Note: This electronic versus of Another Way to Look at PeeWee Hockey has been updated through Wednesday’s district playoff games.
The 103 teams in the running for the state title just two weeks ago have been whittled down to 59. By Sunday, that number will be reduced to 32. Of the 12 district playoffs that started last week, four (D4, D12, D15 and D16) have crowned their champs.
D1 has Highland and Mpls Park playing for the #1 seed. D2 has Stillwater and White Bear Lake playing for the #1 seed. D3 has determined two of their three seeds. Wayzata and OMG will either take the #1 or #2 seeds. D4 winners were Mankato #1, New Prague #2, and St. Peter #3. D5 has STMA and Hutchinson playing for the #1 seed, but the loser could still be out.
D6 has determined the three teams that will represent D6 (Edina, Eden Prairie, and Burnsville). But which team will take which seed will not be determined until the weekend. D8 starts to roll on Thursday. D10 has Andover and Elk River playing for the #1 seed with the loser guaranteed a seed.
D11 has Duluth East and the Duluth Lakers playing for the #1 seed with the loser guaranteed a seed. D12 is over, Grand Rapids took the #1 and Hibbing the #2. D15 is over; the top three teams are Moorhead #1, Alexandria #2, and Brainerd #3. D16 crowned East Grand Forks the champ (and #1 seed). Bemidji took the #2 seed.
The regional tourney draw can be partially populated. The following teams will be in the North Red Division: D11 #1 (Duluth East or Duluth Lakers), D2 #2, Hibbing, and D11 #3; in the North Blue: D2 #1 (White Bear Lake or Stillwater), D11 #2, Grand Rapids, and D2 #3.
The following teams will be in the East Red Division: D8 #1, D6 #2, D1 #2, and D8 #3; in the East Blue Division: D6 #1, D8#2, D1 #1 (Highland or Mpls Park), and D6 #3.
In the South Red Division: Wayzata or OMG, D5 #2, New Prague, and St. Peter; in the South Blue Division: STMA or Hutchinson, Wayzata or OMG, Mankato, and D3 #3.
In the West Red Division: Moorhead, Bemidji, D10 #2, and D10 #3; in the West Blue Division: East Grand Forks, Alexandria, D10 #1 (Elk River or Andover), and Brainerd.
Two teams in each regional will win seeds to the state tourney on Sunday, March 7th. The state tourney draw is already set. In one bracket, North #1 will play East #2 and South #1 plays West #2. In the other bracket, East #1 plays North #2 and West #1 plays South #2.
For those who like to plan ahead, Moorhead will play Bemidji in the opening game of the West Region at East Grand Forks. New Prague will play St. Peter in their opening game of the South Region (second regional game) at Maple Grove. All regional tourneys start at the same time (10:00 Friday, March 5th). The following summarizes each districts play.
The 97 Fire were eliminated “quarterfinals” of the Quebec tourney. They made the final eight of the 56 team tourney. After an opening overtime loss to Slovakia K&B 6-5, the Fire strung three wins together beating the Montreal Juniors 2-0, Gatineau Olympiques 3-0, and the Whitby Wildcats 4-3 before losing to Richelieu Voyagers 2-1. Richelieu scored the winning goal in the last minute of the game.
The top four teams in the tourney were the Montreal Canadians, Detroit Compuware, Richelieu Voyagers and the Burnaby Winter. Detroit Compuware beat Richelieu 3-1 and Burnaby Winter 1-0 to win the tourney. Detroit Belle Tire, Zurich Lions, and the St. Louis Blues joined the Fire to complete the top eight teams. Congratulations to the Fire on a good tourney.
District 1 - In the first round games, Highland beat Irondale 8-1 and Mpls Park beat the Saint Paul Saints 4-2. Highland plays Mpls Park on Thursday for the #1 seed.
Irondale and the Saints play for the #2 seed. The winner plays the loser of the Highland/Mpls Park game; the loser is out of the playoffs. The Knights and the Saints have tied twice in league games, 2-2 and 3-3.
District 2 - In opening quarter final rounds, White Bear Lake beat Tartan 8-3 and Mahtomedi beat Forest Lake 4-3 in OT. The Bears beat the Zephyrs 7-0 to take a D2 North Regional seed.
