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20 posts from December 2011

December 29, 2011

Kiwanis Festival, Day 1

Posted by: Feldman

Day 1 of the 2011 Kiwanis Festival is in the books, with a couple of close games and a few that weren't close.

We saw 78 total goals scored; 48 in the four games in the Class A bracket, 30 in the Class AA bracket. I didn't see all 78 go in, but it feels like it (and, no, that's not a complaint. I'll suck it up and take 10 hours of watching hockey if I have to).

As we expected might be the case, Rochester Mayo and Eau Claire Memorial put on the game of the day. I, and most everybody at Graham I, thought we were headed for a shootout in the second game of the day, but ECM's Mike Kapla scored with 38.7 seconds to go in OT to send the Old Abes (don't ask me, I don't know what an Old Abe is, either) to the semifinals.

Some links to the stories that will appear in today's paper (and if you're heading out to the Festival, you can pick up a complementary copy of the P-B at the Graham Arena complex):

* Class AA roundup This turned into a short feature-type story on Kapla, Memorial's junior defenseman who was selected by Sioux City in last spring's USHL Draft. Kapla also played in the Upper Midwest Elite League this fall. One note that I couldn't fit in the story: Kapla's dad is a Minnesota native and the family has had season tickets to the Gophers hockey games for years. Kapla said his dream is to play D-I college hockey for the U of M.

* Class A roundup I led the Class A roundup with Lourdes, which did something quite impressive tonight. I've never seen 17 players get on the scoresheet, but the Eagles managed that against Richfield, in a 12-2 win. They had 17 players record at least one point each. That's probably some sort of Kiwanis Festival record, but I don't have deep enough archives to check, so let's go with it as a record. Lourdes was able to get its third and fourth lines a lot of ice time and those guys produced tonight, as did all of the team's defensemen. It was an impressive showing that I'll get into in more detail one day this weekend or next week.

Some Faceoff Blog awards from Day 1:

* Game of the Day: Eau Claire Memorial 2, Mayo 1. If I had more space to write about this game in print, Mayo goalie Case Hansen would have received a lot more ink. He was tremendous, stopping 35 shots and keeping Mayo in the game when it struggled to get anything going offensively in the first two periods. Hansen, a junior, is staking his claim to that starting spot. Senior Michael DeBusman has played well, but Hansen has been really good in his past couple of starts. The few rebounds that Hansen didn't control on Wednesday were cleared by his defensemen. The game-winning goal that Kapla scored was just a good shot. Kapla and Charley Grasskamp worked a nice give-and-go and Kapla ripped a wrist shot from the bottom of the right circle that beat Hansen to the short side. It was fitting that a good goal ended a really good game.

* Goalie of the day: Case Hansen, Mayo. See above. Hansen was outstanding in the Spartans' loss.

* Player of the day: Hayden Ashworth, Century. The speedy sophomore was all over the ice for the Panthers. He had a hand in all six of their goals in a 6-3 victory against New Richmond. Ashworth had a hat trick and three assists. He scored twice in the first period, when Century built a 3-0 lead, then scored an empty-netter in the third to seal the victory.

* Play of the day: ECM's game-winning goal in OT. It's late (early, actually) and this is the one play that keeps coming to mind when I try to think of the best goal I saw today (yesterday, actually). The give-and-go between Grasskamp and Kapla was worked nicely, in crunch time of a well-played game. ... Lourdes' junior Jason Samuelson's goal on a powerful slapshot also comes to mind because it caught me off guard. I can't remember seeing Samuelson wind up with a big slap shot like that before. He put some zip on it; it'd be fun to see that more often.

Hey, let's go back to the rink in, say, 8 hours. Who's with me? C'mon, you must have some sick days to use up before year's end, right? Push the paperwork aside and come to Graham Arena. I'm particularly looking forward to the two Class AA semifinals. Memorial and Prior Lake (4:45 p.m.) are both stocked with big, bruising guys. That should be a physical, hard-hitting contest. They'll be followed by Fargo South and Century (7 p.m.), who will meet for the fifth time in the past six years. That's also always an intense matchup. Get your seats early.

December 28, 2011

It's Tourney Time!

Posted by: Feldman

So, we're a little more than 12 hours away from the first puck drop of the Kiwanis Festival. It's always a fun time of year for me — three straight days of nothing but hockey. And sometimes I actually call this work (don't tell the bosses I said that, please).

