skip navigation

Peewee AA East Regional Previe

By frederick61, 02/26/13, 6:00AM CST


One of the impacts of the allocation approach by Minnesota is that teams in the three districts in the East could be accused of “tanking it” to avoid playing perceived stronger teams in the East Regional.  If the teams in District 6 and District 8 fell far enough they would get a seed to a perceived weaker regional.
All three teams for District 6 and all three teams from District 8 are the top rated teams in their districts.  Edina AA and Eden Prairie AA were seeded #1 and #2 and finished with D6’s #1 and #2 East seeds respectively.  Minnetonka, seeded #5 upset #4 seed Chaska and then beat Jefferson for the East #3 seed.  Jefferson, seeded #6, beat #3 seeded Prior Lake to take the #4 seed to the South.

The kids played to win, they always do.

In District 8, the #1 seeded Lakeville South won D8’s #1 seed to the East; #2 seeded Eastview won the #2 seed to the East; and Eagan #5 seed won the #3 seed to the East.  Hastings, seeded #4, won D8’s #4 seed to the South and Woodbury seeded #6 eliminated the #3 seed Lakeville North in the game for the #5 seed to the West Regional.  Lakeville North fell and all the lower seeds moved up.

District 2 had two seeds to the East and a tourney format that favored the losers of the first two games.   The team that lost the opening game on the 15th (Forest Lake, the lowest seed in the tourney) was put on hold while the top rated teams battled for the #1 seed.  Roseville lost their first game on the 16th, won their game on the 17th and played Forest Lake on the 18th and lost 4-1.  Stillwater lost to White Bear Lake on the 23rd in the afternoon and lost to Forest Lake Sunday morning, the 24th, 4-3 in the game for D2’s #2 seed.

Some could say that Stillwater’s loses after losing only one game in D2 regular season are questionable, but the Ponies did themselves no favor by ending up going South.  They open the South tourney against NOW ranked #7 St. Cloud AA.  Forest Lake goes East and draws #18 ranked Eden Prairie.  The kids just played to win.

Peewee AA Upper Bracket

The opening game played this Friday at the Cottage Grove Ice Arena in an unexpected match-up between White Bear Lake and Eagan.  YHH noticed that Eagan was playing better a month ago and thought then that the Wildcats would beat Hastings in the game for D8’s #5 seed.  The Wildcats did beat Hastings, but in the game for the #3 seed beating expectations.

White Bear Lake is a tough defensive team with a slashing attack.  They are offensive minded once the puck hits the neutral ice and their forwards just want to go.  They want to score.  The Bears had a good Moose Goheen tourney in early February taking third place beating Prior Lake AA 5-2.  This game will be tough, but White Bear Lake should win.

The second game in the upper bracket Friday matches unbeaten and NOW ranked #1 Edina AA and Eastview AA.  Both coaches are savvy experienced coaches.  They have faced each other many times over the past 10 years.  Both will be prepared.

Edina’s strength is their team play, their forwards coordinate their attack and adjust to play inside their opponents’ zone.  They all have quick accurate shots and their defense is hard to beat on the breakout.  The Hornet’s weakness is simple, defense. They have not had many opportunities to play tough defense the end of a close game (think of the movie “Miracle”).  Teams have trapped the Hornets for minutes in their zone and sent them scrambling.  At the White Bear Lake Tourney, Lakeville North had the Edina kids scrambling into the third period before losing 5-2.

Eastview’s strength is their size at defense and wing.  They have tough goal tending no matter who is playing in the nets.  One of the early keys in this game will be the play of the Lightning’s big wings and their centers.  When on, these forwards can move the puck low and beat the defense.  It should be a great game, but the Hornets win.

That sets up a Saturday noon game with White Bear Lake and Edina.  These two teams have not met this year which is really strange.  Four years ago, the Bears played the Hornets in the opening game of the state tourney played at Faribault.  They had a game plan and had the Hornets on the ropes until the refs stepped in.  The Bears will need a game plan, Edina wins.  In the loser bracket Saturday, Eastview and Eagan play a loser goes home game.  The Lightning beat Eagan 3-0 in early December and will beat D8 rival Eagan again in a very close game.

