the first time in weeks (months?), college hockey playoffs are a week away and The Tourney begins in a matter of minutes.
 
How can you not get excited for all of that?
 
There is so much to like already about The Tourney '16. The section playoffs this year were as surprising as I can remember them being. On section semifinal Saturday, 7 of the top 15 Class AA teams in the state rankings were eliminated. In the SECTION SEMIFINALS. More top-ranked teams went down in the section finals, including No. 7 Lakeville North, which lost the Section 1AA title game to upstart Farmington.
 
But we'll get to the AA field tomorrow. 
 
Today the best Class A teams in the state will be on display, and the Section 1 champ goes right off the bat. There's not an easy opponent in this field, but Mankato West might have the toughest opening-round draw, in No. 2 seed Breck. 
 
That's quite a statement considering No. 1 seed Hermantown has played in (and lost) the last six state championship games. The Hawks steamrolled through the Section 7A tourney, winning three games by a combined score of 29-2. All three ended on running time, including an 8-0 victory against Hibbing/Chisholm in the title game.
 
Below you'll find a scouting report on each team in the field — head coach, record, leading scorers, goalies, the team's path to The X and some footnotes.
 
At the end of this post, you'll find some links to tournament preview stories from newspapers around the state. If you missed the P-B's preview, it appeared in Tuesday's paper, a story breaking down each Class (though not as detailed as this post) and an info graphic with ticket and TV info, as well as some notes about the tourney and a schedule.
 
Also at the end of this post, I'll have my tournament predictions (yes, I'm sure you don't really care what I think is going to happen, but you can laugh at me when I'm waaayyyy off the mark).
 
CLASS A STATE TOURNAMENT
Today's quarterfinals
At the Xcel Energy Center
 
MANKATO WEST vs. 2 • BRECK
Game time: 11 a.m.
Mankato West Scarlets
Record: 15-11-2 (Section 1A champ)
Head coach: Curtis Doell
Path to The X: Beat Albert Lea 2-1; beat LeSueur-Henderson/St. Peter 6-1; beat Northfield 1-0 in Section 1A final.
Leading scorers: Sr. F Tyler Loe 22-25--47; Jr. D Kyle Looft 16-21--37; Jr. F Jimmy Miller 11-18--29
Leading goalie: Jr. Jackson Peterson 15-11-2, 2.87 GAA, .873 save pct., 3 SO.
Scouting report: West is at state for a second time. Its previous trip came in 2008, when it placed sixth and finished the season 26-4-0. ... Looft was perhaps the Scarlets' best player in the section final victory against Northfield, staying on the ice for nearly all of the final eight minutes. ... Freshman D Nick Wieben scored the only goal of the section final game, just his fourth of the season and second since Dec. 10. ... Loe has 10 points in the past five games, including a 4-point game in the section semifinals vs. L-H/SP.
 
Breck Mustangs
Record: 24-3-1
Head coach: Les Larson
Path to The X: Beat Mound-Westonka 12-2; beat Blake 4-0; beat Delano 5-3 in Section 2A final.
Leading scorers: Sr. F Chase Ellingson 36-36--72; Sr. F Tyler Scott 21-35--56; Sr. F Will Blake 20-33--53; Jr. F Mitch Machlitt 26-24--50. 
Leading goalie: So. Linden Olness 23-3-1, 1.76, .904, 5 SO.
Scouting report: The Mustangs are unbeaten in their past 15 games (14-0-1), the tie coming against Mahtomedi on Feb. 9. ... Breck is 4-0-0 against tournament qualifiers (beat Thief River Falls 4-1; beat St. Paul Academy 6-0 and 4-3 in OT; beat St. Cloud Cathedral 9-1). It also lost a 2-1 OT decision to Class AA tournament qualifier Wayzata. ... Ellingson, a Mr. Hockey finalist, is listed at 5-foot-5. He leads the team in goals (36) and points (72). ... This is Breck's 12th trip to state and seventh in the past eight seasons.
 
• • • • •
 
PRINCETON vs. 3 • THIEF RIVER FALLS
Game time: 1 p.m.
Princeton Tigers
Record: 21-7-0
Head coach: Jeff Hanson
Path to The X: Beat Legacy Christian Academy 8-1; beat Pine City/Rush City 9-4; beat Monticello-Annandale-Maple Lake 3-1 in Section 5A final
Leading scorers: Jr. F Jake S. Carlson 16-39--55; Sr. F Tyler McAlpine 25-27--52; Sr. F Sam Schroeder 11-16--27.
Leading goalie: Sr. Gabe Pangerl 13-2-0, 1.70 GAA, .924 save pct., 3 SO; Jr. Owen Othoudt 8-5-0, 2.41, 8.96, 2.
Scouting report: The Tigers are at state for a third time. They also went in 2002 and 2003, going two-and-out both times. ... The Tigers have two Jake Carlsons on the roster -- Jake S. Carlson and Jake D. Carlson, a defenseman. ... McAlpine is the second cousin of NHL defenseman Paul Martin. 
 
TRF Prowlers
Record: 22-6-0
Head coach: Tim Bergland
Path to The X: Beat Red Lake Falls 5-0; beat Detroit Lakes 4-0; beat East Grand Forks 3-1 in Section 8A final.
Leading scorers: Sr. F Ethan Johnson 46-19--65; Sr. F Michael Johnson 16-34--50; F Lucas Magnusson Sr. 18-24--42.
Leading goalie: Sr. Kade Nelson 22-6-0, 1.95 GAA, .909 save pct., 7 SO
Scouting report: The Prowlers have a rich state tournament history. This is their 13th appearance in The Tourney, having won state titles in 1954 and 56. ... This is their fourth appearance since 2006, when they snapped a 41-year streak of not reaching state. ... TRF knocked off two-time defending state champion East Grand Forks to reach state this year. ... Ethan Johnson's 40 regular-season goals were fourth-most in the state. He now holds the school record with 46 this season.
 
• • • • •
 
LITCHFIELD/D-C vs. 1 • HERMANTOWN
Game time: 6 p.m.
Litchfield/D-C Dragons
Record: 20-8-0
Head coach: Chris Olson
Path to The X: Beat Marshall 6-5; beat Hutchinson 5-4; beat Luverne 7-6 (OT) in Section 3A final.
Leading scorers: Sr. F David Raisanen 41-32--73; Sr. F Jared Pederson 31-38--69; Jr. F Casey Peterson 14-29--43.
Leading goalies: Sr. Dylan Lemke 8-2-0, 2.44 GAA, .904 save pct., 3 SO; Jr. Jerrod Niska 12-6-0, 3.62 GAA, .857 save pct., 2 SO.
Scouting report: Raisanen is not only a prolific scorer (41 goals), he is a physical presence, too, at 6-foot-6, 215 pounds. ... Senior D Ben Haugo is a threat from the blue line. Haugo has 15 goals this season. He scored the winning goal in the section final. ... Niska played about two-thirds of the Dragons' games in goal this season, while Lemke played approximately one-third. ... Litchfield is in The Tourney for the third time. It also appeared in 1996 (4th place) and 2008.
 
Hermantown Hawks
Record: 24-2-1
Head coach: Bruce Plante
Path to The X: Beat Eveleth-Gilbert 12-2; beat Greenway 9-0; beat Hibbing/Chisholm 8-0 in Section 7A title game.
Leading scorers: Sr. F Cole Koepke 35-22--57; Jr. F Ryan Sandelin 23-30--53; Jr. F Jesse Jacques 17-34--51.
Leading goalie: Sr. Luke Olson 18-2-0, 1.36 GAA, .940 save pct., 3 SO.
Scouting report: The Hawks are looking to snap a painful streak of six consecutive losses in the state championship game. Last year's 5-4 OT loss to East Grand Forks was among the most painful in that stretch; the Hawks scored twice in the final minute of regulation to force OT, only to fall to the Green Wave for a second consecutive season. ... This is Hermantown's 13th state tournament appearance; it has one state title (2007) and seven runner-up finishes (1998, 2010-2015). ... Sandelin is the son of Minnesota-Duluth head hockey coach Scott Sandelin.
 
• • • • •
 
5 • ST. CLOUD CATHEDRAL vs. 4 • ST. PAUL ACADEMY
Game time: 8 p.m.
Cathedral Crusaders
Record: 20-7-1
Head coach: Derrick Brown
Path to The X: beat Alexandria 5-2; beat Sartell-St. Stephen 7-2; beat Little Falls 10-2 in Section 6A final.
Leading scorers: Sr. F Logan Neu 22-32--54; Jr. F Jake VanHalbeck 23-19--42; Jr. F Michael Spethmann 19-16--35
Leading goalie: So. Keegan Karki 13-6-1, 2.94 GAA, .883 save pct., 2 SO.
Scouting report: Cathedral is 1-2-0 vs. other teams that qualified for state (lost to Breck 9-1; beat Mankato West 7-3; lost to Hermantown 6-2). ... Neu has 10 points (5-5--10) in three playoff games, including a hat trick in the section semifinals against Sartell-St. Stephen. ... Karki has shared time in goal with junior Jake Levinski, who started the Crusaders playoff opener and is 6-1-0 overall this season. 
 
SPA & Summit School Spartans
Record: 23-5-0
Head coach: Matt Funk
Path to The X: Beat Henry Sibley 6-1; beat South St. Paul 7-1; beat Totino-Grace 7-1 in Section 4A final.
Leading scorers: Jr. F Matt Dahlseide 25-32--57; Sr. F Justin Jallen 24-25--49; Jr. F Jack Johnston 27-20--47.
Leading goalie: So. Andy Beran 23-5-0, 1.88 GAA, .918 save pct., 4 SO.
Scouting report: Beran, who has played nearly every minute in goal for the Spartans, is listed at just 5-foot-5, 125 pounds. ... SPA is ranked No. 8 in the latest Class A state poll. ... Beran allowed a total of 3 goals in 3 section playoff games as SPA outscored its opponents a combined 20-3. ... Junior D Noel Parker leads the Spartans in postseason scoring (2-7--9).
 
• • • • •
 
LINKS FROM THE RINKS
 
Here are some tournament previews from around the State of Hockey. They'll keep you busy until the first puck drops in about 90 minutes.
 
