State Boys’ Hockey Tournament: St. Thomas Academy, Hill-Murray voted top seeds
In the seventh year of seeding the qualified teams, St. Thomas Academy of Mendota Heights was chosen No. 1 in Class A and Hill-Murray of Maplewood was chosen No. 1 in Class AA for the 2013 State Boys’ Hockey Tournament.
The Cadets of St. Thomas Academy are the two-time defending Class A champions and qualified for the third consecutive and eighth overall time. They are seeking their fifth state title. The Pioneers of Hill-Murray are making their 26th trip to the tournament and were the 2012 runners-up. They are seeking their fourth state title.
All but one qualifying team has past tournament experience. Marshall is making its inaugural appearance in the Class A field.
Class A teams will play their quarterfinal games on Wednesday, March 6, and Class AA teams will follow suit on Thursday, March 7. Both classes will continue with championship semifinals on Friday, March 8, and then third-place and championship games on Saturday, March 9. Consolation semifinals for Class A are scheduled Thursday, March 7, with Class AA following suit on Friday, March 8, and both consolation championship games on Saturday, March 9. All 2013 State Boys’ Hockey Tournament championship-round and third-place games in both classes will be played at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. All consolation rounds for both classes will be played at Mariucci Arena on the University of Minnesota Minneapolis campus.
The seeding process had all 16 coaches of the section champions log onto a special page of the League website. Each coach then ranked the other teams in their class one through seven. The highest and lowest rankings for each team were discarded, leaving five rankings for each team. From those rankings, the top five teams were seeded. In conference calls with all eight head coaches of each class, League Associate Director Craig Perry announced the top five seeds. An impartial participant then blindly drew the three remaining teams from a hat to establish the opponent for the top three seeded teams. Numbers four and five automatically play each other.
Detailed statistics provided by qualified teams are available on the League’s website —www.MSHSL.org — as a Media Guide link under Tournaments, then Winter, then Boys’ Hockey.
Class A Preview
Marshall (14-10-1) vs. (No. 2 Seed) Breck School, Golden Valley (24-3-1): The Tigers of Marshall, unranked in the final Let’s Play Hockey newspaper poll, are making their first appearance and will open the tournament in this game. The Tigers did not play any qualified teams in either class. Marshall scored 72 goals while giving up 68. The Tigers did convert on 22 percent of their power-play opportunities for 19 goals. Both senior wing Corey Clark and senior wing Quinn Horvath have 36 points on the season; Clark with a team-leading 25 goals plus 11 assists and Horvath with 21 goals and 15 assists. Senior center Beau Mikel added 16 goals and 15 assists. Junior goaltender Mason Campion has 403 saves and a .907 save percentage in 16 games. Campion has stopped 100 of 105 shots so far in the post-season. The Mustangs of Breck School, third last year, are making their fifth consecutive and 10th overall appearance. They earned previous titles in 2000, 2004, 2009 and 2010. This year they were ranked No. 2 in the final Let’s Play Hockey poll. The Mustangs scored 155 goals this year while their opponents scored 55 against them. Thirty-one of their own goals came on power plays, a 34 percent conversion rate. One of the Mustangs’ losses was against tournament qualifier St. Thomas Academy 2-1. They defeated Class A qualifier Marshall School of Duluth 2-1 in their season opener and tournament qualifier Rochester Lourdes/Stewartville 7-2 about one month later. They also defeated Class AA qualifiers Duluth East 2-0 and Moorhead 6-4. Senior center Matt Colford led Breck School with 33 goals and 44 assists. Senior wing Thomas Lindstrom also scored 33 goals and added 24 assists. Senior wing Jack O’Connor scored 12 goals and contributed 27 assists. Junior Henry Johnson is the primary goaltender and has a save percentage of .914 on 557 saves.
