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RE: High School Hockey - 3/7/2014 11:05:21 AM   
SoMnFan


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The best day today
Semi Friday is so sweet
Loving the north-south match ups.
Should be some fun ones today

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Post #: 76
RE: High School Hockey - 3/8/2014 9:57:25 AM   
SoMnFan


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Should be two great finals today
That LN OT win last night was a classic.
All of us Class A people have been wanting this EGF vs Hermantown matchup.
Will be fun to see.

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Post #: 77
RE: High School Hockey - 3/8/2014 10:19:20 AM   
twinsfan


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Lakeville North was a bracket buster for me. I pretty much had it wrapped up if Eden Prairie won. I was barely rooting for EP though. No way I'd root for Edina or Eden Prairie under regular circumstances.

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Post #: 78
RE: High School Hockey - 3/8/2014 10:20:38 AM   
twinsfan


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The good news is I can now root for EGF today and not worry about my bracket (I had Hermantown in my potential winning bracket. I have EGF on my otherwise "disaster" bracket).

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Post #: 79
RE: High School Hockey - 3/8/2014 11:23:16 AM   
SoMnFan


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I'm extremely impressed that you are in an area that creates a HS hockey bracket
We four HS coaches do it here, anyone else in town would say ... "What"?

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Post #: 80
RE: High School Hockey - 3/8/2014 12:26:58 PM   
twinsfan


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quote:

ORIGINAL: SoMnFan

I'm extremely impressed that you are in an area that creates a HS hockey bracket
We four HS coaches do it here, anyone else in town would say ... "What"?

Yup, we love it. It's bracket season. We used to do the NCAA DI hockey tourney too. That's something we should start up again.

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55% of Republicans think the Earth is 5,000 years old. All kinds of people believe all kinds of crazy things. You just gotta move on, man.

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Post #: 81
RE: High School Hockey - 3/8/2014 12:52:18 PM   
SoMnFan


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Luverne falls to Totino Grace in 2OTs today in the conso championship.
Great showing.
Been trying to tell people they have a couple D1ers.
Will be hearing from them a lot the next couple years.

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Post #: 82
RE: High School Hockey - 3/8/2014 3:03:55 PM   
Mr. Ed


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Was in A sports bar in Roch after volleyball tourney. Watching EGF score 5 goals in 2nd period. THose kids can really skate.

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Post #: 83
RE: High School Hockey - 3/8/2014 6:41:42 PM   
TJSweens


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Well, Hermantown's coach can't bitch about private schools this year.

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Post #: 84
RE: High School Hockey - 3/8/2014 7:03:00 PM   
twinsfan


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I believe EGF is from my hometown section. We used to play the Greenwave all the time (and beat them).

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Post #: 85
RE: High School Hockey - 3/4/2015 11:21:07 AM   
SoMnFan


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Here we go!

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RE: High School Hockey - 3/4/2015 11:40:20 AM   
Corleone


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One of my favorite weekends of the year.

Selfishly, I have to share a little nostalgia from today's Strib. Can't believe it's already been 20 years...

Three state-tournament hat tricks turned Duluth's Dave Spehar into a legend

Dave Spehar led Duluth East to the Class 2A state title in 1995 with a remarkable three games.

His first hat trick dispatched a hockey dynasty and heralded his rise. The second propelled his team to the championship game. A third three-goal performance ensured his legend.

The wonder that was Dave Spehar at the 1995 hockey state tournament provided memories — the no-look goal against Bloomington Jefferson, the Edina faceoff play, the Moorhead penalty shot — made more remarkable because they happened night after night after night on prep hockey’s grandest stage.

Recalling Spehar’s feats, 20 years old this week, is less about than nostalgia than celebrating what many uphold as the tournament’s signature individual performance in that span.

“At that time and for years after, that’s what you measured yourself against to tell if you had an elite tournament — his raid on the Civic Center,” said Toby Petersen, who played for Bloomington Jefferson in the 1995 tournament. “It was just his time, his destiny, to wow the state of Minnesota.”

