(#7) Crookston (8-15-3) vs. (#2) Thief River Falls (17-7-1), 6:00 PM | EGF Civic Center
This match-up is always a tough one to pick. Crookston and Thief River Falls split head to head on the regular season with the Pirates defeating the Prowlers, 1-0, back on February 4, 2010. Crookston has been known to make late season surges under the tutelage of head coach Jon Bittner. Crookston hasn't been in the Section 8A championship tilt since 2002.
Thief River Falls brings in a very highly touted, 17-7-1 record to the Section 8A quater-final game tonight. The Prowlers are the only program to stop the streaking Warroad Warriors in terms of the last 3/4's in the decade in 2000's. TRF snapped Warroad's three in a row Minnesota State Class A appearances in a historic 4-OT affair with Warroad back in the 2006 Section 8A finals. Seni0r Michael Forney provided the fireworks in that fourth overtime session to defeat Warroad, 3-2.
Prior to that, Warroad captured Section 8A titles in 2000, 2003, 2004 and 2005. Since that epic battle in 2006, the Warriors have strung together (3) consecutive titles to reign seven Section 8A championships in the 2000 decade. East Grand Forks, now the Green Wave's head s coach, Jim Scanlan, won back-t0-back titles in 2001 and again in 2002.
With that said, Warroad has netted (11) .. East Grand Forks (4) and Thief River Falls (1) Section 8A championships since the inception of the Class A / AA format in the Minnesota State High School League format.
Thief River Falls features Mathew Lindquist (15G/17A=32 pts.), Micah Ranum (23G/8A=31 pts.) and Ryan Crossen (8G/18A=26 pts.). Senior netminder, and NHL Central Scouting #5 North America goaltender, Zane Gothberg, needs to live up to the billing to advance the Prowlers to the semi-finals.
(#6) Park Rapids Area (16-7-2) at (#3) East Grand Forks (11-13-1), 8:15 PM | EGF Civic Center