Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Another Way to Look at PeeWee A Hockey - Nov. 24

By frederick61

Some PeeWee A teams start their season late September or the first week of October. Some teams start as late as mid-November. But Thanksgiving weekend is probably the biggest youth hockey weekend in the state. With high school hockey is just getting rolling that leaves the arenas with blocks of time that tourney’s can fill. And the tourney’s can be profitable. The Duluth “Spirit of Duluth Tourney” organizers maintain that the Spirit tourney brings one-two million dollars in tourism to Duluth in the second week in December each year.

This Thanksgiving, multiple Peewee A tourneys are being played. Burnsville hosts a 12-team tourney with a modified Sliver Stick point system. The Fargo Flyers Gold are playing at Burnsville this year. Eden Prairie hosts a 16-team tourney which includes Roseau this year. The Eden Prairie tourney used the 2 points for a win, 1 for a tie, and tiebreakers to determine the four teams that play on championship Sunday. Eden Prairie has a four-team consolation round, also on Sunday.

Hopkins has an eight-team bracket play tourney. Mankato has an eight-team pool play tourney that matches all eight teams on Sunday based on pool results. The Maverick tourney includes the return of the Kansas City Stars (last year’s champion) this year. Mounds View (with Irondale as co-host) has an eight-team bracket play tourney at the Super Rink.

As surprising as it may seem, once the Thanksgiving Tourneys are over, the season for most Twin Cities based teams is almost one third over where teams like Roseau are just getting started.

Spring Lake Park and Superior had their tourneys last week. The Panthers tourney is always a tough tourney. This year was no exception. The tourney opening round results were predictable, but how the teams won was unpredictable.

In the first game, Anoka had to come back from a four-goal deficit to beat Shakopee in overtime. Most would have predicted a solid win for the Tornadoes. Shakopee scored a quick goal in the first 15 seconds of the game, lifting a rebound over a sprawled goalie into the net. The teams skated evenly for the next eight minutes, both playing a physical game. Then at the three minute mark, the Sabres scored on a nice back hand shot. Less than 2 minutes later they added a power play goal and twenty seconds later scored the fourth time to take a 4-0 lead at the end of the first period.

Anoka needed the break between periods. It showed. They came whirling back (what else go Tornadoes do) destroying the Sabre’s penalty killing defense to score two power play goals. They added a blazing shot from a forward breaking into the slot and hitting the upper right corner to pull within one goal 4-3. That all happened in the first four minutes of the period. The teams again settled into a physical style of play, closely checking each other, until Anoka evened the score with 2 minutes left in the second period. The game remained tied 4-4 until halfway through the third period. Then Anoka took the lead. The Tornadoes had been pressuring the Sabre defense most of the period. At the 6 minute mark, a forward picked the up puck on the inside the Sabre’s defensive zone, skated to the crease and faked the goalie into a left leg pad save. Instead of shooting, he tucked the puck through the goalies open 5-hole. Nice play against a tough goalie.

Down 5-4 with less than a minute left in the game, the Sabres pulled their goalie and crashed the net finally scoring with 11 seconds left in the game to send the game into overtime. In the first two minutes of the 4 on 4 overtime period, an Anoka forward broke the Sabre defense and drove the winning goal into the upper left corner from the face-off circle to give the Tornadoes a 6-5 win. Though the game was very physical, few penalties were called. It was simply a hard fought game.

In the other bracket game, Mahtomedi played Princeton. Both goalies had an outstanding game. Each had to withstand intense pressure at key times of the game. Princeton was unsettled at the start of the game and the Zephyrs nice passing game took advantage. They scored twice to take a 2-0 lead, the first goal coming when a Zephyr forward split the defense and drove a hard shot into the net. The final score was 2-1.

Princeton showed some strength in the game and has improved for the second year in a row. The Tigers 2-1 loss to Rogers early this year shows that. The Tigers should be an interesting team to watch this season. Most would have predicted a solid win by the Zephyrs, not a close game. The Zephyrs beat a tough Highland team 9-2 two weeks ago in D2 play. To the Zephyrs credit, they played well and really pressured the Tiger defense. They are a contender in D2.