If you can't be at all of the Festival games, I'll provide as many updates as I can via Twitter (@PBFeldy), then I'll try to recap the tourney each night here on the blog. I'll probably miss the opening game in each bracket today, because of a doctor appointment for Baby Feldy that has to happen today, but I'm hoping to be to the rink by the time the puck drops for the Eau Claire Memorial vs. Mayo game, at 3:15 p.m.

Games start at 12:30 p.m., with Albert Lea facing Dodge County in the Class A bracket opener at Graham Arena IV. Over at Graham I, play in the Class AA bracket begins at 1 p.m. with two South Suburban Conference rivals facing off, Prior Lake vs. Eastview.

As for tourney preview stuff ... well, you want links? I'll give you links, mainly because I don't feel like re-typing all this stuff!

Tuesday's P-B featured a story on Century senior captain Blake Heroff, who has battled through some pretty nasty injuries the past couple years. He's finally healthy and enjoying his senior season. He's a heart-and-soul type of guy on a Century team whose expectations seem to grow with each game.

Also on Tuesday, I had capsule profiles of all 16 teams in the Kiwanis Festival, as well as a tournament schedule and three players to watch in each bracket.

In today's (Wednesday's) paper, I'll have a story on Rochester Mayo coach Lorne Grosso, who is itching to get back to the rink on a full-time basis after having quadruple bypass surgery on Nov. 28.

Here are the links to all of the pre-tournament coverage:

Grosso recovering well from quadruple bypass surgery

Healthy Heroff leads Century

Class A bracket team profiles

Class AA bracket team profiles

December 23, 2011

High School Hockey | Thursday Night Playback

Posted by: Feldman

Rochester's boys hockey teams are going into the holiday break on a high note.

JM ended its pre-Christmas schedule on Tuesday with a victory against Faribault. On Thursday, Century, Lourdes and Mayo all won their final games ahead of next week's Kiwanis/Think Bank Festival at Graham Arena.

Mayo's win was an impressive one, a 6-2 victory against rival Albert Lea. Lourdes bounced back from a loss to Holy Family Catholic on Tuesday by beating Providence Academy on the road, 7-3, tonight. And Century rolled over Winona, 11-0.

Quick thoughts on each of Thursday's games (click on the score to link to the story on the P-B website):

Mayo 6, Albert Lea 2: Mayo heads into the Kiwanis Festival next week with a 6-2-0 overall record. The Spartans are tied for first place in the Big Nine and playing with a lot of confidence right now. They've played well at both ends of the ice, with the offense winning the puck possession battles in recent games. And how is this for a state: Dating back to last season (Jan. 15 to be specific), Mayo is 14-3-2 in its last 19 regular season games.The Spartans have two goalies playing well right now, and they're getting contributions from throughout their lineup. Their matchup against Eau Claire Memorial could be the best game of the first round next Wednesday at the Kiwanis Festival.

Lourdes 7, Providence Academy 3: On the surface, this may not look like the most impressive victory (Providence Aacademy is 1-9 this year, while playing a pretty tough schedule). But, when you consider Lourdes entered this game having lost three out of four games, and the Eagles got down 3-0 early in the second period, it has to help their confidence to put on a big comeback effort, on the road. Juniors Jason Samuelson (4 goals) and Alex Funk (4 goals) had nice offensive games, as usual. And sophomore goalie Kyle Lawler got the victory in his first varsity start.

Century 11, Winona 0: The Panthers got a chance to get extended playing time for a bunch of players tonight, who don't normally get it. And they had 10 players get on the scoresheet, including senior captain Blake Heroff, who was finally rewarded for his exemplary work this year with a goal and an assist. Those were Heroff's first two points of the season. Check Tuesday's P-B for a story on Heroff, along with previews of all the teams in the Kiwanis Festival. Century did what it needed to do on Thursday against a team that it is clearly better than. The Panthers led 6-0 after one and didn't give the Winhawks any reason to think they were in the game.

That's it for tonight. I'm off for a couple of days, but I'm working at getting the Kiwanis preview stuff finished up, to print in Tuesday's paper. I'll post some news and notes about the tournament here on the blog either this weekend or early next week.

Until then, Merry Christmas!


