Tuesday, March 15, 2011

MINN. BOYS HOCKEY TOURNAMENT: Prowlers third at state Riley Soderstrom and Josh Koop led Thief River Falls to a 3-0 win Saturday in the third-place game of the Minnesota state Class A boys high school hockey tournament


By: Ryan S. Clark, Forum Communications, Grand Forks Herald

ST. PAUL — So what if it’s third place? It is still a banner, and at Thief River Falls, that’s a pretty big deal.

A program that touts tradition got a little bit more to brag about Saturday when the Thief River Falls boys hockey team beat Hibbing-Chisholm 3-0 in the third-place game of the Minnesota state Class A state tournament at the Xcel Energy Arena.

The Prowlers (21-9-1) finished third for the second time in school history, with the last time coming in 1945. 

Hibbing-Chisholm (18-11-2) places for the first time at state since 2004 when it finished third.

“It means everything,” said senior goaltender Josh Koop, who made 18 saves in the win. “We have a guy on our team whose grandfather was on one of those teams back in the ‘50s so tradition runs all the way through here and it’s something special to be a part of.”

Adding to the tradition was the focal point following the Prowlers’ 5-0 loss to St. Thomas Academy on Friday in the semifinal round.

TRF coach Tim Bergland said the goal, of course, was to win three games and though it didn’t happen, there was no reason why his team couldn’t come home with something.

Junior forward Riley Soderstrom, who scored two goals, said the 9 a.m. start wasn’t an issue once the team got into its pre-game routine.

“Our seniors were pretty active and they got us going,” Soderstrom said.

Soderstrom broke a scoreless tie in the second period when he scored on a point blank shot with 6:52 left in the frame. He struck again five minutes later when he flew down the left wing and snapped a wrister past Hibbing-Chisholm goalie Nathan Tromp’s blocker for a 2-0 lead.

TRF added one more in the third when Austin Odberg scored with about two minutes left.

MINN. STATE BOYS HOCKEY TOURNAMENT: Bid for state title ends St. Thomas Academy skates to 5-0 win against TRF A state title might be out of reach, but there’s still a chance of taking a trophy back to Thief River Falls.


By: Ryan S. Clark, Forum Communications

ST. PAUL — A state title might be out of reach, but there’s still a chance of taking a trophy back to Thief River Falls.

St. Thomas Academy broke out in the third period with three goals, beating the Thief River Falls 5-0 on Friday in the semifinal round of the Minnesota state Class A boys hockey tournament at the Xcel Energy Center.

“I thought we came out and played pretty decent in the third,” said TRF coach Tim Bergland. “But once they scored, we played back on our heels and we played not to lose. They’re good and they come at you.”

The Prowlers (20-9-1) will face Hibbing-Chisholm (18-10-2) in the third-place game, which will be played at 9 a.m. today. St. Thomas Academy (25-6) will face Hermantown (25-3-2) for the state title.

St. Thomas’ big third period was the product of wearing down a bigger, physical Thief River Falls team.

Cadets coach Tom Vannelli said beating a team like the Prowlers meant quick puck movement.

St. Thomas was quick when Zach Schroeder scored with 18 seconds left in the first for a 1-0 lead.

“Coming into a state tournament, you always have to be ready for a big game,” said Schroeder, who finished with two goals and an assist. “You know they did get here for a reason.”

Schroeder’s goal gave the Cadets a bit of breathing room, but it wasn’t much because of Prowlers goalie Jon Narverud.

The Cadets continually created chances and rushes that Narverud was able to stop until Andrew Commers increased the lead to 2-0 with 9:47 left in the second.

Yet it wasn’t like the Cadets were safe given the Prowlers came back from a two-goal hole in a 7-5 upset against two-time defending state champion Breck in the quarterfinal round on Wednesday.

“Our thing was we didn’t want to give them life,” Vannelli said. “They were going through the motions and we wanted to keep it that way.”

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

2011 Minnesota State Class "A" Tournament Schedule Beginning Wednesday, March 9, 2011 At The Xcel Energy Center In St. Paul, MN

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hermantown (23-3-2, No. 2 seed) vs. Alexandria (12-15-1), 11 a.m.
Rochester Lourdes (24-3-1, No. 3) vs. Hibbing-Chisholm (17-9-2), 1 p.m.
St. Thomas Academy (22-6-0, No. 1) vs. New Ulm (21-4-3), 6 p.m.
The Breck School (20-8-0, No. 4) vs. Thief River Falls (19-8-1), 8 p.m.

Thursday, March 10, 2011
Consolation semifinals, 10 a.m. and noon, Mariucci Arena

Friday, March 11, 2011
Championship semifinals, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., Xcel Energy Center

Saturday, March 12, 2011
Consolation championship, 10 a.m., Mariucci; third place, 9 a.m., Xcel Energy Center; championship, noon, Xcel Energy Center

Friday, March 4, 2011

The 5-Year Drought Is Over .. Prowlers Capture Section 8A Championship Over Warroad

The Thief River Falls Prowlers Celebrate With Their Fans In Section 8A
By Tim Kolehmainen, Breakdown Sports USA

Thief River Falls wins 8A title to advance to state

Game recap

Wearing the road blacks on its own home rink, second-seeded Thief River Falls never trailed in beating top-seeded Warroad, 4-1, in the Section 8A final at Ralph Engelstad Arena Thursday night.

Riley Soderstrom scored 47 seconds into the game on a rebound and the Prowlers (19-8-1) led the whole way.

