Saturday, March 13, 2010

2010 Minnesota State High School Class "A" Tournament: Warroad Upends Mahtomedi In 3OT: Warriors Claim 3rd Place Honors In Minnesota Class A boys hockey tournament at the Xcel Energy Center

State Tournament Summary
By Howard  Voigt
Brock Nelson’s goal in the third overtime led Warroad past Mahtomedi 5-4 in the Class A Third Place Game, Nelson had 11 points in the tournament. Andrew Shaugabay opened up the scoring at the 13:05 mark of the first period when he shot the puck past Brad Wohlers. Mike Rose would score his fourth goal of the tournament with 1.9 seconds left in the first period to tie the game at 1-1. Brock Nelson scored early in the second period, it was Nelson’s fifth goal of the tourney and gave the Warriors a 2-1 lead. But a pair of Mike Rose and Ryan Gregory goals at the 13:09 mark (Rose) and the 14:43 mark (Gregory) of the second period gave Mahtomedi a 3-2 lead going into the third. The Warriors scored two goals of their own early in the third as Brett Hebel and David Nelson scored to give the Warriors a 4-3 lead. Brandon Zurn scored his fifth goal of the tournament at the 15:19 mark of the third to send the game to overtime at four apiece. In third overtime nelson scored his second goal of the day and sixth of the tournament as Warroad won 5-4. The Warriors ended the season 26-5 overall and Mahtomedi ended the season 24-7 overall.

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.”

Scoring artist

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.

Harsh evaluation

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.”

2010 Minnesota State High School Class "A" Tournament: Wells Fargo / MSHSL Announce 2010 Class A All-Tournament Team

Presented by Wells Fargo and the Minnesota State High School League
The team was selected by a panel of coaches and media attending the tournament.

Breck School: D-Ben Gislason (12) 1G, 1A
Breck School: F-Mike Morin (12) 5G, 2A
Breck School: G-John Russell (12)
Breck School: F-Tyson Fulton (12) 1G, 8A
Hermantown: D-Jeff Paczynski (12) 0G, 3A
Hermantown: F-Charlie Comnick (12) 3G, 1A
Hermantown: F-Jared Kolquist (10) 2G, 1A
Warroad: F-Brock Nelson (12) 5G, 3A
Warroad: F-Brett Hebel (12) 3G, 3A
Warroad: G-Andy Foster (10)
Mahtomedi: F-Brandon Zurn (12) 4G, 4A
Mahtomedi: F-Ben Marshall (11) 1G, 6A

Herb Brooks Award: Casey Myhre - Virginia/Mountain Iron-Buhl

Thursday, March 11, 2010

2010 MINNESOTA STATE CLASS "A" HOCKEY TOURNAMENT: Warroad Rolls Into Semis .. With Brock and Brett, no reason to fret. There certainly wasn’t for the Warroad Warriors Wednesday night in the closing game of the first round of the Minnesota Class A state boys hockey tournament .. Courtesy of Grand Forks Herald

By: Virg Foss, Grand Forks Herald
From left, Warroad's Brock Nelson's shot on goal is stopped by Rochester Lourdes goalie Nick Heimer in first period of the Boys Class 1A hockey game on Wednesday, March 10, 2010 in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Bruce Bisping)

ST. PAUL — With Brock and Brett, no reason to fret.

There certainly wasn’t for the Warroad Warriors Wednesday night in the closing game of the first round of the Minnesota Class A state boys hockey tournament.

Senior linemates Brock Nelson and Brett Hebel put on a scoring clinic as the Warriors dominated Rochester Lourdes 9-0 to move into Friday’s 1 p.m. semifinals against defending state champion Breck School at the Xcel Energy Center.

Breck (27-2) and Warroad (25-4) are no strangers. Breck beat the Warriors 7-3 in last year’s state championship game.

Hebel had the hat trick and added three assists for a six-point game, pushing his season goal total to 29.

Nelson matched Hebel’s six-point game in a different fashion.

Nelson had the game’s first goal on the first shot of the game and added a shorthanded goal in the final period for good measure. He also collected four assists as the Warriors overpowered Lourdes behind the dazzling play of the top line of Hebel, Nelson and Tanner Pederson, who had two goals himself.

Nelson, a finalist for the Mr. Hockey Award to be given out here Sunday to the top senior player in the state, didn’t take long to cast a vote for himself.

Just 2:37 into the first period, Nelson put the Warriors on the board with his 48th goal of the season.

He took a pass off the left wall from defenseman Carson Gray, cut across the crease and undressed Lourdes goalie Nick Heimer to slip a backhander past him.

It was just a continuation of Nelson’s sizzling scoring from the Section 8 tournament, where he had eight goals in three games.

Warroad’s Aaron Rasmusson made it 2-0 on Warroad’s fourth shot of the opening period.

Rasmusson, coming down right wing, fired from what seemed to be an impossible angle from the lower outer edge of the faceoff circle. Somehow his shot snuck past Heimer’s left shoulder when he failed to close off the short side on Rasmusson.

The goal was the 13th of the season for Rasmusson, a senior who centers Warroad’s second line.

Nelson could have had a hat trick in the first period, in which the Warriors outshot Lourdes 8-2.

He was stoned by Heimer on a shorthanded breakaway with five minutes left in the period. Nelson tried to go 5-hole on Heimer, but was denied.

