2022 Section 5A Playoffs

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Who wins Section 5A?

Little Falls
4
31%
Cambridge-Isanti
3
23%
St. Cloud Cathedral
4
31%
Monticello
0
No votes
River Lakes
0
No votes
Mora/Milaca
0
No votes
Seeds #6-#10
2
15%
 
Total votes: 13

ClassAGuy
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2022 Section 5A Playoffs

Post by ClassAGuy » Fri Feb 18, 2022 9:56 am

Section 5A Official Seeding (10 teams)
Team- (Overall Record)
1- Little Falls- (20-4-1)
2- Cambridge Isanti- (17-7-1)
3- St. Cloud Cathedral- (12-13-0)
4- Monticello- (10-14-1)
5- River Lakes- (11-14-0)
6- Mora/Milaca (18-5-2)
7- Princeton (10-15-0)
8- Sauk Rapids (6-19-0)
9- Pine City (8-17-0)
10- Becker/Big Lake- (4-20-0)

Section 5A Playoff Bracket
Play-In Round (2/19/22) @ High Seed
#8 Sauk Rapids 6 #9 Pine City 3
#7 Princeton 10 #10 Becker Big Lake 0

Quarterfinals (2/22/22) @ High Seed
#1 Little Falls 6 #8 Sauk Rapids 2
#4 Monticello 3 #5 River Lakes 2
#3 St. Cloud Cathedral 4 #6 Mora/Milaca 3
#2 Cambridge-Isanti 6 #7 Princeton 2

Semifinals (2/26/22) @ High Seed
#4 Monticello 4 #1 Little Falls 3
#3 St. Cloud Cathedral 4 #2 Cambridge-Isanti 1

Section Final (3/2/2022) @ Furniture and Things Community Event Center, Elk River
#4 Monticello 3 #3 St Cloud Cathedral 2

Section 5A Champion: Monticello (13-14-1)

2022 Section 5A Playoffs Preview

When the Flyers were dominating Central Minnesota hockey in the mid- to late-2000s, it was on the shoulders of a supercharged offense that seemed to feature an endless supply of Hanowskis and Festlers. Red goal lights were flashing so often it had to feel like an emergency room visit for opposing goaltenders. Then legendary Coach Tony Couture revamped the Flyers to try to keep those red lights under wraps. Little Falls played at the opposite end of the spectrum, with a tight defense and terrific goaltending from his son and they rode that formula to State Tournament success last year.

For number 1 seed Little Falls (20-4-1) that was then and this is now as gone is Couture and son and enter of course a Hanowski as 1st year coach Joey Hanowski has loosened the reins and allowed the Flyers to become an offensive juggernaut again this winter. Their Top Line of Senior Hayden Johnson, Junior Matt Filippi & Sophomore Carter Oothoudt all have over 20 goals this season. Along with that they have a blueline featuring Senior George Moore and Juniors Matthew Cooper & Coltin Johnson all who have over 20 points so offense is not hard to come by for this group by keeping the puck out their net has been a struggle and depth beyond the top two lines and four D is scare but the Flyers are looking to have just enough to propel them back to state.

Number 2 seed Cambridge-Isanti (17-7-1) has had a magical year after the emergence of Freshman sensation Goaltender Jaxon Sibell in the net. They feature an odd lineup where they have a 1st line of Seniors, a second line of Juniors and it is their third line of Junior Finn Overby and Sophomores Will O'Donovan & Seth Terhell that lead the Bluejackets in scoring. After starting the season slow they went on a torrid mid year streak of excellent play where they went (16-1-1) in 18 games including an upset at Little Falls however, they have cooled off significantly of late going (1-4-0) down the stretch but they will be looking to make their first state tournament in 30 years since 1992.

