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MSHSL: 2014 Minnesota State Hockey Tournament Notes, Thoughts, and Statistics

Statistics, accolades, and finals thoughts about one of the greatest hockey tournaments in the world.

The Xcel Energy Center for a high school hockey championship game.
The Xcel Energy Center for a high school hockey championship game.
Matt Christians

I had the luxury of attending this year's Minnesota state hockey tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, which proved once again not to disappoint.

This post will include various notes and statistics I collected throughout the tournament as well as some thoughts about the Minnesota hockey in general.

The Tournament

This year was the state of Minnesota's 70th High School Hockey Tournament.  With all the history surrounding the event, it was bound to be yet another fun and exciting year as teams had finally completed their 'Trek to the X'.

Clas Single A

East Grand Forks earned their first state title in the program's history with a decisive 7-3 victory over long-time runner-up Hermantown after treking through a few impressive victories to get there.


Class Double A

Edina took the title for the second year in a row after routing Lakeville North on Saturday night.  By the end of the third period (which went to running time by the way), Edina had scored 8 goals to Lakeville North's 2.


The Atmosphere

Trying to explain the atmosphere of the of the Minnesota State Hockey Tournament is almost like describing the taste difference between white and milk chocolate.  It's almost impossible if the person you're explaining it to hasn't ever attended the event.

MHCA Induction Banquet

One of the coolest things I was able to witness throughout the tournament was the Minnesota Hockey Coaches Association's Induction Banquet for coaches entering the Hall of Fame.

It was a simple buffet dinner where coaches were honored with awards for various things and some were inducted into the hall of fame.  That sentence makes it sound far more boring than what it really was, though.

Five guys were inducted into the hall of fame; each one bringing something special to the state of hockey.  Pat Furlong, Lorne Grosso, and Roy Nystrom, who all played under John Mariucci for the University of Minnesota were three of the inductees.  Together they combined for an astonishing 1,947 wins.

It was absolutely unbelievable having the opportunity to listen to these guys.

Grosso led the three with 677 wins, and is still coaching at Rochester Mayo.  Add up 677 wins, plus all of the losses, ties, early morning practices, weekend tournaments, and other hours spent coaching and you get a guy that has put his life into the growth of the sport we all know and love.

Each one of these individuals spent more time coaching and teaching young men not only about the game of hockey, but important life lessons as well.  It was an honor to have the opportunity to sit among these guys - the guys who were truly propelling the sport of hockey and creating the atmosphere we all know and love in high school hockey.

Student Sections

This is almost a given.  It doesn't get any better than a wild student section and band playing back and forth across the rink.  Larger school's like Edina had filled a section of students in the lower seating as well as 2 sections above, allowing them to play "marco polo" together.

Chants and cheers were made up on spot in order to pick at the other team and it seemed like the it never stopped.  Even after the final buzzer sounded at the end of the Edina-Lakeville North game, the Lakeville North band still played the school's song.

Euphoric Distraught

One of the speakers representing the Minnesota Wild said it best...  The emotion surrounding the tournament isn't the same as that of professional hockey.  It's much more pure.

To this day, Minnesotans who've won a state championship and also won Lord Stanley's Cup, an Olympic Gold Medal, an NCAA National Championship, or even a Hobey Baker will still tell you their fondest memory is hoisting the state title with their teammates in the air.  Don't believe me ask?  TJ Oshie.

At the end of each game you see players clear the bench and rush to their goaltender with helmets and sticks tossed in the air.  On the other side of the ice, it's the complete opposite.  Players with futures in the sport can be seen full of emotion as though it's the last time they'll lace up their skates and coaches rushing to players laying on the ice to support.

It's different.  It's a building filled with a powerful atmopshere, much like Indiana's state basketball tourney and Texas' state football tourney.

I'd highly recommend attending.

Announced Attendance

Time Venue 2014 2013
'A' Quarterfinals (AM) Xcel Energy Center 5,321 3,260
'A' Quarterfinals (PM) Xcel Energy Center 5,678 3,851
'AA' Quarterfinals (AM) Xcel Energy Center 15,582 15,984
'AA' Quarterfinals (PM) Xcel Energy Center 17,979 17,271
'A' Consolation Semifinals Mariucci Arena 1,227 548
'A' Semifinals (AM) Xcel Energy Center 8,670 10,994
'AA' Semifinals (PM) Xcel Energy Center 18,879 19,329
'AA' Consolation Semifinals Mariucci Arena 10,829 10,289
'A' 3rd Place & 1st Place Games Xcel Energy Center 6,859 6,837
'A' 3rd Place & 1st Place Games Xcel Energy Center 16,954 17,257
'A' & 'AA' Consolation Finals Mariucci Arena 11,200 10,431
Class 'A' Totals - - - 27,755 25,490
Class 'AA' Totals - - - 91,423 90,561
GRAND TOTALS - - - 119,178 116,051

Tourney Accolades

Teams were decided on by a panel of coaches and media attending the event.  Ballots were due at the end of the first period of the class title game in order to put together in time for the announcement.