Here is the tournament preview that ran in the Post-Bulletin on Tuesday. I don't think the graphic I did made it online, but if you can access our PDF version, there's an info-graphic in Tuesday's paper with ticket and TV info, as well as some notes about most of the tournament teams.
 
• Mankato Free Press writer Shane Frederick previewed Mankato West's second-ever trip to state by writing about the key contributions the Scarlets have received from several role players.
 
• The Minnesota Hockey Hub's previews can be found here.
 
• The Duluth News-Tribune has a piece about Hermantown's top line and how a mid-season change to it has propelled the Hawks.
 
St. Cloud Cathedral will face a similarly constructed team in tonight's last Class A quarterfinal, when it meets St. Paul Academy and Summit School.
 
• • • • • • • •
 
PREDICTION TIME
 
QUARTERFINALS
 
Mankato West vs. Breck: There are no easy draws at state. This one is brutal for West. The Scarlets are strong defensively and have the ability to keep this close, but Breck is extremely talented offensively and is on a 15-game unbeaten streak. Breck 5-2 (en).
 
Princeton vs. Thief River Falls: TRF is loaded with upperclassmen who have been champing at the bit to get a crack at a state tournament. They won't let their opportunity get away. TRF 6, Princeton 2.
 
Litchfield/D-C vs. Hermantown: Hermantown absolutely destroyed its three Section 7A playoff opponents, winning by a combined score of 29-2. The Hawks know what it's like to play on the big stage. It's nothing new to them. Hermantown 9, L/D-C 1.
 
St. Cloud Cathedral vs. St. Paul Academy: The Crusaders can score. The Spartans have a high-powered top line. Maybe like in football, it'll be a matter of who has the puck last. Cathedral 6, SPA 4.
 
SEMIFINALS
 
Breck vs. TRF: The Mustangs' depth comes through in this one: Breck 5, TRF 3.
 
Hermantown vs. S.C. Cathedral: The Hawks are a confident bunch and coach Plante will have them well prepared. H'town 5, Cathedral 1.
 
CHAMPIONSHIP
 
Hermantown vs. Breck: Here we go. 1 vs. 2. Public vs. Private. The Hawks will hear endlessly about a six-year state title game losing streak. They'll also snap it. Finally. Hermantown's incredible postseason run ends in a state title, but it's a state title game, and it won't be easy: Hermantown 4, Breck 3.

February 26, 2016

Boys Hockey | The P-B All-Area Team and Player of the Year

Posted by: Feldman 

I've kicked around the idea of naming a preseason All-Area Boys Hockey Team over the past couple of years. The main reasons I've resisted is because I didn't want the potential preseason selections to influence my postseason All-Area Team selections. In other words, when a player starts standing out during the season, I didn't want to discount him because I may not have recognized him during the preseason.
 
That's a long way of saying, sometimes a player you don't expect to be in your Player Of The Year conversation emerges and leaves you no choice.
 
That's what Rochester John Marshall senior Brady Dahl did this season. And that's why he's our 2015-16 All-Area Boys Hockey Player Of The Year.
 
At the start of the season, I had some names in mind -- Dahl's teammate Brady Meyers, JM's senior goalie; Mayo junior forward Anthony Oliveto, the leading returning scorer in Rochester; or Will Zmolek, a junior defenseman at Century who was the Panthers' best player on the ice at times down the stretch in his sophomore season.
 
All of them would be great choices for multiple reasons. But Dahl, through his play, wouldn't be ignored.
 
There were times this season when I would try to focus on watching a certain JM player, and with 15 seniors there were many to watch -- sometimes senior F Isaac Lamppa, sometimes Meyers, sometimes their main set-up man Conner Lee, sometimes sophomore playmaker Xander Lamppa -- but my eyes often drifted back to the guy wearing No. 5.
 
Dahl finished his senior season as the leading scorer in the city, with 23 goals and 28 assists for 51 points. He was remarkably consistent, recording at least one point in 22 of JM's 27 games. He helped the Rockets win 20 games and their first Big Nine Conference championship since 2004. They also won their first playoff game since 2007.
 
One of Dahl's biggest assets is his speed and how he uses it to his advantage. He also has great hands. He showed off both on the play I'll remember him for, one that exemplified his high school career. Late in JM's Section 1AA quarterfinal victory against
Owatonna, Dahl had a clean breakaway with an empty net in front of him. He was hauled down from behind by a Huskies player, but the officials -- for some reason I still don't understand -- didn't award Dahl the goal. Instead, they gave the Huskies player a penalty, putting the Rockets on the power play for roughly the final minute of the game. Dahl could've yelled or got in the official's face. Instead, he went back to work and used his speed to get around a Owatonna defenseman, then cut across the slot and used his quick hands to beat Huskies goalie Ryan Johnson for an insurance goal in a 3-1 win.
 
Dahl capped his three-year varsity career at JM with 40 goals and 45 assists for 85 points. His 49 regular-season points this year were tied for third-best in the Big Nine Conference, one point ahead of teammate Isaac Lamppa and Mayo's Oliveto. He was one of the Rockets' top special-teams player, too, with one-third (17) of his 51 points coming on the power play or penalty kill.
 
He joins the following players as P-B Player of the Year:
 
PAST ALL-AREA PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
2016 -- Brady Dahl, Sr., F, Rochester John Marshall
2015 -- Riese Zmolek, Sr., D, Rochester Century
2014 -- Riese Zmolek, Jr., D, Rochester Century
2013 -- Alex Funk & Jason Samuelson, Sr., F, Rochester Lourdes
2012 -- Alex Funk, Sr., F, Rochester Lourdes
2011 -- Rory Vesel, Sr., D, Rochester Lourdes
2010 -- No POY (inaugural All-Area Team did not include a POY)
 
Below is the All-Area First Team, Second Team and a PUC list (Players Under Consideration; our honorable mention list). We pick the team from the seven teams in the Post-Bulletin coverage area -- Rochester Century, Rochester JM, Rochester Lourdes, Rochester Mayo, Austin, Dodge County and Red Wing.

I'll make my annual disclaimer here: The All-Area Team appears only on the Faceoff Blog (not in print or on PostBulletin.com) for a number of reasons, the main one being most of our other writers don't like to do all-area teams because they often become a bigger headache than they're worth. Many times, so many kids' stats are so similar, that it's a no-win situation for us. If we put a point guard who averages 14 points and 7 assists per game on an all-area basketball team, we'll get an earful from parents of kid who averages 15 points and 6 assists.

I'm fair game, though. Rip away if you don't like the team I've put together. I picked it based on who I thought the best players in our coverage area were. Since I don't see every game played, and some teams I only saw once or twice this season, I also went on word of mouth, the things I hear from area coaches and junior hockey scouts during the season. By chatting regularly with coaches, you get a pretty good idea of which players mean the most to their teams, regardless of what the stats say.

And as I've said in past years, there's nothing P.C. about the team (I don't try to balance it out or make sure that every area team is represented equally), it's just a list of who I think the best players in the area were this season.

Let's get to it.  
 
• • • 
 
FIRST TEAM
 
FORWARDS
Brady Dahl, Sr., Rochester JM
*** PLAYER OF THE YEAR ***
23 goals, 28 assists, 51 points
Among the reasons already mentioned, Dahl was the leading scorer on the best team in our area and the best team in the Big Nine Conference. He scored at least one point in 22 of 27 games for JM, which finished 20-7-0 and won the Big Nine for the first time since 2004.   Dahl had three hat tricks, five multiple-goal games and 14 multi-point games.
Anthony Oliveto, Jr., Rochester Mayo
23 goals, 25 assists, 48 points
Oliveto was the leading returning scorer in Rochester this season and he may have won the city scoring title had he not missed several games with an injury. The Mayo junior is incredibly versatile. He possesses a nice combination of power, playmaking abilities and a heavy shot. And he's not afraid to hit an opposing player -- hard. Mayo used Oliveto at center and wing; he anchored a top line that the Spartans relied on for a bulk of their scoring. He had a total of 10 points in his final three regular season games, had one hat trick this season and 10 times he had three or more points in a game.
Isaac Lamppa, Sr., Rochester JM
25 goals, 24 assists, 49 points
Like our POY Brady Dahl, Lamppa could be counted on to come through with a point or more nearly every time JM took the ice. He matched Dahl's total of recording at least a point in 22 of the Rockets' 27 games. Lamppa had seven multiple-goal games, including two hat tricks, one in a late-season victory against rival Rochester Mayo. He got off to a hot start, with 18 points in the first nine games this season, and he closed his high school career on a roll, too, with 20 points in the final 10 games. 
 
DEFENSEMEN
Josh Frerks, Sr., Rochester JM
7 goals, 30 assists, 37 points
Frerks was valuable in so many ways for the Big Nine champion Rockets. He gave them something a lot of teams don't have -- consistent offense from the blue line. He was vital to their specialty teams, too. Nearly half of his assists (13 of 30) came on the power play. Frerks had five games of three-plus points and had a pair of five-point games, five days apart in January.
Will Zmolek, Jr., Rochester Century
6 goals, 8 assists, 14 points
As a sophomore in 2014-15, Zmolek was at times Century's best player on the ice late in the season. He adapted incredibly quickly to the varsity game as a sophomore. As a junior in 2015-16, Zmolek adapted to being a leader. He went from playing on a senior-laden team to playing on a sophomore-laden team. His focus for much of this season was on being strong in his own end getting the puck out of the Panthers' zone, up to their forwards. Yet, he still finished fourth on the team in scoring.
 
GOALIE
Brady Meyers, Sr., Rochester JM
20-7-0, 1.85 goals-against avg., .927 save pct., 4 SO
The second-year varsity standout had as good of a season as we've seen from a goalie here in some time. His numbers were in the top 10 in the state all season long. Meyers finished the regular season ranked 4th in save percentage (.930), 6th in the state in victories (19), 9th in goals-against average (1.71) and tied for 12th in shutouts (4). He was rarely out of position, and with his 6-foot-3 frame, that makes it difficulut for opponents to find a place to shoot. He allowed two or less goals in 17 of the Rockets' 27 games and backstopped them to the program's first Big Nine Conference title in 12 years.
 