In the last minute of the period, Nelson came in alone on Heimer from left wing and tried the same move while cutting across the face of the crease that netted him his first goal.

This time, though, the puck slid harmlessly off Nelson’s stick and skittered into the corner before he could even get a shot off.

It was a dominating opening period for the Warriors, who entered the tournament ranked fourth in the state and were making their fourth straight appearance at state and 21st all.

Warroad limited Lourdes to two shots on goal in the opening period despite the Eagles having a pair of power plays.

Lourdes, ranked 15th in the state in the final poll, were making their second straight trip to the state tournament.

It got even worse for Lourdes in the second period in which Hebel scored on a slap shot from the right point at 4:28 to get the Warriors rolling again.

A tremendous hustle play by Nelson set up linemate Tanner Pederson for Warroad’s fourth goal and just the third of the season for Pederson.

Nelson chased down a puck headed for an icing call on Warroad, and in one motion, flipped it out front to Pederson for an easy tap-in.

Hebel scored his second of the game and 23rd of the season on a feed from Nelson at 12:48 of the second period for a commanding 5-0 lead going into the final period.

Goals by Adam Shaugabay, Hebel, Nelson and Pederson in the third period closed out the beatdown by the Warriors.

Warroad sophomore goalie Andy Foster wasn’t tested much, but he was solid in posting his second straight shutout of tournament play.

He finished with 18 saves to go with his shutout of Thief River Falls in the Section 8 finals last week.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Minnesota Class A state boys hockey tournament: Pedigree of success Tradition-rich Warroad out for another title By: Virg Foss, Courtesy of Grand Forks Herald

ST. PAUL — As Warroad (24-4) heads into tonight’s final opening-round game of the Minnesota State High School Class A state hockey tournament against Rochester Lourdes (17-8-3), history skates into battle with it.

Not only did the Warriors win state titles in 1994, 1996, 2002 and 2005 and come from a community that bills itself as Hockeytown USA, but they are backed by a coaching staff rich in success.

Head coach Albert Hasbargen was co-coach of the 2005 championship team with Dennis Fermoyle, now one of Hasbargen’s assistants.

Another assistant to Hasbargen, Bruce Olson, coached Roseau High School to a state title in 1999. Assistant coach Adrian Hasbargen was a member of UND’s 2000 national championship team. Goalie coach Corwin Saurdiff is a former Warroad High and college standout.

Few teams have coaching staffs with resumes as glittering.

But it’s the product on the ice that will ultimately determine whether tradition-rich Warroad, seeded fourth in the tournament, can bring home another title.

The pedigree of success extends to the players.

Nice lineage

Warroad’s leading scorer, Brock Nelson, is the grandson of 1960 Olympic gold medalist Billy Christian. Another top forward, junior Nick Stoskopf, is the grandson of former UND coach Rube Bjorkman.

Nelson is one of 10 finalists for the Minnesota Mr. Hockey Award as the state’s top player. The winner will be announced at a banquet in St. Paul on Sunday, with the entire Warroad team staying to attend.

Nelson, a Sioux recruit, is coming off a dazzling eight goals in three games in the Section 8 tournament, pumping his season total of goals to 47 in 28 games.

“To win a championship, your top players have to have the best games of their lives,” Albert Hasbargen said.

As good as Nelson is, he won’t have to do it alone.

Senior Brett Hebel has 26 goals, Stoskopf 18, senior Aaron Rasmusson 12 and an inexperienced defense has come of age.

How sophomore goalie Andy Foster handles the pressure of his first state tournament could be a key. Foster has started just 10 games this season, but one of them was a 25-save shutout of Thief River Falls in the Section 8 final.

He was battling others for the backup goalie spot when the season started. He was thrust into a major role when senior goalie Shaun Storey abruptly quit the team during the section tournament.

“He (Foster) seemed to be the most mature as far as handling things on the ice, not letting things bother him as much,” Hasbargen said of his rise up the goalie ranks with the Warriors.

On the big stage

That calm will be tested under the bright lights and extreme pressure of the state tournament at the Xcel Energy Center tonight.

Hasbargen knows from experience that pressure is different at the state tournament. “It seems like when it’s the section finals, it’s the seniors who are most nervous, because it’s their last chance at a state tournament,” Hasbargen said. “But when you get to state, it’s the young guys who are nervous.”

And at age 16, Foster’s nerves will be tested. He carries a 1.9 goals-against average and .910 save percentage into state.

“Any time you go down there (St. Paul), everyone has to be at the top of their game,” Hasbargen said.

“You also need some luck and you need to get some bounces go your way. All teams there are good. There are no easy games.”

Hasbargen said when Warroad beat Osseo and Roseau earlier in the season, he knew this team could be special.

“That was kind of the measuring stick for us, when we beat some of the better teams around,” he said. “We knew then we were a pretty good team.”

Tonight’s game

Who: Warroad vs. Rochester Lourdes.
When: 8:30 p.m., approximate, Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul.
TV: KCPM (GF Channel 9).
Records: Warroad 24-4-0, Rochester Lourdes 17-8-3.
Of note: Warroad has won state titles in 1994, 1996, 2002 and 2005.