Stillwater beat North St. Paul 7-3 and Roseville beat Mounds View 5-1. The Ponies beat Roseville 6-1 in the other D2 semifinal game. They play White Bear Lake for the #1 seed in the championship game on Saturday. The loser plays the winner of the single elimination part of the playoffs for the #2 seed. White Bear Lake has beaten the Ponies twice in league play (4-2 and 3-2).
Tartan meets Forest Lake with the winner playing Roseville. North St. Paul plays Mounds View with the winner playing Mahtomedi. The winners play each other; the losers are out of the playoffs. The Titans have beaten and tied the Rangers (4-4 and 4-2). Mounds View and North St. Paul split their two league games. The Mustangs lost 4-3 and won 4-1.
The winner of these four teams will play the championship game loser for the #2 seed; the loser gets the #3 seed.
District 3 - Wayzata beat Orono 6-3. That win gave the Trojans the #1 or #2 seed to South Region; OMG beat Hopkins 6-1 to get either the #1 or #2 seed. Wayzata and OMG play each other at PIC on Friday in a rematch of last Sunday’s regular season championship game that ended in a 2-2 tie. The winner of this game will end up in the South Red Division and could end up playing another D3 team on Sunday to get to state.
The Orono and Wayzata teams played an outstanding game in their semifinal. The Spartans trailed by a goal late into the third period. Then the refs lost control of the game for about five minutes as both teams resorted to a very physical game. The Trojans came out the better, scoring a critical fifth goal to break the Spartans pressure. But the best player on the ice for that game was wearing red and black.
Orono play Armstrong and Hopkins play North Metro in D3 games. If the Spartans or Royals are looking ahead, and they win their playback games, they could end up playing OMG or Wayzata in a key South Regional Blue game at Maple Grove next Saturday morning.
District 4 - Six teams met at the Le Sueur Community Center to decide which teams get the three South Regional seeds. Mankato and New Prague entered the playoffs with the #1 seeds and the Mustangs threw three sixes to take the D4 championship and the #1 D4 seed to the South Region. They beat Owatonna 6-1, Faribault 6-2 and New Prague 6-3.
New Prague beat Luverne 4-1 and St. Peter to make the championship game. They take the #2 D4 seed. St. Peter beat Faribault 2-1 on Sunday to take the #3 D4 seed. All three teams (Mustangs, Trojans and Bulldogs) travel to Maple Grove to play in the South Regional tourney.
On Saturday, a short bench Luverne team was beaten by St. Peter/Le Seuer 6-3 to end their regional tourney hopes. Not always is a peewee game about winning and losing. Sometimes it’s about overcoming. Accolades for an outstanding performance need to be acknowledged.
This one recognizes the Luverne team. The Luverne kids worked hard in their game with St. Peter, all 9 kids. They were “iron kids” playing their second tourney game in 24 hours. They led 2-1 going into the third period. With nine forwards, that meant somebody had to double shift during the game and one Cardinal defenseman took on that challenge.
He skated 35 minutes out of the 45 minute, stop time, game. He turned the Bulldogs back consistently and prevented pressure or eased pressure on his team. And he did it knowing that he had to skate reserving his energy, to focus on what he needed to do to keep his team in the game, not just taking off with the puck.
St. Peter’s tie breaking goal late in the third period came when he was in the penalty box (on a marginal call). On a team of “iron kids”, he was the “iron kid”. Good going Cardinals. They didn’t make the regional tourney, but they will be remembered.
District 5 - When the dust had settled at the playoffs in Litchfield, STMA and Hutchinson were left to play each other for the #1 seed. STMA beat River Lakes 8-1 and Buffalo 5-3 to get there; Hutchinson beat Litchfield 5-3 and Sartell 5-2. Sartell/Crow River and Buffalo/Mound Westonka play each other for the #2 seed. The STMA/Hutchinson loser drops down to play the winner of those four teams.
District 6 - Minnetonka made it through the wild card part that opens the D6 playoffs only to lose to Eastview 1-0 in the first double elimination game. Eden Prairie lost to Prior Lake 3-1 in the second game. That setup a semifinal round where Edina (bye) beat Eastview 9-0 and Burnsville (bye) beat Prior Lake 4-1.
Those wins assured Edina and Burnsville of a seed to the East Regional. Those two teams played for a spot in the D6 championship game and the #1 regional seed Wednesday at Pagel. The Hornets beat the Blaze 5-4 for the fourth time this season to move into Saturday’s championship game.
