Top 20 single A teams since inception (1994)

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elliott70
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Top 20 single A teams since inception (1994)

Post by elliott70 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:17 am

PER LETS PLAY HOCKEY MAGAZINE

1 Breck
2 Hermantown

3 Warroad
4 Blake *

5 Totino-Grace *
6 Mahtomedi

7 East Grand Forks
8T Duluth Marshall *
Thief River Falls

10 St. Thomas Academy *
11T Hibbing/Chisholm
St. Cloud Cathedral

13 Rochester Lourdes
14 Red Wing

15 Orono
16 International Falls

17 Fergus Falls
18 Benilde-St. Margaret's *

19 Little Falls
20 Virginia

* five teams have moved to AA so adding in the next 5
21 Delano
22 Alexandria
23 St. Louis Park *
24 Lake of the Woods
25 Greenway

and one of these is now AA
so add
26 Duluth Denfeld
Last edited by elliott70 on Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

elliott70
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Re: Top 20 single A teams since inception (1994)

Post by elliott70 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:23 am

Of those 25, these remaining teams are still somewhat relevant:
1 Breck - maybe
2 Hermantown

3 Warroad
6 Mahtomedi

7 East Grand Forks
8T Thief River Falls

11 St. Cloud Cathedral

15 Orono
19 Little Falls

21 Delano
22 Alexandria

25 Greenway
26 Duluth Denfeld

12 OR 13 OF THE 20 SO WHAT HAPPENED TO THE OTHERS?

Stang5280
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Re: Top 20 single A teams since inception (1994)

Post by Stang5280 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:18 pm

elliott70 wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:23 am
12 OR 13 OF THE 20 SO WHAT HAPPENED TO THE OTHERS?
Participation numbers and socioeconomic factors, my friend.

I assumed Breck would be in the top three, but I was surprised to see them at #1. I am tied up for the next few hours, but would like to compare the respective histories of Breck and Hermantown.

elliott70
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Re: Top 20 single A teams since inception (1994)

Post by elliott70 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:43 pm

Stang5280 wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:18 pm
elliott70 wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:23 am
12 OR 13 OF THE 20 SO WHAT HAPPENED TO THE OTHERS?
Participation numbers and socioeconomic factors, my friend. *****

I assumed Breck would be in the top three, but I was surprised to see them at #1. I am tied up for the next few hours, but would like to compare the respective histories of Breck and Hermantown.
Hibbing/Chisholm ***** to a degree but no more than Coleraine
Rochester Lourdes **
Red Wing *
International Falls *****
Fergus Falls *
Virginia ***** to a degree but no more than Coleraine
Lake of the Woods *****

* I am not entirely up with these two communities but have not suffered the same degree as Intl Falls.
** Admittedly I no zilch about this private a school.

rainier2
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Re: Top 20 single A teams since inception (1994)

Post by rainier2 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:14 pm

Hibbing and Greenway would be higher, but they opted up to AA for several years when they had teams that could compete well in AA. What a concept!😀

Stang5280
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Re: Top 20 single A teams since inception (1994)

Post by Stang5280 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:47 pm

Regarding Lourdes, they are barely able to put a team on the ice at this point after graduating a large senior class last year. No JV and lots of youngsters on varsity, including a few 8th graders. goldy313 is the expert on all things Rochester, but from what I understand the youth numbers are dismal, and not nearly enough to supply four schools with adequate talent.

While I do agree with you that my comment regarding participation and demographics was overly simplistic, Greenway seems to be one of the few exceptions in terms of overcoming those obstacles. It took a monumental grassroots effort that I’m not sure too many other places can replicate.

Goose21
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Re: Top 20 single A teams since inception (1994)

Post by Goose21 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:54 pm

elliott70 wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:23 am


12 OR 13 OF THE 20 SO WHAT HAPPENED TO THE OTHERS?

Influencing Factors (in no particular order):
1. Community Population
2. Community Financial Resources
3. Geography/Access to addition hockey resources (AAA, Tier 1, HP, Leagues, Development, etc.)
4. Ability to attract and keep (top)players
5. Youth Hockey Infrastructure (Coaching, Leadership, Tradition, Development)
Forecheck, Backcheck, Paycheck

Stang5280
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Re: Top 20 single A teams since inception (1994)

Post by Stang5280 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:04 pm

Breck vs Hermantown

Breck:
12 tournament appearances
Four championships
One 2nd place
Three 3rd place

Hermantown:
15 tournament appearances
Three championships
Seven 2nd place
Three 3rd place

elliott70
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Re: Top 20 single A teams since inception (1994)

Post by elliott70 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:13 pm

Okay let's look at Hibbing:


Influencing Factors (in no particular order):
1. Community Population
From 1990 or so to now the population has dropped from 18000 to 16000 (roughly)
School population has dropped maybe a bit more.

