Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Another Way to Look at PeeWee A Hockey (Dec. 9)

By frederick61

There is “change” trying to be brewed all over this country. Now there are off-ice changes brewing in Minnesota Hockey (district re-alignments being proposed, kid eligibility rules being written). But there is also change “on-ice”. The “off-ice” has to be addressed because the current Minnesota Hockey schedules for state level tourneys expire. The March 2010 tourney is the last one scheduled. And that is good policy. Minnesota Hockey has to address district and association alignments since populations shift and economy changes need to be part of the process in determining the new schedules for the next few years.

But it is the “on-ice” changes that interest this column. And there is the start of change from the “old guard” PeeWee A teams to a “new guard”. The question is how subtle is that “on-ice” change. Most districts are seeing improved play overall. The result is PeeWee A hockey this year is more balanced then in the past years. There are still some “one-sided” games. But these involve teams that trying to get their PeeWee A team going usually after playing B-level the year before. The emergence of a “new guard” would be great for PeeWee A hockey. It simply says no matter how good their program no association can relax from year to year. That has happened in past years.

North Region - D11 had the first of two back to back tourneys this weekend. Four D11 teams were paired against four teams from outside D11. The D11 teams won their opening quarterfinal games and played each other for first, second and third place. The Duluth Lakers took first beating a surprising Saint Paul Saints team 6-3, beating Hermantown 7-4 and Cloquet 5-2 in the championship game. Cloquet made the final game by beating Apple Valley 4-2 and Superior 4-3. Hermantown beat Superior for third place 4-3. The Hawks beat Alexandria in their opener 4-2.

Now the same D11 teams plus Duluth East get to repeat the test of this past weekend except there are more and more tougher teams entered in the Spirit of Duluth tourney.

Now the big question is, can D11 repeat the Hermantown tourney in the Spirit of Duluth this weekend? Five D11 teams, three with their own pool and two with a shared pool take on eleven teams from across the state and Thunder Bay Canada in the Spirit tourney. Duluth East, Stillwater, Orono and Grand Rapids form one pool. Hermantown, Cloquet, Mpls Park and White Bear Lake are in another pool. The Duluth Lakers play Blaine, Minnetonka, and Osseo/Maple Grove their pool. Superior draws Wayzata, Thunder Bay and Centennial.

Duluth East should be the standard bearer this week for D11. They beat the Duluth Lakers 4-1 last week after taking a western trip over the Thanksgiving holidays winning 5 of 6 games (losing only 3-2 to Moorhead). With 20 kids on the Hounds roster, playing a potential 5 game weekend should be in their favor. Orono, also in their pool, has a 15 kid roster (including two goalies).

Last week, Protor beat Eveleth-Gilbert 8-2, played Rice Lake, Wisconsin and Cloquet. The Rails travel to Detroit Lakes on the weekend to play Fargo Flyers, Detroit Lakes, and Bismarck in the Lakers tourney.

Despite the Duluth Lakers win at Hermantown, Duluth East still takes the #1 seed. After a shaky season opening, the Hounds have gone 8-1-1 in their last 10 games and have beaten the Lakers twice, Hermantown once and tied Cloquet. The trouble in D12 is that they play each other a number of time. It is hard to beat a team 4 or 5 times in a season, especially at playoff time. The Lakers have certainly earned the #2 seed this week, but it is a coin flip between Hermantown and Cloquet this week. The zinc penny came up the Hawks. They get the #3 seed.

D12 - Grand Rapids took a tour to the cities and lost three games, a tough one to Coon Rapids 4-3, a bad one to Blaine and another though one to one of the top teams in the state, Osseo/Maple Grove 3-0. The Thunderhawks travel to Duluth to play in the Spirit this weekend. They draw Orono, Stillwater and Duluth East (chance to avenge an earlier 5-1 loss to the Hounds). International Falls beat Greenway 3-0 and Hibbing 3-2 in a D12 games before losing to Roseau 2-1. Hibbing also lost to the Roseau 7-2 this past week. The Falls continues to win this year. Maybe the Broncos are back. Greenway’s loss to the Falls was their first D12 loss.