The third game of the opening round matched host Spring Lake Park against Sauk Rapids. Spring Lake Park is improving team and has played some good teams in this early season, most notably beating Osseo/Maple Grove 2-1 last week. Sauk Rapids home ice is the Sports Arena East on the Benton County Fairgrounds. They usually don’t get ice until the weather cools. That means a slow start for the kids playing hockey. This looked to be an easy game for the Spring Lake Park Panthers. It was not.

It was tough game as the Storm kids “hung in.” The score was 4-2 deep into the third period before the Panthers put the game away 6-2. The key to the Storm success was not size or speed, but consistent team play. The Storm held positions and kept their cool. The Panthers played well, so did the Storm.

Waconia and the Omaha Jr. Lancers played in the final game. Waconia won 5-0. The Lancers are a AA PeeWee team that plays in a regional (USA) hockey league and is a good AA team. Anoka beat Mahtomedi 4-1 and Spring Lake Park beat Waconia 4-2 in the semifinals. On Sunday, Anoka beat the host Panthers in the championship game. Sauk Rapids beat Omaha 7-4 and Shakopee beat Princeton 4-1 to gain the consolation finals. Shakopee took the Consolation title, beating Sauk Rapids 6-3.

In the “Colder by the Lake” Superior tourney, Superior hosted two of their D11 league teams (Cloquet and Hermantown) along with Highland, Thunder Bay Kings, Eveleth, Proctor, and the Northwest Stars. Cloquet took the title beating out Hermantown 2-1. The Lumberjacks look to have a solid team once they get rolling. Hermantown is not an easy team to beat. Cloquet got to championship Sunday by beating a tough Thunder Bay 6-4 and Hermantown got there by beating an equally tough Highland 4-3.

North Region (D12, D15, D16) - The districts in this region are testing each other in early season play. Most notably, D15 Moorhead Black beat D16 perennial strong team, East Grand Forks, last week. Alexandria lost two close games, one to East Grand Forks and another to D16 team, Crookston. In a test of D15 and D12 teams, Northern Lakes makes a trip to the Range. As Sherlock always says, “the game is afoot.”

D12 hosted another D8 team this week, Hastings. Grand Rapids beat the Raiders 10-3. Hastings beat Virginia 6-1, lost to Hibbing 4-2, and Duluth 7-3. The Thunderhawks are off this week as they prepare for a foray into D10 in two weeks (playing Andover, Blaine, Centennial and Elk River). Mesabi East begins play hosting Superior and opening D12 league play against Virginia on the weekend at the Hoyt Lakes arena. Greenway hosts St. Francis in addition to Northern Lakes in a round robin set of games Virginia will be the fourth team. The Blue Devils also plays Hermantown this week.

Eveleth played in Superior’s tourney last week. The Golden Bears lost to Thunder Bay Kings 10-0, to Proctor 7-1, to Cloquet, and to the Northwest Stars 3-1. That is a tough way to open your season. This week they travel down Highway 53 to play Proctor (to Bob Dylan fans, Highway 61 goes to Thunder Bay; but “Highway 53 via Highway 61 Revisited” would probably not sell vinyl in the 60’s). Hibbing plays Hermantown, Proctor and the Duluth Lakers this week as the Bluejackets get their season going. International Falls also begins season play this weekend hosting Hermantown and Fort Francis.

This week the top D12 seed this week is Grand Rapids. The #2 seed seems to be firmly in Hibbing’s grasp based on the win over Hastings. That leaves the #3 seed wide open. Greenway, Mesabi East and the Falls are just opening their season this weekend. Virginia continues to develop and will be tested by a good Hermantown team. But Eveleth-Gilbert opened their season by playing in a tough Superior tourney. The Golden Bears deserve the #3 seed this week.

D15 - Northern Lakes makes a foray in D12 next week playing Virginia and Greenway. This week the Lightning split two league games, losing to Fergus Falls 3-2 and beating Little Falls 2-1. All the league games the Lightning have played have been close scores. Their trip to D12 should be an interest early season test of strength between D12 and D15.