December 21, 2011

High School Hockey | Poll Time

Posted by: Feldman

First, my apologies for missing "High School Hockey Tonight" yesterday. I was feeling under the weather and a nap with Baby Feldy ending up taking precedence. Mrs. Feldy did not, however, need a burp towel when I ate supper. That's my story, anyway.

On to more important matters.

This week's state hockey polls have been released. Rochester Lourdes dropped one spot to No. 6 in the Class A poll, after losses to top-ranked St. Thomas Academy and Holy Family Catholic. The Eagles are the only Section 1 team in the Class A poll.

Duluth East remains No. 1 in the Class AA poll, earning nine of 10 first-place votes. Lakeville South is the lone representative from Section 1. The Cougars, led by Gophers commit Justin Kloos, are No. 16.

Lakeville South, Lakeville North, Red Wing and Mankato East/Loyola all appear in the girls polls this week:

1. St. Thomas Academy (8)
2. Breck (1)
3. Hermantown (1)
4. East Grand Forks
5. Thief River Falls
6. Rochester Lourdes
7. Duluth Marshall
8. Blake
9. Totino-Grace
10. Mahtomedi
11. St. Cloud Cathedral
12. Duluth Denfeld
13. Warroad
14. Hibbing/Chisholm
15. Delano/Rockford
16. Mound-Westonka
17. South St. Paul
18. Virgina/MIB
19. Orono
20. Rogers

1. Duluth East (9)
2. Minnetonka (1)
3. Maple Grove
4. Eagan
5. Edina
6. Eden Prairie
7. Burnsville
8. Benilde-St. Margaret's
9. Blaine
10. Grand Rapids
11. Moorhead
12. Elk River/Zimmerman
13. Hill-Murray
14. Wayzata
15. Bemidji
16. Lakeville South
17. Brainerd
18. Roseville Area
19. Centennial
20. White Bear Lake

• • • • •

1. Breck (10)
2. Warroad
3. South St. Paul
4. Blake
5. Mound-Westonka
6. Thief River Falls
7. Orono
8. Red Wing
9. Chisago Lakes
10. Mankato East/Loyola
11. Rogers
12. Visitation
13. East Grand Forks
14. Crookston
15. Hutchinson
16. Mahtomedi
17. Proctor
18. International Falls
19. Willmar
20. Totino-Grace

1. Roseville (8)
2. Benilde-St. Margaret's (1)
3. Hill-Murray (1)
4. Minnetonka
5. Anoka
6. Edina
7. Elk River
8. Blaine
9. Stillwater
10. Mounds View
11. Eagan
12. White Bear Lake
13. Irondale
14. Lakeville South
15. Lakeville North
16. Hopkins
17. Roseau
18. Andover
19. Moorhead
20 (t). Wayzata
20 (t). Grand Rapids/Greenway

December 17, 2011


PHERSY: Well, since people are asking for them, here are my picks for the 25th annual Minnesota ChristmasTourneyChristmas Tournament. What can I say, I give the fans what they want.

The finals are scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. today.

So, here are my picks for the champions (several brackets were very tough ... see Jake Short vs. Mark Hall) ...

106 — Brady Berge, Kasson-Mantorville

113 — Jordan Shearer, West Fargo

120 — Kyle Gliva, Simley

126 — Pedro DeLao, Simley

132 — Dakota Trom, Apple Valley

138 — Dayton Racer, Apple Valley

145 — Jake Short, Simley

152 — Mason Manville, Apple Valley

160 — Brandon Kingsley, Apple Valley

170 — Cooper Moore, Jackson County Central

182 — Preston Lehmann, West Fargo

195 — Broc Berge, Kasson-Mantorville

220 — Michael Kroells, Scott West

Heavyweight — Sam Stoll, Kasson-Mantorville

High School Hockey Today | Dec. 17, 2011

Posted by: Feldman

Lots of stuff to get to here, with all four Rochester teams in action today. Let's get right to it.