SECTION 8A BOY'S HOCKEY POST SEASON AWARDS: 2009-10 Northwest Conference Co Champions are the Park Rapids Panthers and the Kittson Central Bearcats .. All Conference Team Also Named .. Congrat's To All Athletes

The 2009-10 Northwest Conference Co Champions are the Park Rapids Panthers and the Kittson Central Bearcats 

The All Conference Team: 

Alex Lyon   LOW
Alex Chaput   Kittson Central

Kevin McMorrow  Park Rapids
Jeff Bergh   Kittson Central
Jake Pelach   LOW
Garrett Schmitz  RLF

Craig Lindegard  Kittson Central
Sam Coborn  Park Rapids
Tucker Coborn  Park Rapids
JonCarlo Westerland   LOW
Dylan Zutz   RLF
Dillon Spray   Bagley

Coach of the Year:  Scott Klein Kittson Central
Assist. Coach of the Year:  Jason Sobolik  Kittson Central  

PRESS RELEASE: The Warroad Warriors Boy's Hockey Team Make 20th Trip To Minnesota State High School Tournament .. Timothy Oshie To Provide Color Analyst .. Games Broadcasted On Internet On Minnesota Sports Broadcasting Network / KQ-92 FM In Warroad

Minnesota H.S. Section 8A Boy\

Tonight, the Warriors take on the Rochester Lourdes Eagles at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN at 8:00 P.M. CDT.

Steve Pesek, the Director of Communications and Marketing for the Minnesota Sports Broadcast Network, sent out this press release yesterday informing Warroad fans to the broadcasts.  I will be working with long time Warrior broadcaster, Jon Micheal, on the call to KQ-92 FM in Warroad.  You can also click on the link to listen to our broadcast tonight via the Internet by clicking on to:

Here is the MSBN Press Release:

This is Steve Pesek, the Director of Communications and Marketing with the Minnesota Sports Broadcast Network. I just wanted to inform you of our online coverage of the 2010 Boys State Hockey Tournament this week, March 10th-13th. MSBN will broadcast ALL 16 games from the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN over the four days and it will ALL be available for FREE on

Throughout the season, Warroad Warriors' webcasts on have been a production of KQ92 and Lake Country Sports Radio of Warroad, MN. During this tournament, these Jon Michael / Timothy Oshie called broadcasts will be available to fans with the KQ92/Border Broadcasting feed made specially available on it's own page at . To access these broadcasts, you may visit the link in this email or go through the homepage.

All MSBN produced broadcasts can be found LIVE on our website homepage at Listeners can go to the website 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start time and click on the designated link to the bottom of the homepage. Our pregame coverage will begin then, with the opening face-off scheduled to follow (Start times on games subject to change based on previous competition). All MSBN broadcasts on are FREE and along with the LIVE broadcast-stream of the games, they will have live statistics, a real-time scoreboard, live photos, and interactive email communication. After the games are over, make sure to head back to MSBN's website to check out the MSBN Full Archives, in order to listen to the broadcasts again whenever you want (MSBN Full Archives are also FREE).

We encourage you to pass this message along to anyone that may be interested, as MSBN is excited to broadcast high school sports all year long on If you have any questions feel free to contact me and I will be more than happy to help. Thank you very much for
your time and best of luck to the Warriors in the tournament!

2010 Boys State Hockey Tournament:

March 10th - Class "A" Quarterfinals:
11:00 AM - Alexandria vs. #2 Mahtomedi
1:00 PM  - Virginia/Mountain Iron-Buhl vs. #3 Hermantown
6:00 PM  - New Ulm vs. #1 Breck School
8:00 PM  - Rochester Lourdes vs. #4 Warroad

March 12th - Class "A" Semifinals:
11:00 AM - Semifinal #1
1:00 PM  - Semifinal #2

March 13th - Class "A" 3rd Place Game and Championship:
9:00 AM  - Third Place Game
12:00 PM - Class "A" Championship Game

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

LET'S PLAY HOCKEY PRESS RELEASE: The Minnesota State High School Boys State Tournament Banquets For Class A / AA

Media Alert

What:            2010 Boys State High School Hockey Tournament Banquets

Where:            Roy Wilkins Auditorium, St. Paul
When:             Class A Banquet – Tuesday, March 9 – 6:00 PM
                       Class AA Banquet – Wednesday, March 10 – 7:00 PM

Key Points

  • Only time to catch all coaches and players in each tournament at once
  • Prime photo opportunities for stills and video
  • Interview opportunities galore
  • The kids are all dressed up!

Class A Notes – Tuesday, March 9 - 6:00 PM

  • New Ulm has not been to the state tournament since 1992
  • Alexandria is making its first appearance since 1996
  • Warroad attending for 7th time in last 8 years – won titles in ’05 and ‘03
  • Warroad has made 20 appearances with four titles ('94, '96, '03, '05) and an all-time tournament record of 25-8
  • Breck has won 11 straight state tourney games – won titles in '09, ’04 and ’00
  • Breck's Tyson Fulton leads the tournament field in scoring with 84 points
  • Hermantown won its lone state title in its last state tournament appearance (2007)
  • Mr. Hockey Finalists in the state tournament: Adam Krause (Hermantown), Brock Nelson (Warroad)
  • Class A field: Alexandria, Breck, Hermantown, Mahtomedi, New Ulm, Rochester Lourdes, Virginia/Mt. Iron-Buhl, Warroad 
  • Keynote Speaker: Brian Bonin, former Mr. Hockey/Hobey Baker Award Winner