• • • 
 
SECOND TEAM
 
FORWARDS
Veikko Weckman, Sr., Rochester Mayo (21-19—40): The foreign exchange student stepped right into Mayo's lineup and clicked instantly on the team's top line with Anthony Oliveto and Max Billings. He finished eighth in the Big Nine in scoring.
Conner Lee, Sr., Rochester JM (14-26—40): The Rockets' best setup man anchored their top line all season. His 38 regular-season points were ninth-best in the Big Nine and his 26 assists were tied for fifth.
Tyler DeFore, Jr., Red Wing (32-11—43): The leading goal-scorer in the Big Nine Conference, DeFore scored 30 regular-season goals and had at least one goal in 21 of the Wingers' 27 games.
 
DEFENSEMEN
Nick Norby, Sr., Rochester Mayo (7-18—25): Norby was a steady presence for the Spartans, both in the defensive zone and on offense, where he recorded at least one point in 16 of Mayo's 26 games.
Seth Cushing, Jr., Red Wing (15-21—36): One of the top-scoring blue-liners in the Big Nine, Cushing had 32 regular-season points, then tacked on four more in a playoff victory against Winona.
 
GOALIE
Cole Walter, So., Rochester Century (8-12-1, 3.65, .885, 2 SO): The second-year varsity starter helped to stabilize an inexperienced team, as his save percentage showed. 
 
• • •
 
PUC (Players Under Consideration)
 
Forwards
• Max Billings, Sr., Mayo (20-12--32)
• Tucker Chapman, Jr., Lourdes (22-13--35)
• Sam Hanson, Sr., Red Wing (12-22--34)
• Xander Lamppa, So., JM (14-21--35)
• Montana Streit, Jr., Lourdes (10-21--31)
 
Defensemen
• Jace Greenman, Jr., Austin (11-19--30)
• John Schmitz, Jr., Century (6-9--15)
 
Goalies
• Noah Bawek, So., Austin (5-14-1, 3.06, .879)
• Liam Claton, So., Mayo (13-7-1, 3.67, .868)

February 18, 2016

High School Hockey Today | Feb. 18, 2016 (The Section Quarterfinals edition)

Posted by: Feldman
 
Who's ready for some playoff hockey? 
 
The girls state tournament got underway yesterday at The Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, with the top four seeds (Blake, Warroad, St. Paul United, Proctor/Hermantown) all winning their Class A quarterfinal matchups. Section 1A champ Northfield was shut out 3-0 by Section 8 champ Warroad. Northfield's season ended this morning with a 2-0 loss to Alexandria in a consolation game at Ridder Arena.
 
The Class AA girls state quarterfinals began at 11 a.m. today. Section 1AA champion Lakeville South is the No. 5 seed and will play the final game of  the day, scheduled for an 8 p.m. start against No. 4 Maple Grove. No. 2 Edina meets Eastview at 11 a.m. in the tourney opener. That's followed by No. 3 Eden Prairie against Forest Lake at 1 p.m. Top-seeded Hill-Murray, the only unbeaten girls team left in the state (27-0-1) faces Sartell-Sauk Rapids at 6 p.m.
 
The girls state quarterfinals are not televised, but Friday's state semifinals and Saturday's championship games can be found on Charter Spectrum channel 192 in Rochester. They begin at 11 a.m. Friday and run all day, with two Class A semis in the morning/afternoon, and two AA semis in the evening.
 
---
 
Closer to home, the Section 1A and 1AA boys hockey tournaments get going full force tonight. We'll be down to four teams in each section by about 10 p.m. today, assuming we don't have some 3-OT game or something. And I just jinxed things, most likely. I'll be at the Owatonna-JM game at the Rec Center, which now will probably go at least 3 OTs. 
 
Rochester Lourdes also plays in town tonight. The Eagles are the No. 3 seed in Section 1A and will play host to No. 6 seed LeSueur-Henderson/St. Peter/TCU/Cleveland. Typing that name once helps me get much close to my desired word count. They should just go by the Bulldogs. Or, like, South Central Minnesota or something like that. 
 
Century, Mayo, Dodge County and Red Wing all are on the road tonight, with tough tests awaiting.
 
Here are some section previews that ran in Tuesday's P-B:
 
* I wrote a feature story on Lourdes' four seniors, who hope to guide the program back to the state tournament for the first time since 2013.
 
 
 
There are a lot of games tonight, so let's get to them:
 
SECTION 1AA
 
OWATONNA at JOHN MARSHALL
7 p.m., Rochester Rec Center
Seeds/Records: No. 5 Owatonna 15-9-1; No. 4 Rochester JM 19-6-0
Coaches: Owatonna, Josh Storm (5th season, 68-53-9); JM, Jay Ness (5th season, 66-59-4)
Last meeting: JM won at Owatonna 5-1 on Jan. 23, 2016. The Rockets swept the two-game season series against the Huskies by a combined scored of 12-2.
Last game: Owatonna beat Austin 4-0 on Saturday; JM beat Red Wing 9-1 on Saturday.
Team leaders: OWT -- Sr. F Noah Scheid 26-23--49; So. F Tyler Wencl 9-26--35; Jr. F Adam Rehman 9-21--30; So. G Ryan Johnson 9-3-0, 1.42 GAA, .917 save pct., 6 SO. JM -- Sr. F Brady Dahl 22-27--49; Isaac Lamppa 25-23--48; Sr. F Conner Lee 12-26--38; Sr. D Josh Frerks 7-30--37; So. F Xander Lamppa 13-21--34; Sr. G Brady Meyers 19-6-0, 1.71 GAA, .930 save pct., 4 SO.
Notes: Owatonna's Scheid and JM's Dahl tied for third in the Big Nine in points (49). ... JM is looking for its first playoff victory since 2007. ... JM goalie Meyers is tied for 6th in the state in wins (19), ninth in goals-against average (1.71) and fourth in save percentage (.930). ... JM beat Owatonna 7-1 on Dec. 3, its second game of the season, then again 5-1 at Owatonna on Jan. 23. The Rockets led just 1-0 after two periods in the second meeting, but outscored the Huskies 4-1 in the third period.
 
MAYO at LAKEVILLE SOUTH
7 p.m., Hasse Arena
Seeds/Records
: No. 6 Mayo 14-10-1; No. 3 South 14-10-1
Coaches: Mayo, Lorne Gross (49th season, 707-445-29)
Last meeting: Lakeville South beat Mayo 13-0 on Jan. 8, 2016.
Last game: Mayo defeated Rochester Century 4-1 on Saturday; South lost to Rosemount 6-3 on Saturday.
Team leadersMAYO -- Jr. F Anthony Oliveto 23-25--28; Sr. F Veikko Weckman 21-19--40; Sr. F Max Billings 20-11--31; Sr. D Nick Norby 7-18--25; So. G Liam Claton 13-6-1, 3.49 GAA, .870 save pct. L.S. -- Bradlyey Golant 16-12--28; Joshua Ess 8-18--26; Noah Rasinski 10-12--22; Sam Malinski 4-18--22; G Isaiah Dilaura 9-8-1, 2.41 GAA, .906 save pct., 3 SO.
Notes: In their first matchup this season, South led Mayo just 1-0 after one period, then scored nine goals in the second period and went on to a 13-0 win. ... South has lost three consecutive games and four of its past five. ... Former Rochester John Marshall standout Cory Checco is a sophomore forward for South. Checco has 7 goals and 17 points this season. ... Mayo has three 20-goal scorers. Oliveto led the team in scoring in the regular season, and was fifth in the Big Nine, despite missing three games with an injury. ... Mayo last played in the section semifinals in 2013.
 
CENTURY at FARMINGTON
7 p.m., Schmitz-Maki Ice Arena
Seeds/Records
: No. 7 Rochester Century 10-14-1; No. 2 Farmington 15-8-1
Coaches: Century, Josh Klingfus (5th season, 63-60-10); Farmington, Greg May
Last meeting: Farmington won at Century, 5-3, on Dec. 4, 2014.
Last game: Century lost at Rochester Mayo, 4-1 on Saturday; Farmington won at Eastview, 2-1 on Saturday.
Team leaders: CENT -- Jr. F Eric St. Marie 10-6--16; So. F Jon Thorvilson 7-9--16; Jr. D John Schmitz 6-9--15; So. F Ben Haas 3-11-14; Jr. D Will Zmolek 6-8--14; So. G Cole Walter 8-10-1, 3.53 GAA, .885 save pct., 2 SO. FARM -- Sr. D Erik Holmstrom 13-26--39; Sr. F Wyatt Jensen 13-23--36; Sr. F John Siebenaler 13-22--35; G Gavin Enright 15-8-1, 2.35, .910, 3 SO.
Notes: Century has lost two consecutive games after a four-game winning streak. ... The Panthers have just two seniors and four juniors on their roster. They have 13 players who will play in their first varsity playoff game tonight. ... Farmington, last year's section runner-up, has 10 seniors on its roster. ... Tigers goalie Enright, a sophomore, has allowed one or fewer goals in five of his past eight games. ... Farmington is ranked No. 20 in the latest Class AA state poll.
 
DODGE COUNTY at LAKEVILLE NORTH
7 p.m., Ames Arena
Seeds/Records
: No. 8 Dodge County 4-21-1; No. 1 Lakeville North 19-5-1
Coaches: Dodge County, Chris Ernest (1st season, 4-21-0); North, 
Last meeting: North beat Dodge County 14-0 on Feb. 19, 2015, in a Section 1AA quarterfinal game.
Last game: Dodge County lost 3-2 in OT at Becker/Big Lake on Friday; North won 7-6 at Prior Lake
Team leaders: D.C. -- Sr. D Max Blaisdell 9-11--20; Sr. F Ethan Strunk 8-9--17; Sr. D Drew Kirmse 6-8--14; Fr. G Cole Kundert 4-18-0, 5.47 GAA, .845 save pct. L.N. -- Jr. F Ryan Poehling 20-34--54; Jr. F Henry Enebak 17-29--46; Sr. F Max Johnson 27-19--46; Sr. F Taylor Schneider 18-21--39; Jr. G Buzz Eigner 13-3-1, 2.07 GAA, .892 save pct., 3 SO.
Notes: North is ranked No. 7 in the latest Class AA state poll. The Panthers are the defending Section 1AA and Class AA state champions. ... North lost five players off last season's team who are committed to Division I colleges. Three players on this year's team are committed to D-1 schools, with a fourth likely to commit soon. ... The Panthers have won eight consecutive games and 14 of their past 15.
 