Number 3 seed St. Cloud Cathedral (12-13-0) is just three years removed from a Class A title and since 2004 they have been to eight state tournaments however, the program hit rock bottom last year and failed to reach the Section Semifinals for the first time in over 20 years. However, this year they have shown good signs of rebuilding Senior forward Nolan Widman has had to step up after they lost their 2nd leading scorer Freshman John Hirschfeld to injury midway through the year but he will be back for a playoff run. They have had to find offense from the blue line as Sophomore defender Vince Gebhardt and Junior defenders Brandon Hemmer & Tommy Gohman are 5th, 6th and 8th in scoring on a team that doesn’t score much. Sophomore goalie Nick Hanson has been very good and the Crusaders played a tough schedule and will be tough out in 5A.

Number 4 seed Monticello (10-14-1) has had a very disappointing year for their standards. The Moose had become the bonafide program of 5A however so new neighbors moving into the section and a down year have bumped this team from their spot as a top two seed. This team will go as far as star senior forward Wilson Dahlheimer and Senior defender Gavin Simon can take them. They should not be overlooked as they are always playing their best come playoff time.

Number 5 seed River Lakes (11-14-0) has had their normal year as they play a tough brand of low scoring hockey. They are led up front by Juniors Jacob Philippi & Bradey Blaschko and emerging freshman star Blake Schultz. Senior defender Joel Sowada leads a rugged group of physical defenders and they had a solid year from their goalie tandem to make this team a tough out for anyone in 5A.

Number 6 seed Mora/Milaca (18-5-2) is having its best season in many years. The Mustangs are led by the State’s Leading scorer Senior forward Parker Mitchell & the state’s top point getting senior defender Jack Kritzeck who has nearly 60 points from the blue line. They showed with their upset over SCC they could be a darkhorse in this section however, they haven't played the schedule to really be fully tested but for this senior heavy group they know it's now or never to make some noise for a program looking to return to state for the first time since 1997.

Number 7 seed Princeton (10-15-0) has a very up and down year. They have struggled against the better teams on their schedule this year. They do however, have upset wins over Chisago Lakes and Northern Lakes to show on a given night they can be a threat for an upset win. Senior Dalton Wille will be the catalyst as he has over 20 goals for the Tigers this winter.

Number 8 seed Sauk Rapids (6-19-0) is another team having a tough year but they do own a big upset wins over Monticello & River Lakes this year and they do have Senior Easton Portner who is among the Section best players but they haven't gotten him much support to be considered a true threat.

Number 9 seed Pine City (8-17-0) have struggled against the better teams on their schedule like the other low seeds. If the Dragons are gonna do something come playoff time they will need senior Aidan Welch to lead the way and don't forget they had a big upset win in the 5A playoffs last year as a lower seed.

Number 10 seed Becker Big Lake (4-20-0) has not had much go right this season; they are led up front by Senior Jack Beckstrom & Sophomore Jase Tobako both of whom have double digits goals on the year but they don't have much beyond that.
Last edited by ClassAGuy on Thu Mar 03, 2022 7:53 am, edited 14 times in total.

ClassAGuy
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Re: 2022 Section 5A Playoffs

Post by ClassAGuy » Fri Feb 18, 2022 11:43 am

Section 5A Playoffs Play-In Games (2/19/2022)

#9 seed Pine City (8-17-0) vs #8 Seed Sauk Rapids (6-19-0) @ SR Sports Arena East, Sauk Rapids MN
These two teams did not meet during the regular season. The Storm come into this game going (2-8-0) in their last 10 games however they ended the year on a nice note as they drilled River Lakes at home. Pine City has had similar struggles as they come in the game going (3-7-0) in their last 10 games. Easton Portner will be a key player to watch and we will see if Sauk Rapids paying a tougher schedule gives them the edge here. The Dragons will rely on Aidan Welch and this one should be a good game with winner heading to #1 seed Little Falls for the Section 5A Quarterfinals

#10 seed Becker Big Lake (4-20-0) vs #7 Seed Princeton (10-15-0) @ Princeton Ice Arena, Princeton, MN
This one looks like a mismatch on paper as Princeton outscored Becker Big Lake 14-3 while sweeping the season series this winter. For Becker Big Lake to have any shot they will need to do a better job of shutting down Senior forward Dalton Wille as he had 7 points combined in the two games when these teams met earlier this winter . The winner head to #2 seed Cambridge Isanti for the Section 5A Quarterfinals.