Early in November, the two Moorhead A played their first two D15 games against each other. The Moorhead Black beat the Moorhead Orange twice by identical 1-0 scores. Last week, the Black added D15 wins over Fergus Falls 10-3 and Brainerd 5-0. The Black also beat East Grand Forks 5-3. This week the Black plays Duluth East, Detroit Lakes, and Alexandria. The Orange were off last week. They play Alexandria this week. Brainerd beat Sartell 6-1 last week. The Warriors are off to a good start losing only to Moorhead Black and Cloquet. This week they play the Fargo Angels.

Alexandria lost to East Grand Forks 6-3 and to Crookston 6-4 last week. The Cardinals also played the Grand Forks Seawolves. This weekend they host the Moorhead Black and the Moorhead Orange in two early season key D15 games. Detroit Lakes beat Thief River Falls 3-2 and tied Fergus Falls 6-6 last week. This week, they play the Moorhead Black and the Fargo Angels. Fergus Falls hosts the Grand Forks Greyhounds this week. Little Falls travels to the St. Cloud area to play Sauk Rapids. Prairie Centre beat the Flyers 6-1 last week. Park Rapids and Wadena are each entering a B-team in D15 play and will not play A-level.

This week the seeds remain the same. The Moorhead Black still holds the #1 seed and Alexandria the #2 seed. The Black win over the EGF Green Wave is a good start for D15. Northern Lakes play on the Range should be another indicator.

D16 has three seeds to the North Regional and seven teams contending. Red Lake Falls opened their D16 beating Warroad 7-6. They play the Fargo Flyers this week. Bemidji opens their D16 season at Crookston and then hosts Duluth East this week. Crookston opened their season last week in style, beating Alexandria and the Grand Forks Seawolves 5-4. The Pirates play the Grand Forks Greyhounds this week in addition to Bemidji.

Roseau is a team that goes from 0 to 100 mph in one week. They opened their season last Sunday beating Grafton, ND 4-3 and this week they travel to Eden Prairie to play in their Turkey day tourney. They play Wayzata, Chaska, and Eagan in pool play. East Grand Forks hosts a peewee A tourney over the Thanksgiving holidays. Teams entered besides the Green Wave are the APHA Rangers, Bismarck Blades, Winnipeg East, Bismarck Admirals and Pembina Trail. Thief River Falls hosts Duluth, the Grand Forks Golden Eagles and Crookston this week.

Crookston’s play last week gives the Pirates the #1 seed this week. But with the rest of the D16 still just getting their seasons underway, it is a guess for #2 and #3. Roseau’s performance in the Eden Prairie tourney will clear some uncertainly, but until that happens, history prevails. The #2 seed goes to East Grand Forks and the #3 seed to Bemidji.

South Region (D4, D8, D9) - D4 has two seeds to the South Regional and three teams playing PeeWee A this year. Two teams are playing in District 5 and one team in District 9 this year. D8 looks to dominate this region as a result of last week’s play. The Mankato tourney will be interesting test of four D9 teams and Rochester Black will tested in the Hopkins tourney. But the real debate after the Eden Prairie and Burnsville tourneys are over this week will be “is D8 better then D6?”

But returning to D4 teams; Luverne is playing a D9 schedule while Marshall and Redwood Falls are playing D5. Luverne and Marshall played each other in their opener two weeks ago. Luverne opened with wins over Owatonna, Austin, and New Ulm. The Cardinals lost to Mankato 4-2. Marshall lost to River Lakes 9-0 and Litchfield/Cokato/Dassel 11-1 last week. Redwood Falls lost to Hutchinson 9-1 last week. The #1 seed here goes to Luverne and the #2 to Marshall.

Rosemount and Farmington continued their great play as D8 league play went into full swing this past week. Rosemount beat Eagan and Woodbury. The Irish played a hard aggressive checking game against Woodbury and jumped out to a 2 goal lead in the first period. Woodbury lost their “unfairplay” point at the end of the first period on a 2 and 10 minute penalty and struggled in the second period. The Irish added a goal to take a 3-1 lead into the third period. The Predators came alive at the start of the third period and cut the Irish lead to 3-2. But another Predator penalty put the Irish on the power play. They scored quickly to take 4-2 lead and less than a minute later added a fifth goal to put the game away.