Hibbing hosts their tourney this weekend. The Bluejackets play Greenway, Virginia, and Irondale. Eveleth-Gilbert is the fifth team entered. The Golden Bears play Irondale, Virginia and Greenway. International Falls travels to Detroit Lakes this weekend to play in the Lakers tourney. The Falls draw Crookston, River Lakes, and the Mandan Braves in pool play. The Falls and Grand Rapids appear to be on top of the D12 standings.

Grand Rapids retains the #1 seed this week. On their cities trip, they played two tough teams well. They will be tested again at the Spirit. The #2 seed this week goes to International Falls. Simply put, the Broncos beat the Bluejackets last week. Hibbing and Greenway look to contend while the Virginia Blue Devils continue to struggle.

D2 - White Bear Lake had their unbeaten D2 record spoiled by a loss to Highland Central last week. The Bears took another hit when Roseville tied them this week 4-4, but the Bears came back to beat Stillwater beat 4-2. This weekend the Bears are at the Spirit of Duluth tourney. They draw Mpls Park and two D12 teams, Cloquet and Hermantown. Besides White Bear, Stillwater played Mahtomedi and lost to Hudson, Wisconsin 2-0. They travel to Duluth and play Duluth East, Orono and Grand Rapids.

Tartan takes a quarter circle run on Interstate 494 to Wakota to play in South St. Paul’s tourney this week. They play St. Francis in the opening round. Mounds View continued their up and down season. They played in Orono’s tourney this week, beating Northern Lakes then losing to eventual champion Crow River 4-3 and Orono in the third place game. The Mustangs lost two tough D2 games to Forest Lake 4-2 and 2-1 prior to traveling to Orono. It doesn’t get easier for the Mustangs this week. They play Highland Central and Mahtomedi in D2 action.

Roseville had a good week, beating Tartan 7-0 and Irondale 5-1 besides tying White Bear Lake. They play a single game this coming week against Forest Lake before taking a northern tour. Mahtomedi played Stillwater and beat Irondale 6-3 last week. This week they play the St. Paul Saints and Mounds View before traveling in two weeks to play in a Fargo Tourney. The Zephyrs are in a virtual tie atop D2 with White Bear Lake this week.

The two victories over Mounds View may have Forest Lake on the right path. The Lakers play Highland in D2 action this week. North St. Paul has struggled this year, but the Polars travel to Albert Lea to play in their tourney. In pool play, they draw Faribault, New Ulm and Mason City Iowa.

Despite White Bear first loss and tie in D2 this week, the Bears came back to beat Stillwater. Stillwater remains a question mark. One would think both teams would be running away from the other D2 teams. But two pesky teams, Mahtomedi and Roseville, are hanging in the chase. Mounds View has slid losing their last three D2 games and having to play Highland, Mahtomedi and Stillwater in their next three games. Forest Lake has made a small move and is still part of the chase. Only Tartan and North St. Paul seem out of the running, but they still are dangerous teams.

The #1 seed this week is tough choice. Highland maybe the best team playing D2, but will have to collect their regional seed from the D1 playoffs. That leaves the Bears on top of D2 with the #1 seed. One has to resort to flipping the old zinc penny to decide the #2 seed. It came up Stillwater with Mahtomedi taking the #3 seed. Both White Bear Lake and Stillwater have a shot at taking their pool in the Spirit of Duluth. That is a challenge. But the Zephyrs have been tough this year and both Roseville and Forest Lake are starting to make some moves.

East Region - An interesting question this week to ponder in the East is was it smart for Highland to schedule Edina this month (or for Edina fans, was it smart for the Hornets to schedule Highland this month). Both coaches recognize that there is a strong possibility that the two teams will meet in the East Regional. Should Highland have “lain in the weeds, waiting to strike in March” or should the Hornets ignore the Caps as just another team to beat? This game is a great game for the kids to learn and it is good to see the teams play.