* * *
 
SECTION 1A
 
L-H/SP/TCU at LOURDES
7 p.m., Graham Arena I
Seeds/Records
: No. 6 LeSueur-Henderson/St. Peter 16-10-0; No. 3 Rochester Lourdes 7-17-0
Coaches: L-H/SP/TCU, Shea Roehrkasse (1st season, 16-10-0); Lourdes, Josh Spaniol (7th season, 105-88-8)
Last meeting: Lourdes beat L-H/SP/TCU 8-2 in a Section 1A quarterfinal game at Graham Arena IV on Feb. 21, 2013.
Last game: L-H/SP/TCU beat Waseca 8-1 in a Section 1A first-round game on Tuesday; Lourdes won 5-4 at Red Wing on Feb. 11.
Team leaders: LHSP -- Sr. F Alex Hoehn 26-28--54; Jr. F Isaac Westphal 21-23--44; Sr. F Nathaniel Wenner 15-23--38; Sr. D Avery Bachman 10-22--32; Sr. G Zeke Haugen 15-10-0, 2.98 GAA, .920 save pct., 1 SO. LOU -- Jr. F Tucker Chapman 21-13--34; Jr. F Montana Streit 10-20--30; Sr. F Peter Alexander 6-13--19; Sr. F Mason Carstens 10-7--17; Jr. G Adam Renn 5-13-0, 4.30, .865, 1 SO.
Notes: Lourdes is looking to get back to the section semifinals after a one-year absence. ... The Eagles played in six consecutive section championship games between 2008-13. ... Lourdes' Carstens, Chapman and Streit all played in the 2013 state tournament. ... L-H/SP won a first-round playoff game on Tuesday for a sixth consecutive season. The Bulldogs' season has ended in the section quarterfinals each of the past five years.
 
RED WING at MANKATO EAST
5:15 p.m., All Seasons Arena
Seeds/Records
: No. 5 Red Wing 10-16-0; No. 4 Mankato East 15-9-1
Coaches: RW, Bob Rajanen (3rd season, 22-57-1); East, Adam Fries (3rd season, 35-41-1)
Last meeting: East won 8-5 at Red Wing on Feb. 4. Nick Salzle, Chase Kunst and Tyler Lebert had 3-point games for East.
Last game: Red Wing beat Winona 6-0 in a Section 1A first-round game on Tuesday; East won 3-2 in OT at Rochester Century on Feb. 11.
Team leaders: R.W. -- Jr. F Tyler DeFore 32-11--43; Sr. F Sam Hanson 12-22--34; Jr. D Seth Cushing 15-21--36; So. G Zachariah Harding 8-11-0, 4.07 GAA, .891 save pct, 2 SO. EAST -- Sr. F Judd Schulz 24-36--60; Sr. F Chase Kunst 15-21--36; Jr. F Tyler Lebert 15-19--34; So. Jack Cusey 15-9-1, 3.67, .879, 1 SO.
Notes: Red Wing snapped a four-game losing streak on Tuesday. ... DeFore led the Big Nine Conference in goal scoring this season. ... East has won four consecutive games and five of its past six. ... East senior Judd Schulz led the Big Nine in scoring this season. ... East is looking for its first postseason win since 2010, when it beat Austin 7-1 in a first-round game.
La CRESCENT at NORTHFIELD
7 p.m., Northfield Ice Arena
Records
: No. 9 La Crescent 16-6-1; No. 1 Northfield 18-6-0
Coaches: La Crescent, JP Piche; Northfield, Mike Luckraft
Last game: La Crescent won at Austin 4-2 in a Section 1A first-roudn game on Tuesday; Northfield beat Faribault 10-2 on Saturday.
Team leaders: LaC -- Sr. F Zack Hanno 22-52--74; Jr. F Carter Schmitz 40-21--61; So. D Laudon Poellinger 14-20--34; Sr. G Josh DeBoer 16-6-1, 2.44 GAA, .922 save pct., 3 SO. NFLD -- F Ryan Torbenson 24-29--53; Jr. F Jackson Cloud 10-24--34; So. F Jacob Halvorson 22-11--33; Jr. F Nicholas Kvernmo 10-23--33; Jr. G Ryan Bielenberg 18-6-0, 2.28, .898, 4 SO.
Notes: Northfield tied Rochester John Marshall for the Big Nine Conference championship. ... Hanno is the leading point-scorer in the section and Schmitz is the section's leading goal-scorer. ... A Northfield victory tonight would be its first this season against a non-Big Nine Conference opponent. ... Raiders goalie Bielenberg has won 12 of his last 13 starts. 
 
ALBERT LEA at MANKATO WEST
7:30 p.m., All Seasons Arena
Seeds/Records
: No. 7 Albert Lea 9-17-0; No. 2 Mankato West 12-11-2
Coaches: A.L., Roy Nystrom; West, Curtis Doell
Last meeting: West beat Albert Lea 4-1 in Mankato on Feb. 4, 2016.
Last game: Albert Lea beat Faribault 9-1 on Tuesday in a Section 1A first-round game; West beat Rochester John Marshall 6-5 in OT on Feb. 11.
Team leaders: A.L. -- Jr. F Austin Dulitz 6-20--26; Sr. F Foster Otten 12-13--25; Sr. F Jack Pulley 8-15--23; So. F Bergen Lundak 17-5--22; Jr. G Ben Witham 6-16-0, 3.91 GAA, .871 save pct., 1 SO. WEST -- Sr. F Tyler Loe 21-21--42; Jr. D Kyle Looft 15-18--33; Jr. F Jimmy Miller 11-17--28; Jr. G Jackson Peterson 12-11-2, 3.17, .862, 2 SO.
Notes: West swept the two-game regular-season series against Albert Lea, winning 4-1 both times. ... West's Loe finished seventh in the Big Nine in scoring. ... Albert Lea had three players reach double figures in goals scored, Lundak (17), Otten (13) and Mitchell Evans (12). ... West has won three consecutive games, on the heels of a three-game losing streak. ... Four of West's current players -- Loe, Looft, Brandon Pahl and Nick Spiess -- played in the Section 1A championship game two years ago, when West was edged by New Prague 3-2.

February 13, 2016

High school hockey: Seeding the Section 1A, 1AA tourneys

Posted by: Feldman

With the high school hockey regular season coming to a close today -- it came to a close earlier this week for some teams -- it's time to take a look at Section 1A and 1AA and see if we can figure out how the playoff brackets will look when they come out tomorrow.

Section 1AA is fairly cut-and-dried, though it'll seem a little odd should possible No. 3 seed Farmington go into the postseason having defeated possible No. 1 seed Lakeville North twice.

That's the fun of the playoffs, though, eh?

SECTION 1A

1. NORTHFIELD (17-6-0): The Raiders have the hands-down best record in the section. Still, they haven't won a game outside of the Big Nine Conference (0-4-0), which includes a loss to Rochester Lourdes. The Raiders are the favorite in the section — they beat Mankato West twice by a combined score of 13-5 — but not an overwhelming or unbeatable favorite. Northfield can score in bunches, so West, Lourdes, Red Wing, et. al, need to figure out a way to slow that down or match it. One strike against the Raiders: Their strength of schedule (opponents' winning percentage) was just 5th in the section entering this week (.4475).

2. MANKATO WEST (12-11-2): The Scarlets' victory against Big Nine title contender Rochester John Marshall on Thursday locked up the No. 2 seed for them, in my mind. West also defeated Lourdes in their regular-season matchup, 3-2 on Jan. 12. West is also the only team in the section aside from Lourdes whose strength of schedule is above .500 (it's at .5142).

3. ROCHESTER LOURDES (7-17-0): Crazy as it may sound, a 7-17-0 Lourdes team will make an argument to be the No. 1 seed, and it's not a bad argument. The Eagles beat Northfield in their regular-season matchup and lost at West by just a goal. Lourdes also, by far, plays the toughest schedule in the section, facing opponents with a combined winning percentage of .6328, nearly .12 higher than West's, the next closest.

4. MANKATO EAST (15-9-1): What a jump for the Cougars this season. They're led by the Big Nine's leading scorer, Judd Schulz, who is also now the all-time leading scorer in program history. He has 26 goals and 60 points this season. The Cougars have five players with 25 or more points and a sixth on the verge of 20 (Bailey Marshall has 19). Goalie Jack Cusey has shown an ability to steal a game from time to time, too. East gets No. 4 by virtue of sweeping the season series vs. Red Wing and splitting against LeSueur-Henderson/St. Peter/TCU.

5. RED WING (9-15-0): The Wingers are another team that hasn't won outside of Big Nine Conference play, but their victory against Mankato West and their 8-4-0 record vs. section opponents earns them the nod for the No. 5 seed. Red Wing is led by the Big Nine's leading goal-scorer, senior F Tyler DeFore (30 goals, 37 points).

6. LE SUEUR-HENDERSON/ST. PETER/TCU (15-10-0): The Bulldogs hold a quality victory over Mankato East, but they also lost to East (6-2) and West (4-2). The Bulldogs can produce some offense, too, with four players with 29 or more points. That group is led by Alex Hoehn (24-27—51). Goalie Zeke Haugen has been solid, too, posting a .920 save percentage while playing all but 26 minutes this season.

7. LA CRESCENT (16-6-1): The Lancers are a bit of a tough club to judge, simply because more than half of their games are against Wisconsin opponents. They're 2-1-1 against section foes, with wins against Winona and Waseca, a tie against Austin and a loss to LSH-SP/TCU.

8. AUSTIN (7-13-1): Austin split its season series' against Faribault and Albert Lea, and swept Winona. It gets the No. 8 seed because it's playing better right now than the teams it split with. Jace Greenman (11-19--30) is the Packers' first 30-point scorer in a handful of years and Isaac Arnold is right on his heels (16-12--28).