Rosemount has improved in the past few weeks and Woodbury has slowed. Woodbury beat Sibley 6-2 earlier in the week. The Predators play in the Burnsville Turkey Day tourney this week. They draw St. Louis Park, Jefferson, and Blaine in pool play. Rosemount, Eastview and Apple Valley play at Burnsville also. The Irish and the Lightning are in the same pool with Waconia and the Fargo Flyers. Apple Valley draws host Burnsville, Roseville and Centennial in pool play. Woodbury and Rosemount could meet again on this coming Sunday.

Farmington beat Eastview 7-0 and Inver Grove Heights/South St. Paul. In the Eastview game, Farmington jumped out to a 4-0 lead at the end of the first period in beating the Lightning. Against the IGH/SSP, Farmington ran into an outstanding goalie that stopped shot after shot from close in and kept the Spartans in the game until the Spartans switched goalies at the halfway mark. The score was 1-0. It is hard for a goalie to come in cold against a good team, and the Tigers quickly scored three goals to take a 4-0 lead into the final period. Farmington plays Armstrong this week.

Lakeville North lost a close game to a tough Burnsville team 5-3, then beat Apple Valley 5-2 and Johnson/Como 5-1 to open D8 play. The Panthers play in the Eden Prairie tourney this week drawing Edina, STMA and Stillwater. They should do well in tourney play this week. Lakeville South beat Eastview 2-1 and lost to Prior Lake 7-6 last week. They are playing in the Eden Prairie tourney also and draw Rochester Red, Eden Prairie and Mpls Storm in pool play. They should do well also especially if they have a good game against Eden Prairie.

Hastings always starts late with their peewee team and usually they become tougher after the first of the year. They won one game (Virginia) and lost two games (Grand Rapids and Hibbing) on their northern swing through D12. This week the Raiders have a home and home games with Sibley (non-conference) that should be an interesting match-up for both teams. Hastings has an early season win over Rochester Red 3-1.

Sibley, besides losing to Woodbury, beat Eagan last week. Apple Valley lost to IGH/SSP last week and showed improvement in their game against Lakeville North. IGH/SSP plays Highland and Johnson/Como this week. Johnson/Como plays in the Super Rink tourney this weekend, drawing Mahtomedi in the opening game. The Devils lost to Irondale 3-0 last week. Eagan plays in the Eden Prairie tourney drawing Chaska, Roseau and Wayzata in pool play.

The seeds remain the same this week. Farmington takes the #1 seed; the Irish take the #2 seed; and Woodbury takes the #3 seed. Lakeville North, Lakeville South and Eastview are challengers. All three teams have opportunities this week to show improvement in their tourney play. Add to those top 6 teams, Sibley and Inver Grove Heights/South St. Paul are playing well. If the D8 teams do well at Eden Prairie, Burnsville and the Super Rink, D8 maybe the tough district this year.

The story in D9 is Rochester. The Rochester Red team is playing an independent schedule and not playing in either of the D9 divisions. Instead, there are two Rochester teams are in the same division (East) with Northfield, Austin, Red Wing and Dodge County. The West division has Owatonna, Luverne, New Ulm, Faribault, Albert Lea and Mankato.

The Rochester Red was beaten by Wayzata last week 11-1. This week the Red play at Eden Prairie drawing Lakeville South, Mpls Storm and Eden Prairie in pool play. The Rochester Black hosted Coon Rapids and Red Wing on the weekend losing both games 8-2 to Rapids and 3-2 to the Wings. The Black play in the Hopkins Tourney this weekend. They open against Mound/Westonka in bracket play. The Rochester Gold lost twice to Coon Rapids, 7-2 and 7-0 on the weekend. They tied Austin 1-1 in their first D9 game. They play in the Mankato tourney this weekend and draw New Ulm, Kansas City Stars and the Sioux Falls Blue.

Red Wing has gotten off to a good start in division play. The Wings own a 4-3 win over Dodge County, have tied Faribault 2-2, and played Northfield besides beating Rochester Black. This week they host Mason City, Iowa and Owatonna. Dodge County lost to Northfield 5-4 last week and plays Owatonna this week. The East Division will be tough this year.