So what teams are starting to emerge from the three districts in this region? D6 looks the most set with Edina, Burnsville and Eden Prairie; but that is just a challenge for the other six D6 teams. D8 also looks set with Woodbury, Lakeville South and Rochester, but that said, can’t you hear the big cats roar (Tigers and Panthers) and the Irish “getting their dander up”. D1 also looks set with Highland Central and Mpls Park, but that just heats the Saint’s halo and has the Knights sharpening their spears. See how settled this region is in March, that is when it counts.

D1 - Three of the four D1 teams are playing in tourneys this weekend. Mpls Park travels to Duluth to play in the Spirit tourney. The Storm draw White Bear Lake, Hermantown and Cloquet in pool play. Last week the Strom beat North Metro 3-1 in D3 action and played Minnetonka. Currently, Mpls Park has a loss to Wayzata and a tie with Osseo/Maple Grove in D3. A win over OMG next week would put the Storm in the middle of the D3 title chase with those two teams.

Highland Central has continued their winning ways. They took the Red Wing tourney championship beating Austin, Red Wing and Farmington. Last week, they beat White Bear Lake in D2 action. The Caps play Moundsview and Forest Lake in D2 action this week. They are unbeaten this season and take on top rated Edina between the year end holidays.

Irondale continues to struggle, but has an opportunity this week to strengthen their play at the Hibbing tourney. They draw Eveleth-Gilbert and Hibbing in pool play. The Knights lost to Roseville and played Mahtomedi in D2 action this week. The Saint Paul Saints play in South St. Paul’s tourney this week drawing Red Wing in the opener. Last week the Saints beat Tartan 2-0 in D2 play and played in Hermantown’s tourney, losing to the eventual champion Duluth Lakers 6-3 and losing to Alexandria 6-3 before beating Fargo North 5-2.

Highland Central keeps the #1 seed goes this week and could take the #1 seed in D2 also this week. The Storm takes the #2 seed. The Spirit of Duluth tourney will challenge the Storm. The Saints are getting better; a good run at South St. Paul would be nice to see. Irondale should do well at Hibbing. Overall things are looking good for the D1 teams.

D6 - Two Sundays ago at the Burnsville tourney; Edina and Burnsville skated in the championship game. Edina jumped off to a 3-0 lead and fought off a Burnsville rally to win 6-4. Four days later at the same Burnsville arena, the same two teams clashed in a key D6 game. It was a repeat as Edina jumped off to a 2-0 lead and Burnsville fought back to tie the game 2-2 only to lose 3-2 when the Hornets scored with two minutes to go in the game. As if to add insult to injury, the Burnsville high school team lost a regionally broadcast game in the same arena to Edina on the Tuesday between the two peewee A loses.

Edina went on to beat Chaska 8-0 and Jefferson 9-0 last week. This week the Hornets play Eastview and Kennedy in D6 and have a third and deciding game against the 97 Fire. The Hornets have split two games with the Fire losing 6-4 and winning 9-4.

Edina sits on top of D6 with a perfect 6-0 record with a third of the season gone. Eden Prairie is their closest challenger. Eden Prairie beat Eastview 3-1. The Eagles have only one D6 loss. They play Jefferson this week. The Eden Prairie loss was Eastview’s second D6 loss dropping them into a tie with Burnsville. The Lightning play Edina and Prior Lake/Savage this week.

Burnsville plays Prior Lake/Savage, Jefferson, Apple Valley and Kennedy in D6 this week plus a return game with Woodbury before taking a break from D6 play for the rest of December. In two weeks the Blaze will travel to Grand Rapids to play East Grand Forks in the opening round of the Star of the North tourney. Apple Valley traveled to Hermantown and made it to the consolation championship. The Eagles lost a tough opening game to Cloquet, beat Fargo 8-1 and lost to Alexandria. Valley returns to D6 action this week with the unenviable task of playing Burnsville, Edina and Eden Prairie.

