7A - Thoughts

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Goose21
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Re: 7A - Thoughts

Post by Goose21 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:46 pm

rainier2 wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:59 am
backrinkrat wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:22 pm
Hermantown and the Raiders will be good but I would not underestimate the Virginia Blue Devils. Very talented up front and the D will be solid. Section 7 will finally not be a Hawks one way ticket to the X ! [-X
Virginia returns a ton of scoring, most of their defense, and their goaltending, but I still put them a distant 3rd in 7A. Seitz was the star they depended on, and now they have no high-end player that can carry them. They may very well be a top ten A team as they are pretty deep with quality juniors and seniors, but Hermantown and Greenway are likely to both be top 3 in A, each with multiple D1 caliber players.

Maybe the Devils' new coach can maximize their talents and an incoming bantam or two can provide a boost, but the two Goliaths at the top will be hard to beat come February.
I would say one Goliath and a talented David :D
Forecheck, Backcheck, Paycheck

rainier2
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Re: 7A - Thoughts

Post by rainier2 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 1:34 pm

Goose21 wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:46 pm
rainier2 wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:59 am
backrinkrat wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:22 pm
Hermantown and the Raiders will be good but I would not underestimate the Virginia Blue Devils. Very talented up front and the D will be solid. Section 7 will finally not be a Hawks one way ticket to the X ! [-X
Virginia returns a ton of scoring, most of their defense, and their goaltending, but I still put them a distant 3rd in 7A. Seitz was the star they depended on, and now they have no high-end player that can carry them. They may very well be a top ten A team as they are pretty deep with quality juniors and seniors, but Hermantown and Greenway are likely to both be top 3 in A, each with multiple D1 caliber players.

Maybe the Devils' new coach can maximize their talents and an incoming bantam or two can provide a boost, but the two Goliaths at the top will be hard to beat come February.
I would say one Goliath and a talented David :D
I stand corrected. 8)

This Hermantown-Greenway title game clash, absent a shocking upset, should be outstanding. Greenway lost very little scoring, and their top talents are now experienced seniors and juniors. On top of that, they have brought in some offensive firepower and what appears to be a solid goalie to replace last year's stud. I fully expect Greenway to be a full notch better than they were last season, which is saying something.

But, Hermantown is Hermantown. Yes, they lost 2 of their 3 top scorers, but they bring back some outstanding players at every position, and of course bring in yet another top 10 AA bantam class. Hopefully their 7A dominance ends this season, but I'll believe it when I see it.

ironranger2
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Re: 7A - Thoughts

Post by ironranger2 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 1:36 pm

I think Virginia has the only other realistic shot in the section, but like Ranier said above, they are a distant 3rd.

Forwards--Virginia might have a top 10 class A first line, but the problem is the only have the 3rd best top line in the section and it is a distant 3rd.

Goalteanding--Kreibich is a really good goalie and the backup is good as well, but would they rate above Hermantown and Greenway. Probably not, but they are a very close 3rd in the section.

Defense--they might return most of their defensemen, but they are average at best. They are not even the close to the talent level of Hermantown and Greenway. This is going to be Virginia's one glaring weakness against other top Class A teams.

Depth--Virginia will have some decent depth for a class A team. Hermantown, while not as heavy with top end talent as in the past, still has the most depth in the section. Greenway picked up Hibbing's top scorer from last year and he won't even crack their top line.

Goose21
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Re: 7A - Thoughts

Post by Goose21 » Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:11 am

rainier2 wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 1:34 pm
Goose21 wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:46 pm
rainier2 wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:59 am


Virginia returns a ton of scoring, most of their defense, and their goaltending, but I still put them a distant 3rd in 7A. Seitz was the star they depended on, and now they have no high-end player that can carry them. They may very well be a top ten A team as they are pretty deep with quality juniors and seniors, but Hermantown and Greenway are likely to both be top 3 in A, each with multiple D1 caliber players.

Maybe the Devils' new coach can maximize their talents and an incoming bantam or two can provide a boost, but the two Goliaths at the top will be hard to beat come February.
I would say one Goliath and a talented David :D
I stand corrected. 8)

This Hermantown-Greenway title game clash, absent a shocking upset, should be outstanding. Greenway lost very little scoring, and their top talents are now experienced seniors and juniors. On top of that, they have brought in some offensive firepower and what appears to be a solid goalie to replace last year's stud. I fully expect Greenway to be a full notch better than they were last season, which is saying something.

