Edina East 1973/74

ChrisK
Posts: 870
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2002 12:39 am

Edina East 1973/74

Post by ChrisK » Fri Aug 29, 2003 11:29 am

I had a meeting over in Wilson Library here at the U of MN earlier this week and after the meeting decided to do a little research. Bemidji was my team as a kid and the 1973/74 Jacks have a place in my heart as they made the Tourney championship game only to be crushed by Edina East (and if by chance anyone has a Bemidji jersey from that era contact me). They have newspapers going way back on microfilm at Wilson Library, so I pulled out the microfilm for the March 1974 Minneapolis Tribune. You kids might not realize this but at this time there were four newspapers in the metro area if my memory is correct, the Mpls Star, the Mpls Tribune, the St.Paul Pioneer Press and the St.Paul Dispatch.<br><br>It was interesting reading. Those of you who hate the private schools will look back on this era with nostalgia as the private schools competed in the 'Independent School Tournament' the week before the State Tournament and they were not invited to the Tourney. I think that started the next year. Unsurprisingly, Hill Murray won the tournament in 1974 though I may be wrong as I skimmed over that info. Then I got to the tournament articles. Edina East was splashed all over every issue, Edina this, Edina that. Man, I hated that team at the time. Then I read the articles. And discovered why they got all that press. They were good. Really good. From the article after Thursday's games: "When it was over, and Edina-East had rolled up a 9-0 victory over St.Paul Harding, veteran hockey observers were searching their memories for more impressive teams than this year's Hornets. Most of them came up empty for comparisons." Checking out Lee's site, this Edina-East team went 24-0, outscored their tourney opponents 20-3. Maybe it's just me, but it doesn't seem like this team gets its due as one of the greatest ever. Am I wrong? If not, is one reason because they didn't have to face Hill Murray or any private schools?<br><br>After checking this out, I really think it's good that the private schools are now part of the tournament. The Hill Murray players from this era must wonder how they would've done against Edina East and it does cloud Edina East's title a little bit knowing that they didn't have to face any private schools to win. <br><br>It's hard to believe that this year will be the thirty year anniversary for this team. An aside, when I was at some games at Edina last year, I checked out the trophy case. I know Edina has won a lot of titles so maybe it's easier to let these things slide because there will probably be a new one to put in the case soon enough, but those old trophies could use some serious touch up work, they're missing letters and things like that. <p></p><i></i>

rsolway
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2002 6:02 pm

Re: Edina East 1973/74

Post by rsolway » Sun Aug 31, 2003 9:40 pm

As good as Hill Murray was in the 1970s, they were just another very good team--no better than the northern competition Edina had to get past. Hill and other privates started going to state in 1975, and failed to play in a championship game until 1980--where they lost 2-1 to Grand Rapids. Also, although they've had their problems getting past White Bear in the last few years, from 1975-93, they went 15 times and won two championships. During that same time frame, Grand Rapids won 3, Edina 5, Jefferson 4, and Burnsville 2. I agree that it may have been interesting to see Edina play Hill in 1974, but based on the history there's no reason to think Hill would have presented any more of a problem that year than the Bemidji team that got through the bracket with the other tough northern teams. Also, 1974 was Edina's best team ever, with some possible argument from the 1982 and 1986 teams. If you look at the other Edina teams that actually got to play Hill Murray at state, they won each time, despite being underdogs. (They played in 1979, 1988, 1997, and 2000). Then again, when they did have to get past Hill Murray, they ended up state champs three of those four years. <p></p><i></i>

