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3 posts categorized "St. Louis Park"

November 16, 2012

H.S. Hockey | Scrimmages at Graham Arena tonight

Posted by: Feldman

Sorry for the short notice, but if you're interested in getting a first look at Rochester's boys high school hockey teams (at least the three public school teams), tonight's a good chance to do so.

Century, JM and Mayo will once again play a series of varsity and JV scrimmages against one another, and St. Louis Park (coached by former JM and NHL standout Shjon Podein) will join them.

Podein led a rather remarkable turnaround at SLP last season, helping the Orioles go from two wins in 2010-11 to 18 wins last season. However, Podein learned late in the summer that three key players -- senior D Marshall Tema, sophomore F Josh Passolt and freshman F Alec Baer -- are not returning to SLP this year. Tema is playing in the NAHL, while Passolt transferred to Maple Grove and Baer transferred to Benilde-St. Margaret's.

Here's a more complete story on those players leaving the Orioles' program. Passolt and Baer were the team's second- and third-leading scorers last year.

Here's a schedule for tonight's scrimmages (notice the Rochester varsity teams will not scrimmage each other):

5:30-6:05: Mayo vs. SLP
6:20-6:55: Mayo vs. SLP
7:10-7:45: JM vs. SLP
8-8:35: SLP JV vs. JM JV
8:45-9:30: Century vs. SLP

5:45-6:20: JM JV vs. Century JV
6:30-7:05: Mayo JV vs. JM JV
7:15-7:50: Mayo JV vs. SLP JV
8:05-8:40: Mayo JV vs. Century JV
8:55-9:30: SLP JV vs. Century JV 

November 30, 2011

Podein assembles all-star team at St. Louis Park

Posted by: Feldman

When Rochester native Shjon Podein, now in his first season as a high school head coach, at St. Louis Park, had his team here a couple of weeks ago to scrimmage the Rochester teams, one of the things I neglected to mention in my blog post about him was the coaching staff he has assembled at SLP.

How's this for an all-star cast? 

Rochester natives Mike Stuart (three years playing at Colorado College, followed by eight in the pros, including appearing in three NHL games) and Aaron Gill (four years at Notre Dame, followed by four in the pros, followed by two years as head coach at Lourdes, which he led to the state tournament in 2009). 

Oh, yeah, there's also Paul Ranheim (1,013 NHL games, 360 career points in NHL) and Dave Paradise (four years at St. Cloud State, seven in the pros), among others. I imagine the players at St. Louis Park don't like the coaches vs. players scrimmages. 

Seriously, though, one of the things Podein told me when he was here was that this year is a learning experience for him, too. He's leaning a lot on lessons learned from his high school coaches at JM -- Gene Sack and Bob Frerker -- as well as guys who coached against him (such as Mayo's Lorne Grosso).

St. Louis Park went 2-23 last season. Podein said this season is about raising expectations. He didn't set a specific goal in terms of victories, but he wants the players there to start believing they can win on a nightly basis.

I would imagine having so many guys with college and pro experience around the team will only help the Orioles achieve their goals.

Game 1 of the Podein Era is Saturday, when St. Louis Park plays at Waconia.

November 21, 2011

Thoughts on Friday's scrimmages

Posted by: Feldy

Sorry I didn't get around to this over the weekend, but things are busy at the Feldman mansion on the northeast side of Rochester. Mrs. Feldy's tummy is looking like she's hiding a turkey in there these days (good thing she doesn't read the blog), but we're told by doctors that it's actually a baby girl, due in two weeks. So, much of my time at home has been spent sorting through pink clothes, pink blankets, pink bottles, pink-whatever-you-can-think-of. If you see me wearing pink, don't laugh. I'm just numb to the color now.

OK, back to what we're here for: Hockey, hockey, hockey.

Big week here for the Post-Bulletin boys hockey coverage team (it's a team of one, but "boys hockey coverage team" sounds better, doesn't it?). Our 2011-12 season previews are coming out in Thursday's paper, so if overloading on turkey doesn't make taking a nap easier, maybe my writing will.

Kidding! Make sure to read the previews, which will include a profile of Lourdes senior Landon Farrell as well as previews on all of our Rochester teams, Dodge County and Red Wing. If there's room, I may even get a brief Big 9 conference preview in.

So, read 'em all once, then read 'em again, and again. Please. Pretty please?

I, along with a nice sized crowd at Graham Arena, got a first look at all of Rochester's teams on Friday night. The first "scrimmage fest" was a hit, to say the least. It included Century, JM, Mayo and Lourdes, as well as St. Louis Park, coached by former JM standout and Stanley Cup champ Shjon Podein.

I think it's safe to say the recurring theme of the night among fans, players and coaches was: "Why didn't we do this before?"

I'd have to agree with that, whole-heartedly.

I walked into Graham 3 when Century and Lourdes were scrimmaging and there was almost no room to stand. The balcony was full and fans were rimmed around the boards almost the entire way around. For a later scrimmage in Graham 4, I did a rough count and came up with about 200 fans. That's pretty darn good for a 35-minute running-time scrimmage.

As for the teams themselves, it was tough for me to get a handle on who played well. The guys weren't wearing their game jerseys, so I wasn't always sure who was on the ice.

A few guys who did stick out to me: D Karl Krecke and Fs Alex Funk, Farrell and Jason Samuelson from Lourdes. Mayo G Case Hanson had one really strong scrimmage. Spartans d-men Steve Serratore and Jack Dingle are going to be forces this season, too. Same for JM, with veteran d-men Ryan Lakin and Matt Broman.

Century has six freshmen listed on its combined varsity/JV roster. I'll be interested to see if any of those guys have an impact on the varsity. I haven't talked with new Panthers coach Josh Klingfus yet, so I'm just guessing here, but there's one frosh with a familiar name who might — Riese Zmolek. I haven't seen Riese play yet, but I caught the end of one of his Bantam team's practices last season and watched him boom one-timers from the blue line. I felt bad for the crossbar and pipes that he hit.

The Panthers will be led by a great group of seniors. Look at these names, seems like it's about the 8th year on varsity for some of these guys, we've been hearing about them for so long: Brandon Kautz, Nick Jacobs, Wyatt Travis, Blake Heroff, Tyler Iverson, Isaac St. Marie. That's a good group for a first-year head coach to build around.

I'll be writing a lot more about all of those guys and plenty of others in the coming weeks and months, but just one more thought on last week's scrimmages: Please make that an annual thing.

Not only does it save the Rochester schools from having to travel for some of their scrimmages, but it's obviously something that fans enjoy. It's more loose and laid-back than an actual game, but there's still some good hockey, as all the boys are trying to earn their spots or prove that they've become better players since the previous season.

It might even be worth moving it back a week to, say, the day after Thanksgiving, and making it an annual thing. I know some teams like to start their regular season games at that point, so maybe that wouldn't work. Just a thought. Either way, keep that scrimmage fest going.