2. Community Financial Resources
The iron range has suffered but there are still good jobs there and people are doing ok.

3. Geography/Access to addition hockey resources (AAA, Tier 1, HP, Leagues, Development, etc.)
All of the northern communities are lacking in access to these things.

4. Ability to attract and keep (top)players
I have no idea currently but at one time Hibbing was once one of the best educational facilities and sports organization schools in MN.

5. Youth Hockey Infrastructure (Coaching, Leadership, Tradition, Development)
In terms of numbers they have 2 bantams, 2 peewees, 4 squirts which is very similar to Bemidji, East Grand, Thief River, Roseau and Warroad.

So why are they bad?
Sure, cyclical and all but come on?
Any Hibbing commentators?
Last edited by elliott70 on Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

elliott70
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Re: Top 20 single A teams since inception (1994)

Post by elliott70 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:14 pm

Okay let's look at Virginia:


Influencing Factors (in no particular order):
1. Community Population
From 1990 or so to now the population has dropped from 9400 to 8400(roughly)
School population has dropped maybe a bit more.

2. Community Financial Resources
The iron range has suffered but there are still good jobs there and people are doing ok.

3. Geography/Access to addition hockey resources (AAA, Tier 1, HP, Leagues, Development, etc.)
All of the northern communities are lacking in access to these things.

4. Ability to attract and keep (top)players
I have no idea currently but at one time Hibbing was once one of the best educational facilities and sports organization schools in MN.

5. Youth Hockey Infrastructure (Coaching, Leadership, Tradition, Development)
In terms of numbers they have 2 bantams, 2 peewees, 3 squirts which is very similar to Bemidji, East Grand, Thief River, Roseau and Warroad.

(pretty much a copy of Hibbing)
So why are they bad?
Sure, cyclical and all but come on?
Any Virginia commentators?
Last edited by elliott70 on Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

elliott70
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Re: Top 20 single A teams since inception (1994)

Post by elliott70 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:16 pm

Stang5280 wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:04 pm
Breck vs Hermantown

Breck:
12 tournament appearances
Four championships
One 2nd place
Three 3rd place

Hermantown:
15 tournament appearances
Three championships
Seven 2nd place
Three 3rd place
Pretty identical.
Breck gets the nod with 4 #1's???

elliott70
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Re: Top 20 single A teams since inception (1994)

Post by elliott70 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:18 pm

Anyone have anything on Red Wing or Fergus Falls?

Goose21
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Re: Top 20 single A teams since inception (1994)

Post by Goose21 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:36 pm

elliott70 wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:13 pm
Okay let's look at Hibbing:


Influencing Factors (in no particular order):
1. Community Population
From 1990 or so to now the population has dropped from 18000 to 16000 (roughly)
School population has dropped maybe a bit more.

2. Community Financial Resources
The iron range has suffered but there are still good jobs there and people are doing ok.

3. Geography/Access to addition hockey resources (AAA, Tier 1, HP, Leagues, Development, etc.)
All of the northern communities are lacking in access to these things.

4. Ability to attract and keep (top)players
I have no idea currently but at one time Hibbing was once one of the best educational facilities and sports organization schools in MN.

5. Youth Hockey Infrastructure (Coaching, Leadership, Tradition, Development)
In terms of numbers they have 2 bantams, 2 peewees, 4 squirts which is very similar to Bemidji, East Grand, Thief River, Roseau and Warroad.

So why are they bad?
Sure, cyclical and all but come on?
Any Hibbing commentators?

Not all the above are equal.

So if we look at 8A, why has it pretty much always been?

1, 2, 3. EGF, Warroad, and TRF

then everybody else

4-10. Bagley, Crookston, Detroit Lakes, Kittson, LOW, Park Rapids, Red Lake Falls.

