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January 27, 2015

High School Hockey Today | Tuesday, Jan. 27 (The It's Good To Be Back edition)

Posted by: Feldman

It feels like months since we've had a HSHT post on here, which really stinks since it's supposed to be an almost-daily feature! I'm back now, after two weeks in NoDak, staying with family after my mother passed away. Those things are never easy, but it's an unfortunate part of life. I'm thankful to have a great family and to be able to come back to a job that I love.

If there's one thing my mom taught me from a young age, it's that you need to do something you love. Money is great, but being able to enjoy going to work every day is even better.

OK, let's get back to business. Four games tonight involving area teams, including one really big game with playoff seeding implications. Here we go...

• • •

7:30 p.m., Graham Arena I
Records: No. 20-ranked Lakeville South is 9-7-1; Mayo is 13-5-1.
Coaches: South, Kurt Weber; Mayo, Lorne Grosso
Last meeting: South beat Mayo 6-3 on Jan. 28, 2014, at Hasse Arena in Lakeville. The score was tied 2-2 after two, but South rattled off four consecutive goals in the third to pull away.
Last game: South beat Shakopee 10-1 on Saturday; Mayo beat Winona 10-3 on Saturday.
Team leaders: SOUTH: Jr. F Nick Swaney (15-25—40); Sr. F Nick Oelrich (15-16—31); Fr. D Jack Olsen (11-17—28); Jr. G Kyle McKinney (5-1-0, 0.83, .964); Sr. G Daniel Swail (4-6-1, 3.05, .879). MAYO: So. F Anthony Oliveto (23-11—34); Sr. F Logan Haskins (14-20—34); Sr. F Ethan Moore (10-17—27); Sr. F Austyn Renn (8-9—17); Sr. G Chris Wileman (13-5-1, 2.72, .880).
Notes: This is a key game for both teams in terms of Section 1AA tournament seeding. A Mayo loss would leave it in position to likely be a No. 4 or 5 seed, which would put it in the same half of the bracket as top-ranked Lakeville North. A Mayo victory would put it in the driver's seat for the No. 3 seed in the section. ... South's Nick Swaney and Nick Oelrich combined for 11 points in Saturday's win vs. Shakopee. Swaney had a goal and five assists; Oelrich two goals and three assists. ... Three Mayo players — Max Billings, Logan Haskins and Anthony Oliveto — had hat tricks in Saturday's win against Winona.

• • •

7:30 p.m., Faribault Ice Arena
Records: Century 6-4-0 Big Nine, 9-6-2 overall; Faribault 9-3-0, 12-4-1.
Coaches: Century, Josh Klingfus; Faribault, Dean Weasler.
Last meeting: Century beat Faribault 7-2 on Feb. 1, 2014, at Graham Arena IV. Hayden Ashworth and Jake Roth had four points in the game and Riese Zmolek had three.
Last game: Century lost to Mankato West 4-1 on Saturday; Faribault lost 3-0 at Northfield on Monday.
Team leaders: CENT: Sr. F Jake Roth (14-14—28); Sr. D Riese Zmolek (11-14—25); Sr. F Ryan Sherden (3-10—13); Sr. D Alex Ney (9-4—13); Sr. G Joey Pundt (3-4-2, 2.56, .887); Fr. G Cole Walter (4-2-0, 2.17, .898). FARIBO: Sr. F Christan Von Ruden (17-23—40); Sr. F Tyler Becker (14-24—38); Sr. F Austin Lewis (20-13—33); Jr. G Adam Johannsen (7-1-0, 2.26, .930); Sr. G Chase Batchelder (5-2-1, 2.41, .904).
Notes: This is the only meeting of the season between these teams, which means it's worth four points in the conference standings. … Von Ruden, Becker and Lewis form the second-highest scoring trio from any team in the Big Nine, behind Mankato East's top line. ... Century opened the season on a three-game winning streak. Since then, it hasn't won more than two in a row or lost more than two in a row. … Starting tonight, Century plays five of its final eight games on the road. … Zmolek and Roth both have seven points in the past four games.

• • •

7:30 p.m., Bud King Ice Arena
Records: Rochester JM 6-4-0 Big Nine, 9-9-0 overall; Winona 3-11-0, 4-16-0.
Coaches: Rochester JM, Jay Ness; Winona, Fran McDevitt.
Last meeting: Rochester JM beat Winona 3-1 on Dec. 11 in Rochester. Jack Zinser, Isaac Lamppa and Brady Dahl scored in the second period for the Rockets.
Last game: JM beat Owatonna 3-2 on Saturday; Winona lost at Rochester Mayo on Saturday, 10-3.
Team leaders: JM: So. F Cory Checco (8-14—22); Jr. F Brady Dahl (12-8—20); Jr. Isaac Lamppa (5-8—13); Sr. F Jake Dravis (5-7—12); Jr. G Brady Meyers (8-9-0, 3.17, .896). WIN: Sr. F Michael Lubahn (13-10—23); Sr. F Cal Thompson (7-7—14); Sr. F Nick Hoven (8-3—11); Jr. G Matt Schoh (3-11-0, 5.20, .878); Jr. G Cassidy Cyert (1-5-0, 5.06, .830).
Notes: JM is on a three-game winning streak, its longest of the season. ... A victory tonight would put JM over the .500 mark for the first time since the final game of the 2012-13 regular season, Feb. 16, 2013, when the Rockets were 13-12-0. … Winona has lost three in a row and six of its past seven.

• • •


Northfield at Red Wing (7 p.m., Prairie Island Arena): The two newest members of the Big Nine Conference meet for the second time this regular season. Northfield won at home, 3-0, on Jan. 3. Red Wing (3-14-1) has won two in a row and is coming off its biggest win of the season, a 3-2 OT victory against Albert Lea. Northfield (10-6-2) has won three of its past four, including snapping Faribault's seven-game unbeaten streak with a 3-0 victory against the Falcons on Monday.

• • •


No. 13-A Warroad (11-10-1) at Roseau (9-9-1), 7:30 p.m.: It doesn't matter what the records or rankings say — or if one or both of these teams are unranked — when they face each other, it's THE game to watch in the state. Roseau won the first meeting this season against its oldest rival, 3-2 at Warroad on Jan. 8.

No. 5-AA Minnetonka (11-7-1) at No. 18-AA Prior Lake (11-6-1), 7 p.m.: Skippers look to snap a two-game skid, having lost back-to-back against No. 7 Wayzata and No. 2 Edina.

