Prep report: Pairings set for state boys hockey tourney
Brackets were released Saturday for this week's Minnesota high school boys hockey tournament and, as expected, Hermantown was rewarded for a dominant regular season with the top seed in Class A.
Brackets were released Saturday for this week’s Minnesota high school boys hockey tournament and, as expected, Hermantown was rewarded for a dominant regular season with the top seed in Class A.
The Hawks (25-2-1) open against unseeded Spring Lake Park (16-11-1) in a 6 p.m. quarterfinal Wednesday at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Hermantown is 22-0-1 since Dec. 6. The Hawks head to St. Paul trying to halt a nasty streak of five straight championship game defeats.
The other Class A quarterfinals include No. 2 Mahtomedi vs. unseeded New Ulm; No. 3 East Grand Forks, the defending champion, vs. unseeded New Prague; and No. 4 Breck vs. No. 5 St. Cloud Apollo.
In Class AA, Duluth East qualified after its stirring run to a seventh consecutive Section 7AA crown. The Greyhounds (14-10-4) are in the rare position of being unseeded and open in the quarterfinals at 1 p.m. Thursday against No. 3 St. Thomas Academy (24-4). The Cadets beat East 4-1 in late December at the Schwan Cup.
Other Class AA quarterfinals pit No. 1 Lakeville North vs. Hill-Murray; No. 2 Edina vs. Bemidji; and No. 4 Blaine vs. No. 5 Eden Prairie.
St. Croix Valley 0
Lauren Tremblay stopped all 19 shots and Alex Grubbs and Amber Heidenreich scored goals to lead the Hurricanes to the Wisconsin Sectional 1 title Friday night at Hudson and a earn berth in this week’s state tournament.
Fond du Lac Ojibwe 93,
Lakeview Christian 91
The defending section champion Ogichidaag hung on down the stretch to eliminate the Lions in a Section 7A quarterfinal at Romano Gym.
Senior guard Bjorn Broman scored 54 points in his final prep game to finish his career with an unofficial 4,104 points, second only to his brother Anders in Minnesota boys prep annals. Broman also concluded the season with a record 1,384 points.
Floodwood 62, Wrenshall 61
Despite being outscored 41-27 in the second half, the Polar Bears hung on to win the 7A quarterfinal at Romano Gym.
Ryder Lough had a team-high 17 points for Floodwood (24-3), which advances to play North Woods in Wednesday’s semifinal round. The Grizzlies knocked off Cherry 65-47 behind Cole Martin’s 19 points.
Grand Rapids 64,
Duluth Denfeld 62
Cole Herring and Jake Skelly combined to score 39 points as the visiting Thunderhawks ended the Hunters’ season in a 7AAA quarterfinal Friday night.
Esko 54, MLWR 33
Aaron Olson scored 15 points and the Eskomos’ defense cracked down in the second half to secure the Section 7AA quarterfinal win Saturday at Duluth Denfeld.
Esko (21-7), the defending Class AA champs, held Moose Lake-Willow River (14-14) to 10 second-half points to earn a trip to Tuesday’s semifinals.
Deer River 76,
International Falls 69
Aaron Drotts hit seven 3-pointers en route to scoring 29 points in the Warriors’ upset over the Broncos in a 7AA quarterfinal.
Deer River (18-10) jumped to a 37-22 halftime lead before Ben Humbert, who recorded 29 points, made the final closer with 29 points of his own.
Virginia 47, Proctor 41
The Blue Devils missed 15 free throws but hung on to eliminate the Rails from the 7AA playoffs.
Chisago Lakes Area 42
Jordyn Thomas scored 14 points and the host Hawks shut down the Wildcats’ offense to win their playoff opener Saturday in a 7AAA quarterfinal.
Hermantown (16-10) advances to Thursday’s semifinals.
Grand Rapids 59, Hibbing 47
Four players scored in double figures as the host Thunderhawks (21-6) rolled to the 7AAA quarterfinal win.
Grand Rapids will next meet North Branch, which held Cloquet to six first-half points in a 44-26 victory.
Northland misses out on finals
Northland wrestlers failed to reach any finals at Saturday’s Class AA state meet, but Hibbing sophomore Morgan Fuenffinger came away with a third-place trophy, Grand Rapids senior Jackson Schauer was fourth, teammate Cole Jones was fifth and Cloquet-Esko sophomore Connor Denman also took fifth.
Fuenffinger lost 10-6 to Tanner Vasser of Annandale/Mountain Lake in the 126-pound semifinals but rebounded to beat Thief River Falls’ Stephen Holecek 15-3 in the third-place match.
Schauer, who entered the meet 36-1 and added two wins Friday, was pinned by New Prague’s Griffin Parriott 1:08 into his semifinal match. Schauer also lost 6-4 to Albany’s Nick Mergen for third.
Jones, a sophomore who was beaten in his first match Friday, came through the wrestlebacks to top Mora’s Thomas Hischer 11-0 in the fifth-place match. Denman won twice Friday before falling 5-1 to Becker senior Cody Ferris in the semifinals before taking fifth in a 6-2 win over Chaska’s Isaac Loosbrock.
Duluth East’s Zelen reaches state meet
Duluth East senior Tyler Zelen qualified for two events at the upcoming Class AA state meet by winning the 100-yard butterfly in a blazing 53.01 seconds and taking second in the 100 freestyle at the Section 7AA meet Saturday in Coon Rapids, Minn.
The Greyhounds finished sixth in the meet won by Forest Lake.
-- In 6A, junior Matt Allison won two individual events and anchored two relays to qualify for the state meet in four events, leading Grand Rapids to the team title in their home pool.
Allison won the 100- and 200-yard freestyles and anchored the winning freestyle relays to qualify for this week’s Class A state meet at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis.
Hibbing freshman Sam Iozzo won two events and swam on a second-place relay to qualify in three events. Chisholm’s Patrick Hake qualified in four events and teammate Anthony Briski in three, including winning the 100 breaststroke. Duluth Marshall’s David Kamper was a two-event qualifier, including his win in the 500 freestyle.