Marshall School, Duluth (16-12-0) vs. (No. 3 Seed) Hermantown (23-4-1): Marshall School, ranked 13th in the final Let’s Play Hockey poll, is making its second consecutive and seventh overall appearance and seeks its first title. The Hilltoppers bowed out of the 2012 tournament in the consolation bracket. Four of their losses this season came against Class A tournament qualifiers: Breck School 2-1; Hermantown 4-3; St. Thomas Academy 4-1; and Rochester Lourdes/Stewartville 7-0. Nearly one-fourth (24) of the Hilltoppers’ 106 goals came on the power play. Senior wings Jeremy Lopez and Kris McKinzie lead Marshall School with 36 and 34 points, respectively; Lopez with 12 goals plus a team-leading 24 assists and McKinzie with a team-leading 21 goals plus 13 assists. Lopez line mate Matthew Klassen, a senior center, added 15 goals and eight assists. Senior Caden Flaherty and sophomore Alex Murray share goaltending duties. Flaherty has a .927 save percentage on 509 saves in nearly 900 minutes, and Murray has a .908 save percentage on 276 saves in nearly 540 minutes. The Hawks of Hermantown are making their fourth consecutive and 10th overall appearance. They finished as runners-up to St. Thomas Academy the past two years and to Breck School in 2010. The Hawks were ranked No. 3 in this year’s final Let’s Play Hockey poll. Hermantown won the 2007 title, going 29-0-1. During the regular season Hermantown defeated Marshall School of Duluth 4-3. The Hawks scored 186 goals this year, 137 of which were scored in the first two periods of their games. Senior center Travis Koepke led the Hawks with 65 points on 28 goals and 37 assists. Senior wing Chris Benson scored 29 goals and added 35 assists, while senior wing Bo Gronseth scored 25 goals and added 33 assists. The trio plays on the same line. Juniors Adam Smith and Jace Thomas share nearly equal minutes in the net, with Smith compiling a save percentage of .929 on 288 saves and Thomas compiling an .858 save percentage on 194 saves.
St. Cloud Apollo (18-10-1) vs. (No. 1 Seed) St. Thomas Academy (24-2-2): The Eagles of St. Cloud Apollo are making their second tournament appearance and were unranked in the final Let’s Play Hockey poll. Their only previous qualification came in 1984. Their season record was better on the road than at home, 10-3 on the road and 6-7 at home. They scored 131 goals, including 27 on 96 power-play opportunities, and gave up 87 goals. The Eagles did not play any other qualified team in either class. Senior wing Jared Christen established new school single-season records with his 43 goals, 39 assists for 82 points. Line mates Paul Kenney, a junior center, and Jason Omann, a sophomore wing, contributed 67 points (28 goals, 39 assists) and 59 points (19 goals, 40 assists), respectively. Ninth-grade goaltender Nick Althaus made 603 saves for a .871 save percentage. The Cadets of St. Thomas Academy are making their third consecutive and eighth overall appearance and will attempt to make it three titles in a row. They also won titles in 2006 and 2008. St. Thomas Academy finished the regular season at No. 1 in the final Let’s Play Hockey poll. This year the Cadets defeated three other tournament qualifiers: Breck School twice, 2-1 both times; Rochester Lourdes/Stewartville 8-1 in their season opener; and Marshall School of Duluth 4-1. They split a pair against Class AA qualifier Hill-Murray, winning the first 2-1 and losing the second 3-1, and finished in a 3-3 overtime tie in a third. They also defeated Class AA qualifier Edina 2-1 in overtime. The Cadets have scored 150 goals while giving up just 32 in 28 games. Eighteen players have points on the season, led by sophomore center Tommy Novak with 53 (26 goals, 27 assists). Senior wing Alex Johnson has 16 goals and 22 assists, and sophomore wing Christiano Versich has added 14 goals and 23 assists. The trio plays together on the Cadets’ second line. Senior goaltender David Zevnik has a .942 save percentage with 487 saves.
(No. 5 Seed) Rochester Lourdes/Stewartville (20-8-0) vs. (No. 4 Seed) East Grand Forks (22-3-3): The Eagles of Rochester Lourdes/Stewartville return for the fourth consecutive appearance. Rochester Lourdes also had five previous appearances with various other co-ops. Last year Rochester Lourdes went two and out. The Eagles were ranked No. 7 in this year’s final Let’s Play Hockey poll. Two of their losses and one of their wins came against tournament qualifiers: they lost 8-1 to St. Thomas Academy in their season opener and about one month later lost 7-2 to Breck School; in mid-January they defeated Marshall School of Duluth 7-0. This year the Eagles netted 119 goals, including 23 on power plays, to their opponents’ 74. Senior wing Jason Samuelson led Rochester Lourdes with 74 points on 26 goals and 48 assists. Senior center Alex Funk has a team-high 42 goals plus 31 assists, while senior wing Ben Weir and senior defenseman Karl Krecke each added 25 points. Senior Andrew Ellingson contributes the bulk of the goaltending duties and made 341 saves, and sophomore Jack Burkel also sees plenty of time in the net and made 272 saves. The Green Wave of East Grand Forks were ranked No. 5 in this year’s final Let’s Play Hockey poll. This is the eighth appearance for the Green Wave whose last appearance was in 2002. East Grand Forks did not play any other Class A qualifiers, but did lose 4-3 to Class AA qualifier Moorhead. The team scored 110 goals to its opponents’ 51. Senior center Tommy Hajicek led the Green Wave with a team-high 20 goals and 23 assists this season. Sophomore wing Dixon Bowen has 36 points on 15 goals and 21 assists, and ninth-grade wing Tanner Tweeten contributed 17 goals and 18 assists. Senior Tanner Lindstrom is the primary goaltender and has a save percentage of .922 and made 402 saves.
