The Easton Cup came to a close Sunday afternoon, crowning an amazing 26 champions and 10 different venues throughout the Twin Cities. YHH made it to parts of five games Sunday in three venues at the Boys Invite levels.
There were some surprises, some great players and of course some mis-picks by yours truly. The much anticipated '06 MN Blades and '06 MN Machine championship game at the '05 level got derailed Sunday morning by the 2005 Miracle Gold. Gold won in the morning, but a feisty effort by the 2006 Blades in the championship was too much for MG. The most dominant team on display was the 2009 MN Muskies, with many of the best players in Minnesota they cruised through the Easton Cup in Eden Prairie.
Below are some photos and a recap of what we saw.
Dallas Vieau, '06 Blades
After losing to Miracle Gold in their final pool play game, the 2006 MN Blades put a cap on a successful Spring/Summer campaign beating Miracle Gold 7-3 to grab the 2005 Invite title at St. Louis Park Arena. Hermantown's Dallas Vieau had two goals for the winners and Caleb Heil earned the win in the nets.
2006 MN Blades
Cooper Simpson celebrates after his goal Sunday
The 2007 Machine put a bow on a great Spring/Summer campaign winning the 2006 title with an impressive 3-2 win over the Colorado Bombers. Cooper Simpson had the game winning goal and an assist to lead the Orange up front. The real story was a solid defensive corps and goalie Cody Niesen who was named tourney MVP.
Cody Niesen, Machine
Colorado Bombers, Brady Aubut
With a lineup made of only two players from Colorado, the "Colorado" Bombers knocked out the competition this weekend in New Hope. Outscoring their pool 20-4, the Bombers were lead by Stillwater sharp shooters Cole Braunshausen and Luke Myers up front. Sunday, they knocked off a very solid Eskimos Grey team 2-1 to punch their ticket to the finals against Tommy Chicago, who won their pool Sunday morning with an exciting 7-7 with the Skeeters.
2007 Colorado Bombers
2008 Machine Force
The Machine Force grabbed the 2008 title Sunday with an impressive 7-4 win over MPH. MPH handed the Force their only loss in pool play on Friday 8-5. On Sunday, it was the same script, but in reverse, this time the Force beat MPH.
We rarely see teams so dominant at a level that you only wonder how well they would have done at a birth year above. One such team was the Minnesota Muskies. With nearly half of the Team Minnesota Brick team (plus Mahtomedi standout Boomer Demars who was named tourney MVP), the Muskies came in waves Sunday.
After blitzing Tommy Chicago goalie Drew Sherman in the first period with 23 shots and no goals. The levy finally broke in the second period, with the Muskies scoring five goals in a six minute span on Sherman.
The prettiest goal of the day came on a Nolan Fitzhenry shake-and-bake move followed by a top-shelf snipe.
The Muskies would go on to win 8-0 and grab a nice piece of hardware for their hard work.
Dylan Donnay scores for the Muskies Sunday