Class AA Notes – Wednesday, March 10 – 7:00 PM

  • Edina returns for 4th straight tourney
  • Edina coached by two former Minnesota North Stars: Curt Giles and Don Beaupre
  • Blaine's Nick Bjugstad leads the tournament field in scoring with 69 points
  • Minnetonka's lone loss was a 5-4 overtime defeat at the hands of Edina
  • Roseau will be making its record 33rd state tournament appearance. The Rams have won a record seven state titles
  • Edina has won six state championships and has made 26 appearances in St. Paul
  • Apple Valley is making its first appearance in the state tournament since winning the 1996 title
  • Blaine, Duluh East, Edina and Hill-Murray each appeared in the 2009 state tournament
  • Mr. Hockey Finalists in the state tournament: Nick Bjugstad (Blaine), Max Gardiner (Minnetonka), Justin Holl (Minnetonka)
  • Class AA field: Apple Valley, Blaine, Duluth East, Edina, Hill-Murray, Lakeville North, Minnetonka, Roseau
  • Keynote Speaker: Shjon Podein, former Stanley Cup Champion

Saturday, March 6, 2010

2010 Minnesota Hockey WEST REGIONAL Pee Wee "A" Tournament At East Grand Forks .. Results From Friday - Saturday .. History Made As Both Teams Pulled Their Goaltenders In Moorhead vs. Centennial Game Tonight

Friday, March 4, 2010

Bemidji 5 -  Moorhead 1

Elk River 8 - Centennial 1

East Grand Forks 8 - Alexandria 1

Andover 7 - Brainerd 3

Elk River 4 - Moorhead 2

Centennial 4 -  Bemidji 1

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Andover 7 -  East Grand Forks 3

Elk River 8 - Bemidji 1

Moorhead 8 - Centennial 2

This game seen a little of everything tonight.  I served as a goal judge throughout the afternoon and witnessed what I'm saying is a hockey oddity.  With Moorhead having to win by a minimum of (6) goal margin, the game started fast and furious.

Moorhead jumped out to a 3-0 lead at one point then had a 5-1 lead.  Centennial cut it to 5-2 in the third period and the young Spuds hopes for a Sunday match-up seemed to vanish.  

At that point, Centennial called a time-out after a Moorhead penalty.  Centennial then pulled their goaltender thinking they would get back into to game with a 6-on-4 situation.  After Moorhead gained control of the puck, the Spuds goalie headed towards the bench and we had a once-in-a-lifetime situation with both team's goalies pulled.

The fans on both sides of the arena were stunned and confused.

Moorhead scored an empty net, shorthanded goal to take the 6-2 lead with under 2:00 to play in the game.  It was at that point Centennial figured to simply keep their goaltender in the game.  Under a minute to play, Moorhead scored two more tallies with the final goal coming at :04 left in the contest and advanced to the final round on Sunday afternoon.

What seemed impossible, and improbable, became reality in front of stunned parents and fans at the East Grand Forks Civic Center.

It was the talk of the town on this Saturday, March 6, 2010.

Andover 6 - Alexandria 3

East Grand Forks 9  -  Brainerd 1

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Elk River (#1 Pool Red) vs. East Grand Forks (#2 Pool Blue) 12:00 P.M.
(Winner #1 State Seed)

Andover (#1 Pool Blue) vs. Moorhead (#2 Pool Red) 2:00 P.M.
(Winner #2 State Seed)

(Winners Advance To MAHA State PeeWee "A" Tournament)
@ Faribault, MN .. March 19-21, 2010

Just Release From The Offices Of The Minnesota State High School League: CLASS A / AA PAIRINGS FOR BOY'S HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIPS

The Minnesota State High School League has selected the brackets for both Class A / Class AA for the 66th Annual event next week at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MInnesota.

Here are the top four seedings for Class A:

1. Breck School
2. Mahtomedi
3. Hermantown
4. Warroad

Pairings for the Class A State Tournament Quarterfinals on Wednesday, March 10, 2010:

Top bracket:
Mahtomedi (23-5-0) vs. Alexandria (21-6-1), 11AM
Hermantown (25-3-0) vs. Virginia/MIB (18-7-3), 1PM

Lower bracket:
Breck School (26-2-0) vs. New Ulm (16-9-1), 6PM
Warroad (24-4-0) vs. Rochester Lourdes (17-8-3), 8PM

Here are the top four seedings for Class AA:

1. Minnetonka
2. Edina
3. Blaine
4. Hill-Murray

Pairings for the Class A State Tournament Quarterfinals on Thursday, March 11, 2010:

Top bracket:
Edina (20-6-2) vs. Roseau (22-5-1), 11AM
Blaine (21-4-3) vs. Apple Valley (17-11-0), 1PM

Lower bracket:
Minnetonka (25-1-2) vs. Lakeville North (11-15-2), 6PM
Hill-Murray (25-2-1) vs. Duluth East (19-5-4), 8PM

Friday, March 5, 2010

SECTION 8A BOY'S HOCKEY TOURNAMENT: Unlikely hero sends Warriors to state .. Starting an untested sophomore goaltender in a section championship hockey game had all the makings of disaster for Warroad High School coach Albert Hasbargen and his defending Minnesota Section 8A champion Warriors .. Courtesy Of Grand Forks Herald

By:  Virg Foss, Grand Forks Herald

Starting an untested sophomore goaltender in a section championship hockey game had all the makings of disaster for Warroad High School coach Albert Hasbargen and his defending Minnesota Section 8A champion Warriors.