Jefferson struggled this week losing to rival Kennedy 4-3 besides Edina. This week the Jags play Eden Prairie, Burnsville, Farmington, and Eastview. Minnetonka returned to D6 action playing Chaska. This week the Skippers play Eden Prairie and travel to the Spirit of Duluth tourney. In pool play, they draw Osseo/Maple Grove, Blaine and the Duluth Lakers. They are the only D6 team in the Spirit tourney this year.

Edina ends a long string of games this weekend after playing Kennedy. Starting the week the Hornets have won 13 in a row and haven’t lost in the past month. Their schedule slows a little, but the Hornets have added games in the next two weeks with Highland Central and STMA. This will be the “old guard” playing the “new guard” and should be good games to see. The Hornets keep the #1 seed, and it’s a coin flip for the #2. The Blaze still hold that D6 victory over Eden Prairie and until the Eagles beat them, they are #2. The Eagles are #3. Eastview looks to be the only challenger with Jefferson struggling and Minnetonka “AWOL”. A good Spirit tourney could change that for the Skippers.

D8 - Minnesota Hockey this January is addressing re-districting for next year. One of the potential changes proposed affects D8. Under the one proposal, a new district, D9, would be created with the following associations: Mankato, Faribault, New Prague, Owatonna, Albert Lea, Waseca, Austin, Montgomery, Rochester, Red Wing, Winona, Northfield, La Cresent, and Dodge County. There would be a new D8 consisting of Lakeville, Woodbury, Eagan, Cottage Grove, Farmington, Rosemount, Hastings, Sibley, Inver Grove Heights, South St. Paul, Apple Valley, Como/Johnson and Eastview. Associations in D4 would then be New Ulm, St. Peter, Marshall, Fairmont, Luverne, Windom, Redwood Falls, Sleepy Eye, and Worthington. Interesting?

But in D8 action this week, Lakeville South continued their success. After tying Rochester 2-2 and beating South St. Paul 7-0, on Saturday the Cougars beat Woodbury 4-3 in a “messy” game. Both teams underperformed, but the Cougars “underperformed less” and came away with a key victory that prevented the Royals from opening a lead in the D8 standings. These teams are now in a virtual tie with Rochester who beat Rosemount 3-2 also on Sunday. Not too far behind these three teams are Farmington, Rosemount and South St. Paul.

South St. Paul tied Eagan 2-2. This weekend, the Packers host their tourney, opening play against Spring Lake Park. Saint Paul Saints and Red Wing play in the other bracket game. In the upper bracket, Sibley and Cottage Grove meet in the opening game and St. Francis and Tartan play in the second game.

Woodbury has a busy schedule this week. The Royals play Burnsville, Lakeville North, Hopkins and Sibley. Lakeville North also plays Farmington in D8 action. Lakeville South has a single game with Edina on Sunday at Marriuci. That game is played after the Woodbury/Hopkins game. Rochester travels to Moorhead on the weekend. In pool play, they take on Buffalo and Grafton North Dakota.

Hudson upset Stillwater last week 2-0. They also played Hastings. Farmington had a great Red Wing tourney. They took second place, beating New Prague 3-0, North Metro 5-1 before losing to Highland Central 3-2. The Tigers play Burnsville, Hastings, Lakeville North and Jefferson this week.

After hosting their own tourney last weekend, Red Wing travels to South St. Paul for their tourney. They play the Saint Paul Saints in their opener. Dodge County lost to Sibley 7-3 last week. This week they travel west on Highway 14 to Owatonna and play Luverne in the opening round. Northfield also plays in the Owatonna tourney opening against Sioux Falls.

Lakeville South and Woodbury split their two D8 games this year each winning one game. Both teams deserve the #1 seed, but the Cougars only tied a tough Rochester team. They still trail Woodbury in points (factoring in games played), so Woodbury takes the #1 seed and Lakeville South the #2 seed. Both teams are struggled this week and will have chances to straighten themselves out. The Royals take on Burnsville and the Cougars take on Edina.

