Tourney Reflection 2014

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karl(east)
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Tourney Reflection 2014

Post by karl(east) » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:48 pm

Better late than never...here ya go.

The seventieth State Tournament has come and gone, its whirlwind collision of nostalgia and renewal consuming us for four days before melting away into a Minnesota spring. The best team in each class was obvious, but it was still more competitive than last year’s, particularly on the Class A side. We had one instant classic, a double overtime thriller with drama and intrigue at every turn, as stars dropped like flies with injury and exhaustion late in the game. Gary Thorne graced the Tourney with an added dose of gravitas, and the referees made their presence felt a bit more than usual. Edina’s repeat at the top of the heap lets us use the word ‘dynasty’ for the first time in many years, and with an all-public AA field, the Hornets had little trouble claiming the villain tag.

Some of the best stories in this Tourney came far from that small town on the west side with a dream, though. Feisty Luverne proved its doubters wrong and proved it can compete on the highest stage, while New Prague recorded the South’s first top-3 finish in over ten years. Roseau added to its proud Tourney history with a very competitive 5th place showing in AA, its stars once again coming south to dazzle the St. Paul crowds. The biggest of the small-town winners, though, was East Grand Forks, and with its seamless breakouts and a relentless Green Wave of powerful hits, the Class A champion’s mysterious mascot only seemed apt. There is room for all types at the Tourney, but the growth and sustenance of hockey in small towns keeps the Tourney in touch with its roots. There were good storylines among the big city schools, too: Stillwater made its debut, Lakeville North’s thrilling overtime victories put AA’s southernmost section in the title game for the first time in 25 years, and while their faces are a bit more familiar, section wins by Eagan, Centennial, and Duluth East were a reminder of what good coaching and smart defense can do in the playoffs.

As always, the players make the Tourney. There was the delight of Eddie Eades, posing theories on cookies and ice cream, and then there was the agony of Luc Snuggerud, the wounded warrior bowed in defeat. Tyler Nanne channeled his grandfather’s ease with words, while Nick Wolff probably still hasn’t finished his latest shift for Eagan. Zach Yon of Roseau made a last-second pitch for Mr. Hockey, while Luverne eighth-grader Jaxon Nelson gave us a glimpse of the future. Erik Gadbois proved an unlikely hero for scrappy St. Cloud Cathedral, and Eden Prairie’s Michael Parrish mustered a heroism that transcended hockey, putting together a hat trick in the shadow of his father’s death.

The coaches, too, add their own distinct flavor. The old guard was on hand, still plugging along; Bruce Plante was understandably chastened after a fifth straight second place finish, but still managed to show why he is beloved in Hermantown, and a vintage Mike Randolph pulled all the levers he could in a losing cause before making “embellishment” the word of the Tourney. The bubbly and quotable Trent Eigner took his program to the next level, while Luverne’s rising star, Derrick Brown, did a victory lap for all of small-town hockey. But the clear-eyed focus of Tyler Palmiscno (with an assist from the peerless Scott Oliver) and the supreme confidence of Curt Giles carried the day.

Giles is normally one to run a tight ship; he’s not one to furnish reporters with juicy quotes, nor does he hold strong public opinions on the endless debates over private schools and junior hockey. Such is the luxury of Edina, of course: he presides over a program of unmatched depth, and he knows he’s blessed not to have many of the worries facing others. Back at the pinnacle yet again, though, Giles let the façade come down and channeled that old Herb Brooks line, saying the emotion of a Tourney win rivals that of the Stanley Cup. Repeats may tire some fans, especially when they taste of cake, but sports need dominant powers to serve as the measuring stick. Edina sets the standard for all of hockey in Minnesota, and it’s up to the rest of the state to find a response to this latest Hornet run. They came in with the flair and swagger of champions, a fast and edgy team unafraid to show off its talents and let the world know who is number one. Oh, to be young and a Hornet.