Mite-dad
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Re: 2022 Section 5A Playoffs

Post by Mite-dad » Fri Feb 18, 2022 12:26 pm

I picked LF because I'm a homer, LOL, but I honestly think this one is wide open. I think the Flyers are worn out and a lot of their early chemistry has gone as a result. They won and scored by forechecking hard, gaining a lot of offensive zone time. I think they are a step behind now and it shows in less zone time. If teams can keep the game close, the Flyers are vulnerable. Goal tending is suspect and the Flyers have had trouble holding a lead in close games of late. I'm still holding out hope. The boys need to put team first, move the puck and use their skill and they should win. Oh, and stay out of the box! [-X

ClassAGuy
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Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:51 pm

Re: 2022 Section 5A Playoffs

Post by ClassAGuy » Fri Feb 18, 2022 2:38 pm

Mite-dad wrote:
Fri Feb 18, 2022 12:26 pm
I picked LF because I'm a homer, LOL, but I honestly think this one is wide open. I think the Flyers are worn out and a lot of their early chemistry has gone as a result. They won and scored by forechecking hard, gaining a lot of offensive zone time. I think they are a step behind now and it shows in less zone time. If teams can keep the game close, the Flyers are vulnerable. Goal tending is suspect and the Flyers have had trouble holding a lead in close games of late. I'm still holding out hope. The boys need to put team first, move the puck and use their skill and they should win. Oh, and stay out of the box! [-X
Mite-dad good thoughts and commentary. I catch a lot of Little Falls Flyer Hockey due to the high quality work of FMP and the fact they were a Top 10 Class A Team all winter. I agree with you I think they faded as time went on. They really are razor thin. They have an outstanding first line but that line doesn't have the same chemistry it had around christmas time. Line 2 has the 2 freshman and the elder senior they have come back on strong in this last week and they really don't have anything beyond that up front. They have 4 really good Class A Dman and Moore and C. Johnson are top end D for the area. They have really shaky goaltending after that. They are getting alot done with 10 kids (6 forwards & 4 D) but they are banged up and wore down hoping they can rev it up for one good run as after this year the Flyers will be a bit down.

Cambridge was so fun but what everyone forget is when they Upset Little Falls the Freshman sensation Jaxon Sibell was injured had to leave the game and he and the team have not been the same since that night.
Before Sibell injury Stats (13-1-0, .945 SV%, 1.64 GAA)
After Sibell injury Stats (1-4-0, .881 SV%, 3.40 GAA)

The Team has suffered as well as they have really struggled since that game I just wonder if Sibell is fully healthy. Cambridge had a nice regular season last year earned the #3 seed then got upset by the #6 seed in the first round how will that memory effect this group. They seem to be struggling finding that magic they need to make a run.

SCC has young core and they will be the heavy favorite in the Section with all they bring back next year. Could they get to State a year early? They were playing really well around Christmas and then their Star 9th grader John Hirschfeld got hurt in the Pine City game in early January and hasn't returned since. He will be back for the playoffs and that could be huge the Crusaders play a very tough schedule and both time vs. Little Falls they were tied heading to the 3rd period. They play low scoring good playoff hockey they could easily pull this off and may have an easier road than the Flyers.

Monticello is a scary team they have gotten better and they will not be a fun #4 seed to see in a semi. That's if they can even beat River Lakes who is gritty and has shown they can play to the top teams tough. However, the stars struggle away from home going (5-10-0) on the road this winter.

Then there is Mora/Milaca 18 wins and the States Leading Scorer and the States Leading Defenseman point getter. They are senior heavy group and they draw they team which they upset earlier this year. I dunno if that is good or bad it gives them belief they can play with the Crusaders but it could also be bad as SCC will not be over looking them this time.

In the end Little Falls has the most top end talent and have been the best in 5A all winter can they cash in now...It ill be a dogfight as any of the top 6 seeds could make a run in the this very even sectional.