Rochester had two good games tying Lakeville South and beating Rosemount. They take the #3 seed. But Farmington, Rosemount and Lakeville North are in the chase. D8 remains a tough district this year.

South Region - The South Region consists this year of D3, D4 and D5. These districts cover the southwestern part of Minnesota including the Twin Cities western suburbs. For what ever reason (perhaps because of the new North Star Light Rail) this year these three districts could be the “new guard” of Minnesota Youth Hockey. Two teams, Orono and St. Michael/Albertville, epitomized that “new guard” as they fought it out on chilly Saturday night in Orono’s tourney. It was a great game with STMA winning in OT 4-3.

D4, D5 and other teams like Orono have been ignored in the past, but anybody who loves hockey as a sport, would have enjoyed that Saturday game (including the wood fire). The highly competitive skills and coaching was demonstrated by both teams in that game. At least for this week, there is a “new guard” and they will be tested. Orono plays in the Spirit of Duluth this weekend, STMA plays Osseo/Maple Grove this week and plays Edina at 6:45 PM at Breck (in Breck’s great new arena) on Dec 17.

Two more D3 teams, Osseo/Maple Grove and Wayzata, join Orono play this week in the Spirit of Duluth tourney. D4 is also busy hosting two tourneys this week, at Albert Lea and at Owatonna. Six D4 teams play in the Albert Lea tourney with two tough outsiders, Coon Rapids and North St. Paul. At Owatonna, three D4 teams (New Prague, Luverne and Owatonna) take on three teams from out of state including the Kansas City Stars currently ranked #2 in the nation among AA Major Peewees. Two D8 teams, Northfield and Dodge County, complete the field.

In the South Region, D3 has the depth over D4 and D5. D3 at this point has strong teams from top to bottom, but can send only three teams to the region. In D4 (with three seeds) teams are still struggling. Their performance this week in their tourneys will be indication of D4 strength. D5 has only two seeds and looks strong enough to have four or five competitive teams come March.

D3 - Orono hosted their tourney this week, beating team MALM (Monticello-Annandale-Maple Lake) 7-0 before losing to STMA in the semifinals. The Spartans beat Mounds View 5-0 for third place.

For most of this past decade, Orono has been one of the best positioned associations in the state, playing a rugged D3 youth program against some of the largest associations in the state and then playing Class A high school hockey. Their high school teams played in the state 4 out of 5 years as Section 6A champs until they were moved to Section 2A with tougher teams including Breck and Blake. In a few years, their current peewees should help Orono challenge again. But this week, the peewees head to Duluth and the Spirit tourney. They draw Duluth East, Stillwater and Grand Rapids in pool play.

Osseo/Maple Grove beat Armstrong Cooper 7-1, a touring Grand Rapids 3-0 and Eastview 4-3 this week. OMG play at STMA this week and then travel to the Spirit of Duluth tourney. OMG draws Minnetonka, the Duluth Lakers, and Blaine. Wayzata, after an off week, play in the Spirit. They draw Superior, Thunder Bay and Centennial. The Centennial game will be a re-match of the Eden Prairie semifinal game the Trojans won 7-1.

North Metro lost to Mpls Park 2-1 in D3 action took the consolation title at Red Wing losing to Farmington and New Prague before beating Austin. The Pirates have the next week off. Hopkins won their first D3 game beating Armstrong 4-1 and played Champlin Park. They also have next week off. Armstrong has scheduled a western trip this weekend to Alexandria and Grand Forks.

Osseo/Maple Grove remains unbeaten on top of D3 this week. Their only D3 blemish is a 2-2 tie with Mpls Park. Wayzata, Mpls Park and Orono each have one loss. The other teams have more then one loss. Hopkins has the potential and their second place showing in their own tourney indicates that they will compete.

