Tuesday, March 8, 2011
STATE HOCKEY TOURNEY PREDICTIONS
Happy Fat Tuesday everybody. Just to get out of the way- I must announce that I won't be going on a MOYD conquest for lent this year. Sorry to disappoint.
Welcome to the greatest time of year- at least in my opinion and at least for knowing there will be a jammed packed schedule for sporting events over the next few weeks. It's a shame the weather can't coincide with this 'greatness' but ol' mother nature has been a cruel bitch all winter so why should we expect any sort of leniency now?
This weekend kicks off the fun with my favorite event of the year- The Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament. I haven't been to Indiana for basketball or Texas for football but I will stand proudly, and completely biased, and say that this is the best high school tournament in the country. Nothing beats the atmosphere and energy felt in St. Paul for four straight days. I thought that maybe as I got older, and was no longer a member of a student body represented in the tourney, that I would lose interest is high school kids playing hockey. This is not the case at all- if anything my excitement has only grown. If you're a fan of hockey I don't see how you can't love this tournament. Consider it a sneak peak for potential WCHA and NHL players that you'll watch for years. And if this is the end of the line for other players you have to appreciate that this is the most ultimate way to end your hockey playing career.
My predictions after the jump
I'm not going to pretend like I'm an expert on the field- if an opportunity presented itself where I got paid to become an expert on this sort of thing I don't doubt that I would take it. I have to hold out for something, right?
I only got to see a few games this year so besides what I have read or heard about my picks are just simply my gut feeling. So keep that in mind and if you see me you can ask me about my picks and I will oblige with a nonsensical answer. Here we go:
Quaterfinals- Breck- TRF could be an interesting game. Breck had, what many would consider, a poor regular season and got lucky with match ups and results in sections-maybe consecutive OT wins will get them going with destiny type talk. Lourdes- Hibbing could be fun too-in a north vs. south type battle (I like General Lee this time). Other than that STA and Hermantown should have cakewalks. I actually heard that they're letting their 1st lines stay at the hotel and play nhl94 on sega for the first round.
Hermantown(2) over Alexandria
Rochester Lourdes(3) over Hibbing
Breck(4) over Thief River Falls
St. Thomas Academy (1) over New Ulm
Semifinals- Two metro private school match up would be fun. Another North vs. South match up? Friday's afternoon games could potentially be really fun hockey.
Hermantown over Rochester Lourdes
Breck over St. Thomas Academy
Consolation-Thief River Falls
Third Place- St. Thomas Academy
Champion- I don't know anything about them but like I said earlier my gut feeling is telling me...
Hermantown over Breck
Quarterfinals- Way more open than Class A. Should be a really entertaining first round of games. The only for sure will be EP over yet another shitty Lakeville team making the tourney. The other three match ups could go either way. WBL and Blaine could be riding high with upset victories in their sections so who know what kind of momentum they bring with them. Thursday 11am-4pm and 6pm-11pm sit yourself in front of a TV for some quality stuff.
Edina (2) over Blaine
Duluth East (3) over White Bear Lake
Eden Prairie (1) over Lakeville North
Moorhead (5) over Eagan
Semifinals- Two city teams vs. northern teams. I love the possibility of this happening. If this is the case I will be pulling for the northern guys but it's hard not to pick...
Edina over Duluth East
Eden Prairie over Moorhead
Consolation- White Bear Lake
Third Place- Duluth East
Final- A rematch of the final Lake game of the season which saw Eden Prairie score a whacky goal with under 2 minutes left in the third to go on and win 5-4. A game I was fortunate enough to see. Teams traded goals back and forth the entire game. Eden Prairie and Edina looked far superior to any other teams I saw during the year so it would be a lot of fun to see these two teams play again.. Edina has more scorers and depth at forward but Eden Prairie is better defensively and has a better goalie...
Eden Prairie over Edina
The x-factor being Kyle Rau. Kid can control a game by himself. I have a feeling he is going to go on a tear this tournament. A Dave Spehar legendary tear? Probably not but he was flying vs. Edina their last match-up and completely undressed their entire team with this shorthanded goal
Let me end this entry on this note to all of the players this weekend - Regardless of who wins or loses be happy you don't suck as much as this ginger:
P.S. come see me at the Lets Play Hockey Expo on Saturday at the River Center next to the X.. We will likely be set up next to the Graf booth. I will be signing Fire Dan Terhaar T-shirts from 10am-12pm....