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State Wrapup

St. Thomas Academy and Benilde won the state hockey titles. I’m okay with that. I’m not a anti-private schools person- there’s some I cheer for and some I cheer against

The few are really dominating the rest. If we look at St. Thomas, Hermantown, Duluth Marshall, Breck, and also include Benilde before they moved up they are:
* 43 wins and 6 losses overall against teams who aren’t among those 5 teams.
* That includes being 20-1 in Quarterfinal games (in 2011 Thief River Falls won over Breck)

Warroad also has been dominating the others as well. Warroad has 16 wins against teams that aren’t part of those 5 teams and only 1 loss (2004 to Orono).

I really like the Western College Hockey Blog’s thoughts on the Class A tourney:

“The Class A tournament should be a showcase for towns in Minnesota with one stoplight, not the schools like Breck that are literally one stoplight from the city limits of one of the 50 largest cities in the country.”

I’m curious on how you make the definition on this. Does that mean that all private schools from the Twin Cities, Duluth, Rochester, and St. Cloud are Class AA teams? How do you define what those areas are? So that would mean St. Thomas Academy would be force to play up, but so would Minnehaha academy who were 3-22 in 2010-11.

That would also seem to say that Hermantown, who were undefeated heading into the tourney twice in this decade, wouldn’t be forced into AA, since they’re a public school. The Hawks have only lost once to someone who isn’t part of those 5 teams, a 4-2 loss to Lourdes who based on the metro area criteria would also have to play Class AA since they’re from Rochester.

Seems to me any criteria you do won’t work.

On Beyond the Pond on Saturday one of the hosts on the radio said that “we’re closer to having 3 classes than we’re closer to having 1 class”. That to me sounds better, but again how do you do it?

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State: Day 1

Some quick thoughts about state today

  • Too many blowouts, although I’m not sure if there’s really any way of avoiding this, short of having only 1 class.
  • St. Thomas Academy looked good, but not great like they have previous years, but then again when you’re up so big it’s hard to judge.
  • Fantastic chant by the STA students:  “This one’s over”…….. immediately after the game started
  • Breck, same story as STA.
  • Hermantown, same story.
  • As always, I loved watching the “Hawk Dance”.
  • When I get some time, I really should look up the state tourney records of STA,  Breck, Hermantown, Duluth Marshall, and possibly Warroad and see what their records are against teams that aren’t one of them.  It’s got to be close to 100%.

Generally speaking, I like the two class hockey system. However, unlike the big school (Class AA) tourney it ends up being dominated by a small group of schools. In the 12 years, there’s only been 6 schools that have won it. For the Class AA in that timeframe, there’s been 10 schools have won it, with only Eden Prairie and Holy Angels winning it more than once. Now some other schools have gotten closer to winning the Class A title- Lourdes, Orono, Red Wing, Totino-Grace, and Simley all made the championship game- but still only 6 teams have won it.

The small schools are also nice for people who want to go watch the state tourney, without having to spend a long time in line; for the Class AA games the tickets go on sale 1 hour before the gametime and you’d probably better be in line 1 hour before that, if not sooner to get tickets and even then you might be in the upper-deck.

When looking at the Class AA title game. In the 12 years, the Twin Cities has won 11 of the 12 titles, with only Roseau stopping the shutout in 2007. Still, in those 12 title games, 8 of the teams who lost were from the north. Although all 4 of those title games where the losing team was from the Twin Cities, the winning team was also from the Twin Cities.

Nice for me to see how that there’s many different schools who were in the title game: Anoka, Blaine, Centennial, Cretin-Derham Hall, Duluth East (2 times), Edina, Eden Prairie (2), Edina (2), Elk River, Grand Rapids (2), Hill-Murray (2), Holy Angels (2), Minnetonka, Moorhead (3), Roseau, Roseville. Now that’s variety! Moorhead has been there the most, but that’s only 3 title game appearances out of 12.

Probably the people who have the most to be depressed are southern Minnesota hockey fans. According to my count in both classes, they have 6 wins against 13 losses in the quaterfinals in the 12 years. If you count Lakeville as “southern Minnesota”, which I myself don’t (I call them Twin-Cities), it gets even worse; southern minnesota is then 6-20 (Lakeville lost right away in all 7 of the state tourneys).