Class AA Preview
Moorhead (14-11-2) vs. (No. 2 Seed) Duluth East (24-4-0): The Spuds of Moorhead, who finished fourth last year, were unranked in the final Let’s Play Hockey poll. They are making their third consecutive and 14th appearance and have won no titles yet. Five of the Spuds’ losses were against tournament qualifiers: they lost 5-1 to Centennial of Circle Pines, lost 4-3 to Wayzata, lost 5-1 to Duluth East and lost 6-4 to Hill-Murray, all Class AA qualifiers, plus a 6-4 loss to Class A qualifier Breck School. Twenty-one percent of their 100 goals came on the power play. Senior wing Tony Uglem has a team-high 36 points on 17 goals and 19 assists. Junior center Aaron Herdt has a team-high 19 goals plus 14 assists, and senior center Thomas Carey has 32 points on 17 goals and 15 assists. Fourteen other players also have points on the season. Sophomore goaltender Jacob Dittmer plays the most minutes and has a .920 save percentage on 470 saves, while senior Peter MacFarlane has played eight games and has an .820 save percentage with 211 saves. The Greyhounds of Duluth East, the 2012 consolation winners, are making their fifth consecutive and 20th overall appearance. They were ranked No. 3 in this year’s final Let’s Play Hockey poll and seek a fourth title, having previously won in 1960, 1995 and 1998. Besides Moorhead, Duluth East defeated Class AA qualifiers Edina 4-1 and Lakeville North 2-0 late in the season, but lost 1-0 to Wayzata, 5-2 to Centennial of Circle Pines, and lost 2-0 to Class A qualifier Breck School. Duluth East outscored opponents 129 to 45, including 32 power-play goals. Senior center Jack Forbort has a team-high 22 goals and 39 assists for 61 points. Junior wing Alex Toscano has 55 points on 21 goals and 34 assists, and senior defenseman Meirs Moore has 18 goals and 29 assists. Senior goaltender Dylan Parker has a save percentage of .917 and made 411 saves. Head coach Mike Randolph recorded his 500th win in mid-December. Members of the 1998 championship team plan a 15-year reunion at this year’s tournament.
Lakeville North (10-17-1) vs. (No. 3 Seed) Edina (22-6-0): The Panthers of Lakeville North, unranked in the final Let’s Play Hockey poll, seek their first title in their fourth appearance, their most recent two years ago. In four games during the regular season against tournament qualifiers, the Panthers were able to manage a 2-2 tie against Eastview of Apple Valley, but also lost 6-2 to Eastview, lost 7-0 to Hill-Murray and lost 2-0 to Duluth East. Lakeville North has scored 78 goals on the season while giving up 92. The Panthers are led by junior center Tristen Hazlett with 31 points on 10 goals and 21 assists. Senior wing Jack Diercks has 30 points on 16 goals and 14 assists, and sophomore center Nick Poehling has 24 points on six goals and 18 assists. Junior Will DuPont is the No. 1 goalie and has a .900 save percentage with 401 saves, and sophomore Pierce Wilson has significant minutes and an .855 save percentage with 247 saves. The Edina Hornets, who bowed out in the 2012 consolation round, are returning for their seventh consecutive and 24th overall appearance. They were ranked No. 6 in the final Let’s Play Hockey poll and are in the hunt for their 11th title. They won previously in 1969, 1971, 1982, 1984, 1988, 1997, and 2010, plus 1974, 1978 and 1979 as Edina East. During the regular season the Hornets defeated Wayzata three times, 3-0, 5-4 and 2-1. They defeated Centennial 4-0 and lost a 2-1 overtime game against Hill-Murray, plus the exact same losing result to Class A qualifier St. Thomas Academy. Junior center Connor Hurley paced this year’s squad with 47 points on 17 goals and 30 assists. Sophomore wing Dylan Malmquist added 20 goals and 21 assists, while senior Andy Jordahl contributed 18 goals and 18 assists. They all play on the first line. Senior Willie Benjamin (.904 save percentage) went 16-4 in the net for Edina and junior Andrew Rohkohl (.900 save percentage) went 6-2.