The D9 story shifts to Mankato and the West Division this week. Three teams, Luverne, Owatonna and Mankato, have jumped out to an early lead. First the Mavericks ran off three straight D9 wins beating Albert Lea 7-0, Owatonna 7-6 and Luverne 4-2. Second Mankato hosts an interesting Thanksgiving tourney. The Mavericks play Forest Lake, Luverne and Shakopee in pool play. That pool will be a tough one and the winner likely to play the Kansas City Stars, a tough peewee team. The Stars have a 16-5 record and are ranked in the top 30 their level in the nation.

Owatonna split two league games last week, losing to Mankato and beating Albert Lea 10-1. Luverne first D9 loss was to Mankato. The Cardinals have a tough draw in the Mavericks tourney, playing Shakopee, Forest Lake and Mankato. The pool results should be interesting. Albert Lea has the week off. New Ulm plays in the Mankato tourney drawing the Kansas City Stars, Rochester Gold and the Sioux Falls Blue.

Mankato takes the #1 seed this week by virtue of winning their first three games. Both Rochester teams have gotten off to a slow start. The Black team draws a tough D3 team in Mound/Westonka at the Hopkins Tourney. The next two seeds are wide, wide, open. For this week, Red Wing has earned the #2 seed and Luverne the #3 seed. With four D9 teams (Mankato, Luverne, New Ulm and Rochester Gold) playing at Mankato, D9 will be “shaken and stirred” after this week.

East Region (D2, D10, D11) - Almost all the D2 teams are in tourneys this week. Roseville is at Burnsville. White Bear Lake and Stillwater are at Eden Prairie. Mounds View hosts its own tourney and is joined by Mahtomedi and Tartan. Forest Lake is playing at Mankato. Top D10 teams Centennial and Blaine are in the Burnsville tourney. Their entry along with Roseville makes that tournament the toughest this weekend.

In D2, Roseville sits on top of the D2 standings this week after beating Stillwater 6-1 last week. They play in the Burnsville tourney this week in a very tough pool, drawing the host Blaze, Centennial and Apple Valley. Hudson is tied with the Raiders this week after beating Forest Lake 3-1 and Tartan 3-0. Hudson hosts their own tourney in two weeks; Eau Claire, Tartan, Mahtomedi, Sibley, Johnson/Como, Superior, Fox Valley, Mason City and West Madison are entered.

But the D2 tourney this week has Mounds View hosting their Super Rink extravaganza with non-stop hockey on multiple rinks for three days. In the PeeWee A tourney, which Tartan draws co-host Irondale in the opener of bracket play. Johnson/Como and Mahtomedi play in the second game. In the other bracket, Mounds View plays Cloquet and Champlin Park plays Litchfield/Cokato/Dassel.

Forest Lake went 1-2 in their first three D2 games and had to play three tough D2 teams on the weekend. The Rangers opened with a Friday loss to Mounds View 3-1, but put things together to beat White Bear 5-4 and Stillwater 3-2 to keep themselves in contention for the D2 title. The Rangers play a tough defensive game. They play at Mankato this week, drawing Shakopee, Mankato and Luverne. Last week, Mahtomedi took third at the Spring Lake Park tourney beating Waconia in the third-place game.

Highland lost the third place game to the Thunder Bay Kings 6-2 at the Superior tourney. The Caps take it easy this week, playing one game against IGH/SSP. White Bear Lake plays a tough pool at the Eden Prairie tourney, playing Osseo/Maple Grove, Minnetonka and Eden Prairie. This week, Tartan, besides playing in the Super Rink tourney, plays Hudson on Monday. Stillwater, after losing two D2 games on the weekend, plays at Eden Prairie. The Ponies draw Edina, Lakeville North and STMA.

Roseville sits on top the D2 standings and takes the #1 seed this week. White Bear Lake’s loss to Forest Lake drops the Bears to the #3 seed. Both Roseville and White Bear will be challenged in weekend tourneys. Hudson (though not eligible for district playoffs) takes the #2 seed this week. Forest Lake, Mahtomedi, Moundsvew, Stillwater, Tartan and Highland are so closely matched at this point in the season, that it is a coin flip on which of these six teams will come out on top.