What do the top 3 have that the others do not?
Forecheck, Backcheck, Paycheck

elliott70
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Re: Top 20 single A teams since inception (1994)

Post by elliott70 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:42 pm

Bigger communities, bigger school population, wealthier communities, tradition, hockey people staying in town AND helping at the youth level, lots of ice time.
Of course this is different for each community but in general.

Goose21
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Re: Top 20 single A teams since inception (1994)

Post by Goose21 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:49 pm

elliott70 wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:42 pm
Bigger communities, bigger school population, wealthier communities, tradition, hockey people staying in town AND helping at the youth level, lots of ice time.
Of course this is different for each community but in general.
So what I am saying is that the hockey programs who have been able to grow and adapt in those areas have been able to maintain their status in the top 20 or 25. Some that have not have simply dropped out. Other may have just maintained and been replaced by growing and developing programs.
Forecheck, Backcheck, Paycheck

rainier2
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Re: Top 20 single A teams since inception (1994)

Post by rainier2 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 6:32 pm

elliott70 wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:13 pm
Okay let's look at Hibbing:


Influencing Factors (in no particular order):
1. Community Population
From 1990 or so to now the population has dropped from 18000 to 16000 (roughly)
School population has dropped maybe a bit more.

2. Community Financial Resources
The iron range has suffered but there are still good jobs there and people are doing ok.

3. Geography/Access to addition hockey resources (AAA, Tier 1, HP, Leagues, Development, etc.)
All of the northern communities are lacking in access to these things.

4. Ability to attract and keep (top)players
I have no idea currently but at one time Hibbing was once one of the best educational facilities and sports organization schools in MN.

5. Youth Hockey Infrastructure (Coaching, Leadership, Tradition, Development)
In terms of numbers they have 2 bantams, 2 peewees, 4 squirts which is very similar to Bemidji, East Grand, Thief River, Roseau and Warroad.

So why are they bad?
Sure, cyclical and all but come on?
Any Hibbing commentators?
You must have a short memory. Hibbing may be struggling at the moment, but you do remember just 4 years ago they had a top 3 team in Class A, right? And the season after they were top 10 in A, and only fell that low because their goalie went to the NTDP and Perunovich didn't have access to online classes so he could do a USHL before and after. And in 2011 they finished 4th at state. That's some pretty good results over a recent 6 year period. Not to mention they went to 11 straight 7A title games, if I remember correctly. How many other non-big city schools can claim that much success recently? Alex? Greenway? TRF?

What happened is Hermantown. Many people don't remember how good Hibbing (Or Virginia, or Denfeld, or Eveleth, or even I-Falls) was in those and other years because Hermantown was beating the AA champ during the regular season, but still thought Class A was the place to play, so they waltzed to state every year until Greenway was able to finally beat them by adding three late transfers to their best team in 20 years.

And now no one will remember how good this new Denfeld class will be, or the next excellent class from Virginia, Hibbing, Greenway, or anyone else in 7A. While there will be fun, competitive parity between almost all of the other teams in 7A, Hermantown will continue to outscore 7A playoff opponents by eight goals regularly.

A while ago, parents fell in love with the idea of a guaranteed trip to state, so top talent in Duluth and surrounding areas open enrolls/transfers to Hermantown, and now people think every A program should be able to do what Hermantown has done, and any program that can't is just plain crappy, so I'd better get my kid out of here before they turn crappy, too. It's completely bonkers.

The problem is that teams from big cities, with easy access to AA-sized talent pools, have been in control of Class A for a while now. Take away the A teams from the Duluth, TC, Grand Forks, and St Cloud metro areas, and you'd see the real top A programs would be TRF, LF, Hibbing, Alex, Virginia, Luverne, Warroad, Greenway to name a few. The city schools with huge talent pools a short drive away have distorted what a Class A program should look like, and it leads to threads like this, where when a team has a few down years, people wonder why the program has imploded, because if Hermantown, SCC, and Mahtomedi can keep churning out top 5 A teams, then why can't anybody? :roll:

In 1990, graduating classes in Hibbing were around 300, now they are 150-175, almost a 50% decrease in enrollment, so a significant drop off from then was inevitable. And more recently a weird coaching situation seemingly caused a couple kids to transfer, but lately, it seems the indignity of having to play for a team that wouldn't make it to state was too much for some players to bear, and off they head to some other team that has a better chance of going to state. I'm not sure I can blame that on the program, but maybe you're right and it has imploded, and will go the way of Ely soon.