But, Hermantown is Hermantown. Yes, they lost 2 of their 3 top scorers, but they bring back some outstanding players at every position, and of course bring in yet another top 10 AA bantam class. Hopefully their 7A dominance ends this season, but I'll believe it when I see it.
For sure. I am trying to remember when another 7A team has been this much of a threat to Hermantown going into the season.
Forecheck, Backcheck, Paycheck

greenwayraider
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Re: 7A - Thoughts

Post by greenwayraider » Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:40 am

One last shot at ranking before the season begins.

1. Hermantown - Very deep and very talented. Hawks have two future NHLers in Biondi and Pierce and who knows how many D1 players. This program is so impressive. They will also have something they haven't had the past two seasons: motiviation. The last two years Hermantown has looked disinterested at state. The humiliation and embarrassment they suffered at the hands of Alexandria will have them refocus. I don't see any Class A team beating them.
2. Greenway - Lots of very good high school players but not at the talent level of Hermantown. They are as good as any other Class A team in the state although they have not looked good in any of the scrimmages I've seen. They do have the one factor that could lead them to the upset. A great goalie. This kid has been outstanding so far. He was the reason the Raiders went 0-0 with CEC in the scrimmage. Greenway has two good lines but the talent drops significantly when the third line is out on the ice. Also, Clafton will not be outcoached. He will come up with a great game plan again if Greenway meets Hermantown in the finals. If Greenway can beat Rapids by a similar score as last year (5-1) then they will prove they are as good as their press clippings.
3. Virginia - A good Class A team with good forwards and a good goalie. The main question is can the forwards score without Seitz. Seitz was the key player in setting up scoring opportunities. He could beat the first one or two guys and get Virginia in position where they outnumbered the defenders and create scoring chances. Also Virginia was awful away from Miners Memorial. My gosh they lost to Proctor last year. Greenway hammered they twice away from Miners. The new coach has a major challenge in instilling confidence into the players so they are just as tough away as they are at home.
4. Hermantown JV
5. Eveleth-Gilbert - They were my sleeper pick last year and they were a little disappointing. They lost their top scorer but have some good younger talent coming up.
6. International Falls - Had a decent bantam team a couple of years ago so hopefully they can have some success at the high school level.
7. Denfeld - Lost some good players to graduation. Frankly, I don't know much about the Twin Port teams.
8. Hibbing - A program in chaos.
9. North Shore
10. Proctor
11. Ely

Lot of pressure on Greenway to have a successful season. The community is excited and expecting a great season. When you literally have half the arena full for a scrimmage you know the community is excited.

elliott70
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Re: 7A - Thoughts

Post by elliott70 » Sun Nov 25, 2018 11:06 am

Good win over Grand Rapids to start the season for Greenway. Rapids not as tough as a couple of years back but they still put a quality team on the ice.

7A should be exciting, not just two teams but with Virginia, Eveleth the Falls putting decent teams on the ice.

greenwayraider
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Re: 7A - Thoughts

Post by greenwayraider » Mon Nov 26, 2018 6:28 am

An ok weekend for 7a. Denfeld had a good one. They won both their games against Minnehaha Academy and Red Wing. Was hoping for a better showing from the Falls and Eveleth. Falls lost to Little Falls and Eveleth beat Red Wing but lost to Minnehaha Academy. The Greenway/Virginia game at Miners Memorial on Thursday should be a good one.

ironranger2
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Re: 7A - Thoughts

Post by ironranger2 » Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:44 am

Went to the Virginia/Little Falls game on Saturday. Virginia had this game on cruise control, yet let their emotions get the best of them in the 3rd period. Their top returning scorer gets to miss the Greenway game after a 5 and a game call midway through the 3rd. I realize you want to win every gamt, but I sometimes wonder why the coaches aren't on these kids more to be aware of the situation.

You have an extremely important section matchup coming up on Thursday against a team (greenway) that you beat all the way up through the youth ranks, but have fallen a little behind from in high school. You are flying under the radar but you certainly have the goalie and top line that can compete stay with Greenway and Hermantown on any given night. And then you allow a boneheaded play like this to happen with the Greenway game up next.

Very frustrating to see that unfold. I don't really care who wins the game on Thursday, but I want both teams to be at their best. They are both going to need the challenge to prepare for Hermantown at the end of the year.