“I didn’t get any sleep last night,” Hasbargen said. “The last time I looked at the clock it was 4:30 in the morning.”

He had no choice but to start Andy Foster in Warroad’s biggest game of the season Thursday night, however. Senior goalie Shawn Storey quit the team after starting and winning in the section opener.

All Foster did was stop all 25 shots the Thief River Prowlers threw at him — 16 of them under heavy pressure in the third period — as the Warriors beat the Prowlers 2-0 to advance to the state tournament with their fourth straight section title in tow.

“His practice yesterday wasn’t very good,” Hasbargen said of Foster.

Foster was very good Thursday night in front of 2,300 fans at the EGF Civic Center, considering his opposing netminder was Zane Gothberg (24 saves), voted as the state’s best senior goalie.
Warroad’s two big offensive guns fired bullets past Gothberg.

Senior wing Brett Hebel, with his back to Gothberg, grabbed a loose puck, did a spin-o-rama move and blazed home a wrist shot from 10 feet at 6:18 of the opening period for his 26th goal of the year and a 1-0 lead.

Then Mr. Hockey finalist Brock Nelson leaped into the air just inside the blue line to grab a clearing effort late in the second period. Warroad’s scoring leader snapped a low shot just inside the post and past Gothberg at 15:29 for his 47th goal of the season.

“We just needed to get a goal somewhere, and it didn’t happen,” TRF coach Tim Bergland said. “It’s not a good feeling right now. We can hang our heads high because I thought we played hard.”

Warroad (24-4) won the most important rubber match from the Prowlers (19-8-1) after the two teams split 2-1 decisions during the regular season.

But nobody expected 16-year-old Foster to come up aces in Warroad’s most important game of the season.

Yet he was calm, cool and collected throughout. In the third period alone, he stopped Micah Ranum’s close-in attempt to stuff the puck past him, turned back Ryan Crosson’s end-to-end rush and kicked out a couple of howitzers from the left point by Jacob Malwitz.

Don’t count Foster among any doubters of his ability to perform under pressure.

“It was in my mind all the way through that if you work hard enough,” he said, “you’ll make it here.”

He made it big time Thursday.

So his dream comes true as a first-year varsity player.

“I’ve always wanted to get to state and win a section title,” Foster said.

Foster had a bead on everything the Prowlers threw at him. “They were shooting good and screening,” he said. “I just happened to see the puck. Everything turned out good.”

Warroad’s defense limited the Prowlers to nine shots on net through two periods in building a 2-0 lead. It was plenty enough to survive an onslaught of 16 shots at Foster in the third period.

“They (Warroad) played a great defensive game,” Bergland said. “We had our chances. We didn’t bury the puck. We didn’t get the breaks, or whatever cliché you want to say.”

But the bottom line is that Foster delivered the game of his life.

“That young man had a lot of pressure tonight,” Hasbargen said. “He stepped up to the challenge.”

This was the third time in the last four years Warroad has defeated Thief River Falls in the title game, and this has been the biggest margin of victory.

It’s Warroad’s 18th section title and the seventh in the last eight years.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

SECTION 8A BOY'S HOCKEY TOURNAMENT: Warroad Utilizes A Very "Defensive" Approach To Knock Off Thief River Falls .. Senior Brett Hebel Notches 1G + 1A .. Mr. Hockey Finalist Brock Nelson Nets One As Warroad Advances To Xcel Energy Center Next Week

Section 8A
Warroad 2, Thief River Falls 0
W: Brett Hebel GWG 10:42 into the first period, Brock Nelson 1 goal
W: Andy Foster 25 Saves | Shutout Win
TRF: Zane Gothberg 24 Saves | Loss
Note: Mr. Hockey Finalist Brock Nelson scored one while Brett Hebel scored the game-winner but it was Warroad's goaltending that did the Prowlers in. Andy Foster out-dueled the 2010 Frank Brimsek Award winner, Zane Gothberg, in goal. (One source said Eric Hebel scored the game-winner but I received an email stating that it in fact it was Brett Hebel that scored, not Eric.)

SECTION 8A BOY'S HOCKEY TOURNAMENT: Thief River Falls Prowlers ||| Warroad Warriors .. The Clash of the Titans .. These Section 8 Foes Repeat The Old Rivalry Of Year's Past .. For Tonight's Championship Tilt At EGF Civic Center

Section 8A
(2) Thief River Falls (19-7-1) vs. (1) Warroad (23-4-0), 7PM | EGF Civic Center

Courtesy of (Doug Hagen) .. The Minnesota Hockey Stats Guru

Game notes
: In two games this season, both teams won a game with the same score, 2-1.

If Thief River Falls has a chance to win, they will need to score at least three goals for Zane Gothberg. When Thief River Falls scores three or more goals in a game, they are 15-1-0. When they score less than three goals, they are 4-6-1.