9. ALBERT LEA (8-17-0): The Tigers swept Faribault and Winona. They've lost four in a row, including losses to West, Lourdes and Austin.

10. FARIBAULT (6-17-1): The Falcons are 4-10-0 against the section, including a win against Waseca and two against Winona.

11. WASECA (9-15-0): The Bluejays are 1-5-0 against section opponents, their only victory against Winona on Tuesday. Waseca has won three in a row heading into today's regular-season finale against Redwood Valley.

12. WINONA (2-22-0): The Winhawks have won just twice this season, have been shut out 13 times and, if these seedings hold, will travel to Red Wing for a first-round game. Red Wing beat Winona 6-1 on Jan. 12.


• • • • •


SECTION 1AA

1. LAKEVILLE NORTH (18-5-1): The defending section and state champions feature three D-1 commits: Ryan Poehling (St. Cloud State), Max Johnson (Bowling Green) and Keaton Pehrson (Michigan Tech), as well as another who will play D-1 at some point, F Henry Enebak.

2. LAKEVILLE SOUTH (14-9-1): In the Section 1AA merry-go-round, South lost twice to North, but defeated Farmington twice. South has lost three of its past four games.

3. FARMINGTON (14-8-1): The Tigers hold two wins over North, but have also lost twice to South. They beat Rochester John Marshall 4-0 in their only other game against a section opponent this season.

4. ROCHESTER JOHN MARSHALL (18-6-0): The Rockets lost their only meeting with a top-three team in this section, 4-0 to Farmington. JM swept Owatonna, Mayo and Century this season.

5. OWATONNA (14-9-1): The Huskies have been one of the hottest teams in the Big Nine the second half of the season. They have won eight of their past 10 games, including a 9-0 rout of Mayo. They also defeated Century twice this season by a total of 9-0.

6. ROCHESTER MAYO (13-10-1): The Spartans have defeated Century once, but split with Owatonna. Their 9-0 loss to the Huskies on Jan. 16 flipped the 5-6 argument in Owatonna's favor.

7. ROCHESTER CENTURY (10-13-1): A young Panthers team has improved as the season has gone along. It had a four-game winning streak snapped on Thursday in an overtime loss against a good Mankato East team.

8. DODGE COUNTY (4-21-0): The Wildcats have won just twice since the start of 2016.

High School Hockey Today | Feb. 13, 2016 (The 'Saying So Long To A Legend' edition)

Posted by: Feldman

I can't imagine how Lorne Grosso will feel when he steps foot on the Rochester Mayo bench before today's game, when he coaches the Spartans against rival Rochester Century, then when he walks off the Graham Arena ice after a game for the final time.

I've known Grosso for 10 years. It'll be odd for me to see him do that. I can't imagine how it'll feel for a guy who has done that for 50 years, a coaching career that has spanned all or parts of six decades.

This is really it.

Mayo will play Century today, then likely go play at Farmington or Lakeville South on Thursday in a Section 1AA quarterfinal game. If the Spartans can pull an upset, they'll be back in Rochester a week from today, playing in the Section 1AA semifinals.

But they won't play another game at Graham.

We've written a lot about Grosso this season, and deservedly so. He announced just prior to the start of the season that this would be his last on Mayo's bench, a farewell tour of sorts.

It's a decision he came to late last summer and finalized with Mayo A.D. Jeff Whitney — a former player and co-coach — early in the fall.

A couple of weeks ago, I was speaking on the phone with Grosso one evening after one of Mayo's games. He jokingly said to me, "(Whitney) hasn't hired anyone. Maybe I'll come back next year and see if I can get to seven decades. Wouldn't that be something?" He didn't get the last few words out when his wife and biggest supporter, Joni, cut him off -- "NO YOU WON'T!!" she said.

It will certainly be different going to the rink next winter and not seeing Grosso there.

Like I said, I've known Lorne for 10 years and, though the time I spend talking with him is but a small fraction of his day, he treats me like he treats everyone else -- he treats me the way he'd like to be treated if he was in my shoes. That's a rare thing to find someone who treats everyone that way.

I was thinking over the past few days about some of my favorite coach Grosso stories. It struck me that, after hearing him talk for 10 years about the life lessons he teaches his players and hearing him talk about doing things the right way, that's what has rubbed off on me the most.

Sure, I have to report what happens in a game, whether Mayo wins by 10 or loses by 10, but Grosso is someone you don't want to disappoint, whether you're playing for him, coaching with him or writing about his teams.

The first year I covered Mayo — the 2006-07 season — the Spartans lost to Century 4-1 in the section semifinals, ending their season. After the game, I asked Grosso, "so, how are you feeling? Think you'll be back on the bench next winter?"

He laughed and said, "Well, when I decide to hang it up, after Joni and (Whitney), you'll be the first to know."

I never asked him again, and though he probably told a few more people than his wife and A.D. before he told me, he spent a lot of time one November afternoon answering questions about his career and telling stories.

That's the thing about Grosso that makes him so endearing. Not only does he listen to whoever is speaking to him, he always has a story, a joke, an anecdote to lighten the mood or make you feel like he can relate to you.

When my mother passed away a little more than a year ago, the first time I saw Grosso after that, before he let me ask him questions about the game I had covered, he stopped me in mid-sentence.

"How are you doing? I'm very sorry to hear about your mother," he said.

Sometimes in this job we get a bit robotic. We can laugh and joke with coaches or players, be serious when the situation calls for it, but most of the time, we go through our nuts-and-bolts interviews and go our different directions.

That's not the case with Lorne. He always has a question or two for me, too, and for whoever he's talking with, whether it's about my kids, or my job ... whatever.

Another of my favorite Grosso stories came probably the first or second year I was on the boys hockey beat.

Before Lorne does anything after a game, he always calls Joni. She stopped going to games a number of years ago. Anyway, this particular night, probably in 2007 or 2008, a game had just finished and I was waiting outside the locker room. "Hold on a second, I have to call home," Grosso told me. Then he turned to one of his assistant coaches. "Coach?" he said. "How do I dial my own number." He has since mastered his cell phone, I believe. :)

I could go on and on, but we need to get to today's games.

So, bottom line: If you can, get to Graham Arena by 12:45 today. Hopefully Grosso's last game at Graham is one he'll remember.


TODAY'S GAMES

CENTURY at MAYO
1 p.m., Graham Arena I
Records: Century 7-10-0 Big Nine, 10-13-1 overall; Mayo 9-6-1, 13-10-1
Coaches: Century, Josh Klingfus (5th season, 63-59-10 overall); Mayo, Lorne Grosso (49th season, 706-445-29)
Last meeting: Mayo defeated Century 5-3 on Jan. 5 at the Rochester Rec Center. Max Billings had 2 goals and 1 assist for Mayo; Ben Haas had 2 assists for Century.
Last game: Century lost to Mankato East 3-2 in OT on Thursday; Mayo tied Faribault 5-5 on Thursday.
Team leaders: CENT -- So. F Jon Thorvilson 7-9--16; Jr. D John Schmitz 6-9--15; Jr. F Eric St. Marie 10-5--15; Jr. D Will Zmolek 6-8--14; So. G Cole Walter 8-9-1, 3.50, .886. MAYO -- Jr. F Anthony Oliveto 19-23--42; Sr. F Veikko Weckman 20-17--37; Sr. F Max Billings 16-10--26; Sr. D Nick Norby 7-16--23; So. G Liam Claton 12-6-0, 3.68, .866.
Notes: The presentation of the 2016 recipients of the Shannon O'Hara Foundation scholarships will take place on the ice after the second period of this game. ... Century has a slim one-game lead in the all-time series as the teams meet for the 53rd time today. ... Mayo has won seven of the past 10 games against Century. ... Century had a four-game winning streak snapped on Thursday against East. ... Mayo is winless in its last three games.


RED WING at JOHN MARSHALL
3 p.m., Rochester Rec Center
Records: Red Wing 9-6-0 Big Nine, 9-15-0 overall; JM 14-1-0, 18-6-0
Coaches: Red Wing, Bob Rajanen; JM, Jay Ness (5th season, 65-59-4 overall)
Last meeting: JM won 3-2 in OT at Red Wing on Feb. 14, 2015. Cory Checco scored the OT winner, with assists from Isaac Lamppa and Conner Lee.
Last game: Red Wing lost to Rochester Lourdes 5-4 on Thursday; JM lost at Mankato West 6-5 in OT on Thursday.
Team leaders: R.W. -- Jr. F Tyler DeFore 30-7--37; Sr. F Sam Hanson 10-22--32; Jr. D Seth Cushing 14-18--32; Sr. F Joe Renshaw 5-7--12; G Zachariah Harding 7-10-0, 4.01 GAA, .894, 1 SO. JM -- Sr. F Brady Dahl 22-26--48; Sr. F Isaac Lamppa 24-20--44; Sr. F Conner Lee 11-26--37; Sr. D Josh Frerks 7-29--36; Sr. G Brady Meyers 18-6-0, 1.74, .930, 4 SO.
Notes: This is a big one for JM. If it wins, it's the Big Nine Conference champion. If the Rockets lose, Northfield is the outright conference champion. ... This game features the Big Nine Conference's leading goal-scorer (DeFore, 30) against the conference's Nos. 3, 5 and 8 scorers -- JM's Brady Dahl, Isaac Lamppa and Conner Lee -- as well as the top-scoring defenseman in the conference (Frerks). ... It also features the Big Nine's top goalie, Meyers, who is tied for 7th in the state in wins (18), tied for 10th in the state in GAA (1.74) and tied for 5th in the state in save pct. (.930). He's also tied for 11th in shutouts (4).


• • • • •

AREA GAMES

• Austin (4-12-0 Big Nine, 7-13-1 overall) at Owatonna (11-5-0, 14-9-1) 1 p.m.: Austin has won two of its past three games and is coming off a big victory against its biggest rival, 4-1 at Albert Lea on Thursday. ... Owatonna has been one of the hottest teams in the Big Nine in the second half of the season and is locked in to a third-place finish in the standings. The Huskies have won eight of their past 10 games. ... Huskies senior F Noah Scheid is a player to watch. He has 26-21—47 this season and has 11 points in the past five games.