No. 15-A Fergus Falls (14-4-3) at No. 12-A St. Cloud Apollo (13-3-2), 7:15 p.m.: Apollo has won 12 of its past 13 since a 5-3 loss at Fergus Falls on Dec. 11. Apollo's lone loss in that stretch was a 2-1 setback to No. 5 Alexandria a week ago.

No. 14-AA Cretin-Derham Hall (11-4-3) at No. 4-AA St. Thomas Academy (16-2-0), 7:30 p.m.: STA's lineup features three players with 45 or more points, while C-DH doesn't have a player with 30.

No. 19-AA Stillwater Area (14-5-0) at No. 4-A Mahtomedi (17-2-1), 7:30 p.m.: Mahtomedi's only losses this season came against highly-rated Class AA teams, No. 3 Hill-Murray and No. 4 St. Thomas Academy.

January 16, 2015

PHERSY AND FATIS SHOW: Keep on moving edition

PHERSY: The Phersy and Fatis Show returns today. We break down last weekend's victories and look ahead to this weekend's two-game set.

The Ice Hawks hit the road Friday night for a 7 p.m. game against the Steele County Blades in Owatonna. They host the Energy at 7:05 p.m. Saturday back at the Rec Center. Yet another big weekend for the boys.

Enjoy the show!



January 10, 2015

High School Hockey Today | Jan. 10, 2015

Posted by: Feldman

If you want to watch some high school hockey, today's your day. You have five area games to pick from, including three in Rochester.

A few other notes before we get into today's games:

* There will be a cool event at the Rochester Rec Center this Wednesday night from 7-9 p.m. Again, I'll have more in the paper this week about it, but the Rochester Raiders adapted floor hockey team will take on the Minnesota Wild Sled Hockey team in a Sled Hockey game from 7-8 p.m.

Following the game, from 8-9 p.m., anyone interested can get in a sled and try it out. 

The Minnesota Wild sled team is part of the Minnesota Sled Hockey Association, which would like to set up a team in Rochester. Kasson native Eric Rud, who played for the Raiders during his high school days, is the President of the MSHA. Here's a story I wrote about Rud and sled hockey back in 2012, when it was a part of the Return of the Robin tournament.

* We're a week away from Hockey Day Minnesota '15. Lourdes will face St. Paul Academy at 7:30 p.m. at the site of the televised games, Holman Field in St. Paul. The Lourdes-SPA game won't be on TV, but should still be a good time. The site might not be as picturesque as last year's at Handke Pit in Elk River, but Holman Field is a pretty sweet location to play some games. Plus, it's an easy drive from Rochester, a little over an hour.

I'll have more previews of HDM 15 here and in the P-B print edition next week, leading up to the games. For now, you can find all the info you need at or on the Wild's Hockey Day site.

Rochester John Marshall will also play an outdoor game on HDM '15, at Coon Rapids. I'll have a preview of that game in the P-B this week, too. Here's a pic of the JM crew after a recent outdoor practice.

JM outdoors

All right, on to today's games...

2 p.m., Graham Arena
Records: Delano 10-3-0 overall; Lourdes 2-10-1
Coaches: Delano, Gerrit van Bergen; Lourdes, Josh Spaniol
Last meeting: Delano beat Lourdes 3-1 on Jan. 11, 2014, at the Delano Area Sports Arena
Last game: Delano beat Waconia 6-1 on Thursday; Lourdes lost to Verona (Wis.) 3-2 in the Kiwanis/Home Federal Festival on Dec. 31. 
Team leaders: Delano -- Soph. F Ben Meyers (7-14--21); Sr. F Daniel Keranen (12-9--21); Sr. F Adam Eskola (6-9--15); Sr. G Tyler Rizzardi (10-3-0, 2.33 GAA, .913 save pct.). Lourdes -- 
Notes: Both teams have top-notch goalies, who have played nearly every minute this season. ... Delano's only losses this season came against No. 5-ranked Breck, No. 3 East Grand Forks and Notre Dame Academy, the No. 3-ranked team in Wisconsin. ... Lourdes game against Red Wing, which was postponed because of inclement weather on Thursday, has been reschduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 12 at Graham Arena. ... Lourdes plays nine of its final 12 regular season games at home. 

* * * * *

3 p.m., Graham Arena I
: Eveleth-Gilbert 6-7-1 overall; Mayo 10-3-0.
Coaches: E-G, Jeff Torrel; Mayo, Lorne Grosso
Last meeting: N/A
Last game: E-G lost at Albert Lea 5-1 on Friday; Mayo lost to Hibbing/Chisholm 6-2 on Friday at Graham I.
Team leaders: E-G: Jr. F Nick Przybylski (11-10--21); Sr. F Zach Skelton (11-9--20); Sr. F Sam Roberts (6-5--11); Sr. G Chad Hietala (2-5-0, 3.92, .880); Jr. G Danny Niemi (3-2-1, 2.76, .896). Mayo -- So. F Anthony Oliveto (16-8--24); Sr. F Logan Haskins (9-14--23); Sr. F Ethan Moore (9-12--21); Sr. G Chris Wileman (10-3-0, 2.46, .898).
Notes: Mayo had its seven-game winning streak snapped Friday by Hibbing/Chisholm. ... After today, the Spartans have just one non-conference game remaining -- a key Section 1AA matchup against Lakeville South on Jan. 27 at Graham Arena. ... Oliveto has 13 points (including nine goals) in the past six games. ... Eveleth-Gilbert is 1-6-1 since a 5-1-0 start.