Back in 1995, pro hockey had left Minnesota. Adding a second class to the high school tournament the year before had caused a rift among hockey insiders and fans. New magic was needed. That March, along came the baby-faced Spehar, the most dynamic player on a talented, creative and unselfish team. His three hat tricks matched hockey legend John Mayasich’s efforts in 1951.

“It was a very, very special time with a special group of teammates that grew up together,” Spehar said last week. “You were expected to win when you put on a Duluth East jersey. It culminated with a wonderful experience at the state tournament.”

The Greyhounds reached the state tournament for the seventh consecutive time this season. But consider this: Duluth East ranks last among the eight-team field with 78 goals. In 1995, Spehar scored 58.

“You had to recognize and respect his unique talent,” Duluth East coach Mike Randolph said. “I will never have another Dave Spehar.”

Down with a dynasty

Duluth East (22-3) and top-ranked, three-time defending state champion Bloomington Jefferson (22-1-2) met as quarterfinal opponents. The game started at 9:45 p.m. and was all but decided just nine minutes, 28 seconds into the first period by Spehar’s pure hat trick.

Wary of long passes springing the 5-9, 175-pound Spehar for breakaways, Jefferson coach Tom Saterdalen drilled his defensemen — four of them future Division I players — in the days leading up to the game. Yet there was Spehar, catching a 60-foot pass from center Chris Locker at the far blue line between two Jaguars on his way to a goal at 1:23.

“Everybody knew what was coming, and we couldn’t stop it,” Saterdalen said.

No one was quite ready for what Spehar did next. Skating the puck into the zone on a 3-on-1, Spehar turned as if to pass before pivoting to snap the puck under the goaltender.

“I think I heard the goalie say, ‘Oh my God,’ ” Locker said. “That shot epitomized Dave. You hear about a goal-scorer’s goal — that was a legend’s goal.”

Another 60-foot pass, this one from Cullen Flaherty, sent Spehar hurtling toward the Jefferson goal unopposed. Spehar 3, Jaguars 0.

“Against Jefferson it was almost like, ‘Get out of my way. I got this,’ ” Locker said.

The Greyhounds, 5-0 victors, returned to the Embassy Suites hotel on the east end of downtown St. Paul. The reception they received from a mix of parents, Duluth East faithful and nonpartisan tournament attendees still gives Spehar chills.

“Every railing was full and everyone was giving us a standing ovation, cheering,” Spehar said. “There was an electricity.”

The outpouring of support started at the Civic Center, where despite the lateness of the game “a lot of people hung around,” Randolph said. “The crowd started to embrace us and you could feel the momentum building.”

‘Never seen that before’

The Greyhounds’ next opponent, Edina, saw Spehar’s ability to score in tight areas. His first and third goals were scored around the net. But it was the second goal that still sticks with Hornets coach Bart Larson. Moving his feet even before the referee dropped the puck for a neutral zone faceoff, Spehar sped toward the Edina zone and caught a deft pass from Locker.

“When he got it, I could’ve put my arms up then,” Locker said.

Spehar finished tops in the state with 58 goals and 102 points. Locker’s 92 points, including 59 assists, ranked second. Locker, Spehar said, “had a different internal clock. He didn’t wait the extra second and a half. I could find the seams, but if that puck isn’t delivered, I might as well be drinking a soda and having a hot dog.”

Spehar wound and fired from the faceoff dot, beating the goalie on the far side and triggering high-fives among flannel-clad Greyhounds fans.

“By the time the puck was dropped he already had a burst,” said Larson, an assistant coach on five Edina state championship teams. “I’d never seen that before.”

Duluth East rolled to a 6-2 victory.

In a zone

Locker, the teenage Scottie Pippen to Spehar’s Michael Jordan, kidded with his linemate before they faced Moorhead for the championship.