February 04, 2016

High School Hockey Today | Feb. 4, 2016, The 'She did WHAT?!' edition

Posted by: Feldman

We have a big rivalrly game in Rochester tonight, all four Rochester boys hockey teams play, AND there is a game in Lakeville that could help settle the seeding process for the top three teams in Section 1AA, or it could turn that process basically into a coin flip.

We'll get to all of that, but first...
 
It is most definitely playoff time.
 
Section girls hockey playoffs started Wednesday night. Some games were blowouts, others were history-making.
 
Speaking of which, we'll start in Woodbury, where there was what we'd call a, uh, close game between the Nos. 4 and 5 seeds in Section 3AA.
 
The box score looks like it came from a baseball game. After 121 minutes, 58 seconds, No. 4 seed East Ridge came away with a beyond-dramatic 3-2 six-overtime victory against No. 5 Apple Valley. East Ridge senior Anya Hafiz scored the game-winner at 12:58 of the sixth OT. The winning goal came on East Ridge's 115th shot.
 
Let me repeat that: East Ridge had 115 -- ONE-HUNDRED FIFTEEN -- shots on goal. 
 
Know what else that means? Apple Valley goalie Taylor DeForrest made 112 -- ONE-HUNDRED TWELVE -- saves. The box score says she made 111 saves, but all reports that came out last night and today say 112, so we'll go with that for now. Here's a link to the Minnesota Hockey Hub report on the game, which indicates DeForrest shattered the previous record for saves in a game, set by Lakeville North's Cassie Alexander in 2013, when she made 59 saves in a 4-3 six-OT loss to Minnetonka in the state tournament.
 
* In Section 1AA, I was in Kasson to watch No. 2 seed and No. 13-ranked Dodge County move along in the postseason with an 8-0 victory against Rochester Century.
 
* Section 1AA would have had the game of the night had it not been for the East Ridge-Apple Valley marathon. In 1AA, No. 4 seed Lakeville North survived against No. 5 John Marshall/Lourdes, 4-3 in double-OT. Morgan Manes scored 3:51 into the second overtime for North to win it. No. 3 seed Farmingotn also brought No. 6 Mayo's season to an end with an 11-0 victory at Farmington.
 
Here's a roundup of those two games, and one from the Section 1A quarterfinals, which saw No. 5 seed Austin beat No. 4 Faribault 3-1, and No. 2 Red Wing roll past No. 7 Albert Lea 9-1.
 
The Section 1A and 1AA semifinals are scheduled for Saturday, with the higher seeds playing host to the lower seeds.
 
* * * * *
 
Back to the boys game, where we're still two weeks out from the start of the postseason.
 
A game in Rochester tonight has some big implications for the Big Nine Conference championship race. Rochester Mayo plays at Rochester John Marshall, at 7:30 p.m. at the Rec Center. I'm told these two teams have met a time or two, or 112, before. JM has four regular-season games remaining. A victory by the Rockets tonight would basically make their game next Tuesday at Northfield for the Big Nine Conference championship. 
 
It's a full slate of boys games tonight, so let's get to it...
 
MAYO at JOHN MARSHALL
7:30 p.m., Rochester Rec Center
Records: Mayo 9-4-0 Big Nine, 13-8-0 overall; JM 12-0-0, 16-5-0.
Coaches: Mayo, Lorne Grosso (49th season, 706-443-28 overall); JM, Jay Ness (5th season, 63-58-4)
Last meeting: JM defeated Mayo 5-2 on Dec. 12 at Graham Arena.
Last game: Mayo beat Mankato West 3-2 on Saturday at Graham Arena; JM shut out South St. Paul 6-0 on Saturday at the Rec Center
Team leaders: MAYO -- Jr. F Anthony Oliveto 17-20--37; Sr. F Veikko Weckman 18-15--33; Sr. F Max Billings 15-10--25; Sr. D Nick Norby 7-15--22; So. G Liam Claton 12-5-0, 3.41 GAA, .874. JM -- Sr. F Brady Dahl 21-23--44; Sr. F Isaac Lamppa 21-18--39; Sr. F Conner Lee 8-23--31; Sr. D Josh Frerks 7-23--30; Sr. G Brady Meyers 16-5-0, 1.32 GAA, .934 save pct., 4 SO.
Notes: JM's victory against Mayo back on Dec. 12 snapped the Spartans' 10-game winning streak in the series. ... JM's Meyers continues to be ranked among the top goalies in the state. He is tied for 5th in victories (16), is 7th in goals-against average (1.62), is tied for 3rd in save pct. (.934), and is tied for 6th in shutouts (4). ... Four of the top eight scorers in the Big Nine are in this game -- JM's Dahl (2nd, 44 pts.) and Lamppa (5th, 39); and Mayo's Oliveto (6th, 37) and Weckman (T-8th, 33). ... This will likely be the final JM-Mayo game in which Grosso is the Spartans' head coach. He has been on Mayo's bench for 110 of the previous 112 rivalry matchups. ... Mayo is still mathematically alive for the conference championship, though it needs to win its final four games, have Northfield lose out and have JM beat Northfield, but lose its other remaining games.
 
LOURDES at BRECK
7:15 p.m., Breck School Anderson Ice Arena, Golden Valley
Records: Lourdes 5-15-0 overall: No. 2 Breck 18-3-0
Coaches: Lourdes, Josh Spaniol (103-86-8 overall); Breck, Les Larson
Last meeting: Breck won at Lourdes 7-0 on Jan. 24, 2015.
Last game: Lourdes lost at Blake 5-2 on Saturday; Breck defeated Minnehaha Academy 10-1 on Wednesday
Team leaders: LOU -- Jr. F Tucker Chapman 16-10--26; Jr. F Montana Streit 8-17--25; Sr. F Peter Alexander 6-11--17; Sr. F Mason Carstens 7-5--12; Jr. G Adam Renn 3-12-0, 4.29 GAA, .864 save pct., 1 SO. BRECK -- Sr. F Chase Ellingson 25-29--54; Jr. F Mitch Machlitt 23-19--42; Sr. F Tyler Scott 15-25--40; Sr. F Will Blake 16-21--37; So. G Linden Olness 16-3-0, 1.82 GAA, .905 save pct., 3 SO.
Notes: Breck is ranked No. 2 in the state, behind only Hermantown. ... The Mustangs have not lost in 2016. Their last loss came on Dec. 30, a 6-1 loss to St. Michael-Albertville. ... Breck is on an 8-game winning streak, outscoring opponents 57-9 in that stretch. ... Lourdes, despite its record, is in line for a top-three seed in the Section 1A playoffs, though it likely will have to beat Albert Lea and Red Wing next week to secure that positioning. The Eagles have played the toughest schedule of any Section 1A team this season. ... Lourdes' Chapman has seven points in the past five games.
 
CENTURY at AUSTIN
7:30 p.m., Riverside Arena
Records: Century 5-9-0 Big Nine, 8-12-1 overall; Austin 3-10-0, 5-11-1
Coaches: Century, Josh Klingfus (5th season, 61-58-10 overall); Austin, Erik LaRock (4th season, 17-72-5)
Last meeting: Century defeated Austin 2-0 on Dec. 12, 2015, at Graham Arena IV in Rochester.
Last game: Century beat Winona 3-1 on Monday; Austin lost at Red Wing, 3-2 in OT, on Saturday.
Team leaders: CENT -- Jr. D John Schmitz 5-9--14; Jr. D Will Zmolek 5-8--13; So. F Ben Haas 3-10--13; So. F Jon Thorvilson 6-7--13; So. G Cole Walter 6-9-1, 3.62 GAA, .884 save pct., 2 SO; So. G Jackson Killinger 2-3-0, 2.92, .909. AUST -- Jr. F Isaac Arnold 12-10--22; Jr. D Jace Greenman 8-14--22; Jr. F Brayden Merritt 9-7--16; Sr. D Jason Stoulil 3-13--16; So. G Noah Bawek 4-10-1, 3.08, .873.
Notes: Century is seeking its second three-game winning streak of the season. ... Century's Schmitz has four points in the past five games. ... Austin's Arnold has 13 of his 22 points in the past seven games. ... Austin has lost four consecutive games, but has played well in them, taking Red Wing -- a team that could be a top-4 seed in the Section 1A playoffs -- to OT on Saturday.
 
-----
 
AREA GAMES 
 
 Mankato East (6-5-1, 11-9-1) at Red Wing (9-4-0, 9-12-0); time, location: East defeated Red Wing in their first meeting of the season, 7-3, at Mankato on Dec. 19. ... East is 3-2-1 in its past six games, on the heels of an eight-game winning streak. ... East senior F Judd Schulz is the Big Nine's leading scorer (21-30--51). ... Red Wing is battling for a top-three finish in the Big Nine.
 
-----
 
SECTION 1 SHOWDOWN
 
No. 8-AA Lakeville North (14-5-1) at No. 20-AA Lakeville South (13-6-1), 7 p.m.: Follow the bouncing puck here. Three teams are jockeying for position atop the Section 1AA playoff seedings. Farmington has beaten Lakeville North twice. Lakeville South has defeated Farmington twice. And if North can win this game tonight, it will have defeated South twice this season. So ... coin flip for the top seed? Probably not; it would likely go to North by virtue of having the best record among the three (as of now), but who knows? If South wants that top seed, I'd think a win tonight would put it in the driver's seat for it. South is 11-1-1 in its past 13 games; North is 9-1-0 in its past 10. Get to Hasse Arena early if you want a seat.

January 21, 2016

High School Hockey Today | Jan. 21, 2016 (The 'Due For A Sweep' edition)

Posted by: Feldman
 
Pop quiz: When was the last time all four Rochester hockey teams won a game in the same night?
 
Answer coming soon. I'll give you a little time to ponder it (if you want the answer NOW, it's listed right before the breakdowns of tonight's games.)
 
This could be a night where Rochester goes 4-for-4, though as we've seen this season, nothing is guaranteed.
 
Winona plays at Century, JM (undefeated in Big Nine play) plays host to Albert Lea, Lourdes plays at Dodge County and reeling Mayo plays at suddenly surging Austin. 
 
