Category: 8A

2020 Class A tournament preview

#1 seed Warroad Warriors

Regular season record of 23-2, lost to arch rival Roseau 5-4 and 3-1, beat #2 seed St. Cloud Cathedral early in the year 5-2, beat Grand Rapids 3-2, beat a very good East Grand Forks team 3 times including playoffs, outscored opponents 133-36, the leading scorer #27 Grant Slukynsky has 30 goals and averaged 3 points per game, and sensational freshman Jason Shaugabay had 19 goals and 51 points.  Goalie Zach Foster had a 1.64 GAA and .911 save %.

#2 seed St Cloud Cathedral Crusaders

Regular season record of 20-3-1 with losses to Warroad, (5-2), Moorhead (5-3) and East Grand Forks (6-2) They tied Hermantown 5-5.  St. Cloud outscored opponents 150 to 63 and had 3 players score 20+ goals per game.  If Jack Smith was healthy all season they would have had 4.  They were our preseason pick to win the class A title.

#3 seed Hermantown Hawks

Have an overall record of 18-3-4 and outscored opponents 139-51.  Leading scorer Blake Biondi is an elite goal scoring machine with 37 regular season goals and they have 3 others who scored double digit goals. The Hawks only losses came at the hands of AA schools, Eden Prairie, Lakeville South and Grand Rapids.  They tied Cathedral, Benilde, Grand Rapids and Cretin.

#4 seed Mahtomedi Zephyrs

They sure are getting to know the layout of the X.  The Zephyrs ended the regular season with a 17-8 record, outscored opponents 97-60 and had 5 skaters with double digit goals.  The leading goalie is sophomore Ben Dardis with a 2.07 GAA and a very impressive .932 save %.  On paper, the offensive stats aren’t as impressive as the top 3 seeds but with a hot goalie anything can happen in the playoffs.

Players to watch –

Nikolai Dulak – 23 goals

Adam Johnson – 13 goals

Ryan Berglund – 13 goals

Ben Dardis- Goalie

#5 seed Delano Tigers

Ended the regular season with a 19-6 record and outscored opponents 92-48, Delano beat Monticello, Orono, Hutch and lost to Cathedral by a goal. Leading scorer is Adam Brown with 20 goals and 35 points, They have the team speed to make a tournament run and goalie Cade Lommel has been playing like a tournament champ.

The Moose outscored opponents 109-59 and are led by Jeffrey Henrickson/Brian Cornelius tandem each with 17 goals.  They have a tough opening round game but if Nash Wilson is on his game they have a chance to pull off a big upset.

Mankato East is used to the underdog roll, they enter the tourney for the 2nd time in 3 years, Layten Liffrig has 29 goals and Matthew Salzle has 26, they will need find a way to bury the puck early on if they hope to pull off the upset, Cathedral beat them in the Granite City Showcase 9-3 last December.

Hutch comes in hot, dominating section play and outscoring opponents 92-70, Austin Jozwick leads the team with 25 goals, goalie Austin Hagen has a very impressive GAA of .911, they too have a very tough first round opponent and need to score early and often if they want to play a 2nd game at the X.

FTP State Championship Prediction

We are sticking with our preseason pick of St Cloud Cathedral.  We like a state championship game between Cathedral and Warroad with St Cloud Cathedral winning the 2nd state title in a row.  Whether it plays out this way or not, its going to be a great tournament, good luck to all playing in it!

Class A recap-Mankato will be at State, 1 top seed goes down, others dominate

Section 1A

In section 1A Mankato will represent at the X, we just don’t know which one yet.  Mankato East used a strong 2nd period and a Matthew Salzle hat-trick to upset #1 seed Dodge County 5-3. They will face off against 2 seed Mankato West who beat Faribault 3-0.  These teams squared off in January with Mankato West winning 4-3.

Section 2A

Section 2A finals are still pending, Orono plays Armstrong Cooper and Delano plays Breck on 02-24-2020 for a trip to the section finals.

Section 3A

Section 3A #1 seed Hutch rolled their way to the section finals behind 2 goals from Austin Jozwick with a 6-1 win over Luverne, and LDC responded after a slow start to upend New Ulm 7-4.  Hutch & LDC played twice this year during the regular season with Hutch winning both times, can they pull it off a third time with a trip to the X on the line?

Section 4A still has 2 games to be played to determine the section finals matchup.  #1 seed Mahtomedi will play 4 seed Tartan and in the biggest surprise of the section so far, the 7th seed, St. Paul Academy will play the 6th seed South Saint Paul for a trip to the section finals.

Section 5A will see the #1 seed Monticell0 face off against #3 seed Pine City area.  Can Pine City avenge an early season defeat and represent at the X?  Game will be on 2-27-2020 @ 7:00pm.

Section 6A will see #1 seed St. Cloud Cathedral square off against the 2 seed Alexandria.  St Cloud used a strong first period to get past River Lakes 5-1.  Alexandria beat Little Falls 2-0, can they stay hot and upend the preseason Class A favorite?  We will find out on 2-27-2020 at 7:00.

Section 7A- Hermantown reminded us why they are a favorite to head to the the X with an 8-0 win over Eveleth, and #2 seed Duluth Denfeld continued their strong season with a 4-0 win over Greenway.  They will face off on 2-26-2020 at 7:00. These two did play earlier this season with Hermantown winning.

Section 8A has #1 seed Warroad looking to be in the tourney again with a 7-0 win over Detroit Lakes and #2 seed East Grand Forks defeating Thief Rivers Falls 2-1.  These teams played twice this year and Warroad won both games by 1 goal, the rematch should be a dandy.

 

MN Boys High School Hockey Section 8A Preview

#1 seed Warroad ended with a 23-2 overall record, beating Grand Rapids, Saint Cloud Cathedral, Thief River falls, East Grand Forks, Duluth Denfeld, Moorhead and Grand Forks ND.  Warroad is typically a good team but we did not expect them to be this good this year.  Leading scorer is Grant Slukynsky with 30 goals and 75 assists, in the net is Zach Foster with 18 Wins and a save percentage of .911

#2 Seed East Grand Forks ended the year at 18-4-2 with wins against Alexandria, Delano, Greenway, Thief River Falls and St Cloud Cathedral.  The leading scorer is Landon Parker with 20 goals and 45 assists.  Austin Cooley tends the net with 15 wins and a .905 save percentage.

# 3 seed is Thief River Falls, overall record of 14-10-1 and wins against Gentry Academy, Moundsview and Roseau.  Leading scorer is Tucker Skime with 15 goals.  Noah Rupprecht is the leading goalie with 14 wins and a .926 %.

#4 seed is Kittson County Central, overall record of 17-7 and averaging over 6 goals per game.  Leading scorer is Calvin Hanson with 40 goals and 67 assists.

#5 is Detroit Lakes, #6 is Red Lake Falls, #7 is Crookston, #8 Lake of the Woods, #9 Bagley/Fosston and #10 is Park Rapids/Menahga.

 

Ftp pick is a section championship game between East Grand Forks and Warroad, with Warroad winning in a close game.