David Nelson scored early in the third period to cut the Prowlers' lead to 2-1 and the Warriors (19-9-0) put on plenty of pressure in the ensuing minutes, but Jon Narverud held them at bay. The Thief River Falls junior goaltender made 18 saves on 19 shots.

Micah Rarnum netted the game-winner three minutes into the second period, a goal that gave the the Prowlers a 2-0 lead. Connor Doherty and Brady Meunier also scored for Thief River Falls.

Andy Foster made 20 saves on 23 shots for the Warriors.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Area prep notebook: Thief River Falls, Warroad play again for 8A title (Courtesy of Grand Forks Herald)

Tim Bergland summed it up best: “Here we go again.” For the third straight year, and the seventh time in the last nine seasons, Bergland’s Thief River Falls boys hockey team plays Warroad in the Section 8A championship. The teams meet at 7 tonight in Thief River Falls, with the winner advancing to the Minnesota state tournament.

By: Greg DeVillers, Grand Forks Herald

Tim Bergland summed it up best: “Here we go again.”

For the third straight year, and the seventh time in the last nine seasons, Bergland’s Thief River Falls boys hockey team plays Warroad in the Section 8A championship. The teams meet at 7 tonight in Thief River Falls, with the winner advancing to the Minnesota state tournament.

Warroad has beaten the Prowlers in four of the last six section finals. Routinely, the games are close — Warroad’s 4-1 win in the 2005 final was the biggest margin of victory. Last season, Warroad won 2-0; the season before, it was 3-2. The Prowlers beat Warroad 3-2 in four overtimes in 2006, with Warroad winning 2-1 the next season.

“I don’t expect a shootout this time, either,” Warroad coach Albert Hasbargen said. “Both teams are well-coached. The priority in both programs has always been defense first. We’ve both had powerful offenses, but it’s been low-scoring affairs when we meet in the playoffs.”

The teams have a different look from a year ago.

Hasbargen said 75 percent of last season’s offense graduated last spring. Nick Stoskopf (18 goals, 19 assists), David Nelson (19-17) and Carson Gray (7-27) pace the four-time defending section champion Warriors. “We’re not as dominant on offense as we’ve been,” Hasbargen said.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Section 8A Boy's Hockey Tidbits For Those Statistically Crazed Hockey Fans .. Warroad Warriors Led The Pack With (12) Titles In (17) Years

Section 8A Champions Since 1994:

2010 – Warroad Warriors
2009 – Warroad Warriors
2008 – Warroad Warriors
2007 – Warroad Warriors
2006 – Thief River Falls Prowlers
2005 – Warroad Warriors
2004 – Warroad Warriors
2003 – Warroad Warriors
2002 – East Grand Forks Green Wave
2001 – East Grand Forks Green Wave
2000 – Warroad Warriors
1999 – East Grand Forks Green Wave
1998 – East Grand Forks Green Wave
1997 – Warroad Warriors
1996 – Warroad Warriors
1995 – Warroad Warriors
1994 – Warroad Warriors

Totals Since 1994:

Warroad Warriors - (12) Section 8A Titles (4) MN State Championships ('94 / '96 / '03 / '05 Undefeated 29-0-2)
East Grand Forks Green Wave - (4) Section 8A Championships
Thief River Falls Prowlers - (1) Section 8A Championships

T.J. Oshie NHL Site:   www.tjoshie.com

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Prowlers sneak past Lyon, Bears .. Breakdown Sports USA Thief River Falls' Lansing scores winner in Section 8A semifinal against Lake of the Woods .. Courtesy of Hockey Hub / Breakdown Sports

Prowlers sneak past Lyon, Bears

03/01/2011, 9:12am (CST)
By Tim Kolehmainen, Breakdown Sports USA

Nearly everyone in Ralph Engelstad Arena in Thief River Falls knew what the hometown Prowlers were facing in the Section 8A semifinal Monday night. And for those who didn’t, fans brought signs reminding them.
“Tame the Lyon.”
For two periods, the Lyon – Lake of the Woods senior goaltender Alex Lyon, that is – was running wild. Despite a shot chart loaded with more ink than the Sunday New York Times, the Prowlers were locked in a 1-1 tie with the third-seeded Bears.
As the second-seeded Prowlers pounded shot after shot on Lyon, they were greeted with that same message when they returned to the bench.
“Tame the Lyon.”
As the game aged, the Prowlers’ tension was obvious. After all, Lyon and the Bears had just shut them down 2-1 back on Feb. 1 – a game in which he had 29 saves. For a while, there was a distinct sense of déjà vu Monday night.
For Thief River Falls, the plan was simple against arguably the state’s best goaltender.
“Shoot, shoot, shoot,” said Prowlers’ coach Tim Bergland. “Traffic, tips and rebounds and all that stuff.”
But when Lyon is on his game – as he was Monday night – nothing comes easy.
"He’s tough to beat on that first shot, especially when he sees it,” continued Bergland. “(So we had) to get traffic and get in his way. It’s tough to stop the puck when he can’t see it, but he does cover a lot of net.”
Finally, with just 5.9 seconds left in the second period, the Prowlers’ Matt Audette corralled the puck in the corner and found defenseman Andrew Lansing streaking down the slot. His one-timer beat Lyon clean and gave the Prowlers a 2-1 lead.
Relief flooded through the Prowlers.
Audette pumped his fists as if the game were in its final seconds, not with a full period to play. As the horn sounded intermission, the Prowlers swarmed goaltender Jon Narverud. They were just one period away from meeting Warroad in the Section 8A final Thursday night.