On the other side, Warroad has only been held to two goals or less in a game four times in 27 games. Thief River Falls held Warroad to two or less goals in two out of those four games. Brock Nelson and Brett Hebel both combined to average 2.48 goals per game in 25 regular season games. The rest of the team averaged 2.28 goals per game. In 2 playoff games, Nelson and Hebel are averaging 4.5 goals per game. Nelson alone is averaging 3.5 per playoff game. He leads all other players in the state in scoring in the playoffs at 11 points with seven goals and four assists.

Thief River Falls needs to keep Nelson and Hebel away from the puck, don't let them shoot, and let Gothberg stop the pucks that come his way from the rest of the team. Otherwise, the Warriors will 'be baaack' at the X to contend for another state title.

Area notebook: History says 8A title game will be defensive battle / Courtesy Of Grand Forks Herald

Nobody should be surprised if the Section 8A boys hockey championship game comes down to one goal.

By: Greg DeVillers, Grand Forks Herald

Nobody should be surprised if the Section 8A boys hockey championship game comes down to one goal.

History says that’s likely.

With a state tournament berth on the line, rivals Warroad and Thief River Falls meet for the Section 8A title at 7 tonight in the East Grand Forks Civic Center. Warroad is three-time defending champion and has won the 8A title six of the past seven years; Thief River Falls won the 8A championship in 2006.

The teams have met twice this season, each winning once by a 2-1 score. “You look for those types of low-scoring games in section finals,” Prowlers coach Tim Bergland said. “And if history says anything, you expect that kind of game again.”

Close goes beyond this season.

In the 8A playoffs in the past four seasons:
- Thief River Falls beat Warroad 3-2 in four overtimes in the 2006 section final;
- In the 2007 title game, it was Warroad 2, Thief River Falls 1;
- In 2008, Warroad needed two overtimes to beat the Prowlers 2-1 in the 8A semifinals;
- Last year, Warroad got a late goal by Brock Nelson to beat the Prowlers 3-2 in the 8A title game.

“Our teams are pretty similar,” Warroad coach Albert Hasbargen said. “They have a great defense, with the top goaltender in the state. And we take pride in playing great defensive hockey. It will be interesting to see if things open up or if it’s a battle in the defensive zones again.”

There’s also the potential of the 8A final coming down to two future Sioux teammates. Nelson paces the Warriors with 84 points (46 goals, 38 assists). On the last line of defense for the Prowlers is Zane Gothberg (1.81 goals-against average, .921 save percentage), this year’s Minnesota senior goalie of the year. Both are seniors who have committed to play at UND.

“I wouldn’t think you’d see that too often, two players out of UND’s backyard going against each other,” Bergland said. “I’m sure they know each other. It will be something they’ll probably talk about in the future.”

Nelson and Brett Hebel (25 goals, 41 assists) give Warroad a strong 1-2 punch, followed by Carson Gray (7-33) and Nick Stoskopf (17-21).

Thief River Falls relies more on balance in an offense led by Mathew Lindquist (15-19), Micah Ranum (24-8) and Ryan Crosson (8-20).

“You have to assume it will be another low-scoring game,” Hasbargen said. “It might take a lucky bounce to win it.”

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Warroad's Brett Hebel .. A "True" Warrior .. Blends Skill, Grit, Determination Helping Lead Warriors To Section 8A Title Tilt Tomorrow Night At EGF Civic Center In His Final Season

By:  Timothy Oshie (Publisher)

Publishers Note:  I've had the honor of coaching and teaching Brett Hebel during the 5-year tenure at Warroad Schools #690.

More than a great athlete, Brett has that personna you strive to develop in young student/athletes.

(Cutline of picture above)

#9 Brett Hebel (front right) celebrates a goal at the
2009 MN State High School Tournament.  Also pictured from L to R: #12 Dane Shaugabay, #3 Brock Nelson, #4 Michael Pieper

When did you decide that hockey was going to be your #1 sport in your life?  Who got you going in this great game of hockey? What memories do you cherish most of your youth career (Mites to Bantams) and also now your Prep career?

Ever since I gave up my second year Bantams to play High School, I knew hockey would be #1. My Dad has been pushing me towards hockey for as long as I can remember. He and both my uncles played hockey so I guess I just knew I would. My most cherished memories are placing 3rd in the Fargo Flyers Squirt Tourney, going to the State Tournament my second year PeeWees, and playing in 3 Minnesota State Hockey Tournaments. Especially last year’s Championship game.

The Great Plains Elite team made an incredible run after struggling early on in the Upper Midwest Elite League.  What were the deciding factors of the turn‐around ? What was it like playing for Coach Dean Grillo, a Warroad Warrior hockey alumnist?  What special circumstances and experiences did you take out of the Fall Elite League and Bauer Tournament?

I think one factor was that Brock Nelson, Adam Knochenmus, and I played well together as did the other lines. We had good defense and great goaltending. Our team had good
chemistry and a good work ethic. Coach Grillo was a great coach, he was very positive and taught us a lot about playing at the next level as did Coach Scott Oliver, Tyler Palmicino and Coach Hummerdinger.

What can you say about your Warrior coaches .. Albert Hasbargen, Dennis Fermoyle, Bruce Olson, Adrian Hasbargen, Corwin Saurdiff ?