Peewee AA Lower Bracket

NOW ranked #2 Lakeville South AA and Minnetonka AA meet in the first game of the lower bracket Friday evening.  South may still be reeling from their 8-3 loss to Edina AA two weeks ago.  The Hornets scored five goals in the first 10 minutes of the first period to put the game away.  The Cougar’s offense has struggled since then scoring 10 goals in four games.  South succeeds when they move the puck quickly and their defense does not get caught on the rush.

Minnetonka staggered at the end of the D6 regular season.  They lost their last three D6 games to drop from contending for second place to fifth place.  The Skippers have had the misfortune to end up being Edina AA’s favorite team to beat, losing to the Hornets 7 times by an accumulative score of 47-6.  Four of the losses were shutouts.  The Skippers defense has struggled as the season ended.  When they play well, the Skippers’ defense can shut the opponent down; but not the Cougars in Friday’s game.  Lakeville South wins.

The final game of the opening round matches Eden Prairie against Forest Lake.  Who would have “thunk it”.  The Rangers have won a total of three games this year.  They didn’t win a game in February.  They did not win a D2 game all season, but they won two key games at the D2 playoffs in Stillwater.  Now the Rangers are front and center at the East Regional.

Eden Prairie has played tough all year.  They are not a high scoring team, but are a tough checking team that relies on a close checking defense.  A lot of their games are played in the Eden Prairie zone without their opponents scoring.  Against Forest Lake, the Eagles don’t know what kind of team they are playing.  Kids develop quickly at times and then slow.  The Rangers may have hit that spurt.  If so, the Eagles could be in trouble, but Eden Prairie should win.

Saturday, Lakeville South and Eden Prairie play in the second semifinal.  The two teams have met only once, in the Roseau tourney, and tied 3-3.  Eden Prairie held the tie breaker in the pool and went on to play in the championship round on Sunday.  The Cougars went home.  The Cougars win this game.  In the loser bracket game Minnetonka ends Forest Lake’s tourney hopes.  The Ranger were a nice surprise entrant in the East AA regional.

Saturday Evening Loser Bracket (cross over games)

In a tough first game Saturday night, Eastview’s goal tending starts to make a difference.  The Lightning beat Eden Prairie.  In the second game, White Bear Lake plays Minnetonka.  The Bears opened their season with a 6-2 loss to the Skippers.  They lost twice more during the season 3-1 and 4-1, but Saturday night at the MAC, they beat the Skippers to end Minnetonka’s season.

Sunday Games

Sunday morning the East Regional will be down to four teams; Lakeville South playing Edina in the championship game and Eastview and White Bear Lake playing in the final loser bracket game.

For both the Cougars and the Hornets, the championship game is the third game in three days.  The Hornets skate a majority of first year kids at forwards.  That means last year they were playing in a Fargo tourney.  In game after game this year, the Hornets have relied on their second year returnee’s to make the critical play (Jack Lagerstrom, Peter Tabor, Clayton Phillips, and Ty Madden at forward and two returning goalies Andrew Dietrich and Joshua Solomon).  The younger forwards usually go out and score early.

The Hornets trip to Michigan, they played against 2000’s (birth year) and had the advantage of the older kids.  Against Lakeville South, the advantage swings to the Cougars.

The question is will the Lakeville South defense give up five goals in the first 10 minutes of the opening period of the third game on the weekend.  If they don’t, if the game is close going into the third period, then can the core group of second year Hornets hold the Edina team together in a tough defensive situation?

On the Lakeville South side, can the Cougars keep their patience early and make Edina’s smaller younger forwards play the Cougars game that will leverage the Cougar’s size and experience and make the smaller Edina players expend energy?

Games are won with a team scoring only one goal.

Lakeville North had the Hornets grabbing their breezers in the third period of their game.

Hornets win.  They get the #1 seed to the state tourney.  After all, a state tourney at Braemar sans Edina somehow just isn’t right.

Eastview beats the Bears and beats a down fallen Lakeville South for the #2 seed.

Recent MN YHH News