Looking at the scores, only 1 of those wins could be considered to be a blowout, Lourdes won 7-2 over Orono. Although Rochester Century’s upset over Hill-Murray was huge in 2007. Then you have some really bad losses; Albert Lea losing 1-10 to Breck (2004) & 1-6 to Warroad (2005), New Ulm 1-11 to Breck (2010) & 2-13 to St. Thomas (2011), Lourdes 0-9 to Warroad (2010), there’s others as well. In fact, out of those 20 losses, only 6 of them was there 2 goals or less difference.

My Picks

Class A
STA over Little Falls
Breck over Marshall
Hermantown over Lourder
TRF over New Ulm
STA over Breck
Hermantown over TRF
Hermantown over STA

Class AA
Hill-Murray over Maple Grove
Moorhead over Eagan
Duluth East over Lakeville South
Edina over Benilde-St. Margarets
Hill-Murray over Moorhead
Duluth East over Edina
Duluth East over Hill-Murray

Should be an interesting tourney. I hope “the tourney” ends on an upbeat. The result of the Class AA title game can leave me excited, disappointed, or leave me feeling blah.

For championship bracket games I’ve been there for almost all of them since 2000. I missed 2 Friday afternoon session games in 2007 due to having to work; I’m still bitter about, especially considering the teams and results involved. I’ve also missed a bunch of the 3rd place Class A games; we usually skip them since they’re earlier on Saturday, plus they’re kind of depressing to watch because you can tell often times neither team wants to be there and there’s very few fans in the building.

Looking at the results year by year in Class AA, it’s kind of a mixed-bag on how I’ve felt leaving the tourney after the finale:

2011: Eden Prairie over Duluth East
Feeling: Disappointed
Thoughts: Much like Eden Prairie’s win in 2009 I was disappointed that a northern team lost in the title game, even worse since it was a Duluth area team.

2010: Edina over Minnetonka
Feeling: Okay
Thoughts: No strong feeling either way; was okay whoever won.

2009: Eden Prairie over Moorhead
Feeling: Disappointed
Thoughts: I was pretty disappointed since I was cheering heavily for the Spuds to finally win their first hockey title.

2008: Hill-Murray over Edina
Feeling: Content
Thoughts: This was one of the very few win-win title games for me. I have liked both schools for a very long time. In this case I wanted Hill-Murray over Edina, but if the two were to meet for the title again I may cheer for Edina over H-M.

2007: Roseau over Grand Rapids
Feeling: On Cloud Nine
Thoughts: I’m not sure words can give justice to how happy I was. I could write for a long time on this. Totally win-win situation, what with Class A being an all-northern final and Class AA being an all-northern final.

2006: Cretin-Derham Hall over Grand Rapids
Feeling: Disappointed
Thoughts: Just like 09, nothing against the winning team, but disappointed that a northern team lost in the title game.

2005: Holy Angels over Moorhead
Feeling: Content
Thoughts: Not quite a win-win situation, since I wanted Moorhead to win, but I was okay with Holy Angels winning. I seems to recall it was a wonderful game.

2004: Centennial over Moorhead
Feeling: Crushed
Thoughts: Back then I had nothing against Centennial, I do now because of this. Obviously disappointed Spuds lost in the title game (that’s a trend). Still what annoyed me was Centennials style of play; all of their games were dull to watch, so I was crushed they won the title. Maybe their style of play has changed (hopefully so, I haven’t seen them play since 2004) and I’ll have to take them off my list of teams I cheer against.

2003: Anoka over Roseville
Feeling: Happy
Thoughts: This was a no-lose situation.

2002: Holy Angels over Hill-Murray
Feeling: Good
Thoughts: Unlike many people, this was a win-win situation. I like both schools and didn’t care either way who won.

2001: Elk River over Moorhead
Feeling: Slightly disappointed
Thoughts: To copy& paste from above, “Not quite a win-win situation, since I wanted Moorhead to win”. I was okay with Elk River winning, but the game left me kind of disappointed, since it was a blowout.

2000: Blaine over Duluth East
Feeling: Okay
Thoughts: Wanted East to win, but was okay with Blaine winning.

Boys Sections 3/2/12

A bunch of teams booked their skating time at the X last night. Considering they were section finals, I find it amazing just how many blowouts there were. Starting with….

Section 1AA (Bracket): Lakeville South routed Lakeville North 7-1. Kind of hard for North to win when they were outshot 42-13 and were outshot 28-3 in the the first period.