Austin is playing very well, having won three in a row and five out of six, so don't be shocked if it gives Mayo a battle. The Spartans have struggled to generate offense in the past week, but having leading scorer Anthony Oliveto back should help that issue. Oliveto returned in Mayo's 9-0 loss to red-hot Owatonna on Saturday. 'Tonna has won four consecutive Big Nine games by a combined score of 32-0. That's an impressive roll and it has the Huskies in position to pounce at the Big Nine title if JM and Northfield trip up at all.
 
Elsewhere tonight, a couple of big games to watch with Section 1 seeding implications: No. 7-ranked Lakeville North plays host to Farmington (receiving votes in state poll), and No. 20 Lakeville South plays non-section rival Prior Lake (ranked No. 18). That game doesn't directly impact the Section 1 seeding process, but it would be another good win for South when it comes time to argue for seeding position with North and Farmington.
 
North, South and Farmington will be the top three seeds in Section 1AA, in some order. JM likely will be No. 4, though Owatonna and Mayo both still have an outside shot at earning a home game. They both play JM once more, so if either wants to pass the Rockets, they'll have to beat them and hope JM loses a couple more sometime during this home stretch. I'd say Owatonna has the inside track, slightly, on Mayo right now for the No. 5 seed. The teams split their regular-season series, with Mayo winning at Owatonna by a goal and the Huskies rolling to a 9-0 win at Mayo last Saturday.
 
Century will likely be the No. 7 seed and Dodge County the No. 8 in the section playoffs, which begin exactly four weeks from today.
 
We'll break down the Section 1A and 1AA races a little more in the coming weeks, but for now, we're back to the present.
 
Quiz answer: Feb. 9, 2013. That's the last time Rochester's four boys hockey teams all won on the same night. Mayo beat Faribault 4-1, JM beat Owatonna 5-2, Century beat Mankato East 3-0, and Lourdes beat New Prague 4-1. All four Roch teams winning on the same night actually occurred twice that season; it also happened on Jan. 31.
 
Onto tonight's games...
 
ROCHESTER TEAMS
 
WINONA at CENTURY
7:30 p.m., Graham Arena IV
Records: Winona 0-13-0 Big Nine, 1-15-0 overall; Century 3-8-0, 6-11-1.
Coaches: Winona, Fran McDevitt; Century, Josh Klingfus (5th season, 59-57-10 overall)
Last meeting: Century won at Winona 7-0 on Dec. 17, for its first conference win this season. Cole Walter had an 11-save shutout.
Last game: Winona lost to Austin 6-0 on Tuesday; Century lost at Northfield 8-1 on Tuesday.
Team leaders: WIN -- Jr. D Ty Mannor 7-1--8; Jr. F Joe Brinkman 0-5--5; Jr. F Andre Russeau 2-2--4; Sr. G Matt Schoh 1-10-0, 6.38 GAA, .842 save pct. CENT -- Jr. D John Schmitz 5-7--12; Jr. D Will Zmolek 4-8--12; So. F Ben Haas 3-8--11; So. F Jon Thorvilson 5-6--11; So. G Cole Walter 6-9-1, 3.74, .882.
Notes: Century has dropped two consecutive games, but both were against the top two teams in the Big Nine, JM and Northfield. ... Century G Cole Walter has faced an average of 40 shots in his past four games. ... Winona earned its first victory of the season on Saturday, a 5-1 win at Worthington. ... The Winhawks scored five goals in their victory; in their 15 losses, they have totaled 11 goals and have been shut out nine times.
 
ALBERT LEA at JOHN MARSHALL
7:30 p.m., Rochester Rec Center
Records: Albert Lea 4-9-0 Big Nine, 5-11-0 overall; JM 9-0-0, 12-5-0.
Coaches: Albert Lea, Roy Nystrom; JM, Jay Ness (5th season, 59-58-4 overall)
Last meeting: JM won at Albert Lea, 4-3 in OT, on Jan. 22, 2015. JM's Josh Frerks scored the game-winning goal at 2:49 of OT.
Last game: Albert Lea lost to Red Wing 4-3 on Tuesday; JM beat No. 12-A St. Paul Johnson 3-1 on Saturday.
Team leaders: A.L. -- Sr. F Foster Otten 9-7--16; Sr. F Jack Pulley 6-9--15; Jr. F Austin Dulitz 4-11--15; So. F Bergen Lundak 10-2--12; Jr. G Ben Witham 4-11-0, 3.62 GAA, .872 save pct., 1 SO. JM -- Sr. F Brady Dahl 13-19--32; Sr. F Isaac Lamppa 20-10--30; Sr. D Josh Frerks 5-21--26; Sr. F Conner Lee 6-17--23; Sr. G Brady Meyers 12-5-0, 1.77, .930, 2 SO.
Notes: JM G Brady Meyers ranks in the top 10 in the state in wins (12, T-9th), GAA (1.77, T-8th) and save pct. (.930, T-9th). ... This is the only meeting of the season between these teams and is worth 4 points in the Big Nine Conference standings. ... Albert Lea has lost four in a row and five of its past six, since the start of January. ... The Tigers have scored a total of five goals in their past four games.
 
MAYO at AUSTIN
7:30 p.m., Riverside Arena
Records: Mayo 6-4-0 Big Nine, 10-8-0 overall; Austin 3-6-0, 5-7-1.
Coaches: Mayo, Lorne Grosso (49th season, 703-443-28 overall); Austin, Erik LaRock (4th season, 17-68-5).
Last meeting: Mayo beat Austin 5-3 on Jan. 22, 2015, at Graham Arena in Rochester. 
Last game: Mayo lost to Owatonna 9-0 on Saturday; Austin won at Winona, 6-0, on Tuesday.
Team leaders: MAYO -- Jr. F Anthony Oliveto 14-18--32; Sr. F Veikko Weckman 15-13--28; Sr. D Nick Norby 6-12--18; Sr. F Max Billings 12-6--18; So. G Liam Claton, 9-5-0, 3.63 GAA, .869 save pct. AUST -- Jr. F Isaac Arnold 11-9--20; Jr. D Jace Greenman 6-13--19; Jr. F Kory Potach 2-11--13; Jr. F Brayden Merritt 7-6--13; So. G Noah Bawek 4-6-1, 2.89, .874.
Notes: Austin has won five of its past six games and three in a row after an 0-6-1 start to the season. ... The Packers have won three consecutive Big Nine games. ... Freshman G Ryan Flanders earned his first career victory in the Packers 6-0 shutout at Winona on Tuesday. ...  Mayo is just 1-3-0 in its past four games. The Spartans' first-liners have combined four just four points in those games, though leading scorer Anthony Oliveto missed three of those games with an injury. ... Mayo has seven games remaining in the regular season, five of them are on the road.
 
LOURDES at DODGE COUNTY
time, location
Records: Lourdes 4-13-0 overall; Dodge County 3-14-0.
Coaches: Lourdes, Josh Spaniol (7th season, 102-84-8 overall); Dodge County, Chris Ernest (1st season, 3-14-0)
Last meeting: Lourdes beat Dodge County 11-0 on Feb. 3, 2015, at Graham Arena in Rochester.
Last game: Lourdes lost to No. 7-A St. Paul Academy 8-1; Dodge County won at Waseca, 3-2.
Team leaders: LOU -- Jr. F Tucker Chapman 13-8--21; Jr. F Montana Streit 6-15--21; Sr. F Peter Alexander 6-10--16; Sr. F Mason Carstens 6-4--10; Jr. F Logan Olson 2-8--10; Jr. G Adam Renn . D.C.-- Sr. F Max Blaisdell 8-7--15; Sr. D Ethan Strunk 5-7--12; Sr. F Isaac Thoe 7-2--9; Sr. F Drew Kirmse 4-5--9; Fr. G Cole Kundert 3-11-0, 5.54 GAA, .843 save pct.
Notes: Dodge County's win at Waseca on Tuesday snapped a seven-game losing streak. The Wildcats had won two consecutive games prior to that losing skid. ... Five of Dodge County's losses have been by one goal. ... Lourdes has faced five of the top 10 teams in this week's Class A state poll, as well as the Nos. 2- and 5-ranked teams in Wisconsin.
 
 
AREA GAMES 
 
 Red Wing (7-3-0 Big Nine, 7-10-0 overall) at Northfield (12-1-0, 12-5-0), 7:30 p.m., Northfield Ice Arena: Northfield is on a six-game winning streak; its last loss occurred on Jan. 2 against Rochester Lourdes. ... The Raiders haven't won by less than three goals on their current winning streak. They have outscored those six opponents 46-9. ... Raiders G Ryan Bielenberg is 6-0-0 with a 1.50 GAA and 2 shutouts in the past six games. ... Northfield senior F Ryan Torbenson is equally hot, recording 5 goals and 18 points during the six-game win streak. ... Northfield won at Red Wing a week ago, 3-0, outshooting the Wingers 48-27. ... Red Wing is 3-2-0 in January, on the heels of a five-game losing streak to close 2015.
 
 
SECTION 1 GAMES TO WATCH
 
 Farmington (9-6-1) at No. 7-AA Lakeville North (11-4-1), 7 p.m.: The Section 1AA and South Suburban Conference rivals meet for a second time this season. Farmington beat North 5-3 on Dec. 10. ... Defending state champion North is on a six-game winning streak. Farmington has lost three of its past five.
 
 No. 18-AA Prior Lake (11-6-0) at No. 20-Lakeville South (9-5-1), 7 p.m.: Prior Lake took it to South in the first meeting of South Suburban rivals this season, winning 7-1 at home on Dec. 10. ... P.L. has won four of its past six, losing only to No. 17 Duluth East (3-1) and No. 7 Lakeville North (3-2). ... South is among the state's hottest teams, going unbeaten in its last eight games (7-0-1) after a 2-5-0 start. ... Former Rochester JM standout Cory Checco is seventh in scoring for South with 4-8--12.
 
 
AROUND THE STATE
 
 No. 13-AA Wayzata at No. 2-AA Minnetonka (13-4-0), 7 p.m.: Tonight's premier matchup in Minnesota features a Wayzata team that has won once in its past four games (1-2-1) against Minnetonka, which has won five in a row and nine of its past 10.
 