* * * * *

3 p.m., Rochester Recreation Center
: Faribault 6-2-0 Big Nine Conference, 9-3-0 overall; Rochester JM 4-2-0, 6-7-0
Coaches: Faribault, Dean Weasler; JM, Jay Ness
Last meeting: JM beat Faribault 5-1 on Jan. 28, 2014, at the Rochester Rec Center.
Last game: Faribault beat Red Wing 9-4 on Tuesday; JM beat Northland Pines (Eagle River, Wis.) 5-2 on Dec. 31 in the third-place game of the Kiwanis/Home Federal Festival at Graham Arena.
Team leaders: Faribault -- Tyler Becker (11-20--31); Christan Von Ruden (12-17--29); Austin Lewis (13-11--24); G Chase Batchelder (5-2-0, 2.37 GAA, .900 save pct.); G Adam Johannsen (4-1-0, 2.07, .937). JM -- So. F Cory Checco (7-11--18); Jr. F Brady Dahl (9-6--15); Jr. F Isaac Lamppa (5-5--10); Jr. G Brady Meyers (6-7-0, 3.46 GAA, .892 save pct.).
Notes: This is the only meeting of the season between these teams; it's a 4-point game in the conference standings. ... The Falcons have won three consecutive games and seven of their past eight. JM has won four of its past six. ... Checco has seven points in the past four games. ... Meyers

* * * * *


* Richfield at Dodge County (Noon, Dodge Co. Ice Arena, Kasson): This is the third meeting of the season between the teams. Dodge County has won the previous two by a combined score of 14-5. ... D.C. is 4-10-0; Richfield 2-11-0. ... Richfield is led by Sr. D Bailey Olson (8-11--19). ... D.C. is led by Jr. F Andrew Kirmse (6-5--11) and Soph. F Nic Leisen (6-5--11). ... The D.C. boys will be raising funds for cancer research at today's game. They will deliver a check during the Eagles Cancer Telethon next week.


January 08, 2015

PHERSY AND FATIS SHOW: Back 2015 style

PHERSY: After a brutally long hiatus, the Phersy and Fatis Show returns today. Check out the new format and let us know what you think. Bumper music ... we're really classing up this joint.

Anyway, plenty to talk about. We address injuries, last weekend's games and the slate ahead this weekend.

The Ice Hawks are home at 7:05 p.m. Friday against the Hudson Crusaders (second in MnJHL standings). And then Saturday they're at the lowly Minnesota Owls.

So, enjoy the show. We'll try to continue to add some class to our programing in the near future...



January 06, 2015

High School Hockey Today | Jan. 6, 2015

Posted by: Feldman

All four of Rochester's boys hockey teams took a break from game action after last week's Kiwanis/Home Federal Festival at Graham Arena. Mayo and Century took six days off, while John Marshall is still amid a 10-day break (the Rockets return to action on Saturday), and Lourdes is off until Thursday.

Mayo and Century jump right back into a big-game situation, at least in terms of the Big Nine Conference standings. There are seven teams within two points of first place right now. Mayo is atop the conference with 12 points, while Century is in a pack with 10 points.

The rivals meet for the 49th time, tonight at Graham Arena IV at 7:30 p.m. Let's take a look at tonight's games:

7:30 p.m. tonight, Graham Arena IV
Records: Mayo 5-1-0 Big Nine, 9-2-0 overall; Century 4-2-0 Big Nine, 7-4-2 overall
Coaches: Mayo, Lorne Grosso; Century, Josh Klingfus
Last meeting: Mayo beat Century 6-3 on Feb. 15, 2014.
Last game: Mayo beat New Richmond, Wis., 6-4 in the championship game of the Kiwanis/Home Federal Festival on Dec. 31; Century beat Park-Cottage Grove, 4-3, in the consolation championship of the Kiwanis Festival.
Team leaders: Mayo -- Soph. F Anthony Oliveto (15-6--21); Sr. F Logan Haskins (7-12--19); Sr. F Ethan Moore (7-11--18); Sr. F Austyn Renn (5-5--10); Sr. G Chris Wileman (9-2-0, 2.09 GAA, .909 save pct.); Century -- Sr. F Jake Roth (11-10--21); Sr. D Riese Zmolek (8-10--18); Sr. F Pat Bower (6-5--11); Sr. F Sam Batterson (6-4--10); Sr. D Alex Ney (7-3--10); Sr. G Joey Pundt (2-4-2, 2.51 GAA, .892 save pct.).
Notes: Century holds a slim lead in the all-time series 24-23-1. ... Mayo has won five consecutive meetings against Century and eight of the past 10. ... Mayo has won six consecutive games, including all three at last week's Kiwanis Festival, where the Spartans captured their first tournament championship since 1998. ... Century also went unbeaten in the Festival, going 2-0-1 and capturing the consolation title. ... Three of Century's four losses have come by one goal; the other by two goals. The Panthers have played four OT games. ... Century has 12 games remaining, 11 against conference opponents.

7:30 p.m. tonight, Riverside Arena
Records: Dodge County 4-9-0 overall; Austin 2-10-1 overall
Coaches: Dodge County, Eric Hofmann; Austin, Erik LaRock
Notes: The Wildcats and Packers split a pair of one-goal games last season, with each team winning at the other's home rink. ... This is the only meeting of this season between the teams. ... Dodge County has won two of its past four games and is coming off a 5-1 victory against Ashwaubenon (Wis.) in the seventh-place game of the Kiwanis Festival in Rochester last week. ... Austin picked up its first two wins of the season last week at the Waseca Holiday Classic, beating Pine City/Rush City 10-3 and St. Paul Highland Park 5-2.

7:30 p.m. tonight, Faribault Ice Arena
Records: Red Wing 0-7-1 Big Nine, 1-12-1 overall; Faribault 5-2-0 Big Nine, 8-3-0 overall
Coaches: Red Wing, Bob Rajanen; Faribault, Dean Weasler.
Notes: Faribault has won six of its past seven games, including going 2-1 at last week's Roseau Holiday Classic. ... The Falcons are led by three senior forwards -- Tyler Becker (8-18--26), Christan Von Ruden (10-14--24) and Austin Lewis (11-10--21). ... Falcons goalies Chase Batchelder and Adam Johannsen have split time equally. Batchelder is 4-2-0 with a 2.07 GAA and a .907 save pct. Johannsen is 4-1-0 with a 2.07 GAA and a .907 save pct. ... Red Wing won its first game of the season -- after six one-goal losses -- on Dec. 23, a 5-1 win vs. Monticello. ... The Wingers are led by senior goalie Adam Defore (1-12-1, 4.21, .870) and sophomore F Tyler Defore (8-7--15).

December 29, 2014

BLOG: Kiwanis Festival previews; more on @DCWildcatsboys hockey captain @ColinSherden

Posted by: Feldman

As I begin typing this, we're less than an hour away from the opening puck drop of the 2014 Kiwanis/Home Federal boys hockey Festival. It's one of the best times of the year for local hockey fans. Three straight days of hockey, close to 12 hours each day. 

As I wrote in today's paper, it's tough to pick a favorite in either division this year.