The Warrior coaches are great. They push us hard to get better and succeed on and off the ice. They also put a lot of focus on how important teamwork and commitment is.

Summer training and development is now very crucial to your career. Give us a glimpse of what you do in the off‐season to build your body and play at such a high level of hockey ?

I follow a weekly acceleration program, focusing on weight lifting and plyos. I skate when there is ice and rollerblade when there isn’t.  Also, a good diet and vitamins are
an important part in training.

You've been blessed to go to the MN State Tourney in 2007, 2008, 2009.  What things stand out in your mind of this coveted event at the Xcel Energy Center.  What's it like to play in a Class A championship game and what do you take most out of the once in a lifetime experience?

Playing in the Xcel Center is amazing, playing against the top teams in the state. Competing in the Class A Championship game was an incredible experience. The
atmosphere is awesome with thousands of fans cheering you on and knowing this is what you worked hard for all year. I will never forget these memories, playing for your
hometown with some of my best friends.

Describe the feeling of pulling over and down a Warroad Warrior hockey jersey?

It is such an honor to put on the Warrior jersey. Especially, knowing some of the great hockey players before me that wore the Warrior jerseys.

Talk about your folks .. how significant were they in your hockey career? Is there other people you'd like to recognize and give thanks?

My dad has pushed me to succeed in hockey ever since I was a little kid. My mom has always been there for me. My whole family has been there to support me through the
years. I would also like to thank all my coaches who encouraged me and helped me improve.

St. Louis Blues center T.J. Oshie is the latest in line of NHL players to come out of Warroad.  Do you watch the NHL games and what do you look for when you do?  Describe the feeling of coming out of the Warrior locker room and the PA announcer says, "And here your Warroad Warriors" while the Native American chant is going on in the crowd when you hit the ice?

I watch Pro Hockey when I get a chance, especially T.J. and the Blues. I focus on their moves and see what I need to improve on. When I come out on the ice to the Warrior
chant, I have a feeling of great pride. You can’ help but get pumped up by it.

Is there anything else you'd like to add Brett? Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer tonight.  I wish you the best of luck on Thursday in the Section 8A Hockey championship game versus the Thief River Falls Prowlers.

Thanks so much for your support and encouragement Tim

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

SECTION 8A HOCKEY: Prowlers oust Wave Warroad, Thief River Falls to meet for section championship Junior Micah Ranum isn’t the leading goal scorer for Thief River Falls High School by accident .. Courtesy Of Grand Forks Herald

By: Virg Foss, Special to the Herald, Grand Forks Herald

Junior Micah Ranum isn’t the leading goal scorer for Thief River Falls High School by accident.

Three minutes after he was stoned by East Grand Forks goalie Hunter Aubol on Monday night on his deke on a breakaway, Ranum made the play of the game.

He stole a clearing pass in the Green Wave defensive zone, zipped in on Aubol and slipped a backhander just past his outstretched right leg to snap a 1-1 tie with 32 seconds left in the second period.

Ranum’s 24th goal of the season was the difference as Thief River Falls (19-7-1) shaded East Grand Forks 2-1 in the Minnesota Section 8A boys hockey semifinals at the EGF Civic Center.

The victory puts the second-seeded Prowlers into Thursday’s 7 p.m. championship game at the Civic Center against three-time defending section champion and top seed Warroad (23-4), which split a pair of 2-1 decisions with the Prowlers during the regular season.

“I was lucky enough to get a turnover,” Ranum said. “The defense made a little mistake there. I capitalized on that. That’s a heartbreaker for the other team.”

In a game that included some controversy, Ranum’s goal was ultimately the difference.

Senior High thought it had taken a 1-0 lead 6:57 into the first period when Zach Lawdermilt slid the puck past Prowler goalie Zane Gothberg.

Officials quickly waved off the goal, though. Gothberg’s helmet came off just before Lawdermilt shot the puck in, and rules call for an automatic stoppage of play when a goalie loses his helmet.

The Green Wave then thought they had taken a 1-0 lead into the first-period break. Gothberg slid down and out of position at 10:39 of the first period, giving EGF’s Jake Useldinger an open net for his power play goal to open the scoring.

As time expired to end the period, Thief River Falls’ Matt Audette knocked in a rebound on a wild goal-mouth scramble. The officials gathered and ruled that the puck was in before time expired, tying the game at 1-1.

Aubol (35 saves) was brilliant in stopping 20 Prowler shots in the second period when Thief River Falls pressed the play, outshooting the Green Wave 21-4. But the quick turnover by his defense set up Ranum’s backhander just inside the right post.

“I wanted that so bad,” Ranum said of his goal. “It was just bad after I missed that breakaway there. Their goalie played a wonderful game. He kept them in it.”

Ranum’s view of Audette’s goal to end the first period? “I saw the one that saved our lives this game,” he said.

Ranum and Prowler coach Tim Bergland thought Brady Meunier scored the goal, but it was officially credited to Audette.

“As soon as it went in, I looked right at the ref,” Bergland said. “He was standing right on the goal line, right next to the goal. He obviously had a good view of it. He’s pointing goal, so I thought it was in. But then they (officials) started talking, and you begin to wonder.”