In the single elimination bracket, Prior Lake beat Minnetonka 5-4 to end the Skippers year; Eden Prairie beat Eastview 3-1 to end the Lightning’s playoff. The Eagles then beat Prior Lake 2-1 to take a seed in the East. The three teams (Burnsville, Edina, and Eden Prairie) remain in contention for the #1, #2, and #3 seeds. The shootout opens with Burnsville playing Eden Prairie on Friday. The winner plays in Saturday’s game; the loser takes the #3 seed.
District 8 - The D8 opening round was played Sunday. Hastings beat Eagan 4-1 to advance to play #1 seeded Rosemount. Farmington beat Lakeville South 1-0 to advance to play the Rosemount/Hastings winner. Rochester beat Lakeville North 4-0 and South St. Paul beat Sibley 4-2 to advance to play Woodbury. The tourney continues on Thursday, but Saturday is the win or go home day in D8.
District 10 - Andover went into a funk three weeks ago after losing their bid for the D10 Blue championship to Elk River. Worst yet the Huskies drew Centennial, a team that had beaten the Huskies 2-1 three weeks ago. On Sunday, the Huskies beat Centennial 5-1 and followed that with a Tuesday win over Champlin Park 4-0 to advance to the D10 championship game. The Huskies are assured of a D10 seed to the West Regional. Champlin Park upended Green champ Rogers 3-2 in their opening game.
Elk River beat Blaine 7-1 and Spring Lake Park 6-2 to move into the D10 championship game and assure the Elks of a D10 seed. Spring Lake Park beat a tough St. Francis team 5-1 their opening game. Andover and Elk River meet in the championship game for the #1 D10 seed on the weekend. The loser plays the winner of the single elimination part of the playoff for the #2 seed. The loser of that game gets the #3 seed.
In the fight for the last seed to the West, Blaine plays St. Francis and Rogers plays Centennial. The Blaine/St. Francis winner plays Champlin Park; the Rogers/Centennial winner plays Spring Lake Park.
District 11 - Cloquet beat Proctor 4-0 in the first game of the D11 tourney. The Lumberjacks then lost to Duluth East 4-1. The Duluth Lakers beat Hermantown 3-2 in triple OT. The Hounds and the Lakers are in the North Regional as a result of those wins. They play each other to advance to the D11 championship game.
After losing to the Lakers, Hermantown beat Proctor 3-1 to end the Rails tournament trail and keep the Hawks hopes for a regional seed alive. They play Cloquet for the third seed to the North Regional on Thursday. The winner plays the plays the Duluth East/Duluth Lakers loser.
District 12 - Grand Rapids took the #1 seed into the playoffs and the Thunderhawks took the #1 D12 seed to the North Region out of the playoffs. They beat Greenway 8-0 and Hibbing 5-4 in the championship game. Hibbing was the #2 seed in the playoffs and took the #2 D12 seed to the North Region. The Bluejackets beat International Falls twice in two overtime games (4-3 and 3-2) at the Hipp in Eveleth to take the seed. The Falls ended their season beating Virginia twice and Eveleth-Gilbert to get to the final seed game. Virginia, after struggling all season, upset Greenway 4-3 to end Greenway’s playoff hopes.
District 15 - Moorhead swept through the D15 playoffs beating Prairie Center 7-0, Brainerd 5-1, and Alexandria 5-3 to take the #1 D15 seed to the West Regional in East Grand Forks. Alexandria took the #2 D15 seed, beating Wadena and Detroit Lakes 2-1 before losing to the Spuds. Fergus Falls upset Detroit Lakes in a playback game 4-1 to knock the Lakers out of the playoffs. The Otters lost to Brainerd 7-3 in the battle for the #3 D15 seed.
District 16 - Both East Grand Forks and Bemidji entered the D16 playoffs last week appearing to be struggling as a team. But they had no trouble with their D16 opposition. East Grand Forks quickly dispatched LOW and beat host Roseau 7-3. Bemidji equally as quick beat Warroad and beat a tough Crookston team 7-1. That set up a championship game between the #1 and #2 seeded teams on Sunday.
East Grand Forks won 7-3 to take the D16 #1 seed to the West Regional that the Green Wave will host. Bemidji takes the D16 #2 seed.