Hermantown's River Freeman provided a highlight memory with a shoot-out goal in the Hawks' win over St. Louis Park.
If there seem to be familiar faces behind the White Bear Lake Peewee AA bench this season, that's no coincidence.
Along with head coach Jeff Anderson, the Bears' staff includes members of the 2017 Bantam AA state champion group, a testament to how deeply the association believes in this group. The Bears' faithful were rewarded on Sunday, as the black and orange picked apart Stillwater for three periods en route to a 7-1 win in running time.
The Bears outscored their opponents 26-9 over four games, and outside of a 5-4 win over Rosemount in round two, dominated each contest. Center Conrad Fondrk picked up Tournament MVP honors for his performance, tallying eight goals in the four games while displaying an impressive set of stick-handling skills and offensive sense.
Fondrk helps set the tone for the Bears' swarming offense and an opportunistic defense, a winning combination that should serve the boys from the city of lakes and legends well for the rest of the season.
Best Comeback - Eden Prairie
Down 4-0 to Osseo Maple Grove after the first period, Eden Prairie circled the wagons and came out firing in the second period. Out skating and out hustling the Leafbirds, they cut the lead in half after the second period. In the third, it was just a matter of time before their deficit would be evened. Late in the game, Mason Moe scored on a loose puck in front to give the Eagles a 5-4 win and qualify for the top Black Bracket.
Best Half - Landon Huber
Each game of the Big Pumpkin, Stillwater goalie Landon Huber would enter the game at the halfway point to relieve goalie partner Gavin Salazar. On Saturday against Edina, he entered the game with his team trailing 2-1. The Hornets fired 23 shots on goal at the second-year netminder and he stopped them all. A few of which were incredible. The Ponies went on to win 3-2 in Overtime.
Tate Jabs, Minnetonka
George Tocko, Prior Lake
Dawson Desjardins, Rochester PWAA
Ryder Peace, Shakopee
Deniam Whelan, White Bear Lake
Angelo Provinzino, Chaska-Chanhassen
Ben Box, Eden Prairie
Cash Cruitt, Andover
Ford Skytta, Hermantown
Zach Longnecker, Stillwater
River Freeman, Hermatown
Best Uniforms - Minnetonka
Monotone uniforms typically take on the all-black look, which is the easiest to pull off without much distraction. The Skippers managed to steal the runway with its all-blue kits with the Blackhawk striping, complete with blue helmets and blue gloves.
On the first day of the tournament, Junior Podein stood patiently next to the St. Louis Park bench. He watched as two players each from his Orioles and the Hermantown Hawks took their turns during a three-player shootout to decide who would move on to the Black Bracket.
With everyone's equipment drying in the frosty Graham One air, the Hawks scored on their first two attempts to win the game and advance. As the Orioles' third shooter Podein didn't get the chance to shoot.
The dynamo would get his shot on Sunday afternoon, as the Orioles and Osseo-Maple Grove battled to a scoreless tie after three periods and overtime. After stick-lifting a breakaway attempt by OMG to possibly save the game for the Orioles, Podein wouldn't be denied on Sunday. He executed a beautiful move and scored top-shelf on the backhand to give the Orioles the Red Bracket title.
Breakout Team - Shakopee
The Sabers came into the Pumpkin with some great new additions to their team from two years ago: Cole Bumgarner, Daylin Cline and Cooper Simpson. They knocked off Wayzata, Cottage Grove and Hermantown and gave Edina a really good game for two-and-a-half periods.
Best Performance - Mason Jenson
Jenson was shot out of a canon Saturday night scoring three goals in nine minutes to help the Royals defeat Cottage Grove. He finished the game with five goals and two assists - and 16 points overall for the tournament.
Stillwater's Landon Huber turned in a goaltending performance for the ages during the Big Pumpkin.
Ben Box of Eden Prairie earned all-tournament team honors.
|First Name||Last Name||Position||Team|
|Cameron||Dean||Defense||Osseo Maple Grove|
|Will||Distad||Defense||White Bear Lake|
|Graham||Greeder||Defense||White Bear Lake|
|Carter||McLoed||Goalie||White Bear Lake|
|Junior||Podein||Forward||St. Louis Park|
|MVP||Conrad Fondrk||Forward||White Bear Lake|
Tucker Johnson, Edina