There is no video review available in high school hockey until the state tournament, so the debate may linger. “If it went in, that’s great. If it didn’t go in (before the period ended), you don’t want to win games that way. We’re fortunate it was ruled a goal.”

EGF coach Cory Chupka didn’t make an issue out of it.

“You don’t have the instant replay, so things that are generated at the goal at the buzzer, there’s a lot of commotion. They went off their judgment. When it comes down to that, you’re not too happy, but we had to accept it and we had to go on. There are a lot of things in hockey you can’t take back.”

The Prowlers outshot the Green Wave 37-18 with Gothberg, a UND recruit, finishing with 17 saves.

Almost half of them (8) came in the last period when the Green Wave pressed for a tying goal.

The Green Wave had a chance to take the lead nine minutes into the second period on Casey Ristau’s clean breakaway. Gothberg came out to cut the angle and Ristau shot high and wide.

Chupka was proud of the performance of the Green Wave, who finish at 12-14-1. “We left everything on the ice,” he said. “We showed we could play at this level. We had a lot of chances. It wasn’t meant to be.”

Key play: Micah Ranum’s steal and unassisted goal for 2-1 TRF lead with 32 seconds left in second period.

Key players: Ranum; EGF goalie Hunter Aubol (35 saves).

Monday, March 1, 2010

SECTION 8A BOY'S HOCKEY TOURNAMENT: Thief River Falls Defeats East Grand Forks, 2-1, Advances To Championship Tilt Versus Warroad On Thursday Night .. Micah Ranum Scores GWG Late In 2nd Period

Thief River Falls 2, East Grand Forks 1
TRF: Micah Ranum scored the GWG with 32 seconds left in the 2nd period.
TRF:Thief River Falls will face Warroad in the Section 8A championship on Thursday, March 4th at 7:00 p.m. at East Grand Forks Civic Center.
EGF: Jake Useldinger scored the Green Wave's lone goal ending the season with 29 goals with 26 assists for 56 total points.

AND THEN THERE WAS THREE: Old Fashioned Match-Up Tonight .. EGF vs. TRF .. With The Right To Face The Warroad Warriors .. LET'S PLAY HOCKEY

East Grand Forks (12-13-1) vs. Thief River Falls (18-7-1), 7:00 PM | EGF Civic Center

SECTION 8A BOY'S HOCKEY TOURNAMENT: Warroad rolls past Bearcats ..Warroad High School chooses not to play the smaller programs in Minnesota Section 8A boys hockey, electing to play a beefed-up schedule that could help the Warriors come playoff time .. Courtesy of Grand Forks Herald

By: Virg Foss, Grand Forks Herald

Warroad High School chooses not to play the smaller programs in Minnesota Section 8A boys hockey, electing to play a beefed-up schedule that could help the Warriors come playoff time.

It’s hard to argue with that logic. Warroad has won the last three section titles and six of the last seven to advance to the state tournament.

One of the smaller schools Warroad doesn’t play from Section 8 is Kittson Country Central.

Well, David (Kittson County Central) got a rematch with Goliath (Warroad) on Saturday night and guess what?

This time Goliath slew David.

The Warriors scored two shorthanded goals in the first 64 seconds of the game as the Warroad raced to a 5-0 lead after one period and a 9-2 victory.

“Anytime you have shorthanded goals scored against you,” Warroad coach Albert Hasbargen said, “it’s hard to fight back. We scored two of them and it took the gas out of them right there.”

Senior Brock Nelson, a UND recruit and a Mr. Hockey finalist in Minnesota, put on a scoring clinic. He scored four goals and assisted on two others, running his season goal total to 46.

The victory sends Warroad (23-4) into Thursday’s championship game against the winner of Monday’s game between East Grand Forks Senior High and Thief River Falls. The Warriors will be gunning for their fourth straight section title.

Nick Stoskopf, who had two goals, scored shorthanded just 23 seconds into the game, nine seconds after the Bearcats went on a power play. Aaron Rasmussen’s shorthanded goal 41 seconds later took more zip out of KCC.

“We saw the article (in the Grand Forks Herald) where they kind of said they wanted us,” Nelson said.

“We knew they would come out ready to play. We wanted to get that quick start — and we did.”

Nelson now has seven goals and four assists in two tournament games.

“Your top players have to play big in big games,” Hasbargen said. “That’s how you win.”

The shorthanded goals deflated any hopes the Bearcats had of pulling off a monumental upset and making the section finals for the first time since 1961.

“When we got those two shorthanded goals, it gave us motivation and I think that kind of killed them right away,” Nelson said.

Warroad, scoring nine goals for the second straight game in the tournament, picked up other goals from David Nelson, and Austin Strieff.

Warroad scored five power-play goals on 10 tries to go along with the pair of shorthanded goals.
With the third period played in running time under state rules based on the score, KCC, which finishes at 16-7, gave its fans something to cheer about.

Donavon Kasprowicz scored on a rebound at 1:39 of the final period and leading scorer Craig Lindegard banged in a power-play goal, his 47th goal of the season, three minutes later for the final score.

But it was no answer for Nelson and friends. “I just try to come ready to play every game and bring the best to the table every time,” Nelson said.

“They’re a good team,” KCC coach Scott Klein said. “They have great team speed and great individual skills. Our boys had trouble matching up one-on-one.”

Especially when Goliath has a giant of a game.