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Easton Cup: Preview and Predictions

By Tony Scott, 08/07/13, 8:30AM CDT


The Easton Cup will take place this weekend at assorted rinks in the Northern Metro.  This weekend there will be 7 Elite Divisions aged 1999 to 2005.  Many of the best AAA programs will be represented at all age levels.  Here is a brief summary of each division and our picks for the champions and potential sleepers.  YHH will not be covering the 2005 division this year.


Teams: Acceleration, Ice Edge Black, Machine Orange ’00, The Hockey Academy, Lake Superior Stars, and Team Combat.

Commentary: I’d say this is not the top end ’99 teams in Minnesota. In fact, I’m told that not even the top ’00 Machine players or coach will be participating for that team.  So, it is nearly impossible to choose a winner in this group.  It’s dart board time.  My educated guess based on who normally suits up for the Lake Superior Stars is that the Stars will win this tournament.

YHH Pick: Lake Superior Stars


Teams: Blades, Euro Red, Miracle Gold, XP Selects, Competitive Edge, MN Edge, Team Exceed, Skate to Excellence, Team Combat, and MN Flames.

Commentary: Actually a pretty competitive field at the ’00 level.  Most of the top MN teams are here.  It appears that only four teams advance from Pool play, the top two play each other in the Championship and the Runner Ups play each other in the Third Place game. The top pool has the Blades and the Euro Red (the Winner of that game likely will be headed to the Championship).  The bottom Pool features The Edge.  We see them advancing to the Championship along with Skate to Excellence in the Third Place game.

YHH Pick: Blades


Teams: Wisconsin Flyers, MN Edge, Velocity, United Wolves, Machine Orange, Legacy, Breakaway, SR Stars

Commentary: Not a great field of teams, but some good quality nonetheless.  The top part of the pool is filled with a lot of unknowns. The bottom has the Machine and two plucky teams in the Legacy and the Breakaways (two teams that have done well in local lower level Elite tournaments this year).  The Machine looks to be the class of this tournament and our choice to win. However, they did not meet their own expectations in Winnipeg and there are a lot unknown teams that can sneak up on the Orange weekend.

YHH Pick: Machine Orange


Teams: Miracle Gold, Velocity, Machine Orange, Ice Clams, Team Combat, ’03 Blades, Exceed, Euro Red, Wisconsin Flyers, CO Kodiaks

Commentary: This is the best field in the tournament, quality-wise.  Some very good teams on both sides of the pools. In the top Pool, the Machine Orange and Miracle Gold are two very good teams.  The Orange has so many good players, it’s hard to see the MG winning the top pool. The bottom pool has the ’03 Blades (a team that will not have their full roster of players playing), the Euro Red and the Wisconsin Flyers.  We are seeing red in this Pool.  The Euros and the Orange will play a great game this Sunday at the Super Rink.  Last year the Reds beat the Orange handily in this tournament.  YHH sees the Orange winning this one going away, this year.

YHH Pick: Machine Orange


Teams: Machine Orange, CO Kodiaks, Miracle Gold, WI Jr. Admirals, Ice Clams, and Team Exceed

Commentary: Pretty small field at this level.  Only six teams. The top teams advance to the Final Four.  In some way, shape or form…the Machine Orange and the Miracle Gold will be playing in the Finals.  With the Miracle Gold winning.

YHH Pick: Miracle Gold


Teams: Machine Orange, Blades, Reebok Nats, Exceed, Hometown Hockey, and Euro Red

Commentary: An ’04 tournament without the Miracle Gold juggernaut is always interesting TV.  The Blades shooting to improve their team is a good story to follow.  The ’04 Machine has a lot to prove (or as much as a 9 year old can prove) this Summer. The other four teams in the field have all had some success already in their young careers. YHH is leaning toward the Blades.  New coaches will bring renewed excitement, plus they are less than a year from assembling a Brick Team.

YHH Pick: Blades

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