“I said, ‘You have six goals and I have none,’ ” Locker said. “ ‘How do you score here?’ ”

Spehar tallied the game’s first goal. Moorhead’s Matt Cullen, a dynamic player and Mr. Hockey candidate, answered with two. Locker’s first tournament goal tied the score 2-2.

The teams were knotted 3-3 in the third period when Spehar turned a long Locker pass into a breakaway until he was hauled down from behind.

“I thought we were going on the power play,” Locker said. “Then the crowd erupted.”

Spehar, already the tournament’s must-watch player, had earned a penalty shot.

“This is going to be as exciting as it gets,” analyst Lou Nanne told television viewers.

Spehar went to Randolph, who said he urged “the greatest scorer in Minnesota to go bury it.”

Locker said he advised him “to go to his backhand. He might have been thinking that already. Who knows if he even heard me? He was in a zone.”

Taking the puck at the red line, Spehar took off toward the Moorhead goal. About 30 feet out he cut the engine. Closer still, he made one move, from forehand to backhand, and slid the puck under the goalie.

“His reaction after he scores is still vivid,” said Randolph, who still ranks the goal as the tournament’s finest.

Spehar later scored the game’s final goal, cementing Duluth East’s first state title since 1960 and his legacy.

In 2012, Benilde-St. Margaret’s Grant Besse set a title-game record with five goals — three of them shorthanded — in a 5-1 victory. Coach Ken Pauly told the media afterward, “That’s a Spehar-type performance.”

The 1995 tournament was the apex of Spehar’s career. He led the Greyhounds back to state as a senior in 1996 but they fell in an epic five-overtime semifinal game against Apple Valley.

He won Mr. Hockey and later scored 20 goals as a freshman with the Gophers. But as a senior at Minnesota, he endured scratches from the lineup. He never played professional hockey.

Today Spehar works in wealth management at U.S. Bank. He lives in Minnetonka with wife Rebecca and their sons, Sam, 7, and Finn, 5.

Spehar struggles to get his boys off the back yard rink. And the task will only become more difficult. The boys, Spehar said, “ saw a highlight on TV and, when they went to papa’s house, they started looking around the storage room.”

Someday they will understand where their dad stands in state tournament lore.

“Three hat tricks in three games — what more could you want?” Randolph said. “That’s what dreams are made of.”

And legends.
Post #: 87
RE: High School Hockey - 3/4/2015 3:23:39 PM   
SoMnFan


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So sweet Corleone ... one of my fondest memories too.
He had such a gunslinger attitude.
Everyone that played against him hated him with a passion (not in a bad way) and he always came up big it seemed.
Just a super fun kid to watch. As he took on the world. He was a little red-cheeked ball of fun.

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Post #: 88
RE: High School Hockey - 3/4/2015 3:47:31 PM   
SoMnFan


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Good effort in Game One
3a with three decent outings in a row.
SoMn hockey getting better, as New Prague is hanging tough with an excellent EGF team too.
Good to see.

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Post #: 89
RE: High School Hockey - 3/4/2015 3:52:14 PM   
Corleone


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quote:

ORIGINAL: SoMnFan

So sweet Corleone ... one of my fondest memories too.
He had such a gunslinger attitude.
Everyone that played against him hated him with a passion (not in a bad way) and he always came up big it seemed.
Just a super fun kid to watch. As he took on the world. He was a little red-cheeked ball of fun.


Those East teams back then were so much fun. Knew almost all of those kids pretty well, too (I graduated in '90). The scary thing is, they could've easily had the most dominant stretch in the history of the tournament had a couple of bounces went their way:

1994 - lost 1-0 to Jefferson in the semi-finals (Jefferson won their third straight title)
1995 - won championship
1996 - lost* the 5OT game to Apple Valley in the semi-finals
1997 - lost 1-0 to an inferior Edina team in the finals
1998 - won championship