D10 opened league play on Nov. 21. Irondale playing their first D10 game beat Coon Rapids 3-1. The Knights lost to Rogers 4-1. This week, they play Champlin Park in a D10 game and co-host the Super Rink tourney this week. Irondale plays Tartan in opening bracket play. Elk River beat Tartan 10-1 last week. This week the Elks play Princeton in their first D10 game and travel to Eden Prairie. In pool play the Elks draw White Bear Lake, Minnetonka and Osseo/Maple Grove. Elk River is the sole D10 rep in the Eden Prairie tourney.

Centennial and Blaine play at Burnsville. Centennial draws Burnsville, Roseville and Apple Valley in pool play. Blaine draws Woodbury, St. Louis Park and Jefferson in their pool play. Centennial has an early season win over Stillwater 4-0 and a loss to Rosemount 6-1. They opened D10 play beating Andover 3-2. Blaine has played some tough teams in the early going. The Bengals have beaten Lakeville North 9-7 and lost to Edina 5-2 in their last two games.

After winning the Spring Lake Park tourney, Anoka opens D10 action this week playing Andover and Spring Lake Park. Andover also plays Coon Rapids this week. Champlin Park plays in the Super Rink tourney drawing Litchfield in the opening game of bracket play. Coon Rapids had a good trip to Rochester on the weekend, beating Rochester Black and Rochester Gold twice.

Spring Lake Park, after losing to Anoka in their tourney’s championship game, opened D10 play with a 3-1 over St. Francis. The Panthers get another shot at Anoka this week. Rogers plays in the Hopkins turkey day tourney, playing Orono in opening game of bracket play. St. Francis travels to Greenway to play Virginia, Greenway and Northern Lakes.

Centennial takes the #1 seed this week. They beat Andover, a team that has played well. Elk River takes the #2 seed. Blaine takes the #3 seed. Elk River will have their hands full at Eden Prairie on the weekend, but Blaine and Centennial will be in a shootout with top teams from D6, D2 and D8 plus the Fargo Flyers Gold.

D11 sends Cloquet to the Super Rink tourney. The Lumberjacks open against a physical Moundsview team in one of the more interesting games in the weekend. Cloquet took the Superior tourney last weekend beating Hermantown 2-1 in the championship game. They also played Duluth East on Monday. The Lumberjacks look to be the favorite at the Super Rink to make it two tournament championships in a row. The Lumberjacks return to play Proctor in D11 action this week. Duluth East has a swing through D16 this weekend. The Hounds will play Warroad, Thief River Falls, Moorhead Black, Fargo Flyers Black and Bemidji. They play the Duluth Lakers when they return.

Hermantown beat the Duluth Lakers 4-2 last week. The Hawks also took second place at the Superior tourney. This week they travel through D12, playing Virginia, Hibbing and International Falls. They play Superior in D11 action when they return. The Duluth Lakers play Hibbing in addition to East next week. Besides Cloquet, Proctor plays Hibbing, Princeton and Eveleth this week. The Rails lost to Cloquet 6-1, beat Eveleth 7-1, lost to Thunder Bay 11-1 and beat Superior on Sunday 2-1. Go Rails.

With two East Regional seeds available, Cloquet takes the #1 seed because they won the Superior tourney. Hermantown takes the #2 seed (they hold a league win over Duluth East).

West Region (D3, D5, D6) - D3 and D5 teams meet in the Hopkins tourney this week. STMA mixes it up with D6 and D3 teams at Eden Prairies tourney. And Burnsville’s tourney has the top teams from D2, D6, D8, and D10 playing in a 12 team, three pool, tourney that uses a modified Silver Stick scoring system to determine who advances to championship Sunday.

D3 regular season looks to become the exclusive property of Wayzata and Osseo/Maple Grove. OMG and the Trojans are both undefeated in league play and are on top of the standings. Wayzata played Mound/Westonka last week and will play the Mpls Storm this week. In between those two games, the Trojans play in Eden Prairie’s turkey day tourney. They draw Chaska, Eagan and Roseau in pool play. OMG beat Orono 4-1 and Armstrong 7-2 last week to stay atop D3 with a 5-0 record. This week they play at Eden Prairie drawing Minnetonka, Elk River and White Bear Lake in pool play.