Agree with Raider on the other teams. Still way early in the season, but it looks like Denfeld is playing a bit better than Eveleth.

greenwayraider
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Re: 7A - Thoughts

Post by greenwayraider » Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:45 am

The way kids and parents are now the coach does not have the same amount of influence as in the past. Especially for a program with a new coach and no recent success. Clafton has pretty good control but the program is at its peak. When the lean years come I’d be surprised if he will have the same control. It’s just how things are. A side note on the Rapids game. The Greenway goalie said the most people he ever played in front was at the Hill-Murray scrimmage. He couldn’t believe the full house for the Rapids game.

ironranger2
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Re: 7A - Thoughts

Post by ironranger2 » Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:19 am

Do you think Clafton sticks around after next year? One of the guys in our break room said he watched his grandson's team play Greenway's Bantam A team and said they were not very good. Not sure if this guys's grandson plays for Virginia, Eveleth, or Hibbing, but he prefaced by saying he didn't think his grandson's team was very good either.

Is Clafton willing to go through the inevitable low point that all these small A schools go through?

greenwayraider
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Re: 7A - Thoughts

Post by greenwayraider » Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:44 am

He’s right Greenway’s Bantam A team is not very good. Their PeeWee team is not bad. Did not make it to State but they lost their best player to injury. Expecting a couple of tough years before Greenway will be competitive again barring transfers. Clafton is an excellent coach and how long he’ll be at Greenway is unknown. He would not be a good fit for every program.

northwoods oldtimer
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Re: 7A - Thoughts

Post by northwoods oldtimer » Mon Nov 26, 2018 12:32 pm

greenwayraider wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:45 am
The way kids and parents are now the coach does not have the same amount of influence as in the past. Especially for a program with a new coach and no recent success. Clafton has pretty good control but the program is at its peak. When the lean years come I’d be surprised if he will have the same control. It’s just how things are. A side note on the Rapids game. The Greenway goalie said the most people he ever played in front was at the Hill-Murray scrimmage. He couldn’t believe the full house for the Rapids game.
I think the young man is in store for some packed house games at old HB this winter.
Shame there is not a home and home with the historic rival 6 miles away.
One at Thanksgiving one at Christmas time would have been nice for both community.

WestMetro
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Re: 7A - Thoughts

Post by WestMetro » Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:01 pm

Raider, what was approx reported attendance ?

kniven
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Re: 7A - Thoughts

Post by kniven » Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:14 pm

WestMetro wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:01 pm
Raider, what was approx reported attendance ?
6,000 possibly

WestMetro
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Re: 7A - Thoughts

Post by WestMetro » Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:29 pm

A
Last edited by WestMetro on Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

greenwayraider
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Re: 7A - Thoughts

Post by greenwayraider » Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:44 pm

Hodgins-Berardo holds approximately 2,300 so I would guess 2,800 for IRA. The IRA has seating at one end which HB doesn’t have.

WestMetro
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Re: 7A - Thoughts

Post by WestMetro » Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:13 pm

Incredible! 3000 in attendance and 13000 population in the communities

The flabbergasting attendance continues for Section 7

I think the top metro single game every year before the X is probably Section 4 final at Aldrich , about 3000

Louie - can you get this story to Jamie H on NHL network- deserves national attention!

greenwayraider
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Re: 7A - Thoughts

Post by greenwayraider » Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:33 pm

The Greenway school district includes six additional small towns and also some townships so there’s a lot more people in the district. Similar situation for Rapids. Not as many small towns (I can only think of two) but a lot of people living on the nearby lakes.

elliott70
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Re: 7A - Thoughts

Post by elliott70 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:03 am

Grand Rapids area population is listed at 46,488.

karl(east)
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Re: 7A - Thoughts

Post by karl(east) » Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:23 pm

elliott70 wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:03 am
Grand Rapids area population is listed at 46,488.
That figure is the population of Itasca County. Of those, I'd take an educated stab at saying about 25,000 feed into the Rapids district (maybe a few more?) and about 12,000 are in Greenway or N-K, leaving maybe 8K out in Deer River and the very rural bits in the northwest part of the county that feed into other schools.

rainier2
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Re: 7A - Thoughts

Post by rainier2 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:51 pm

If I'm Virginia, I'm pretty happy with how the Greenway game went. To me, it was clear the Raiders were the more talented team, but Virginia hung back, crowded in around their goalie, and waited to pounce on turnovers, which is how they got both their goals. Kreibich was very good in nets and kept the Devils in it. Would have been interesting to see how this would have gone had Bialke played. As mentioned here before, Virginia has two good lines, and I was impressed with the sophomore Okstad. I wonder if one of these forwards will/should be moved to defense to provide a blueline boost. These kids can certainly be a top ten team in A, but they will have to avoid the boneheaded losses like they had last year.