OMG rapped out a couple of wins this week and Wayzata rested. Despite the Trojans win at Eden Prairie two weeks ago, OMG holds the D3 win over the Trojans and takes the #1 seed this week. Wayzata takes the #2 seed. Orono comes off of their second straight tourney with a third place and takes the #3 seed. The Spirit of Duluth tourney results will spin these seeds around, especially if Orono does well. Oddly enough, Hopkins is not scheduled to play in another tourney this year. Will that help the Royals at D3 playoff time in February?

D4 - As the D4 teams get ready to play in their tourneys next week, it is worthwhile to discuss the change in the D4 playoff format this year. The top two teams in each division qualify for the playoffs. Teams finishing third or lower must play-in (in the East, the lower three teams and in the West the lower four teams). In the qualifying part of the playoffs, the #3 plays the #6 team, the #4 team plays the #5 team at the higher seeds ice in the West; in the East, the #3 team gets a bye while the #4 team hosts the #5 team.

The six teams in the district playoffs at St. Peter will be divided into two pools; American (West #1 versus East #2 and #3) and National Division (East #1 versus West #2 and #3). The two pool winners will play for the D4 #1 and #2 seeds to the South Regional. The two pool runner-ups will play for the #3 seed to the South Regional. The pool tie breakers are not known at this time. First and second place in the East and West are the prize.

In the East, Faribault remains on top. The Falcons took a southern D4 trip, beating Owatonna 4-3, losing to Mason City 4-3 and played Albert Lea. This week the Falcons play in the Albert Lea tourney drawing New Ulm, North St. Paul and Mason City in pool play. New Prague remains unbeaten in D4 and don’t return to league play until mid-December. The Trojans took third in the Red Wing tourney losing their opener to Farmington, beating North Metro and Red Wing. The Trojans play in the Owatonna tourney this week drawing a tough Kansas City Stars in the opening round.

Albert Lea hosts a good tourney this week. Eight teams, two pools, open play on Friday. One pool has host Albert Lea, Austin, Coon Rapids and Waseca. The second pool has Faribault, New Ulm, North St. Paul and Mason City. The Albert Lea Thunder plays the Bismarck Bobcats (North American Hockey League) in Albert Lea on Friday and Saturday nights during the tourney for those who still didn’t get enough hockey at the tourney.

Owatonna has their tourney this weekend. The Host opens play on Friday against Waterloo Iowa. In the other side of the bracket, Luverne plays Dodge County. The Kansas City Stars return to Minnesota with hopes to add a second tourney title to the one they got in Mankato. The Stars play New Prague in the opener in the lower bracket. Sioux Falls and Northfield complete the tourney field.

Marshall travels to Moorhead to play in their tourney. In pool play they draw a Fargo team and Andover. Mason City Iowa by beating Faribault last Friday has moved into a tie with the Falcons in D4 East.

In the West Division, Mankato beat Waseca 8-0 and Luverne 4-2 last week. The Mavericks have a single D4 game against St. Peter this week. St. Peter looks to be the principle Maverick challenger beating Marshall 7-1 and New Ulm 8-1, but they lost to Owatonna 5-0 at Owatonna. The Cardinals return there this week to play in Owatonna’s tourney.

New Prague may have lost to Farmington this week, but that lost does not take away the #1 seed. Mankato takes the #2 seed and Faribault the #3 seed this week. Their only challenger at this point looks to be St. Peter, but Owatonna may be coming together as a team. Luverne will be tested in the Owatonna tourney.

D5 - Just went D5 starts to have some order, Sartell gets upset this week in a penalty filled game at River Lakes 3-1. That was the Sabres’ first lost this year. Then Crow River is one of two D5 teams (STMA was the other) tangled in the Orono tourney championship game.

But this week, STMA rolled into a wall. After beating Buffalo 7-0, the Knights rolled into Orono. In a tough opening game, they beat Prior Lake/Savage 2-1. The Lakers jumped to a 1-0 lead and the Knights came back to tie it at the end of the first period. Both teams skated well in a physical game played by two physical teams. In the third period, the Knights scored the winning goal and then went into a defensive shell and hung on for the win. The Lakers came close to tying the game more then once. With less then 10 seconds remaining, a Laker forward had a shot at open net only to have the puck take a crazy bounce over his swinging stick. STMA went on to win a great OT game over Orono 4-3 in the semifinals and played Crow River in an all D5 finals.