Mound/Westonka has played well in the first month of the season. They play Rochester Black in the opening game of the Hopkins turkey day tourney. St. Louis Park plays in the Burnsville tourney. The Orioles draw Jefferson, Woodbury and Blaine in pool play. They lost 4-0 to the Mpls Storm last week and played Mound/Westonka. The Mpls Storm lost to Farmington 8-0 last week and play in the Eden Prairie tourney drawing Eden Prairie, Rochester Red and Lakeville South. The Storm has showed some toughness in early season play. Orono played Armstrong and Buffalo last week. This week they play in Hopkins tourney.

Hopkins hosts their Turkey Day tourney this week. The Royals open the tourney playing MAML. Rochester Black plays Mound/Westonka in the other side of the bracket. In the lower bracket, Orono and Rogers play each other and St. Cloud draws a tough Prior Lake team that won the Tommy Williams tourney two weeks ago.

With two seeds available, Wayzata and OMG seems poised to run away with the seeds. The #1 seed goes to Wayzata and the #2 seed to OMG this week.

D5 - St. Cloud has won their first three D5 games by shutouts. They beat Litchfield 13-0 and Sartell 6-0 last week and sit on top of D5. St. Cloud plays in the Hopkins tourney this weekend and will be tested by Prior Lake in their opening game. St. Michael/Albertville kept pace beating Hutchinson 8-0 and shutting out Willmar last week. The Knights play at Eden Prairie this weekend. They play Edina, Stillwater, and Lakeville North in pool play.

Sartell beat Buffalo 2-1 last week. This week the Sabres play Sauk Rapids and River Lakes. Sauk Rapids also play St. Cloud this week. The Storm are coming off a good showing at the Spring Lake Tourney. MAML play Hopkins in their tourney over the weekend in their first real challenge of the season. The Moose (formerly the Stars) are still just getting their season going.

With three regional seeds available, STMA gets the #1 seed. St. Cloud gets the #2 seed. The #3 seed is up for grabs and this week goes to the 11 kids from Sauk Rapids for their gutty play in the Spring Lake Park tourney.

D6 - Burnsville moved to a 5-0 record in D6 play beating Edina 5-4 and Eden Prairie 4-1 last week. The Blaze look poised to run away the D6 crown by the end of December. They are hosting a tough tourney this weekend. In pool play, they have drawn Roseville, Apple Valley and Centennial. Roseville is rated on top of D2 this week and Centennial is rated on top of D10 this week. Apple Valley and Burnsville are neighbors and longtime hockey rivals. It will be an interesting tourney.

Eden Prairie has put together a 16-team, four pool tourney for Thanksgiving. Four D6 teams, Chaska, Edina, Minnetonka and Eden Prairie each have their own pool. Chaska draws Eagan, Roseau and Wayzata; Edina draws STMA, Lakeville North and Stillwater; Minnetonka draws OMG, Elk River, and White Bear Lake; and the host draws Mpls Storm, Lakeville South and the Rochester Red.

With Jefferson (drawing St. Louis Park, Woodbury and Blaine) and Waconia (drawing Rosemount, Fargo Flyers Gold and Eastview) also play in the Burnsville tourney. Prior Lake plays in Hopkins tourney and Shakopee is plays at Mankato. Only Kennedy is taking the holiday off this year.

Burnsville continues to impress with their wins over Edina and Eden Prairie last week. The Blaze deserves the #1 Seed. Last week, Prior Lake beat Waconia 9-0, Blaine 4-0 and Lakeville North 7-6. Prior Lake takes the #2 seed. Edina beat Chaska 7-3 and Blaine 5-2 besides losing to the Blaze. That is good enough to move the Hornets into the #3 seed.

Happy Thanksgiving. I bet you thought this post would never end.


  1. Amazing post. Keep up the great work!

  2. love this stuff....thanks fred and lets play hockey