Eau Claire Memorial, the No. 5-ranked team in Wisconsin, might seem like a favorite in the Blue Division. But, the Old Abes will have to go through Verona, the defending Wisconsin state champ; Rochester Lourdes, which ECM beat just 3-1 in the season opener last month; and Fargo South, whose only losses are to Minnesota Section 8AA power Moorhead and a one-goal setback to Grand Forks Red River, the top-ranked team in North Dakota.

As for the Gold Division (formerly the AA division), this seems like as good of a year as any for a Rochester team to win the championship. Rochester Mayo has the best record in the field (6-2-0), though Rochester John Marshall (4-6-0) enters the tournament on a two-game winning streak, with both victories against Big Nine Conference teams that had been playing well, Northfield and Rochester Century. As for Century (5-4-1), the Panthers are a talented group who have lost three times by one goal (their other loss was a two-goal set back to state-ranked Farmington). It won't be an easy path for any of those teams, though, with defending champ Northland Pines and a 4-2-0 New Richmond team also in the field. Dodge County has played well in its past two games, too.

Here are some links to more tournament preview info. that was in the P-B on Saturday:

* A list of the past Festival champions, and this year's Festival schedule

* A team-by-team preview of the Festival

* A profile story on Dodge County senior forward and team captain Colin Sherden, who suffered broken vertebrae and spine injuries during a football game nearly 16 months ago. After some tremendous surgeons at Mayo Clinic Hospital performed surgeries, Sherden was up doing homework within a week and back in the weight room within a month.

The story on Sherden and the bond he formed with Dodge County coach Eric Hofmann could've been twice as long as it ended up. I talked with both Sherden and Hofmann for about 8 minutes before we even got around to talking about his role on the hockey team and what type of player he is. 

In light of that, here are the transcripts of the interviews with Sherden and Hofmann. Enjoy the Kiwanis Festival if you make it over to Graham.

Dodge County senior F Colin Sherden:

What's it like to be back on the ice, when you thought you might never skate again?
A year and a half ago I never thought this would be possible again. But I have been blessed with a good supporting cast around me, good family, good teammates, good coaches 


Do you remember the play? (In a game against P-E-M)
It was a spread-wide, 11 follow; it was a low snap and I had my head down and got hit with a shoulder to the top of my head, pushed my head down
What was the feeling right away?
I remember getting back up to my feet and was going to call the next play, I remember thinking 'it's not that big of a deal.' Then the coaches saw I was stumbling all over the place, so they called a timeout and I walked off the field. I remember being really emotional, and I'm not sure why. Trainers came up to me immediately and did some concussion tests. At first they thought it was a neck strain. They said I had a weird gait and a slow heart rate, so they called an ambulance to the field and that's when I was taken to the E.R.
When you found out the diagnosis, what were the emotions like?
That was a scary time. I wasn't concerned with the injury itself. I wasn't as concerned right away with the injury, but just thought about not being able to play sports. I remember busting into tears ... my parents were there and were having a tough time with it, too, but it was great to have them there with me.
Being able to walk off the field, that was awesome and I tried to keep it in perspective of 'at least I'm alive and walking.' But that kind of wore off and the more I went to football games and hockey games I kept thinking 'OK, I really need this back,' so I started working out harder so I could get back.
In terms of your injury, you had a pretty rapid recovery?
I had a six-week limit for weight; I could hold 10 pounds and then add 10 pounds each week after that, so it was pretty quick. 
Now I look back at it as probably the best thing to ever happen to me. Physically, it wasn't, but it was just what you can learn about life when you go through something like that and who you have around you, who's in your corner. 
The thing I missed most was just being with the team. Playing sports is awesome, but just being around the guys is what I missed most.
What did it mean to have coach and friends come be with you in the hospital?
It meant a lot. When coach came we talked for an hour, not about hockey, but just about every-day stuff. My mom was there; she said that was one of the coolest things she's seen, just like two friends sitting and talking.
What does it mean now to have him as a coach and being back on the ice playing for him?
I've really learned ... I'm thinking about being a coach when I get older and I'm really going to try to follow the way he coaches. Just the way he cares for his players is pretty unbelievable. We've always had a good relationship, but since that injury, it's taken off. It's a friendship, but it's definitely still a coach-player relationship, too.
What does it mean to you to be a captain and have a letter on your sweater?
It means a lot, it really does. You're trying your best to get your team name out there and make sure the guys are doing what they're supposed to be doing. It really makes you accountable and responsible.
(Being a captain, it's everything...) from housekeeping things to just being the best person and teammate you can possibly be. You want to show the younger guys and even the players in the youth program what it means to be a good man and a good teammate.
What kind of coaching do you want to go into? What do you hope to take from coach Hofmann and other coaches?
Hockey and football. ... Just communication, being there for your players. (Hofmann) is all business, but at the same time, you know he's a friend to you and you can talk to him about anything. For some players and some kids, they might not have a father figure in their lives, and that's what coach is.
Are you a two-sport athlete or something in the spring, too?
Two sports, football and hockey.
How was football season this fall, especially at the start?
It was a fun year, just the chance to play was great. ... I got 10 plays as a QB last year before I got hurt, and our first scrimmage this fall was against (P-E-M). I think I got hit on the first play and that's all it took, I was back into it. After that, it was just football again. And it helped that I had played summer hockey and (had physical contact).
How about this hockey season, the way you've seen the team and program grow?
This is the year I've had the most fun. This team is really close. We all hang out together and have fun. There aren't a lot of cliques, which would be easy to have happen when you have eight different schools in one program. Our effort -- coach has talked all year about working hard and having a good attitude. That's really starting to catch on.