 North Shore (13-3-0) at No. 3-A Greenway (16-3-0), 7:30 p.m.: How much fun are they having in hockey-rich Coleraine right now? Greenway is 16-3-0 and ranked No. 3 in the state. The program has made nine trips to state, including winning state titles in 1967, 68 and 92. It hasn't been to state since 2001. Greenway gets an unranked North Shore team that is quietly having a nice season (13-3-0).
 
• No. 1-N.D. Grand Forks Red River (13-0-0) at No. 11-A East Grand Forks (11-6-1), 7:30 p.m.: The top team in North Dakota travels across the Red River to face the two-time defending Minnesota Class A state champion.

January 14, 2016

High School Hockey Today | Jan. 14, 2016 (The 'One Last Go-'Round' edition)

Posted by: Feldman
 
It's tough to believe, but there is just one month left in the boys high school hockey regular season. The last regular-season games will be played Saturday, Feb. 13, with first-round playoff games set for Tuesday, Feb. 16.
 
The end of a sports season always brings lots of "lasts" -- the last home games for seniors, last road games, last practices and, ultimately, last games.
 
But a very different kind of "last" will occur tonight in Albert Lea. 
 
Lorne Grosso, Mayo's head coach for 49 seasons will coach for the final time opposite Albert Lea's Roy Nystrom, who has been with the Tigers for more than 40 years. The two played college hockey together at Minnesota, where they were on the same line. Then, after seven seasons of coaching in North Dakota, Nystrom took the job in Albert Lea. 
 
Mayo won the first meeting of the season between the teams, 6-2 on Dec. 10 at Graham Arena in Rochester.  
 
Mayo is in Section 1AA, Albert Lea in Section 1A, which means there's no chance they'll meet in the postseason. It will be an interesting stop on Grosso's unofficially-titled "Farewell Tour." (He won't call it that, but others of us will). He has been presented with plaques, food, handshakes and recognition from coaches, players and fans at road games this season.
 
But this one is different. It's Albert Lea. It's his long-time friend. Neither Grosso or Nystrom will tell you just how much these games mean to them, but trust me, they do. Who doesn't even want bragging rights over their buddy? Maybe if Albert Lea wins tonight, Grosso will have to come back for another season.
 
Here's a look at tonight's games:
 
ROCHESTER TEAMS
 
CENTURY at JOHN MARSHALL
7:30 p.m., Rochester Rec Center
Records: Century 3-6-0 Big Nine, 6-9-1 overall; JM 8-0-0, 10-5-0.
Coaches: Century, Josh Klingfus (5th season, 59-55-10 overall); JM, Jay Ness (5th season, 57-58-4).
Last meeting: JM defeated Century 4-0 on Dec. 22 at the Rec Center. Isaac Lamppa scored twice and Brady Meyers had a 17-save shutout for the Rockets.
Last game: JM lost to Tartan 2-1 on Tuesday; Century defeated Albert Lea 4-1 on Tuesday behind 52 saves from sophomore goalie Cole Walter.
Team leadersCENT -- Jr. D Will Zmolek 4-8--12; So. F Ben Haas 3-8--11; So. F Jon Thorvilson 4-6--10; Jr. John Schmitz 4-6--10; So. G Cole Walter 6-7-1, 3.28 GAA, .895 save pct. JM -- Sr. F Brady Dahl 13-16--29; Sr. F Isaac Lamppa 19-9--28; Sr. D Josh Frerks 4-17--21; Sr. F Conner Lee 3-17--20; Sr. G Brady Meyers 10-5-0, 1.73, .929.
Notes: Five of the last six games between these teams have been decided by a goal or less (one tie). ... Century has a 12-game lead in the all-time series and has led the series since 2001. ... Four of JM's five losses this season have come by one goal and all in non-conference play. ... JM has outscored Big Nine opponents 55-9. ... Walter has been Century's backbone since taking over as the starter midway through last season. He has stopped 40 or more shots in a game three times this season, including a career-high 52 saves in Tuesday's 4-1 win at Albert Lea (the initial report from A.L. showed Walter with 47 saves, but it was later corrected to 52). He is 14-10-2 as a varsity starter.
 
MAYO at ALBERT LEA
7:30 p.m., Albert Lea City Arena
Records: Mayo 5-3-0 Big Nine, 9-7-0 overall; A.L., 4-6-0, 5-8-0.
Coaches: Mayo, Lorne Grosso (702-442-28); A.L., Roy Nystrom (688 career wins, 594 in Minnesota)
Last meetingMayo defeated Albert Lea 6-2 on Dec. 10, 2015, at Graham Arena I. Veikko Weckman had a hat trick for Mayo, while linemate Anthony Oliveto had five assists.
Last gameMayo lost to Northfield 6-1 on Saturday; Albert Lea lost to Rochester Century 4-1 on Tuesday.
Team leaders: MAYO -- Jr. F Anthony Oliveto 14-18--32; Sr. F Veikko Weckman 15-11--26; Sr. F Max Billings 12-6--18; Sr. D Nick Norby 4-12--16; So. G Liam Claton 8-4-0, 3.39 GAA, .877 save pctA.L. -- Sr. Foster Otten 8-7--15; Jr. Austin Dulitz 3-11--14; Sr. Jack Pulley 5-8--13; So. Bergen Lundak 10-2--12; Jr. G Ben Witham 4-8-0, 3.78, .858.
NotesMayo will likely be without its leading scorer once again. Oliveto has been out since Dec. 30, when he suffered an upper-body injury in the fifth-place game of the Kiwanis Festival. He missed last week and Grosso said he expected him to miss at least all of this week, too. ... The Tigers have had an up-and-down season. It is 3-3-0 in its past six games after a four-game losing streak. ... A.L. put 53 shots on goal in its 4-1 loss to Rochester Century on Tuesday. ... Albert Lea had defeated Mayo three consecutive times until the Spartans beat the Tigers on Dec. 10.
 
NEW ULM at LOURDES
7 p.m., Graham Arena
Records: N.U. 8-6-2 overall; Lourdes 3-12-0.
Coaches: N.U., Ryan Neuman (1st season, 8-6-2 overall); Lourdes, Josh Spaniol (7th season, 101-83-8)
Last meetingLourdes defeated New Ulm 5-2 on Jan. 15, 2015, at the New Ulm Civic Center. Five players scored once each for Lourdes in the game.
Last gameNew Ulm won at Worthington, 14-2, on Tuesday. Lourdes lost at Mankato West 3-2 on Tuesday.
Team leaders: N.U. -- Jr. F Brandon Mehlhop 11-25--36; Sr. F Ethan Kraus 13-18--31; Fr. F Landon Strong 8-7--15; Sr. F Noah Webb 7-8--15; Sr. G Cody Banal 5-4-1, 3.66, .833; Sr. G Adam Larson 3-2-1, 4.28, .859LOURDES -- Jr. F Tucker Chapman 11-8--19; F Jr. F Montana Streit 5-11--16; Sr. F Peter Alexander 6-8--14; Jr. F Logan Olson 2-8--10; Jr. G Adam Renn 2-9-0, 4.22, .871.
NotesNew Ulm qualified for the Class A state tournament last season. It beat Willmar and Hutchinson, then upset state-ranked Luverne in the Section 3A title game. ... New Ulm snapped a seven-game winless streak with the win at Worthington on Tuesday. It started the season 7-1-0. ... Mehlhop ranks 8th in the state with 25 assists. The 5-foot-8 junior has 14 points in the past four games. ... Lourdes is searching for some consistency on offense. It has just two players with more than five goals -- Chapman (11) and Alexander (6). ... Lourdes has played just two games against Section 1A opponents this season, but has done well in both, beating likely top seed Northfield 4-2, then playing likely No. 2 seed Mankato West to a one-goal game on Tuesday.
 
 
AREA GAME
 
 Winona (0-11-0 Big Nine, 0-13-0 overall) at Austin (0-6-0, 2-7-1), 7:30 p.m., Riverside Arena: Something has to give between the only two winless teams in Big Nine Conference play. ... Austin is 2-1-0 in its past three games. ... The Packers have scored 16 goals in those three games after scoring 14 goals in their first seven games. ... Austin junior F Isaac Arnold has four points in the past four games. ... Winona hasn't come closer than two goals to any opponent this season. The Winhawks have scored just nine goals this season and have been shut out eight times.
 
 Northfield (9-1-0 Big Nine, 9-5-0 overall) at Red Wing (6-2-0, 6-9-0), 7:30 p.m., Prairie Island Arena: This is the first meeting this season between the two newest teams in the Big Nine Conference; they'll play at Northfield a week from today. ... Red Wing is led by senior F Tyler DeFore, the second-leading goal scorer in the conference (18). ... Northfield beat Red Wing three times last season, each time by three goals. The Raiders won 3-0 and 5-2 in the regular season, and again 4-1 in the Section 1A quarterfinals.
 
 
AROUND THE STATE
 
 No. 12-AA Grand Rapids (11-5-1) at No. 4-A Hibbing/Chisholm (14-0-0), 7:30 p.m.: Grand Rapids takes its three-game winning streak to Hibbing to attempt to top one of the two unbeaten teams left in the state. H/C outscores its opponents by an average of 3.93 goals per game, but has won four games by one goal.
 
 No. 10-A East Grand Forks (11-4-1) at No. 11-AA Bemidji (11-2-2), 7:30 p.m.: The two-time defending Class A state champion EGF is on a roll, unbeaten in seven of its past eight games. It goes against a ticked-off Bemidji team that had a four-game winning streak snapped in OT on Tuesday against unranked Moorhead.
 
 No. 17-AA Centennial (8-5-1) at No. 2-AA Blaine (12-2-0), 7 p.m.: Blaine has won five in a row since a 6-3 loss to Anoka on Dec. 19. It's led by two of the state's best forwards and best scorers, Luke Notermann (17-28--45) and Riley Tufte (25-19--44).
 
 No. 20-A Minneapolis (10-6-0) at No. 12-A St. Paul Johnson (11-3-1), 7 p.m.: The Civil War of the Twin Cities takes place at Phalen Arena in St. Paul. Johnson is 6-1-1 in its past eight games, Minneapolis is 5-2-0 in its past seven.