* - I attended every game at the Civic Center during this 5-year stretch and would consider this to be the greatest game ever played in the tournament. However, I will go to my grave saying East got robbed in this one - they scored in the 2nd or 3rd OT (can't remember which), but the puck was in and out so quickly that the refs didn't call it a goal. There were no replay reviews then...but sitting 10 rows up just inside the blue on that end, I saw that puck go in. Believe me when I tell you that it's still a topic of discussion almost 20 years later.

http://www.redorbit.com/news/education/419619/a_decade_after_its_earlymorning_loss_to_apple_valley_in/

The only time I've left a sporting event more frustrated and pissed than that was from a certain football game at the Metrodome on January 17, 1999.
Post #: 90
RE: High School Hockey - 3/4/2015 3:58:34 PM   
SoMnFan


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I'll never forget that late-night thriller.
Watched every agonizing minute.
The goalies were incredible.

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Post #: 91
RE: High School Hockey - 3/4/2015 4:01:35 PM   
TJSweens


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I thought the 5 OT game against Apple Valley was in the finals. All I remember for sure is that East got royally screwed because they clearly scored a goal in one of the earlier OT's that the goal judge and the referee missed. The shot hit the top of the net on the inside and even knocked the goalies water bottle off the goal and they still missed the call. I still remember Lou Nanne going nuts in the broadcast booth. Then Apple Valley scored in the 5th OT and I just couldn't believe it.

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RE: High School Hockey - 3/4/2015 4:09:58 PM   
Corleone


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TJSweens

I thought the 5 OT game against Apple Valley was in the finals. All I remember for sure is that East got royally screwed because they clearly scored a goal in one of the earlier OT's that the goal judge and the referee missed. The shot hit the top of the net on the inside and even knocked the goalies water bottle off the goal and they still missed the call. I still remember Lou Nanne going nuts in the broadcast booth. Then Apple Valley scored in the 5th OT and I just couldn't believe it.


Spot on.

It may as well have been the finals, as they were by far and away the two best teams that year if I recall. This was in the pre-seeding days where they just drew sections out of a hat and off they went. Despite playing half the night, AV still kicked Edina's ass the next night in the finals and East walloped someone like 9-3 (can't remember who) in the 3rd place game.
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RE: High School Hockey - 3/4/2015 4:19:04 PM   
SoMnFan


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East went on to beat S St Paul 9-2 in the third place game.
Apple Valley relied on their third line more heavily the next night against Edina.

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Post #: 94
RE: High School Hockey - 3/5/2015 11:37:33 AM   
SoMnFan


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Pretty sweet a New Ulm kid can end up as SportsCenters number one highlight of the night.
Only in minnesota.
It was Wheelericious.
I've watched that kid grow up, not one you'd expect to get it done, but he sure did.

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RE: High School Hockey - 3/5/2015 1:28:17 PM   
Corleone


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Scrappy effort by Bemidji. So close...
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RE: High School Hockey - 3/5/2015 2:50:36 PM   
TJSweens


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The Evil Empire moves on.

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RE: High School Hockey - 3/5/2015 3:21:27 PM   
Corleone


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Not looking good for my boys....down 5-2 to STA.
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RE: High School Hockey - 3/5/2015 3:51:12 PM   
TJSweens


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I still can't fathom STA as a hockey power. When I went there in the 70's, our teams sucked and all we had was an outdoor rink that got flooded so we could play boot hockey during phys ed.

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RE: High School Hockey - 3/5/2015 3:56:50 PM   
SoMnFan


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Two games, exactly the same today ....
The Evil Empires prevail

NOT SO FAST MY FRIENDS!
East ties it up!

East started out playing great ..... and was soon behind 3-0. Weird to say, but true.
Bemidji was fun to watch. Simply less talented, but some really gritty kids who gave all right to the end.
We always catch these AA powers at the Schwan Cup around the holidays, and East is always scuffling. Yet every Spring, they end up here.
Great coaches at that level. Great programs with high expectations.
No other HS sport in the nation can showcase the number of excellent programs (and the level they play at) we do here. So fun to see.
Its very close to being collegiate hockey already.

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