How far has Range hockey fallen?

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greenway1969
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How far has Range hockey fallen?

Post by greenway1969 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:20 pm

Grand Rapids in the only IRC team that has shown it still has a strong program. Hibbing, Virginia, the Falls, Eveleth, and Greenway have all fallen on hard times. They all have been beaten badly by other Class A teams or average/weak AA teams and have few quality wins. Virginia's performance at State (1-4) is further evidence. Although enrollment is a key contributor to the decline, I also think it has to do the type of kids who make-up the remaining enrollment. Drawing Section 7 at the State Tournament used to be feared, now I think most teams are hoping to play the Section 7 champion.

PuckU126
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Re: How far has Range hockey fallen?

Post by PuckU126 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:22 pm

greenway1969 wrote:Grand Rapids in the only IRC team that has shown it still has a strong program. Hibbing, Virginia, the Falls, Eveleth, and Greenway have all fallen on hard times. They all have been beaten badly by other Class A teams or average/weak AA teams and have few quality wins. Virginia's performance at State (1-4) is further evidence. Although enrollment is a key contributor to the decline, I also think it has to do the type of kids who make-up the remaining enrollment. Drawing Section 7 at the State Tournament used to be feared, now I think most teams are hoping to play the Section 7 champion.
They're on a low-cycle.

8)
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mnhockeynemn
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Post by mnhockeynemn » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:46 pm

You must be talking about this year. Grand Rapids have also had very average teams in the past few years also. Virginia's 2 state tourneys have been pathetic. Much is do to constant declining enrollment and all the Duluth area teams constantly switching sections. And having so many private schools is hard to compete with. Just remember we're not in the 60's anymore when Eveleth and Intl Falls dominated hockey.
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HawkeyPower
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Post by HawkeyPower » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:51 pm

What priate schools affect the Range schools that much? I think it has everything to do with declining population on the Range. Look at their youth programs, only Rapids is in the top 60 in any of the rankings. Until the mines get rolling again, people will not want to move there.

WHAFightingSaints
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Post by WHAFightingSaints » Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:17 pm

I think for the most part theses teams have stayed pretty competitive under the circumstances that exist on the Range. With the exception of Eveleth and Greenway at the moment the Range teams like Hibbing and Virginia have held their own. Hibbing played Minnetonka tough in a 1 goal loss this season and Virginia isn’t afraid to put some AA teams on their schedule and usually play them fairly even. I think it will take a job revival on the range for these programs to perform like they did a few decades ago. Rapids should stay fairly consistent as they really don’t face the same issues as the mining towns.

I hope that Range hockey makes a big comeback soon, I love the hockey atmosphere and the old nostalgic arenas in those towns, it would also mean that the mining industry is on the comeback as well.

14hockey
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Post by 14hockey » Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:29 pm

Unfortunately teams around the range are on somewhat of a decline... What concerns me is young quality players leaving their own home towns for what is believed to be more successful programs. This only digs a deeper hole for high school teams in range towns trying to create successful programs.

dirtracing17
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Post by dirtracing17 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:12 pm

to say it has fallen is a bit overspoken, sure some teams arent what they were but falls, virginia, rapids, hibbing have always been able to compete. kids on the range play more than hockey and dont have the year round indoor ice that the cities team have to practice on. enrollment is also on the decline.
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PhilRudd
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Post by PhilRudd » Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:17 pm

Raider is dead on - the old IRC is nothing but a shade of it's former self with no hope of returning to glory. You posters can make all the excuses you want for why that is, but facts is facts and numbers don't lie. Sure, they will be able to come up with a contender every 10 years, but are no match year in and year out with the privates and metro conglomerates.

PR 8)

dirtracing17
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Post by dirtracing17 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:20 pm

and thats why theres two classes.
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HShockeywatcher
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Post by HShockeywatcher » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:30 pm

I was looking at state tournament history today and noticed that Greenway got 3rd in state in AA in 2001. I remember in 04-05 when St Thomas got Greenway on their schedule and really thought the program was becoming something because they were playing a good range school. Now, they have 3 wins on the season and are playing a sub-par schedule.

I remember chatter on the bored in the past about a co-op with Grand Rapids. This seems about as shocking as Warroad not having a good program anymore. Just curious what's going on?

ryno44
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Post by ryno44 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:55 pm

HShockeywatcher wrote:I was looking at state tournament history today and noticed that Greenway got 3rd in state in AA in 2001. I remember in 04-05 when St Thomas got Greenway on their schedule and really thought the program was becoming something because they were playing a good range school. Now, they have 3 wins on the season and are playing a sub-par schedule.