When: 2 p.m.
Where: Northfield Ice Arena
Records: Lourdes 4-2-0 overall; Northfield 5-1-0 overall
Last game: Lourdes lost to No. 1-ranked St. Thomas Academy, 8-1, on Wednesday. Northfield beat Red Wing, 4-2, on Thursday.
Last meeting: Lourdes beat the Raiders, 7-2, on Dec. 21, 2010, at Graham Arena. Jason Samuelson had a hat trick for the Eagles, and Landon Farrell and Sam Slightam had two assists each.
Spotlight players: Lourdes has 10 seniors listed on the varsity roster. We're putting them all in the spotlight today because this is a time when those guys need to be at their best, both as players and leaders. When you suffer a loss like Lourdes did on Wednesday, it's the team leaders who need to help the younger players realize that there's a lot of season left and, while you can learn some things from a loss like that, you also have to put it behind you. In a sense, today's game is even bigger. It will have a big impact on seeding come playoff time. ... Northfield senior goalie Isaak Tjaden is among the best in the section. He's off to a red-hot start, with a 5-1-0 record, a 1.54 goals-against average and a .950 save percentage. He stopped 50 shots in a 4-2 win at Red Wing on Thursday. His only loss this season came to defending Section 3A champ New Ulm, by a 2-1 score.

When: Tonight, 6 p.m.
Where: All Seasons Arena, Mankato
Records: JM 4-2-1 overall, 3-0-0 Big Nine; West 3-3-1 overall, 3-3-0 Big Nine.
Last game: JM beat Mankato East, 8-0, on Thursday; West beat Marshall, 7-0, on Tuesday.
Last meeting: West beat JM, 6-0, on Dec. 21, 2010, at the Rochester Rec Center.
Spotlight players: West has some talented underclassmen and the name at the top of their scoring list is a familiar one. Junior forward Ryan Jutting, son of MSU, Mankato men's hockey coach Troy Jutting, leads the Scarlets with 11 points (6 goals, 5 assists). Sophomore Zach Erickson leads the team in goals (7). ... For JM, it's junior F Alex Lovett. The 6-3, 170-pounder is sometimes the least-recognized player on JM's top line, because of the points that Gavin Sandwick and Hunter Heightland put up a year ago. But Lovett can score, and create scoring chances, too. He has had three multi-point games already this season and is tied for third on the team with eight points.

When: Tonight, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Rochester Rec Center
Records: Owatonna 4-3-1 overall, 2-1-0 Big Nine; Century 3-3-0, 2-1-0
Last game: Owatonna lost to Albert Lea, 4-1, on Thursday; Century lost to John Marshall, 5-4, on Tuesday.
Last meeting: Owatonna won a close game, 2-1, on Jan. 27, 2011, at Four Seasons Centre in Owatonna.
Spotlight players: Owatonna is off to a strong start and two players have done a bulk of the scoring. Senior F Justin Brown and junior D Matt Ratzloff have been forces through eight games. Brown has 19 points (12-7--19) and Ratzloff 16 (10-6--16). Four times, Brown has had three or more points in a game this year. Ratzloff has nine points in the past six games. … We'll spotlight Century's defensive corps today. It's a solid group, and it's not far away from being very good. In the loss to JM, there were a couple of defensive zone breakdowns that cost the Panthers, but the forwards were responsible, too, in those situations. With veterans like Wyatt Travis and Brandon Kautz on the blue line, I'm sure Century will respond tonight with a more complete effort.

When: Tonight, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Graham Arena I
Records: Farmington 3-1-1; Mayo 3-2-0.
Last game: Farmington beat Dodge County, 9-1, on Tuesday; Mayo beat Austin, 11-1, on Thursday.
Last meeting: Farmington beat Mayo, 8-1, on Dec. 21, 2010, at Schmitz-Maki Arena in Farmington.
Spotlight players: Teams in Section 1AA know that Farmington senior F Andrew Peterson (10 goals) can score. But they need to keep an eye on junior F Grant Hauswirth, a very good set-up man. Hauswirth has a goal and a team-high seven assists through five games. He's had at least a point in all but one game this year, including a 4-point night against Winona on Dec. 6. ... For Mayo, we'll go with sophomore forward Tommy Hanson, who had a hat trick on Thursday against Austin. But we'll use Hanson to represent a talented group of young guys on the team, including fellow sophomores Tommy Fjelsted, Justyn Sweet and Matt Rogers. Perhaps a game like they had Thursday at Austin will give the Spartans' young players a shot of confidence, to know they can compete and contribute at the varsity level. If Mayo continues to receive production from those guys, it will be a team to be reckoned with in the Big Nine.