ClassAGuy
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Re: 2022 Section 5A Playoffs

Post by ClassAGuy » Sat Feb 19, 2022 9:56 pm

Section 5A Playoffs Play-In Games (2/19/2022) Recaps

Sauk Rapids 6 Pine City 3
Sauk Rapids used a big first period to jump out 4-1 over Pine City. The Dragons were able to cut the deficit to 4-2 after two periods. However, Easton Portner continued his 5 point night with a big third period to push the Storm to a 6-3 win. Now Sauk Rapids will head to Little Falls to take on the #1 seeded Flyers in the 5A Quarterfinals.

Princeton 10 Becker Big Lake 0
Princeton was able to score 4 goals in each the 1st and 2nd periods to build a significant lead over Becker Big Lake. The night belonged to the Tigers who out shot Becker Big Lake 41-19 and it was Princeton’s Jake Patnode who had the big night as he had 5 goals on the night. Now Princeton will head to take on their arch rivals when they take on the #2 seeded Cambridge-Isanti in the 5A Quarterfinals.

ClassAGuy
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Re: 2022 Section 5A Playoffs

Post by ClassAGuy » Sun Feb 20, 2022 3:13 pm

Section 5A Playoffs Quarterfinal Games (2/22/2022)

#8 seed Sauk Rapids (7-19-0) vs #1 seed Little Falls (20-4-1) @ Exchange Arena, Little Falls, MN
These two teams met back before Christmas time and the game was actually only 2-1 after one period. However, after that it was all Little Falls and they eventually put Sauk Rapids into run time. The Flyers got big contributions from their top line that game and Matt Filippi had a hat trick in the 2nd period they will need more of the same in this one. For the Storm they are going to need a big night from Cole Young in net to stick around and then hope Easton Portner can have another big night like in the Play-In game.

#5 seed River Lakes (11-14-0) vs #4 seed Monticello (10-14-1) @ Moose Sherritt Ice Arena, Monticello, MN
These two teams met in the Granite City Classic in St. Cloud over the holidays and played a really tight game in which Monticello pulled out the 3-2 win. We can expect a similar game in this 4 vs 5 Section 5A matchup as neither team is high scoring by any means. Two players to watch are Wilson Dahlheimer for the Moose and Jacob Philippi for the Stars both had goals in the first game and led their team in scoring overall. This one has the makings of close and possibly OT game as they teams will battle it out to move on to the 5A Semifinal Round.

#6 seed Mora/Milaca (18-5-2) vs #3 seed St. Cloud Cathedral (12-13-0) @ The MAC Arena, St. Cloud, MN
These two teams met on Jan 31st and Mora/Milaca pulled a big upset at home over St. Cloud Cathedral 1-0. That result shows this could be an interesting contest Mora/Milaca will need to be allowed to stay in the game like they were on that night and hope their high scoring pair of Seniors defenseman Jack Kritzeck & forward Parker Mitchell can have an impact. For the Crusaders offense has been an issue all year but they will look to get a boost with the return of 2nd leading scorer 9th grader John Hirschfeld who missed the 2nd half of the year due to injury. This one should be a fun one to watch with SCC looking to get some revenge on what was their worst loss of the year.

#7 seed Princeton (11-15-0) vs #2 seed Cambridge Isanti (17-7-1) @ Isanti Ice Arena, Isanti, MN
These two arch rivals play annually for the “Rusty Skates” Trophy and have had a historic strong dislike for each other. This winter Cambridge-Isanti came away with the bragging rights as they swept the regular season series and outscored Princton 12-2 in those two games. However, as fate would have it the Tigers are afforded one more glorious opportunity to ruin their rivals wonderful year when it matters most in the playoffs. The second game between these two was closer then the final score indicates it was 2-1 in the third period before Cambridge was able to pull away. Now the Bluejackets will try to beat their rivals for a third time and as everyone knows anytime two historic rivals meet throw out the records because anything can happen in what should be an epic third meeting in the Section 5A Quarterfinals.

