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U18 team drops opener at Hlinka Cup

The United States Under-18 Select Team opened the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup with a 4-2 loss to the Czech Republic on Monday.

Coached by Minnesota Duluth men’s assistant Derek Plante, the U.S. squad took a 1-0 lead when Brock Boeser of Burnsville, Minn., tapped in a first-period rebound. But the Czech Republic took advantage of a rash of American penalties to score three times in the second, and then held off the U.S. to claim the opener.

“The second period was tough; there were many penalties from our side,” Plante told the USA Hockey website. “Almost 17 minutes in the penalty box. We rallied, but we could not catch up.”

Plante’s team pulled its goalie and nearly scored in the final minute before yielding the decisive empty-netter.

The U.S. returns to the ice this morning against Russia.


Winkelman lone Huskies honoree

Left-handed pitcher Alex Winkelman, a sophomore from Southeast Missouri State, was the Duluth Huskies’ lone player named to the Northwoods League Postseason All-Star Team, announced Sunday.

Former Wisconsin-Superior baseball coach Eddy Morgan was chosen Manager of the Year for leading the Lakeshore Chinooks to the South Division first- and second-half titles.

Madison first baseman Pete Alonso was named the league’s Most Valuable Player, while Rochester left-hander Matt Kent and Kalamazoo righty Ryan Smoyer were co-Pitchers of the Year.


Grand Rapids VFW team second at state

The Grand Rapids VFW baseball team finished second at the state tournament, which concluded Monday in Brainerd, Minn.

Grand Rapids entered Monday’s finals needing to defeat unblemished Ranview (St. Paul) twice, but fell 2-1 in the opener. Ranview was the only team to beat Grand Rapids, also doing so in the semifinals Saturday before the District 8 champs staved off elimination with a 5-0 victory over Alexandria.

Monday’s championship round originally was scheduled for Sunday, but was postponed a day because of rain.

“An outstanding season for GR VFW comes to an end with the best finish every by a GR VFW team,” the GR Baseball Twitter account posted Monday.