December 16, 2011

Phersy and Fatis Show: Red hot Hawks edition

PHERSY: Well, we're back. Sorry for the long delay, but I caught up with coach Nick Fatis today before I had to head out here to RCTC to cover a big wrestling tournament that's in town.

Coach and I talked about yesterday's game and the two remaining games this weekend. Make sure to get to the Rec Center tonight to cheer on your Hawks!

Note that one of coach's cats makes an appearance in this episode. It was a nice touch ... lol.



Thursday Night Playback

Posted by: Feldman

Two Rochester teams were in action on Thursday and, as expected, neither had a difficult time posting a victory. Mayo won at Austin, 11-1, and John Marshall won at Mankato East, 8-0.

Those games are often difficult for coaches and players on the winning side. There's not a lot they can take out of them, other than making sure their players are giving a full effort for 51 minutes and executing the things they teach in practice. Mayo coach Todd Huyber and JM head coach Jay Ness were both pleased with how their teams exectued.

Mayo 11, Austin 1 (includes a photo slideshow from P-B photographer Scott Jacobson): Nik Brozovich had no varsity points last season for Mayo. Against Austin, he had six. The senior forward has really developed into a go-to player for the Spartans. As today's article will tell you, he's tied for the team lead in goals and leads the team in points. Sophomore forward Tommy Hanson also picked a great way to get his first varsity points. Hanson had a hat trick and an assist in the victory, as Mayo improved to 3-1-0 in conference play.

JM 8, Mankato East 0: JM coach Jay Ness should have just rented a hotel room in Mankato for the week. The Rockets beat East at All Seasons Arena on Thursday. They'll travel right back there on Saturday to face Mankato West, then Ness will turn around and go back there on Sunday to coach his son's youth team. Hopefully he comes away this weekend as happy as he was on Thursday. JM showed some aggression and assertiveness on its power-play chances -- things it has lacked at times this year -- and came away with four power-play goals. Even more encouraging: JM had 11 players record at least one point. The Rockets will go a long way if they can get that kind of production from their entire lineup.

December 15, 2011

High School Hockey | Poll Time

Sorry, forgot to post these yesterday. This week's Associated Press/Let's Play Hockey high school hockey polls (first-place votes in parentheses:

1. Duluth East (9)
2. Minnetonka (1)
3. Maple Grove
4. Eagan
5. Burnsville
6. Benilde-St. Margaret's
7. Grand Rapids
8. Eden Prairie
9. Edina
10. Blaine
11. Moorhead
12. Hill-Murray
13. Bemidji
14. Elk River
15. Wayzata
16. White Bear Lake
17. Brainerd
18. Lakeville South
19. Centennial
20. Roseville Area

1. St. Thomas Academy (6)
2. Breck (4)
3. Hermantown
4. East Grand Forks
5. Rochester Lourdes
6. Duluth Marshall
7. Thief River Falls
8. Totino-Grace
9. Mahtomedi
10. St. Cloud Cathedral
11. Blake
12. Duluth Denfeld
13. Warroad
14. Hibbing/Chisholm
15. Virginia/Mt. Iron-Buhl
16. Orono
17. South St. Paul
18. Mound-Westonka
19. Rogers
20. Delano/Rockford

• • • • •

1. Roseville (5)
2. Benilde-St. Margaret's (3)
3. Hill-Murray (2)
4. Edina
5. Minnetonka
6. Anoka
7. Stillwater
8. Elk River
9. White Bear Lake
10. Blaine
11. Eagan
12. Lakeville South
13. Lakeville North
14. Irondale
15. Roseau
16. Mounds View
17. Wayzata
18. Hopkins
19. Eden Prairie
20 (tie). Dodge County
20 (tie). Moorhead

1. Breck
2. Warroad
3. South St. Paul
4. Mound-Westonka
5. Thief River Falls
6. Blake
7. Orono
8. Red Wing
9. Chisago Lakes
10. Mankato East
11. Hutchinson
12. Visitation
13. East Grand Forks
14. Crookston
15. Proctor-Hermantown
16. Mahtomedi
17. Rogers
18. Totino-Grace
19. Willmar
20. Alexandria

High School Hockey Tonight | Dec. 15, 2011

Posted by: Feldman

We'll skip the High School Hockey Playback from Wednesday night. Not much more to say about Lourdes' loss to top-ranked St. Thomas Academy. The Eagles are too talented not to bounce back from it, though. The one positive thing they can take from the loss, which coach Josh Spaniol repeated to me after the game, is they can learn a lot from it. Weaknesses were exposed and they know what they need to work on.