ClassAGuy
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Re: 2022 Section 5A Playoffs

Post by ClassAGuy » Thu Feb 24, 2022 2:07 pm

Section 5A Playoffs Quarterfinal Games (2/23/2022) Recaps

Little Falls 6 Sauk Rapids 2
The Storm gave Little Falls all they wanted at Exchange Arena. The Flyers were able to jump out to 3-0 lead after two periods but it was Sauk Rapids that controlled the play early in the third and scored 2 goals to cut the deficit to just one. The Fyers would respond as the Johnson brothers, Coltin and Hayden, were able to score goals to put the game away and the Flyers survived a serious scare. They will now move on to face a very tough Monticello team in the Section 5A Semifinals.

Monticello 3 River Lakes 2
Monticello hung on for a 3-2 win over River Lakes the Moose built a 2-0 lead after the first period on goals by Wilson Dahlheimer and Danny Homsombath. River Lakes' Joel Sowada scored on the power play in the second but Monticello's Cody Russell gave the Moose a 3-1 lead with 6:16 to play.River Lakes' Anthony Fink scored a power-play goal with 52 seconds left but the Stars could not tie the contest. The Moose will now head to Little Falls to take on the #1 seeded Flyers in the 5A Semifinal Round.

St. Cloud Cathedral 4 Mora/Milaca 3
The Crusaders built a 3-0 lead after goals by Freshman Joey Gillespie (2) and Senior Collin Hess. The Mustangs rallied from a 3-0 deficit with two goals by Parker Mitchell in the second period's final 4:36. Mitchell, the state's leading goal scorer, completed his hat trick and tied the game midway through the third. However, Freshman John Hirschfeld returned from injury and scored with 40 seconds remaining to give St. Cloud Cathedral a dramatic 4-3 win over Mora/Milaca. They will now head to Isanti to take on #3 Seed Cambridge in the Section 5A Semis.

Cambridge/Isanti 6 Princeton 2
The Blue Jackets jumped all over their arch rivals in the first period and led 4-1 behind sophomore Will O'Donovan’s 2 goal night and the Third line again led the way. Cambridge cruised past Princeton after that and would eventually win 6-2. They now host SCC and hope to gain some revenge over a team that just beat them on their home ice a week ago in the Section 5A SemiFinal Round.

ClassAGuy
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Re: 2022 Section 5A Playoffs

Post by ClassAGuy » Fri Feb 25, 2022 10:46 am

Section 5A Playoffs Semifinal Games (2/26/2022)

#4 seed Monticello (11-14-1) vs #1 seed Little Falls (21-4-1) @ Exchange Arena, Little Falls, MN
This one looks like a great Section 5A Semifinal as Little Falls and Monticello played way back in November in a back and forth game that the Flyers eventually pulled out a 5-4 win. Since then Little Falls went on a great roll at the start of the season but recently they have not been the same team. Monticello meanwhile got off to a very slow start but has had some really good tough 1 goal wins down the stretch. Top end Section 5A player Matt Filippi of Little Falls and Wilson Dahlheimer of the Moose will be a great in-game battle to watch. Flyers get the last change and will be on home ice. Both teams have had shaky goaltending so this one could be wild. Look for an epic game here as these two battle for a spot in the Section 5A Title Game.

#3 seed St Cloud Cathedral (13-13-0) vs #2 seed Cambridge Isanti (18-7-1) @ Isanti Ice Arena, Isanti, MN
These two met just a week ago in Isanti and it was the Crusaders, missing their 2nd leading scorer 9th grader John Hirschfeld, who pulled out a very nice 2-1 road game as they scored the game winner with under a minute to play in regulation. Now the Crusaders come back to town fully healthy and feeling slighted by the 5A Coaches as they still received the 3 seed despite the win. Cambridge has had a magical year but it was dreadful down the stretch going (1-4-0) in their last five and their freshman star goalie Jaxon Sibell struggled mightily going (1-4-0, .881 SV%, 3.40 GAA) himself to end the year. Now they meet in a mid afternoon semi final game that looks to favor SCC on paper. Cambridge will need to have a big game from their 3rd line of underclassmen to have a chance and the Crusaders will need to find scoring which has plagued them at times this year. The winner will head to the Section 5A Championship and this is sure to be a great contest.