Eastview, Apple Valley (18-9-1) vs. (No. 1 Seed) Hill-Murray, Maplewood (25-2-1): Eastview, unranked in the final Let’s Play Hockey poll, is making its second tournament appearance; the school’s previous qualification came in 2001. The Lightning defeated Lakeville North 6-2 early in the season and later settled for a 2-2 tie against the Panthers. They lost 3-1 to Wayzata, also early. Thirty of the Lightning’s 86 goals came on the power play, a 26 percent conversion rate. Eastview’s roster includes players from the 2012 state champion lacrosse, baseball and soccer teams. Senior wing Ryan McNamara leads the team with 22 goals and 20 assists. Junior wing Jake McGlocklin, senior center Nick Abbott and senior defenseman Mitch Beattie contributed 26, 25 and 24 points, respectively. Sophomore Zachary Driscoll is the No. 1 goaltender and has a .942 save percentage and made 572 saves. Hill-Murray, the 2012 runner-up, was ranked No. 1 in the final Let’s Play Hockey poll. The Pioneers are making their second consecutive and 26th overall appearance and seek to add a fourth title, having won in 1983, 1991 and 2008. Hill-Murray defeated Edina 2-1 in overtime, Lakeville North 7-0 and Moorhead 6-4, and also lost 3-1 to Wayzata. They went 1-1-1 against Class A qualifier St. Thomas Academy, losing 2-1, winning 3-1 and tying 3-3 in overtime. Hill-Murray scored 154 goals while allowing opponents only 40. Twenty-six of their own goals were power-play goals. Junior wing Mitch Slattery leads the team with 60 points on 25 goals and 35 assists, followed by senior wing Zach LaValle with 56 points (24 goals, 32 assists) and junior wing Willie Brown with 36 points (12 goals, 24 assists). Senior John Dugas has the most minutes in net and a .936 save percentage with 501 saves.
(No. 5 Seed) Centennial, Circle Pines (22-4-2) vs. (No. 4 Seed) Wayzata (21-7-0): The Cougars of Centennial are making their second appearance; their first was in 2004. That year Centennial established a record of not allowing a single goal, a mark that can be tied but never broken. They were ranked 11th in the final Let’s Play Hockey poll. This season the Cougars defeated Moorhead 5-1 and Duluth East in back-to-back games, but lost 4-0 to Edina in their season opener. Centennial scored 113 goals this season, 34 of them on the power play, while giving up 61. Junior wing Ryner Gorowsky leads the team with 53 points on 21 goals and 32 assists. His senior brother, wing Hans Gorowsky, has 48 points on 25 goals and 23 assists. Senior wing Andrew Bertrand added 16 goals and 18 assists. Senior Patrick Munson has had the bulk of the minutes in the net and has a .926 save percentage with 690 saves. The Trojans of Wayzata are making their third appearance and first since 2004. They were ranked eighth in the final Let’s Play Hockey poll. Edina had their number this season, defeating them 3-0, 5-4 and 2-1. Wayzata did defeat Eastview 3-1, Duluth East 1-0, Moorhead 4-3, and Hill-Murray 3-1. Wayzata scored 80 goals this season, 18 on the power play, and gave up 52. Sophomore wing Matthew Freytag leads the team with 36 points on 22 goals and 14 assists, followed by ninth-grade wing Maxwell Zimmer with 28 points (15 goals, 13 assists) and junior center Jack Sorenson with 26 points (four goals, 22 assists. Eight other players are also in double-figure points. Senior Aaron Dingmann sees the most minutes in goal and has a .927 save percentage on 498 saves.
Tickets and Special Promotions
All Class AA championship sessions are reserved seating only. Any unsold tickets allocated to participating schools go on sale one hour before each two-game session. All Class A sessions and consolation games for both classes are general admission seating. Adult tickets are $17.00 for championship sessions and $12.00 for consolation sessions. Student tickets are $11.00 for championship sessions and $8.00 for consolation sessions.
A visit to any participating Wells Fargo metro location can yield you a $2 discount coupon for students 13 and younger for Class A games. The discount coupons are also available for the Girls’ and Boys’ Basketball Tournaments.
Television and Web Streaming
KSTC-TV, Channel 45 will televise all championship-round games live. For specific cable channel coverage, visit www.KSTC45.com. All of the televised games will also be streamed live and free on the Web at Prep45.com. Fans may also follow all games live statistically by clicking on links at the League website — www.MSHSL.org.