Then the Knights hit a wall and lost to the Tigers in the championship game. Crow River got to the finals by beating Warroad 7-0 and Mounds View 4-3.

Buffalo travels to Moorhead this weekend. Hutchinson tied St. Peter 4-4 and beat Kennedy 4-2 and played Litchfield. MALM lost to Mound Westonka 2-1 and played in the Orono tourney losing to Orono 7-0, losing to Prior Lake and played Northen Lakes. MALM showed good team discipline against Prior Lake before giving up two quick goals at the end of the first period. The Stars did not recover from that.

STMA beat two tough teams Orono and Prior Lake in the Orono Tourney and may have the best player in the state. But they lost to Crow River. The Orono champs deserve the #1 seed this week. STMA takes the #2 seed and Sartell the #3 seed. D5 has a number of other tough teams in their league (Buffalo, Hutchinson and Mound Westonka). Picking the #3 seed is difficult, but a single loss to River Lakes can’t keep Sartell from taking it.

West Region - In two districts in this region, D10 and D16, two good teams appear to be emerging (Elk River and Andover from D10; East Grand Forks and Bemidji from D16). If their coaches could play the regional today, they probably would go for it. But this is peewee A hockey and developing kids play great and then not so great as they grow and learn. No one knows what will happen in March. But with just a single loss (to Wayzata), Elk River still looks dominant. The Elks play Andover this week.

The play in D15 is wide open. Detroit Lakes, Moorhead, Alexandria, and Brainerd are challenging each other. Schedule quirks and upsets abound. That makes D15 a fun district to watch. It’s like being on a roller coaster.

D10 - To show how odd the D10 schedule is this year, look at the number of teams above .500 as of 12/8. Of the fourteen teams playing peewee A, only three teams has a record above .500 (Andover, Elk River, and Rogers). Two teams are at .500 Champlin Park and Centennial. One team, Blaine, has played two games.

Elk River and Andover are still unbeaten in D10. The Elks are 5-0 and Andover is 6-0. The Elks hold a single point edge in “unfairplay” points. But this week, the two teams meet in Elk River to answer the question, “will the Elks have competition in D10 this year?” Both teams tuned up for that game last week against D10 teams. Andover beat Anoka 3-0 and Champlin Park 10-3. Elk River beat Centennial 3-1. Besides Andover, the Elks play Osseo/Maple Grove this week. Andover travels to Moorhead to play in the Spuds tourney. They draw Marshall and the Fargo Flyers who are 9-0-1 on the season.

Centennial head to Duluth to play in the Spirit tourney. They draw Wayzata, Thunder Bay and Superior in pool play. Besides losing to Elk River, Centennial tied Spring Lake Park 2-2 and beat Coon Rapids 7-1. Coon Rapids beat Grand Rapids last week and travel this week to Albert Lea. They play Waseca, Albert Lea and Austin in pool play.

Blaine beat Spring Lake Park last week 5-4. Spring Lake Park tied Centennial 2-2, tied St. Cloud 3-3 and beat CINB 10-1 in D10 action. This week they travel to South St. Paul, playing the host in the opening game of what maybe the best game of the tourney. St. Cloud also tied Anoka 2-2 last week. This week they play Champlin Park.

Rogers remains on top of the Green Division, barely on top. They lost to Anoka 5-1 and Chisago Lakes 3-1 last week. This week they play Champlin Park. Where the Blue Division looks to be the domain of two teams, Elk River and Andover; the Green Division looks wide open. No team has taken control nor appears to be positioned to take control of the Green.

Elk River is still solidly #1 in D10 this week. Andover remains the #2 seed. Though these two teams will tangle in the next few days, Elk River should remain on top. With the Green Division in disarray and both Champlin Park and Centennial struggling, the zinc penny flip came up Anoka. The Tornadoes won two of three this week, their lone loss was to Andover.