By the way, in today's print edition of the P-B, you'll find boys and girls hockey standings, as well as statistical leaders for each of the Rochester boys and girls teams, as well as Red Wing and Dodge County.

Tonight, two Rochester teams are in action, both on the road.

Mayo looks to bounce back from its loss to JM last Saturday, while JM looks to build on a two-game winning streak.


When: Tonight, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Riverside Arena, Austin
Records: Mayo, 2-2-0 overall, 2-1-0 Big Nine; Austin 2-2-0, 0-1-0.
Last game: Mayo lost to John Marshall, 4-3, on Saturday; Austin beat Dodge County, 6-5 in OT, on Saturday.
Last meeting: Mayo beat Austin, 11-0, on Jan. 27, 2011, at Graham Arena. Bill Norman had a hat trick and an assist, while Nolan Edwards, Adam Alcott and Ryan Martin had three points apiece.
Spotlight players: For Mayo, it's senior D Jack Dingle. In the Spartans' 4-2 win against Mankato West last week, I mistakenly gave credit to Josh Newman for scoring a short-handed game winning goal, when in fact, Dingle scored it. He also assisted on an insurance goal by Ryan Martin in the closing minute of that game. Dingle is averaging a point per game this season, while seeing a lot of ice time. He is a key contributor on specialty teams, particularly the penalty kill. The play of Dingle and Steve Serratore on the blue line is something that will cause trouble for opponents as the season goes on. They're both reliable in their own end, but capable of jumping into the rush and contributing offensively, too. ... For Austin, it's junior F Marcus Stoulil. He was in the Packers' lineup last Saturday for the first time this season after suffering an injury during the football season. Stoulil scored four goals, including the game winner in OT, as Austin beat Dodge County, 6-5.

When: Today, 5:30 p.m.
Where: All Seasons Arena, Mankato
Records: JM 3-2-1 overall, 2-0-0 Big Nine; East 1-5-0, 0-2-0.
Last game: JM defeated Century, 5-4, on Tuesday; East lost to Owatonna, 5-0, on Saturday.
Last meeting: JM defeated East, 12-0, on Feb. 8, 2011, at the Rec Center. Ryan Yetzer had a hat trick in the first period and Gavin Sandwick had a 5-point game (two goals, three assists).
Spotlight players: We haven't talked much on the blog yet about JM sophomore F Jared Bromberg, but he's been impressive each time I've watched him play. Though he doesn't have a goal, he leads the team in assists (8) and is tied for the team lead in scoring. He stepped up big-time in the win against Century on Tuesday, assisting on three goals, including Kyle Andrews' game-winning, power-play goal in the third period. ... While East has improved defensively this season, its offensive struggles continues. The Cougars have scored just one goal since a 5-2 victory at Worthington to open the season on Nov. 26. They're relying on senior G Lucas Weihe to keep them in games.  Weihe's numbers are actually pretty good for a team that's 1-5-0. He has a 4.00 GAA, but his save percentage is outstanding (.926). He has stopped 250 of the 270 shots he's faced.

* EDINA CLASSIC (at Braemar Arena): The first day of this four-team tournament features two outstanding matchups, as No. 8-ranked Eden Prairie takes on No. 14 Elk River at 6 p.m., followed by No. 9 Edina vs. No. 7 Grand Rapids at 8:30 p.m.

* No. 13-AA Bemidji (3-2-0) at No. 7-A Thief River Falls (3-1-1): TRF is riding an impressive three-game winning streak, with consecutive victories against Blake, Tartan and St. Paul Johnson. Both of Bemidji's losses have come on the road, in OT, against Section 8 powers Moorhead and Warroad.

* No. 6-AA Benilde-St. Margaret's (4-1-0) at No. 8-A Totino-Grace (3-3-0): BSM is rolling, having put up two touchdowns in a 15-2 win against Holy Angels on Tuesday. T-G has been up and down. It won at Thief River Falls, but lost big at Hermantown (7-3).