The whole weekend overflows with youth, even for those whose follicles have forsaken them, rendered them ineligible for the Hockey Hair Team. This year there was no one quote that fixed itself in my mind, no one poignant moment that pierced through the din. Instead, it was a steady, sustained buzz, fueled by stops at bars between sessions and those incessant Hornets. There are the kids doing what we once did: plotting an off-color chant, smuggling in a beach ball, fighting the crowds at the Expo, bumming around the upper deck, perhaps going on a run through the St. Paul night in the ecstasy of victory, or off to a party in some hotel room, all pretense of dignity and decorum forgotten for a weekend at the start of Lent. For those of us with some remove from the glory days, we have the impromptu reunions, the ease of chatting up anyone knowing we have common ground, the gathering of generations, the march of time and a ceaseless cycle bearing us back to the past. Those of us in the stands can lose track of the constant turnover, forget the rawness of emotions that come out no matter who is on the winning or losing end. That part never changes, and even as we head into summer or perhaps out into the world beyond high school, it long lingers, waiting to be brought forth again for four more days next March. No matter where the world takes us, the memory endures.

GoldenBear
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Post by GoldenBear » Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:40 am

Very well said Karl. Only a Georgetowm educated man could be so eloquent GB

TTpuckster
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Post by TTpuckster » Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:15 am

I was on the first team from EGF to make it to state, a long time ago.
If only we could have hoisted the championship trophy.
But, alas, Edina won it that year too.
A long time ago.

As much as I sometimes want to rip Edina...quite honestly, what a hell of a program!
What is a Green Wave anyway?

wayfncold
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Post by wayfncold » Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:22 am

I'm impressed, way to go Karl! But consolation champion would have been a better description then 5th place.

BlueLineSpecial
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Post by BlueLineSpecial » Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:39 am

wayfncold wrote:I'm impressed, way to go Karl! But consolation champion would have been a better description then 5th place.
'Consulation Champion' is a title given to the 5th place team. '5th place' is actually the best description. A forum ROY candidate has got to get that right 8)
The City of Hill Murray is beautiful this time of year

wayfncold
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Post by wayfncold » Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:24 am

BlueLineSpecial wrote:
wayfncold wrote:I'm impressed, way to go Karl! But consolation champion would have been a better description then 5th place.
'Consulation Champion' is a title given to the 5th place team. '5th place' is actually the best description. A forum ROY candidate has got to get that right 8)
I have to disagree. You can't call them the 5th place team they only lost one game and that was by one goal to the state runner up. Still fighting to be that ROY

almostashappy
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Post by almostashappy » Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:29 am

BlueLineSpecial wrote:
wayfncold wrote:I'm impressed, way to go Karl! But consolation champion would have been a better description then 5th place.
'Consulation Champion' is a title given to the 5th place team. '5th place' is actually the best description. A forum ROY candidate has got to get that right 8)
Props to the rookie for spelling. :wink:

GreekChurch
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Post by GreekChurch » Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:32 am

To me it was a predictable Tourney, as I had stated, without the privates, it would be just like the good ole days, of hating Edina. There were a few very good games in the quarter/semi final games, but both Champioship games were dogs. Well there's always next year. Nice job as always Karl.

BlueLineSpecial
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Post by BlueLineSpecial » Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:54 am

wayfncold wrote:
BlueLineSpecial wrote:
wayfncold wrote:I'm impressed, way to go Karl! But consolation champion would have been a better description then 5th place.
'Consulation Champion' is a title given to the 5th place team. '5th place' is actually the best description. A forum ROY candidate has got to get that right 8)
I have to disagree. You can't call them the 5th place team they only lost one game and that was by one goal to the state runner up. Still fighting to be that ROY
You've got spunk kid, I'll give you that.

Consolation is an ambiguous term. Because the Ram's finish was indeed 5th place, regardless of how well the absolutely played, this is a better objective description.

But at least you can spell, unlike this grizzled vet. I lay blame in this order:

Inexplicable drinking of Boone's Farm last night
Fat fingers
IPhone
Withdrawal from high school hockey is giving me the shakes
The City of Hill Murray is beautiful this time of year

wayfncold
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Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 2:28 pm

Post by wayfncold » Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:19 pm

BlueLineSpecial wrote:
wayfncold wrote:
BlueLineSpecial wrote:
wayfncold wrote:I'm impressed, way to go Karl! But consolation champion would have been a better description then 5th place.
'Consulation Champion' is a title given to the 5th place team. '5th place' is actually the best description. A forum ROY candidate has got to get that right 8)
I have to disagree. You can't call them the 5th place team they only lost one game and that was by one goal to the state runner up. Still fighting to be that ROY
You've got spunk kid, I'll give you that.