bruce
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2003 12:33 am

Edina East 1973/74

Post by bruce » Mon Sep 01, 2003 12:33 am

Interesting ChrisK.<br><br>It's always fun to look back.<br><br>A key point about the 1974 State Tournament that you forgot to mention was the big comeback by Edina East in the semifinals against Henry Sibley. Sibley led 3-0 early in the third period and had been holding off Edina East for most of the game. The Hornets made probably the biggest comeback ever in the State Tournament when they scored five straight goals to take a 5-3 lead which turned out to be the final score. As good as Edina East was, I always thought Henry Sibley should have been able to, somehow, hold them off for the final 12 minutes. The Hornets were definitely a great team led by Craig Norwich, probably the best player of 1974.<br><br>Another interesting point is that Edina East was undefeated, but all the Christmas Holiday tournaments were cancelled that year because of the energy crisis. Edina East had three games that were cancelled and they were slated to play International Falls in one of them. Maybe the Broncos could have upset the Hornets. Falls was not great in 1973-74 but they did beat Grand Rapids and Bemidji, two teams that made it to the State Tournament.<br><br>I was at Bemidji in 1974, so I got to see a couple games. It was a great year for Bemidji athletics because they won the Class AA basketball championship and made it to the State Tournament in baseball. For hockey, I remember Jeff Wizner was a solid goalie. Gary Sargent had graduated in 1972 and Earl had graduated in 1973, but there was still a solid nucleus of players. Dick Howe, Jim Conway, Rod Beck, Andy Kannenberg, Bill Isrealson, and Mike Fairchild were all good players from what I remember. <br><br>One interesting game I went to was when Grand Rapids came to Bemidji for I think the next-to-last game of the regular season. It was right before the Section tournaments started. Rapids had a great team, too, led by John 'the Jet' Rothstein (a junior), Mark DeCenzo, Mike Johnson, and Tim McDonald were seniors, Denny Doyle and Bill Baker were juniors, Erin Roth, Dan Lempe, and Pete DeCenzo were sophomores, and Dan Clafton was the goalie (a junior). I think all of them except Clafton played Division 1 hockey at one point.<br><br>It was a great, exciting game and Grand Rapids won 5-4 in Bemidji, at the BSU hockey rink. International Falls also beat Bemidji 4-1 at the end of the regular season.<br><br>I was completely surprised in the State Tournament semifinal game when Bemidji upended Grand Rapids 4-2, with an empty net goal, when the Indians had outplayed the Lumberjacks only a couple weeks earlier on Bemidji's home ice. Rapids may have been a little overconfident in the State semifinal game, especially since Sibley had almost beaten Edina East in the first semifinal game. But Rapids just didn't play well. It was 3-2 going into the final minute when Grand Rapids pulled their goalie, but Bemidji got the empty net goal before Rapids could tie it.<br> <p></p><i></i>

ChrisK
Posts: 870
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2002 12:39 am

Bemidji '74

Post by ChrisK » Mon Sep 01, 2003 8:30 am

Good points Bruce, I didn't have time to read about the Sibley game. That is impressive, scoring five goals in the final period to win the game. Sibley should have been able to hold them, but it comes across as a testament to how good a team Edina East was. As I recall and the box score seems to confirm, the championship game was not much of a contest Edina East was clearly the better team.<br><br>Funny that you mention the 1974 Bemidji-Grand Rapids game. Of all the games that I saw as a kid in Bemidji that game stands out the most. I think it was the last game of the season and normally the two teams would play two games against each other, but because of the gas crisis, which as you said caused the Holiday tournies to be cancelled, they played only that game. Both teams wore their home jerseys, those orange Grand Rapids jerseys are etched in my mind. The article about the Tourney game between the two teams quotes a Grand Rapids player saying that Bemidji showed up for three periods and GR only showed up for one. Another article points out that Rapids was a young team, which might explain the relatively lackluster performance against a senior laden Bemidji team.<br><br>And it was a great year for Bemidji, they actually finished 2nd in basketball losing the championship game to Mark Olberding and Melrose, though I guess you could argue that they won the AA championship. I recall them winning the baseball championship behind Andy Kannenberg and others pitching performances.<br><br>Oh and I forgot to mention, Lee's site has the wrong record for Bemidji team, I think they were 16-4-1 at the start of the tourney. <p></p><i></i>

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