* * *

Dodge County coach Eric Hofmann


Colin, as a person, going through what he's been through. Did you know he had that kind of character?
I knew he had leadership qualities and that type of character prior to his injury, but the way he bounced out of it, it just goes to show how deep-rooted his character is. He was never depressed, never down, he was always trying to find the good in it and he was able to make a really good comeback.
Even when he was injured last year, he did everything he could to be a part of the team, even if it was just to put a jersey on and be around the team. He was at practices, meetings, team bonding, he started developing into a captain and the man he's turning out to be. It was impressive to see.
What do you remember about your hospital visits?
I remember taking the elevator ride up, I wasn't sure what I was going to say or how it was going to go. If he'd cry or be happy or mad, but when I got in there, his mom and dad were there, and his older brothers. As soon as I walked in he said "Hi, coach," just like normal. And here's this kid with a big mark running along his neck, you know he's been through hell. He was in good spirits. We didn't talk about sports, just talked about life. He mentioned to me once or twice how upsetting it was for him, that he couldn't play, but there was no negativity. It was a good, positive chat.
How did you hear about it?
Living in a small town, I had a flurry of text messages that night. We're a co-op of several different schools, so there were players from Byron, K-M and other places that sent me messages saying something had happened to Colin. The next day is when I really found out how severe it was. I got four or five phone calls and at that time, I reached out to Colin's mom and dad about going to see him.
How scary was it for you as a coach to know a player was going through that?
Anytime one of your players or anyone in your program goes through something like that, the first thing you think about isn't hockey, it's 'how is he going to be for the rest of his life?' It was a very scary time. 
Considering his injuries, what does it say about him just to want to come back and play again?
It speaks volume of the kind of kid he is now and the man he's becoming. It's incredible, there are so many people who would just roll over and say 'this is it,' maybe be confined to a wheelchair or walking but not playing, but with Colin, there was never any negativity. With him it was always just do whatever he could do, within limits and never pushing it, but he did all his rehab and had good spirits.
Most phenomenal about the whole thing is his first scrimmage in football this fall was against the team that he got hurt against. To overcome that mental barrier, that's incredible and inspiring.
Do you see some of that with his teammates, too, being impressed and inspired by him?
First and foremost, they're friends and they're very happy that he's OK and that he's back playing. He's one of the most respected, if not the most, in that (locker) room, by the players and the coaches, too, just because we all know what he went through. He never plays the 'poor me' card and rarely ever brings it up. 
The team had a meeting last week and he brought up and said 'we have to give full effort and work hard, have fun and have good attitudes, because you never know when it might be your last time or it could be taken from you.' 
He talked about becoming a coach. What are the qualities he possesses that will make him a good coach and leader?
He's inspiring and is a natural motivator. He has that ability to motivate the guys around him, especially now with his own experiences already as an 18-year-old. He has very good leadership qualities that are raw and that he continually works on and develops. On top of that, his priorities are straight when it comes to life, family, relationships, he really has his head on straight.
It says a lot about Colin that we've talked for 8 minutes and haven't talked about him as a player. What type of player is he on the ice; what does he bring that impresses you?
He brings those leadership qualities, intensity, energy, always gives 100 percent effort. He's been a defenseman for most of his life. We recently moved him up to forward and he's excelling at that, too. He's versatile and can adapt to different situations without ever questioning the coaches or being upset. He's had a good attitude and worked hard at becoming a good forward.
Why the move from defense to forward?
We wanted to move a younger forward back to defense, to help him develop better as he can see the plays unfold in front of him. So we thought Colin, with his size, would help add some depth to our forward group. So far it's worked out really well. 
He's a playmaker and grinder. We need a guy with good size to get in there and establish a forecheck, protect his center and his other wing, and he does a fantastic job of it. He works hard and has a good frame, he's a good guy to be down deep in the offensive zone.
Anything else to add about Colin?
Whatever Colin decides to do in life, in general, whether it's coaching or teaching or whatever, I'm very confident he'll be successful.


December 18, 2014

High School Hockey Today | Thursday, Dec. 18

Posted by: Feldman

A couple of quick notes before we get into today's games.

* Rochester Lourdes has again been picked to play at the host site of Hockey Day Minnesota. The Eagles will face St. Paul Academy at 7:30 p.m. at Holman Field, the airport near downtown St. Paul. The game will not be televised on FSN, as it will take place at the same time as the Minnesota Wild play host to the Arizona Coyotes at The X as the final live televised game of HDM '15. But it will be a great experience for the Lourdes players, who will participate in the fourth and final game of the day at Holman Field. Here is a link that provides more info about the day's games and ticket pricing. Lourdes lost to Cloquet-Esko-Carlton 4-1 at HDM '14, at the historic Handke Pit in Elk River.

* The Duluth News-Tribune reports today that perennial Class A boys hockey power Duluth Marshall will move up to Class AA beginning next winter. Marshall, a private school with an enrollment of less than 300, will become the smallest Class AA team in the state. It will be required to stay in AA for at least four seasons, but, the school's activities director says "There may be some challenges along the way, but after four years we don’t think we’re going to look back. We’re committed to double A."

* * *


7 p.m., Graham Arena 4
Records: Winona 1-5-0 Big Nine, 1-6-0 overall; Century 3-1-0, 4-2-1.
Coaches: Winona, Fran McDevitt (14th season); Century, Josh Klingfus (4th season).
Last meeting: Century beat Winona 1-0 on Jan. 23, 2014, at Winona. Century D Riese Zmolek scored the game's lone goal, a short-handed tally midway through the third period. Winona G Matt Schoh made 41 saves; Century's Joey Pundt had a 21-save shutout.
Last game: WIN -- Sr. Michael Lubahn (5-2--7); Soph. Ty Mannor (2-2--4); Sr. Cal Thompson (3-1--4); Jr. G Matt Schoh (1-4-0, 4.10 GAA, .888 save pct.). ... CENT -- Sr. Jake Roth (8-8--16); Sr. Riese Zmolek (7-5--12); Sr. Sam Batterson (5-3--8); Sr. Pat Bower (4-3--7); Sr. G Joey Pundt (1-2-1, 2.82, .878); Fr. Cole Walter (3-0-0, 1.33, .939).
Notes: Century averages 5.0 goals per game and allows 2.3 per game. ... Winona scores 2.3 goals per game and allows 4.4. ... The Winhawks are on a five-game losing streak since their only win, a 3-2 victory at Austin on Nov. 22. ... Schoh has faced an average of 37.6 shots per game. ... Century's Roth leads the Big Nine Conference in points (16).