Never mind that the bantam A's won consolation at VFW state last year, or that one of their squirt teams was 22-3 last year, come HS they won't be able to beat Wayzata and get to the A title game every year, so I guess they'll just continue to be crappy.

ClassAGuy
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Re: Top 20 single A teams since inception (1994)

Post by ClassAGuy » Thu Dec 05, 2019 6:47 pm

elliott70 wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:17 am
PER LETS PLAY HOCKEY MAGAZINE

1 Breck
2 Hermantown

3 Warroad
4 Blake *

5 Totino-Grace *
6 Mahtomedi

7 East Grand Forks
8T Duluth Marshall *
Thief River Falls

10 St. Thomas Academy *
11T Hibbing/Chisholm
St. Cloud Cathedral

13 Rochester Lourdes
14 Red Wing

15 Orono
16 International Falls

17 Fergus Falls
18 Benilde-St. Margaret's *

19 Little Falls
20 Virginia

* five teams have moved to AA so adding in the next 5
21 Delano
22 Alexandria
23 St. Louis Park *
24 Lake of the Woods
25 Greenway

and one of these is now AA
so add
26 Duluth Denfeld
Why is Blake at 4? This is not Girls hockey... Blake is a Top 15 but not top 10 Program in Class A All-time Never won a Championship I dont think they ever even played in Championship game. WAYYYYY TOOOOO HIGHHHHH

Mite-dad
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Re: Top 20 single A teams since inception (1994)

Post by Mite-dad » Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:26 am

Spot on Rainier!

ShakestheClown
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Re: Top 20 single A teams since inception (1994)

Post by ShakestheClown » Fri Dec 06, 2019 1:20 pm

rainier2 wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 6:32 pm
elliott70 wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:13 pm
Okay let's look at Hibbing:


Influencing Factors (in no particular order):
1. Community Population
From 1990 or so to now the population has dropped from 18000 to 16000 (roughly)
School population has dropped maybe a bit more.

2. Community Financial Resources
The iron range has suffered but there are still good jobs there and people are doing ok.

3. Geography/Access to addition hockey resources (AAA, Tier 1, HP, Leagues, Development, etc.)
All of the northern communities are lacking in access to these things.

4. Ability to attract and keep (top)players
I have no idea currently but at one time Hibbing was once one of the best educational facilities and sports organization schools in MN.

5. Youth Hockey Infrastructure (Coaching, Leadership, Tradition, Development)
In terms of numbers they have 2 bantams, 2 peewees, 4 squirts which is very similar to Bemidji, East Grand, Thief River, Roseau and Warroad.

So why are they bad?
Sure, cyclical and all but come on?
Any Hibbing commentators?
You must have a short memory. Hibbing may be struggling at the moment, but you do remember just 4 years ago they had a top 3 team in Class A, right? And the season after they were top 10 in A, and only fell that low because their goalie went to the NTDP and Perunovich didn't have access to online classes so he could do a USHL before and after. And in 2011 they finished 4th at state. That's some pretty good results over a recent 6 year period. Not to mention they went to 11 straight 7A title games, if I remember correctly. How many other non-big city schools can claim that much success recently? Alex? Greenway? TRF?

What happened is Hermantown. Many people don't remember how good Hibbing (Or Virginia, or Denfeld, or Eveleth, or even I-Falls) was in those and other years because Hermantown was beating the AA champ during the regular season, but still thought Class A was the place to play, so they waltzed to state every year until Greenway was able to finally beat them by adding three late transfers to their best team in 20 years.

And now no one will remember how good this new Denfeld class will be, or the next excellent class from Virginia, Hibbing, Greenway, or anyone else in 7A. While there will be fun, competitive parity between almost all of the other teams in 7A, Hermantown will continue to outscore 7A playoff opponents by eight goals regularly.

A while ago, parents fell in love with the idea of a guaranteed trip to state, so top talent in Duluth and surrounding areas open enrolls/transfers to Hermantown, and now people think every A program should be able to do what Hermantown has done, and any program that can't is just plain crappy, so I'd better get my kid out of here before they turn crappy, too. It's completely bonkers.