D15 - Moorhead hosts their tourney this week. It is a twelve team, four pool tourney with each team playing two Sunday games. The twelve teams will all end up being placed from 1-12. One pool has Grafton, Buffalo and Rochester; another has Brainerd, Chisago Lakes and Littleton Colorado. A third pool has Moorhead, the Dakota Lazers, and Omaha. The fourth pool has the Fargo Flyers, Andover and Marshall. The Spuds last week beat Crookston 3-1, Prairie Centre 10-0 and Thief River Falls 5-2. The Spuds are a perfect 3-0 in D15 play, but Detroit Lakes leads the league.

The Lakers are top with a 6-1 record and have a single D15 game this week at Wadena this week. After this week, they play almost the rest of their D15 games at home.

Detroit Lakes is hosting its own tourney this weekend. Teams entered are the Bismarck Admirals, the Bismarck Blades, the Mandan Braves, the Fargo Flyers, Wadena, Crookston, Proctor, Prairie Centre, International Falls, JVC Prowl (Jamestown North Dakota), and River Lakes. Alexandria continues to play well. At Hermantown, the Cardinals lost their opener to Hermantown 4-2, but came back to take the consolation championship beating the Saint Paul Saints 6-3 and Apple Valley 7-2. This weekend they host Sartell and Armstrong in a pair of tough games.

Brainerd lost to Bemidji 6-0 last week. This week they play in the Moorhead tourney. Northern Lakes (Crosby/Pequot) played in the Orono tourney losing to Mounds View and losing to Warroad 5-0 and played MALM. Prairie Center draws Wadena, JVC Prowl, and the Bismarck Blades at the Detroit Lakes tourney. Fergus Falls plays Fargo Angels and the Fargo Raiders this weekend.

Moorhead takes the #1 seed, but they will be challenged. Alexandria based on their play at Hermantown take the #2 seed and Detroit Lakes takes the #3 seed. Brainerd drops out, but a respectable showing at Moorhead will change that. This district remains wide open.

D16 - Bemidji went on its own roll last week. The Lumberjacks beat Roseau 10-0, lost a close overtime game to East Grand Forks 5-4, beat Detroit Lakes 6-2 and beat Brainerd 6-0. With Bemidji’s Paul Bunyan tourney three weeks away, this maybe Bemidji’s year in D16. They play Hallock and East Grand Forks this week. The Green Wave added two more wins to their OT win over Bemidji on the weekend, beating the Grand Forks Seawolves and Thief River Falls 11-4, to remain unbeaten. This week, they play Roseau and the Grand Forks Greyhounds. East Grand Forks plays Burnsville in the Grand Rapids Hall of Fame tourney in two weeks.

Roseau bounced back from the Bemidji loss to string three wins together. The Rams beat Hibbing 7-2, International Falls 2-1 and LOW 11-2. They play Hallock this week before hosting EGF in what is the most interesting game in D16 this week.

Warroad played in the Orono tourney this past weekend. They lost their opening game to eventual champion Crow River 2-0, beat Northern Lakes 5-0 and played Prior Lake in the consolation finals. Crookston travels to Detroit Lakes to play in their tourney. The Pirates draw International Falls, the Mandan Braves and River Lakes in pool play. LOW goes north to Kenora to play in their tourney. Thief River Falls plays Bemidji and Crookston this week.

East Grand Forks is unbeaten and continues to look good, but a shaky overtime win over Bemidji, means that the Green Wave will be challenged in D16. Still they take the #1 seed this week and Bemidji takes the #2 seed. These two teams meet again in two weeks. Crookston looks to be a potential challenger. The Detroit Lakes tourney will be a good test. Roseau won three out of four games last week and could give East Grand Forks problems when they meet in Roseau on Sunday.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Frederick61, you are the man. That is quite possibly the most thorough breakdown of PeeWee A hockey I've ever seen. I don't detect any hidden agendas either.

    Great work!