ClassAGuy
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Re: 2022 Section 5A Playoffs

Post by ClassAGuy » Sun Feb 27, 2022 11:40 am

Section 5A Playoffs Semifinal Games (2/26/2022) Recaps

Monticello 4 Little Falls 3
The Moose pulled off a rod stunner when they went into Exchange Arena and knocked out #1 seed Little Falls on their home ice. They did so by jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first period which forced the Flyers to chase them the rest of the game. The Flyers would tie it up twice first at 2-2 and 3-3 in third period on a two goal night from Sophomore Carter Oothoudt it was the Moose’s Sophomore Roman Thompson who would be the difference as he scored the game winning goal as part of his big two point night. The Moose hung on for dear life as the Flyers had two power play chances late and out shot Monticello 40-19 yet in the end it would not be enough and Monticello shocked the #1 seeded Flyers and will now enter the Section 5A Final as a heavy underdog.

St Cloud Cathedral 4 Cambridge Isanti 1
The Crusaders proved that they should have been seeded 2 by the 5A Coaches as they cruised to a Section 5A Semifinal win over Cambridge. Cathedral jumped out to a nice 3-0 lead after two period play on the efforts of Senior Nolan Widman’s goal and Senior Collin Hess’s 2 goal night. They made 4-0 in the third before Cambridge did score to avoid being shut out but Cathedral was in total control of this one from start to finish and now they will enter the Section 5A Final as the favorite to represent 5A thanks to the Moose beating the one team in 5A they couldn't beat. The Crusaders will now head to Elk River to take on the Moose, who they beat already this season, and return to State for the 7th time in the last 9 years.

ClassAGuy
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Re: 2022 Section 5A Playoffs

Post by ClassAGuy » Sun Feb 27, 2022 11:41 am

Section 5A Playoffs Championship Game (3/2/2022)

#4 seed Monticello (12-14-1) vs #3 seed St Cloud Cathedral (14-13-0) @ Furniture & Things Community Event Center, Elk River, MN
Another Section Final that not many saw coming. Most had pegged SCC as the favorite in the weaker lower bracket of 5A but I don’t think many people had Monticello. The Moose have had well issues this year rather it be the middle of the year horrid stretch of play where they went (3-7-0) from Dec 23rd to Jan 22nd including a loss to 6 win Sauk Rapids. Or the fact that they really struggle to generate offense; they have only scored more than 3 goals in 8 of their 27 games. Despite all of that here they are playing in their 6th 5A Championship in the last 7 years. Coach Eric Nelson knows how to prepare his team to win and they will have the best player on the ice in Senior Wilson Dahlheimer. Cathedral on the other hand has had some major flaws of its own outside of Section 5A play they are (5-10-0) to show they are still not up to their old standards yet but the move to 5A has been a blessing because they are (9-3-0) in 5A play and 2 of those losses where to the Flyers who were knocked off by the Moose. Cathedral beat Monticello 4-3 earlier this year but they led 4-1 late into the third. The Crusaders will lean on Seniors Nolan Widman and Collin Hess who are having good playoff numbers so far. Nick Hansen looks to be the better of the two goalies and this one looks like SCC is the favorite and will arrive a year early at state with a young team but don't count out the Moose who may have one more big upset left up their sleeve.

ClassAGuy
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Re: 2022 Section 5A Playoffs

Post by ClassAGuy » Thu Mar 03, 2022 7:53 am

Section 5A Playoffs Championship Game (3/2/2022) Recap

Monticello 3 St Cloud Cathedral 2
The Moose continued their big upset of late as they showed that even with the two new arrivals to 5A for one more year at least the Moose are still the king. Wilson Dalheimer was as advertised the best player by far on the ice sheet all night. Coach Eric Nelson had his team ready to play and they were able to get a goal from Dahlhimer in each period to win a tight 3-2 game. The game winner came in the last 11 seconds of the game after SCC blew a 2 minute Power Play to win the game. This was the Moose first time in school history defeating the Crusaders and they could not have picked a better moment to do it as they will now head to St Paul next week!

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