Section 3AA (Bracket): Eagan wins easily 10-1 over Hastings. I mentioned before that I didn’t like Eagan’s grey uniforms from a few years ago. Well, they’re only marginally better. The colors are much better, but they’re using a pro logo (the Florida Panther with the hockey stick logo).

Section 7AA (Bracket): Duluth East thankfully won 4-1 over Andover.

Section 8AA (Bracket): Moorhead wins 3-1 over Brainerd.

Section 2A (Bracket): Very offensive game, Breck wins 7-5 over Blake.

Section 6A (Bracket): Little Falls wins easily 6-1 over Fergus Falls.

Section 8A (Bracket): Thief River Falls wins 4-1 over East Grand Forks.

Boys Sectionals

Of course I have boys high-school hockey on the mind right now. State is now less than a week away. This time next week the Class A teams would already have played and the Class AA will start playing.

Section 1AA (bracket)
As is now normal for this bracket, the two teams that I did not want to make state, one of them is certain to. It’s Lakeville versus Lakeville in the section final. It’s almost a certainty that I will be cheering the team that makes state; the only exception I can think of is if Maple Grove makes it, I would grudgingly cheer for Lakeville North over them, if it’s Lakeville South I’ll not cheer for either them or Maple Grove.

Section 2AA (bracket)
Edina won the section, which I’m okay with. I’ve always loved the Hornets unis. In this section there wasn’t any team that I would have been cheering against.

Section 3AA (bracket)
Eagan versus Hastings in the sectional final. I would really like Hastings to win this, due to the fact I really like the town of Hastings, plus I’m partial to the colors Blue&Gold. Eagan I don’t have much against, exception for those bad grey jerseys they wore a few years ago. Happy to see East Ridge and Apple Valley lose.

Section 4AA (bracket)
Hill-Murray versus Roseville in the sectional final. I really have no idea who to cheer for, both schools I’ve liked for quite a long time. I guess I want Roseville, since H-M has been to state more recently. It would have been wonderful to see Stillwater or Johnson at state (really, Johnson plays with the big schools?). I have nothing against White Bear Lake, but it’s great to see Johnson pulled the upset.

Section 5AA (bracket)
Maple Grove versus Blaine. No contest here, I definitely want Blaine; I’ve loved Blaine for a long time and really dislike Maple Grove. Too bad it couldn’t have been an Anoka/Blaine final, oh well.

Section 6AA (bracket)
Benilde is going to state, win over Tonka. I guess I’m okay with that, I would have rather had Tonka though. Glad Eden Prairie lost to Armstrong.

Section 7AA (bracket)
Duluth East verus Andover in the final. Let’s see Duluth area school verus….. Andover (yuck) and the possibility no NE Minnesota team at state for Class AA. Again, no contest I want East. This result is definitely the one I care the most about.

Section 8AA (bracket)
Moorhead versus Brainerd. Not a huge feeling here. I’ve been a big Spuds fan for a while, but I guess I want Brainerd, since Moorhead and Roseau have had a stranglehold on 8AA for quite a long time.

Section 1A (bracket)
Lourdes gong to state, win over Northfield. Northfield is my home, so of course I would have rather them one. Still nothing against Lourdes at all.

Section 2A (bracket)
Breck veresus Blake in the final. No strong feelings for or against either team.

Section 3A (bracket)
New Ulm versus Luverne in the final. No strong feelings for or against either team.

Section 4A (bracket)
St. Thomas Academy versus Totino-Grace in the final. I’d like Totinto, since STA has been at state a lot lately. Wish South St. Paul would have won against STA.

Section 5A (bracket)
Hermantown verus Rogers in the final. Of course I want Hermantown, since they’re a Duluth area school. I have nothing against Rogers though. Not sure why Hermantown is in 5A and not 7A.

Section 6A (bracket)
Little Falls versus Fergus Falls. I do like both teams, but since Little Falls have been to state a lot lately I want Fergus. Plus they have a pretty darn cool Otter statue, don’t you know?

Section 7A (bracket)
(Duluth) Marshall School versus Hibbing. Both are NE Minnesota Schools. Marshall is a Duluth school, but I want Hibbing. It would have been wonderful to have International Falls and Denfeld be in the sectional final.

Section 8A (bracket)
Thief River Falls verus East Grand Forks. No Warroad this year at state; I love cheering for Warroad, but they do make it to state quite a bit. I want EGF, they haven’t been at state for a while. I’m not sure if anyone other than Warroad, TRF, and EGF have made state before. If so, it’s been a really long time.