I remember chatter on the bored in the past about a co-op with Grand Rapids. This seems about as shocking as Warroad not having a good program anymore. Just curious what's going on?
What I heard about combining Rapids and Greenway was that Rapids wanted all the youth hockey along with high school and Greenway didn't want to give up their youth hockey. Thats just what I heard anyways.

defense
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Post by defense » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:15 pm

I'm sure Iron Range hockey not what it used to be....but aren't the powers still playing???? Aren't most of the old powerhouses still able to produce a decent team and sometimes a real contender???
5 team Iron Range Conference and 3 teams are in the top 10, I'd say there is still decent hockey there. I'm just an outsider but that's what an outsider sees.

goldy313
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Post by goldy313 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:02 pm

A bunch of factors....
Two classes; for years Duluth was in section 2 and that gave the Range 1 spot in the state tournament every year. It can be argued that the only real beneficiaries of going to 2 classes are a small handful of schools that include private schools and Warroad. It's hindsight but has going to class A helped Hibbing?

Year around ice has helped other areas catch up and pass the Range, being a late October to early March sport was a great equilizer.

Economics have hurt the range and hockey isn't getting any cheaper. The athletes are still there; Grand Rapids has fielded good basketball and wrestling teams the past few years, their boys team was state runners up in 2010. Mike Fuenffinger from Hibbing is the top rated wrestler in his weight class in Minnesota and a defending state champ. Virginia's basketball team is 12-4. The kids are still there, just maybe not in the same numbers and maybe not in hockey.

chubbs
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Post by chubbs » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:15 pm

eveleth and greenway are the only two who have really struggled. the rest have still been above average for the last five or six years so i don't really see what this topic is about. The greenway guy who made this didn't need to drag the whole range down with this post

25 sheet power
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Post by 25 sheet power » Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:37 am

HShockeywatcher wrote:I was looking at state tournament history today and noticed that Greenway got 3rd in state in AA in 2001. I remember in 04-05 when St Thomas got Greenway on their schedule and really thought the program was becoming something because they were playing a good range school. Now, they have 3 wins on the season and are playing a sub-par schedule.

I remember chatter on the bored in the past about a co-op with Grand Rapids. This seems about as shocking as Warroad not having a good program anymore. Just curious what's going on?
Warroads not good anymore?

HShockeywatcher
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Post by HShockeywatcher » Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:06 am

Another way to look at possibly is not that the range schools have gotten that much worse overall, just that the other areas are getting better faster. Why does it seem that the better teams are generally from private or affluent area public schools? Money.

Range schools are still fielding teams and they are still playing, but just not being as successful.
25 sheet power wrote:
HShockeywatcher wrote:I was looking at state tournament history today and noticed that Greenway got 3rd in state in AA in 2001. I remember in 04-05 when St Thomas got Greenway on their schedule and really thought the program was becoming something because they were playing a good range school. Now, they have 3 wins on the season and are playing a sub-par schedule.

I remember chatter on the bored in the past about a co-op with Grand Rapids. This seems about as shocking as Warroad not having a good program anymore. Just curious what's going on?
Warroads not good anymore?
Analogy.

Warroad is good, and they probably always will be. But I didn't think there would be a time Greenway would be like they are, and it surprises me quite a bit; similarly to if someone were to tell me Warroad didn't.

greenway1969
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Post by greenway1969 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:14 am

The last success a Range school (excluding Rapids) had at State was in 2004, when Hibbing took third. The Range history since then has been bad.

2005: Virginia 0-2
2006: no entrant
2007: no entrant
2008: no entrant
2009: Virginia 0-2
2010: Virginia 1-2

Sections are realigned this year and if Hermantown gets placed in Section 7, it will be a long time before a Range team makes State let alone win at the State tournament.

Hibbing has some good wins (Roseau, Warroad, and Mahotomedi), even though those teams are not top ten teams. They also have big losses to Little Falls (6-1) and Proctor (4-1). Virginia's good wins are over Little Falls and Cloquet, but have losses to Hermantown (5-2) and Mahtomedi (5-2). These two Range schools have solid teams, but they are not great teams. I hope I'm proven wrong, but the Range is falling behind the rest of the State and I don't see any reason to think it will improve in the near future. Their youth programs have not been competitive.

EREmpireStrikesBack
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Post by EREmpireStrikesBack » Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:14 am

Image

No end in sight.

:idea:
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WHAFightingSaints
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Post by WHAFightingSaints » Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:18 am

25 sheet power wrote:
HShockeywatcher wrote:I was looking at state tournament history today and noticed that Greenway got 3rd in state in AA in 2001. I remember in 04-05 when St Thomas got Greenway on their schedule and really thought the program was becoming something because they were playing a good range school. Now, they have 3 wins on the season and are playing a sub-par schedule.

I remember chatter on the bored in the past about a co-op with Grand Rapids. This seems about as shocking as Warroad not having a good program anymore. Just curious what's going on?
Warroads not good anymore?
I don't think Warroad is considered a Range team, not a mining town.

greenway1969
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Post by greenway1969 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:03 pm

EREmpireStrikesBack wrote:Image

No end in sight.

:idea:
That is hilarious.

mnhockeynemn
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Post by mnhockeynemn » Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:11 pm

Truth of the matter is Falls, Virginia and Hibbing always produce decent teams with strong programs. Its other towns like Ely, Silver Bay, Two Harbors, Greenway and even Eveleth that that are hurting alot more right now.
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