7 p.m., Prairie Island Arena
Records: Mayo 4-1-0 Big Nine, 4-2-0 overall; Red Wing 0-5-1, 0-9-1.
Coaches: Mayo, Lorne Grosso (48th season); Red Wing, Bob Rajanen (2nd season).
Last meeting: Mayo defeated Red Wing 11-0 on Dec. 14, 2013, at Graham Arena I. Logan Haskins (3G, 1 A) and Tommy Hanson (1G, 3 A) had 4-point games for Mayo.
Last game: Mayo beat Rochester JM 6-2 on Saturday; Red Wing lost 6-2 at South St. Paul on Tuesday.
Team leaders: MAYO -- Sr. Ethan Moore (3-6--9); Sr. Logan Haskins (4-4--8); Soph. Anthony Oliveto (5-3--8); Sr. G Chris Wileman (4-2-0, 2.17 GAA, .899 save pct.). ... RW -- Soph. Tyler Defore (8-5--13); Jr. Sam Hanson (4-5--9); Sr. Dylan Goggin (4-4--8); Sr. G Adam Defore (0-9-1, 4.28 GAA, .875 save pct.).
Notes: Red Wing has lost five games by one goal, including four in overtime. ... Mayo forward J.T. Rein scored his first two varsity goals in the win against JM last Saturday. ... Wileman has played every minute in goal for Mayo this season. ... Tyler Defore is tied for 2nd in the Big Nine Conference in goals scored (8).

7:30 p.m., Northfield Ice Arena
Records: JM 2-2-0 Big Nine, 2-6-0 overall; Northfield 3-1-1, 5-2-1.
Coaches: JM, Jay Ness (4th season); Northfield, Mike Luckcraft (1st season).
Last meeting: N/A
Last game: JM lost to Rochester Mayo 6-2 on Saturday; Northfield won 4-3 at Rochester Lourdes on Tuesday.
Team leaders: JM -- So. Cory Checco (4-7--11); Jr. Brady Dahl (5-4--9); Sr. Jake Dravis (2-2--4); Jr. G Brady Meyers (2-5-0, 4.06 GAA, .881 save pct.). NFLD -- Jr. Ryan Torbenson (6-4--10); Sr. Tanner Ruppe (1-5--6); Sr. Ben Papke (2-4--6); Jr. Erik Bartho (6-0--6); So. G Ryan Bielenberg (3-0-1, 1.97, .931).
Notes: Checco was held without a point in JM's loss to Mayo on Saturday, snapping his streak of 13 consecutive games with a point. ... JM has surrendered the first goal of the game in all eight of its games so far this season. ... Bielenberg and junior Matt Foss have split time evenly in goal so far this season for the Raiders. ... Northfield is 4-0-1 in its past five games with four one-goal victories and a tie.

* St. Paul Como Park (8-0-0) at Dodge County (2-6-0) (7 p.m., Dodge Co. Ice Arena, Kasson): Como Park has allowed a total of seven goals in eight games this season, with four shutouts. ... Como is led by Jr. Ian Tully (13-5--18) and Jr. Eliot Berven (8-4--12). ... Sr. G Carter McCoy has played every minute for Como. He is 8-0-0 with a 0.87 GAA and a .962 save pct. ... D.C.'s leading scorer is soph. F Daytin Freerksen (1-4--5). The Wildcats have seven players with four points each.

December 13, 2014

High School Hockey Today | Saturday, Dec. 13

Posted by: Feldman

All four Rochester teams are in action today, with Century and Lourdes hitting the road for non-conference games, while Mayo and JM meet at the Rec Center for the 110th time in the history of the rivalry.

Lots of big games going on across the state today, too, so read all the way to the bottom.

Here's a look at today's games:


2:30 p.m., Richfield Ice Arena
: Lourdes 1-3-1 overall; Holy Angels 4-3-0.
Coaches: Lourdes, Josh Spaniol (6th season, 93-55-7); Holy Angels, Trent Palm (2nd season, 14-17-2)
Last game: Lourdes lost at No. 7-ranked New Prague, 2-1, on Thursday; Holy Angels won at Buffalo, 5-2, on Thursday.
Last meeting: Holy Angels beat Lourdes 5-2 on Dec. 14, 2013, at Graham Arena I.
Lourdes leaders: F Tucker Chapman (4-1--5); D Dakota Streit (1-1--2); F Nick Roth (0-2--2); F Peter Alexander (0-2--2); F Mason Carstens (1-1--2); G Jack Burkel (1-3-1, 1.68 GAA, .943 save pct.).
Holy Angels leaders: F Marshall Barnes (5-10--15); D Cooper Sande (4-9--13); C Joseph Sullivan (3-8--11); F Owen Larson (7-3--10); G Jake Fleming (2-1-0, 3.90, .843).
Notes: Stars head coach Trent Palm played in 127 games for Minnesota-Duluth between 2006-2011, recording 20 career points. ... Holy Angels has won two in a row after a three-game losing streak. ... The Stars' three losses are all against teams ranked in the Class AA state polls (No. 5 St. Thomas Academy, No. 14 Cretin-Derham Hall, No. 16 Holy Family Catholic). ... AHA's Barnes played in the Upper Midwest High School Elite League in the fall, as did Lourdes' Griff Slightam and goalie Jack Burkel. ... Lourdes' three losses have come by a combined four goals. ... The Eagles play host to Section 1A rival Northfield on Tuesday.

3 p.m., Victoria Recreation Center
: Century 4-2-0 overall; Chanhassen 2-3-1.
Coaches: Century, Josh Klingfus (4th season, 41-40-4); Chanhassen, Chris Wilson (5th season, 51-52-7).
Last game: Century beat Austin, 7-3; Chanhassen lost to No. 6-A Breck, 6-0.
Last meeting: n/a
Century leaders: F Jake Roth (7-8--15); D Riese Zmolek (7-4--11); F Sam Batterson (5-3--8); F Pat Bower (3-3--6); G Cole Walter (3-0-0, 1.33, .939); G Joey Pundt (1-2-0, 3.23, .857).
Chanhassen leaders: F Benny Bjerken (2-5--7); F Jake Bever (1-4--5); F Jake Theis (1-4--5); G Calvin Green (1-3-0, 4.63, .861).
Notes: The Storm have had 11 players score at least one goal this season. ... Chanhassen's three losses are to ranked opponents (No. 12-A Delano/Rockford; No. 10-AA Prior Lake and No. 6-A Breck). ... The Storm beat No. 19-AA Hopkins 4-2 on Nov. 29. ... Century snapped a two-game losing skid at Austin on Thursday with a 7-3 victory. ... After this game, the Panthers don't leave Rochester until a Jan. 8 game at Owatonna. ... Century has outscored its opponents by a combined 33-14. ... Three Panthers have scored five or more goals.