Consolation is an ambiguous term. Because the Ram's finish was indeed 5th place, regardless of how well the absolutely played, this is a better objective description.

But at least you can spell, unlike this grizzled vet. I lay blame in this order:

Inexplicable drinking of Boone's Farm last night
Fat fingers
IPhone
Withdrawal from high school hockey is giving me the shakes
Thanks Blueline! Makes me proud just to be having a discussion with a distinguished veteran like yourself. I was sad to read in a different post that I really have no shot at being rookie of the year because I don't know the right people but I will keep soldiering on. ](*,)

upnorthfan
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Post by upnorthfan » Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:29 pm

So you lose two times at the state tournament and you get to be called 4th place and you win twice and take 5th? That is why it is consolation and not 5th place. Only 1 team at the tourney wins more games than the consolation champs, it is just timing.

puckbreath
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Post by puckbreath » Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:51 pm

The only name for finishing place that needs to be remembered is:

Second place is the first loser.

After that, just add the relevant position and number to the statement.

:P

Ogie
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Post by Ogie » Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:17 pm

I do believe that Karl could re-write Bart Giamatti's "The Green Fields of the Mind".

Start with the same first two sentences.

"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart....."

Thanks, Karl. :)
Buy ya a soda after the game!

wayfncold
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Post by wayfncold » Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:17 am

upnorthfan wrote:So you lose two times at the state tournament and you get to be called 4th place and you win twice and take 5th? That is why it is consolation and not 5th place. Only 1 team at the tourney wins more games than the consolation champs, it is just timing.
THANK YOU! Two great minds thinking alike.

MNHockeyFan
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Post by MNHockeyFan » Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:27 pm

I guess what it boils down to is "the best of the first round losers" COULD be a better team than "the worst of the first round winners".

But it's probably worth noting that since they started seeding the top 5 teams this would typically be less likely than it was previously, when the quarterfinal matchups were determined more or less at random (by rotating the sections each year). You used to have the possibility of the consensus second or third best team in the tournament having to play the tournament favorite (Edina this year) in their opening quarterfinal. That second or third best team would then, more often than not, go into the consolation bracket, which in turn would make that second game (for say a Roseau) more difficult (could have been Lakeville North or Eden Prairie this year instead of Centennial). Point being that if all the higher seeded teams today advance to the championship bracket the chance for any of the other teams to win the consolation is improved over what used to be the case. So you could make the case that winning those two games today (for "5th Place") is not as noteworthy as it once was as compared to that team that advances to the championship bracket but ends up losing that 3rd Place game.

Hope this makes sense!

BlueLineSpecial
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Post by BlueLineSpecial » Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:32 pm

MNHockeyFan wrote:I guess what it boils down to is "the best of the first round losers" COULD be a better team than "the worst of the first round winners".

But it's probably worth noting that since they started seeding the top 5 teams this would typically be less likely than it was previously, when the quarterfinal matchups were determined more or less at random (by rotating the sections each year). You used to have the possibility of the consensus second or third best team in the tournament having to play the tournament favorite (Edina this year) in their opening quarterfinal. That second or third best team would then, more often than not, go into the consolation bracket, which in turn would make that second game (for say a Roseau) more difficult (could have been Lakeville North or Eden Prairie this year instead of Centennial). Point being that if all the higher seeded teams today advance to the championship bracket the chance for any of the other teams to win the consolation is improved over what used to be the case. So you could make the case that winning those two games today (for "5th Place") is not as noteworthy as it once was as compared to that team that advances to the championship bracket but ends up losing that 3rd Place game.

Hope this makes sense!
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=airT-m9LcoY&feature=kp
The City of Hill Murray is beautiful this time of year

MNHockeyFan
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Post by MNHockeyFan » Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:37 pm

MNHockeyFan wrote:Hope this makes sense!
:lol: Try reading it very slowly! :P

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