Class 'A' All Tournament Team

Name Pos Team USHL Rights College Commitment
Will Hammer F St. Cloud Cathedral
Ben Henderson F Totino-Grace
Gunnar Olson F Luverne
Austin Isaacson F New Prague
Nate Pionk F Hermantown
Tanner Tweten F East Grand Forks Des Moines (USHL)
Dan Bailey D St. Cloud Cathedral
Zach Kramer D Hermantown
Colton Poolman D East Grand Forks Fargo (USHL)
Tye Ausmus D East Grand Forks Lincoln (USHL)
Zach Fritz G St. Cloud Cathedral
Josh Weber G East Grand Forks

Class 'AA' All Tournament Team

Name Pos School USHL Rights College Commitment
Alex Strand F Roseau
Zach Yon F Roseau North Dakota
Jack Poehling F Lakeville North St. Cloud State
Nick Poehling F Lakeville North St. Cloud State
Miquel Fidler F Edina Lincoln (USHL)
Dylan Malmquist F Edina Muskegon (USHL) Notre Dame
Nick Wolff D Eagan Des Moines (USHL)
Phil Beaulieu D Duluth East Waterloo (USHL) Nebraska-Omaha
Luc Snuggerud D Eden Prairie Omaha (USHL) Nebraska-Omaha
Tyler Nanne D Edina Sioux Falls (USHL) Ohio State
Andrew Lindgren G Eagan
Andrew Rohkohl G Edina

Mr. Hockey Award

This year, Grand Rapids became the first team in the history of the Minnesota hockey to win both the Mr. Hockey award and the Frank Brimsek Award.  Avery Peterson, a Minnesota Wild prospect and Nebraska-Omaha recruit took this year's award after his show of tremendous play throughout the season.

Peterson finished the year with 37 goals and 30 assists for 67 points in just 27 games as a Grand Rapids forward.  Unfortunately, GR's season ended after being defeated by Duluth East in the class 7AA semifinal game.

Frank Brimsek Award

This year's goaltending choice was a tough one.  Between Mac Berglove (Elk River) and Hunter Shepard (Grand Rapids), I've had the opportunity to view quite a few outings for each netminder, and was never let down in their showing.  This year, Grand Rapids took both awards and Hunter Shepard took the Frank Brimsek award after exhibiting some of the greatest goaltending I've seen.

Shepard finished the year off with an 18-9-0 record, while sporting a .918 save percentage and averaging 2.64 goals against.  Even more impressive, Shepard participated in 12 games in which he failed to allow more than 2 goals.

Past Mr. Hockey Winners

Year Recipient School College NHL
2000 Paul Martin Elk River Minnesota Pittsburgh Penguins
2001 Marty Sertich Roseville Colorado College *
2002 Gino Guyer Greenway Minnesota Dallas Stars
2003 Nate Dey North St. Paul St. Cloud State *
2004 Tom Gorowsky Centennial Wisconsin *
2005 Brian Lee Moorehead North Dakota Tampa Bay Lightning
2006 David Fischer Apple Valley Minnesota Montreal Canadiens
2007 Ryan McDonagh Cretin-Derham Hall Wisconsin New York Rangers
2008 Aaron Ness Roseau Minnesota New York Islanders
2009 Nick Leddy Eden Prairie Minnesota Chicago Blackhawks
2010 Nick Bjugstad Blaine Minnesota Florida Panthers
2011 Kyle Rau Eden Prairie Minnesota Florida Panthers
2012 Justin Kloos Lakeville South Minnesota *
2013 Grant Besse Benilde-St. Margaret's Wisconsin Anaheim Ducks
2014 Avery Peterson Grand Rapids Nebraska-Omaha Minnesota Wild

The History

Recent State Champions:

Year Class Champions Runner-Up Score
2008 A St. Thomas Academy Duluth Marshall 5-1

AA Hill-Murray Edina 3-0
2009 A Breck Warroad 7-3

AA Eden Prairie Moorhead 3-0
2010 A Breck Hermantown 2-1

AA Edina Minnetonka 4-2
2011 A St. Thomas Academy Hermantown 5-4 OT

AA Eden Prairie Duluth East 3-2 3OT
2012 A St. Thomas Academy Hermantown 5-1
AA Benilde-St. Margaret's Hill-Murray 5-1
2013 A St. Thomas Academy Hermantown 5-4
AA Edina Hill-Murray 4-2
2014 A East Grand Forks Hermantown 7-3
AA Edina Lakeville North 8-2

Boys Hockey Rollout Video

KSTC (Channel 45) Highlight Reel.  ACTION.