But, also as mentioned here before, Greenway's top two lines are even better. And their top two defense are certainly better. I just can't help thinking that Greenway has another gear that we will see at some point, especially on the power play. Greenway had plenty of scoring chances, and I don't think they will only win by one next time they see Virginia.

rainier2
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Re: 7A - Thoughts

Post by rainier2 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:57 pm

Eveleth beats Chaska, a team Karl had ranked #7 in AA preseason rankings. I think the fact that Eveleth is having some of their best classes come through in a long time does get lost in all the 7A talk of Herm/Green/Vir, but maybe these Golden Bears make some noise this year.

PuckRanger
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Re: 7A - Thoughts

Post by PuckRanger » Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:36 pm

rainier2 wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:51 pm
If I'm Virginia, I'm pretty happy with how the Greenway game went. To me, it was clear the Raiders were the more talented team, but Virginia hung back, crowded in around their goalie, and waited to pounce on turnovers, which is how they got both their goals. Kreibich was very good in nets and kept the Devils in it. Would have been interesting to see how this would have gone had Bialke played. As mentioned here before, Virginia has two good lines, and I was impressed with the sophomore Okstad. I wonder if one of these forwards will/should be moved to defense to provide a blueline boost. These kids can certainly be a top ten team in A, but they will have to avoid the boneheaded losses like they had last year.

But, also as mentioned here before, Greenway's top two lines are even better. And their top two defense are certainly better. I just can't help thinking that Greenway has another gear that we will see at some point, especially on the power play. Greenway had plenty of scoring chances, and I don't think they will only win by one next time they see Virginia.
Just a note... The sophomore you mentioned from Virginia is Brett Okland (not Okstad). They have another sophomore with similar skills who did not play tonight (along with Bialke).

Virginia did pretty well considering they were not at full strength. Because of those absences, their lines were pretty well shuffled from what they will be. After seeing this game tonight, I think Virginia has to be considered a legitimate contender for 7A.

They have a very strong group of sophomores that are going to contribute quite a bit by years end. I doubt you will see any of these forwards move back to defense.

While Greenway did import some talent, lets not forget that it was Virginia that went to state (and won two games both times) when this group of seniors were Peewees and Bantams. Those sophomores will have to be the answer to the imports to keep on par with Hermantown and Greenway.

rainier2
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Re: 7A - Thoughts

Post by rainier2 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:32 am

PuckRanger wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:36 pm
rainier2 wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:51 pm
If I'm Virginia, I'm pretty happy with how the Greenway game went. To me, it was clear the Raiders were the more talented team, but Virginia hung back, crowded in around their goalie, and waited to pounce on turnovers, which is how they got both their goals. Kreibich was very good in nets and kept the Devils in it. Would have been interesting to see how this would have gone had Bialke played. As mentioned here before, Virginia has two good lines, and I was impressed with the sophomore Okstad. I wonder if one of these forwards will/should be moved to defense to provide a blueline boost. These kids can certainly be a top ten team in A, but they will have to avoid the boneheaded losses like they had last year.

But, also as mentioned here before, Greenway's top two lines are even better. And their top two defense are certainly better. I just can't help thinking that Greenway has another gear that we will see at some point, especially on the power play. Greenway had plenty of scoring chances, and I don't think they will only win by one next time they see Virginia.
Just a note... The sophomore you mentioned from Virginia is Brett Okland (not Okstad). They have another sophomore with similar skills who did not play tonight (along with Bialke).

Virginia did pretty well considering they were not at full strength. Because of those absences, their lines were pretty well shuffled from what they will be. After seeing this game tonight, I think Virginia has to be considered a legitimate contender for 7A.

They have a very strong group of sophomores that are going to contribute quite a bit by years end. I doubt you will see any of these forwards move back to defense.

While Greenway did import some talent, lets not forget that it was Virginia that went to state (and won two games both times) when this group of seniors were Peewees and Bantams. Those sophomores will have to be the answer to the imports to keep on par with Hermantown and Greenway.
Thanks for the info, PR. That would be outstanding if Virginia can make 7A into a legitimate 3 team race. (Eveleth make it 4?)

greenwayraider
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Re: 7A - Thoughts

Post by greenwayraider » Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:26 am

It sure would be nice to see Hermantown have to break a sweat in the semis. Looks like 7A might be as deep or deeper than 6A. Lot of the season left but it looks like 7A will be a lot of fun.

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