The problem is that teams from big cities, with easy access to AA-sized talent pools, have been in control of Class A for a while now. Take away the A teams from the Duluth, TC, Grand Forks, and St Cloud metro areas, and you'd see the real top A programs would be TRF, LF, Hibbing, Alex, Virginia, Luverne, Warroad, Greenway to name a few. The city schools with huge talent pools a short drive away have distorted what a Class A program should look like, and it leads to threads like this, where when a team has a few down years, people wonder why the program has imploded, because if Hermantown, SCC, and Mahtomedi can keep churning out top 5 A teams, then why can't anybody? :roll:

In 1990, graduating classes in Hibbing were around 300, now they are 150-175, almost a 50% decrease in enrollment, so a significant drop off from then was inevitable. And more recently a weird coaching situation seemingly caused a couple kids to transfer, but lately, it seems the indignity of having to play for a team that wouldn't make it to state was too much for some players to bear, and off they head to some other team that has a better chance of going to state. I'm not sure I can blame that on the program, but maybe you're right and it has imploded, and will go the way of Ely soon.

Never mind that the bantam A's won consolation at VFW state last year, or that one of their squirt teams was 22-3 last year, come HS they won't be able to beat Wayzata and get to the A title game every year, so I guess they'll just continue to be crappy.
=D>

The population of Hibbing is getting older. The "brain drain" on the Iron Range is a real issue. Young people for the most part have been moving away for college and not coming back to raise their families.

There are two industries on the Iron Range (mining and health care). Mining labor needs are getting smaller each time a mine shuts down and reopens. The mines are doing more with less, as it were.

Additionally, there are more than a few kids that never really got a chance to play. This year's junior class would have started playing in 2008. 2008 was a devastating financial year for the country, but it hit the Iron Range very hard. By the time the economy recovered on the Iron Range, a lot of kids who would have played had moved on to other things.

As Rainier stated, Hibbing hasn't been down long. In the true sense of what "A" hockey is supposed to be, Hibbing's success and failures are cyclic. The past few years have been down and the next few will be as well. When the current of group of Bantams and Peewees become contributing members of the high school team, they will be a competitive program once more.

elliott70
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Re: Top 20 single A teams since inception (1994)

Post by elliott70 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 3:36 pm

ShakestheClown wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 1:20 pm

The population of Hibbing is getting older. The "brain drain" on the Iron Range is a real issue. Young people for the most part have been moving away for college and not coming back to raise their families.

There are two industries on the Iron Range (mining and health care). Mining labor needs are getting smaller each time a mine shuts down and reopens. The mines are doing more with less, as it were.

Additionally, there are more than a few kids that never really got a chance to play. This year's junior class would have started playing in 2008. 2008 was a devastating financial year for the country, but it hit the Iron Range very hard. By the time the economy recovered on the Iron Range, a lot of kids who would have played had moved on to other things.

As Rainier stated, Hibbing hasn't been down long. In the true sense of what "A" hockey is supposed to be, Hibbing's success and failures are cyclic. The past few years have been down and the next few will be as well. When the current of group of Bantams and Peewees become contributing members of the high school team, they will be a competitive program once more.

This is what I was looking for...
I as not trying to bash Hibbing, Fergus or any place, just wanted to know more about what was happening there.
Thank you.

goldy313
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Re: Top 20 single A teams since inception (1994)

Post by goldy313 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:12 pm

I would put New Ulm in there somewhere near the bottom. Admittedly they are in a weak section but year in and year out they compete to go to state. Years ago they were a wrestling power and putting out good hockey teams. The Hermantown coach basically took Setterholms lines to a higher level regarding private schools.

This is a program that, at least regionally, has maintained success better than just about any other public school anywhere over the time frame.

Benilde has no business being on that list in my opinion.

zooomx
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Re: Top 20 single A teams since inception (1994)

Post by zooomx » Sat Dec 07, 2019 9:57 am

elliott70 wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:18 pm
Anyone have anything on Red Wing or Fergus Falls?
I scratch my head a bit on Fergus. A few years back they had a very strong team that was right there in a strong section with Alexandria, Apollo, Sartell. Unfortunately, they are in a tough stretch with multiple classes of low numbers and not much for high end players. Economics may be part of it? They built new rinks 5-6 years ago? You would think that could help spur some interest. It's been a bit sad to watch, as for years they were Alexandria's main rival. Now that rivalry has turned more to the east.

goldy313
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Re: Top 20 single A teams since inception (1994)

Post by goldy313 » Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:00 pm

Red Wing had the years with Johnny Pohl but have been basically non existent since then, even in a weak 1A.

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