Albert Lea head coach Roy Nystrom won his 600th game this week. Nystrom doesn't draw a lot of attention because he coaches in the southern part of the state, and certainly isn't the type to draw it to himself, but he's turned Albert Lea into a very solid hockey program in a traditionally weak part of the state. He started coaching the Tigers in 1973. Nystrom played college hockey for Minnesota from 1963-65 and had 80 points in 79 games with the Gophers. One his linemates at Minnesota was Lorne Grosso, now coach at Rochester Mayo HS, who is going for his 599th career win tonight against Faribault, and could potentially earn number 600 on Saturday against Nystrom's Albert Lea team.
Eden Prairie ended Bloomington Jefferson's unbeaten streak on Tuesday with a 5-2 win. Little Falls is now the only undefeated team in the state. Eden Prairie was #2 in the state, and now will likely sneak into the number one spot late in the season after flying below the radar most of the year.
I was going to write about about the Mr. Hockey voting, but it's a really close race this year, and I've got a lot to say about it, so I'll probably save that for a FanPost in the near future.
The Joey Benik hysteria is officially out of control, which is a shame because it's not Benik's fault. He doesn't chose what other people say. aboutt him. By all accounts, he seems like a pretty down-to-earth kid about this whole thing.
Tuesday was an eventful night as St. Francis took on Benilde-St. Margaret's, probably their toughest opponent of the season, and Benik was one goal away from tying the state record for goals in a season. Benilde won the game easilly and Benik picked up an inconsequential goal late in the game. Guess which got more attention.
If you just read the story in the Pioneer Press, it would have been easy to miss that St. Francis actually lost the game. Benik did score a pretty goal to tie the record, but was a non-factor, other than being a -3, during the first two and a half periods of the game while Benilde built a comfortable 6-2 lead.
The record is a nice achievement, but building it up to something bigger than it is is a mistake.It does a disservice to the Benilde kids who played a nice game, but then had to answer questions about Benik after the game as if what they did was meaningless, and it does a disservice to Benik by building him up to be something that he probably isn't.