7:30 p.m., Rochester Rec Center
: Mayo 3-1-0 Big Nine, 3-2-0 overall; JM 2-1-0, 2-5-0.
Coaches: Mayo, Lorne Grosso (48th season, 680-428-27); JM, Jay Ness (4th season, 36-45-4).
Last game: Mayo lost at Albert Lea on Thursday, 2-1; JM beat Winona on Thursday, 3-1.
Last meeting: Mayo beat JM 6-3 on Jan. 25, 2014, at Graham Arena I.
Mayo leaders: F Logan Haskins (3-4--7); F Ethan Moore (3-4--7); F Anthony Oliveto (3-2--5); G Chris Wileman (3-2-0, 2.20 GAA, .899 save pct.).
JM leaders: F Cory Checco (4-7--11); F Brady Dahl (5-4--9); G Brady Meyers (2-4-0, 4.07, .884).
Notes: This is the 110th meeting all-time between the rivals. ... Mayo leads the series 55-53-1. The Spartans have won nine consecutive meetings against JM. Last season, Mayo gained the lead in the all-time series against JM for the first time ever. ... JM's last victory against Mayo came on Dec. 10, 2011, a 4-3 win at Graham Arena. ... Mayo's Haskins has all seven of his points in the past four games. ... Checco, a sophomore, is tied with Century's Riese Zmolek as the current second-leading scorer in Rochester. Checco has had at least one point in all seven games this season.

* * * * * 


Dodge County (2-5-0) at Minneapolis (3-2-0), Parade Ice Garden, 2 p.m.: Three of Dodge County's five losses have been by two goals or less, including a 3-2 setback against Faribault on Tuesday. ... Seven players are tied for the Wildcats' lead in scoring with four points each. ... Dodge County has rotated three goalies -- Mitch Sobotta, Joe Biwer and Gus Kirsch. ... Junior F Connor Fulco leads Minneapolis in goals (3), assists (6) and points (9). ... Junior Will Graves is Minneapolis' top goalie. He is 2-2-0 with a 2.68 GAA and an .815 save pct.

Mankato East (2-3-0 Big Nine, 2-4-0 overall) at Red Wing (0-4-1, 0-7-1), Prairie Island Arena, 3 p.m.: Red Wing has come oh-so-close to victory a handful of times this season, including its most recent game, a 5-5 tie against Austin on Thursday. ... Four of the Wingers' losses have been by one goal. ... Red Wing is led by the Defore brothers, sophomore F Tyler (5-3--8) and senior G Adam (0-7-1, 4.16 GAA, .877 save pct.). ... Senior F Grayson Gavin is East's leading scorer (5-6--11). He has seven points in the past three games.

* * * * *


* No. 1-AA Lakeville North (4-0-0) at No. 12-AA Grand Rapids (4-1-0): North has earned its top ranking, with wins at No. 18 Farmington and against No. 2 Edina. This will be yet another very difficult pre-Christmas road test for the Panthers.

* No. 4-A Mahtomedi (5-0-0) at No. 3-AA Hill-Murray (3-0-0): Something has to give in the only matchup today between unbeaten teams. Unless they tie. Then nothing gives.

* No. 13-AA Blaine (3-2-0) at No. 6-AA Elk River/Zimmerman (5-1-0): Elk River has two of the state's top goal-scorers in Reggie Lutz (11) and Jacob Jaremko (9). Jaremko is second in the state with 23 total points.

* No. 2-A Hermantown (4-2-0) at No. 8-A Thief River Falls (2-3-0): TRF is trying to bounce back from consecutive one-goal losses, to No. 6-A Breck and Class AA Bemidji. Hermantown's two losses are to ranked Class AA teams, No. 4 Wayzata and No. 19 Hopkins.

* No. 9-A Orono (0-4-0) at No. 13-A St. Cloud Cathedral (2-3-0): Orono is the only winless team ranked in the state polls. Its losses are to Class AA Stillwater, No. 2-A Hermantown, No. 3-A Duluth Marshall and 14-A Blake.

* No. 1-ND Grand Forks Red River at No. 5-A Warroad (6-1-0): Red River shut out top-ranked East Grand Forks last week. Warroad, which scored an impressive win at Grand Rapids a week ago, will have to work for win No. 7.

December 06, 2014

High School Hockey Today | Saturday, Dec. 6

Posted by: Feldman

Before we get into today's games, the brackets have finally been released for this year's Kiwanis Festival.

It will again feature a 12-team varsity field, with a Gold Division (8 teams, elimination-format) and a Blue Division (4 teams, round-robin format).

Here's how the field stacks up for this year's tourney, which runs Dec. 29-31:

(Games at Graham Arena I)
Quarterfinals, Dec. 29
Dodge County vs. New Richmond (Wis.), 12:30 p.m.
Park-Cottage Grove vs. Rochester John Marshall, 3 p.m.
Northland Pines (Wis.) vs. Rochester Century, 5:30 p.m.
Ashwaubenon (Wis.) vs. Rochester Mayo, 7:45 p.m.

(Games at Graham IV)
First day, Dec. 29
Eau Claire (Wis.) Memorial vs. Verona (Wis.), 3 p.m.
Rochester Lourdes vs. Fargo (N.D.) South, 7:30 p.m.

* * * * *


No. 10-A St. Cloud Cathedral at Rochester Lourdes
2 p.m., Graham Arena I
: Cathedral 0-3-0; Lourdes 1-1-1.
Last meeting: Cathedral topped Lourdes 3-0 on Dec. 7, 2013, at the Municipal Athletic Complex in St. Cloud.
Head coaches: Cathedral, Eric Johnson (11th season, 187-66-9 overall); Lourdes, Josh Spaniol (6th season, 93-53-7).
Players to watch: Senior F Matt Fritz was the Crusaders second-leading scorer last season with 44 points in 32 games. He leads the team this season with two goals. He had eight points in six postseason games last year as Cathedral placed fourth at the Class A state tournament. ... Lourdes junior F Peter Alexander had a strong sophomore season and could be one of the breakout players for the Eagles this season. He has the ability to be a scorer; he had just nine points last season, but now has a full year of varsity hockey under his belt.
Notes: Cathedral is 0-3-0 to start the season, but its losses have come against three of the best teams in the state -- No. 7 New Prague, No. 1 East Grand Forks and No. 6 Mahtomedi. ... Cathedral didn't come close to beating any of those teams, though. It lost all three by at least four goals and by a combined total of 19-5. ... Cathedral has four of its top six scorers back from last season. ... Lourdes F Mason Carstens missed Thursday's win at Mound-Westonka with an illness, but could be back in the lineup today. ... This is the home opener for Lourdes, which plays seven games in the next 17 days.

