Saturday, March 13, 2010
2010 Minnesota State High School Class "A" Tournament: Breck tops Warroad in Class A semifinal ..The pockets of dense fog sprinkled around the St. Paul area Friday were nothing compared to the dark cloud that descended upon the Warroad Warriors. The Breck School of Golden Valley erased Warroad’s 1-0 lead after one period with three straight goals in the second period for a 4-2 victory in the semifinals of the Minnesota Class A boys hockey tournament at the Xcel Energy Center
Courtesy Of Grand Forks Herald
By: Virg Foss
ST. PAUL — The pockets of dense fog sprinkled around the St. Paul area Friday were nothing compared to the dark cloud that descended upon the Warroad Warriors.
The Breck School of Golden Valley erased Warroad’s 1-0 lead after one period with three straight goals in the second period for a 4-2 victory in the semifinals of the Minnesota Class A boys hockey tournament at the Xcel Energy Center.
The Mustangs, who beat Warroad 7-3 in last year’s championship game, sent the Warriors (25-5) into today’s third-place game at 9 a.m. against Mahtomedi (24-6).
Mike Morin, Blake’s top scorer, was the chief culprit. He scored on a power play at 2:12 of the second period to tie the game, tipped in a centering pass from Riley Borer at 11:30 to make it 3-1, and assisted on Borer’s goal 33 seconds into the third period to make it 4-1.
It was enough to offset another brilliant performance from Warroad senior Brock Nelson, a UND recruit and a Minnesota Mr. Hockey finalist.
Nelson scored both of Warroad’s goals, his 50th and 51st of the season. He now has four goals in two state tournament games and 12 in his last five games, counting the section tournament.
Breck School was the better team, outshooting the Warriors 28-18 and giving up just the two goals to the talented Nelson, both on power plays.
"We didn’t bring our best game today,” Warroad coach Albert Hasbargen said. "They’re the best team in the state, and for us to win, we’d have had to play our best hockey game.”
Nelson certainly did his part. He batted a rebound out of the air at knee height to give Warroad a 1-0 lead after one period.
He chopped Breck’s lead to 4-2 at 10:20 of the third period with a sizzling wrist shot past the glove hand of Mustang goalie John Russell.
Breck allowed just one Warroad shot on goal the rest of the way in shutting down the Warrior rally.
The Warriors, who played a pulverizing physical game and drew Breck into seven penalties, couldn’t handle Breck’s top line of Morin, Tyson Fulton and Borer. Fulton had three assists and Borer a goal and one assist.
Warroad might have worn itself out with all its hitting. "This might be the most physical team I’ve coached,” Hasbargen said. "But it takes a lot of energy. Up north we play in rinks that are 40-50 degrees. Sweat was just coming off these kids in the first period there today.”
Nelson delivered what Warroad needed. "I thought we needed to come out right away and get on top,” Nelson said.
But with Hasbargen saying Warroad wasn’t at the top of its game as a team and with Morin and friends in high gear, the gears in Warroad’s attack sputtered to a quick halt.
Nelson’s goal that he batted out of the air dazzled the scribes on press row. "That ain’t the first one he’s hammered out of the air,” Hasbargen told the reporters.
Hasbargen took the blame for Warroad’s performance. "We walked around the Mall (of America) and went for a skate,” he said of Warroad’s day off on Thursday after a 9-0 win over Rochester Lourdes on Wednesday. "Whatever we did yesterday wasn’t right, but we can’t change that now.”
Losses to Breck two years in a row in the state tournament didn’t sit well with Hasbargen.
"That’s my job, to figure out a way to beat them. I didn’t do it last year and I didn’t do it this year. Maybe it’s time for somebody else to give it a try, I don’t know.”
He gave plenty credit to Breck, though. "Breck played brilliant defensively and boxed us out,” he said.
"We didn’t get hardly any rebound shots. Playing against a great hockey team, it was tough for us.”
Breck (28-2) outshot Warroad 23-11 over the final two periods in advancing to today’s title game against Hermantown, an overtime winner over Mahtomedi in the other semifinal.
Hasbargen had high praise for Nelson, who had Breck players shadowing his every move, yet still scored twice.
He was asked where Nelson ranks among the Warroad greats.
"I was just a young boy watching Henry (Boucha), but I got to see some of the other ones and I coached T.J. Oshie. This young man does things with pucks that other kids just dream about. You’re going to see him in the big leagues here in the future.”
But as a team, Warroad’s dreams of a fifth state title disappeared just like those patches of fog.
"They’re probably one of the better teams depth-wise and all around,” Nelson said of Breck. "So they’re probably pretty good.”
Nelson was down after the loss. "This is pretty upsetting,” he said. "We wanted to win it all this year, but came up short again.”