Rochester Century at Northfield
2 p.m., Northfield Ice Arena
: Century 2-0-0 Big Nine Conference, 3-1-0 overall; Northfield 1-1-0, 2-2-0.
Last meeting: This is the first meeting between the teams as Big Nine Conference foes and according to a check of Century's records, appears to be the first meeting ever between these teams in boys hockey.
Head coaches: Century, Josh Klingfus (4th season, 40-39-4 overall); Northfield, Bryce Barry (8th season, 85-101-4).
Players to watch: It's an obvious choice, but Century senior F Jake Roth is on fire early this season. He is tied for ninth in the state with 13 points through four games (including six goals) and has recorded three or more points in three of Century's four games. ... Northfield junior Erik Bartho, a 6-foot-2 junior forward, has scored in three of his team's four games. He has nearly matched his goal total from a year ago (5) already.
Notes: Century plays four of its next five games on the road. ... Nine players have already scored at least one goal for the Panthers, while an incredible 16 players have at least one point. ... Northfield has played four close games, the past two decided by one goal. ... The Trojans hold wins against Albert Lea (4-2) and Bloomington Kennedy (2-1). They lost to Rochester Mayo (3-0) and New Prague (3-2). ... Trojans goalies Ryan Bielenberg and Matthew Foss have split time equally.

Richfield at Dodge County
3 p.m., Kasson Ice Arena
: Richfield 1-2-0 overall; Dodge County 1-4-0.
Head coaches: Richfield, Mark Johnson (3rd season, 17-37-1 overall); D.C., Eric Hofmann (5th season, 37-65-6).
Notes: This is the first of three scheduled meetings between these teams this season. They'll play again on Dec. 20 at Richfield and on Jan. 10 at Kasson. ... These teams split two meetings last season; Dodge County won at home 11-7, while Richfield won at home 6-5. ... Richfield is led by a pair of players with four points each -- Maxwell Krueger (2-2--4) and Bailey Olson (1-3--4). ... Eight players have recorded at least a point for Dodge County this season. ... The Wildcats are led by Drew Kirmse (3-0--3).

December 05, 2014

High School Hockey Rewind | Thursday, Dec. 4

Posted by: Feldman

I was traveling and didn't get a chance to do a High School Hockey Today today, so I figured I'll play catch-up tonight after a decent night for Rochester's boys puck teams.

Game roundups:

Farmington 5, Century 3

This was a good early test for Century to see just where it's at as a team. The answer: It's right where it wants to be at this stage of the year. Granted, the Panthers are just four games into their season, but they have some high hopes for a team that has 18 seniors on the roster. 

It's way to early to judge teams by comparing scores, but... I'm going to do it anyway. Farmington, ranked No. 19, pushed No. 2-ranked Lakeville North to OT last week before losing 6-5. Century was right with Farmington into the third, with the score tied 3-3 entering the final 17 minutes. The Panthers showed some resiliency, too, battling back from an early 2-0 deficit to build a 3-2 lead.

Century hits Big Nine Conference play in full force now, with four of its six games left before Christmas against conference opponents. With a strong two-and-a-half week stretch, the Panthers could set themselves up well for the second half.

Lourdes 3, Mound-Westonka 0

Lourdes notched its first victory of the season to improve to 1-1-1, beating a M-W team that had shut out two of its first four opponents and outscored them 11-5. Jack Burkel recorded the shutout and sophomore Tucker Chapman scored twice.

Lourdes coach Josh Spaniol said before the season that he wants Chapman to elevate his game this season and be a vital cog in the offense. It looks like that's happening. This team could and should be a Section 1A contender, especially when forward Montana Streit returns from an injury sometime around the Kiwanis Festival.

Spaniol said the Eagles also played without top-line forward Mason Carstens on Thursday. He was out with an illness, but hopes to be back for Saturday's 2 p.m. home opener against No. 10 St. Cloud Cathedral.

Mayo 6, Winona 3

Mayo showed some mental toughness in this win. The Spartans were down 3-2 on the road to a team that -- let's be honest -- they should beat. But Winona goalie Eric Schoh was playing well, and Mayo beat up the goalposts a bit during the first two periods.

The Spartans stuck to their game, though, and scored four times in the third to win.

The really likeable thing about this game, and this team: Six players scored one goal each and nine guys got on the scoresheet. If Mayo wants to challenge for titles in the Big Nine and Section 1AA, it will need that balance to hold up. Mayo has been pretty sound in its own end, allowing just 21.3 shots per game.

Owatonna 5, JM 4, OT

It's a frustrating thing for the JM coaching staff to figure out and probably frustrating for the Rockets' players, too: In most of their six games this season, they've had good stretches and confounding stretches of subpar play.

The Rockets have hung with every opponent they've faced when they've played their game. But, again tonight, they were off their game for the first 10 minutes and it took them almost a full period to recover. They did show some perseverance by briefly taking a lead in the third period, then rallying to force OT after giving that up.

There's a lot of talent on this Rockets team and, though they're 1-5-0 overall, they're just 1-1-0 in the Big Nine, so they have plenty of opportunities and plenty of time to develop into a solid 51-minute team.


* Lakeville North 3, Edina 1: This was the grand-daddy of hockey games tonight, and maybe for the regular season, a rematch of last year's Class AA state championship game. No. 2-ranked North earned a bit of revenge against top-ranked Edina and, barring a loss to Apple Valley next Tuesday, will be the new No. 1 team in Class AA next week.

* New Prague 6, Mankato West 0: A rematch of last year's Section 1A championship game ended with the same result: The No. 7-ranked Trojans topped the No. 14-ranked Scarlets.

* Grand Forks (ND) Red River 5, East Grand Forks 0: Two nights after knocking off the No. 1-ranked team in North Dakota, the defending Minnesota Class A state champion Green Wave received a reality check from the No. 2-ranked team in North Dakota. No, I'm not just including this here because I'm a Red River grad, though it is nice to see the boys from the west side of the Red River show up against EGF.

* Some other scores of interest:
     * No. 17-AA Minnetonka 3, No. 9-AA Burnsville 1
     * No. 13-AA Blaine 6, No. 11-A Totino-Grace 1