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2013 Fargo Pin Challenge: Metro vs. OutState battle

By Tony Scott, 02/25/13, 6:15AM CST


Read here to see if Burnsville will make another deep run into the Pin Bracket Challenge.

Editor’s Note: This is a humorous piece on the pin trading in Fargo.  Some associations take this very seriously.  All of the kids love it. Last year we wrote a little article on the pins traded in Fargo and it was a huge success.  This year we filled our pin bracket a little different than last year.  Last year had four pools of four, this year two pools of eight. This article is meant to be fun. If you lack a sense of humor or can’t make fun of yourself, this piece isn’t for you.

Out of State

First of all pin for pin, the out of state teams showed way more style and panache.  It’s obvious they work harder on their pin design than they do their on ice performance (first jab of many). The Pin Committee had a very hard time narrowing it’s list to 8, but here they are:

The Field: Denver Jr. Pioneers, Omaha Lancers, PHX Jr. Coyotes, West Fargo, PHX Firebirds, Hyland Hills Jaguars, Fargo Angels, and the Colorado Rampage. Honorable mention to Bismarck.

knocked off the mighty Rampage (the light up pin went out with your MySpace account Colorado). The 2 seed West Fargo pin survived a scare from the #7 Hyland Hills, one committee member loves Jaguars for some reason. In the 3/6 battle it was for PHX bragging rights..the Firebirds got a #3 seed for a reason, they spanked the Coyotes in a Committee landslide.  And finally, the 4/5 border battle between Denver Jr. Pioneers and the Omaha Lancers.  One committee member fell in love with the Pioneer mascot, while another begged for the Lancer to advance.  After 19 coin flips (and an inner disdain for the Sr. Pioneers), the Lancers won.

Final Four: With no upsets in the Quarterfinals, their was bound to be one in the final four.  Fargo Angels, with great popularity at the event…struggled with the committee all night long. “It looks like an Airline pin…” Meanwhile the Lancers kept picking up steam and beat the Angels in an epic finish. In the night game, home favorite (well at least that’s what they think) West Fargo took on the Firebirds. Classy design versus gimmick puzzle pin. The classy design wowed the all-adult committee again in this showdown.

Out of State Final: Lancers vs. Firebirds. Both of these clubs have strong hockey tradition…and both of these pins caught the committee’s eye.  The Firebird is flashy.  The design is simple enough for an adult eye and sparkly enough to catch the eye of a player/kid.  The Lancer design is daring…it goes the goalie route.  Why it’s genius is the goalie has to wear a mask and why not a Lancer mask?  Every kid wants to be a goalie (just not every parent). The Lancers win.

OMAHA Advances to the Finals versus Minnesota.


This field wasn’t as strong this year.  It seemed like a transition year. Dangles, lights, and sliders have gone away, where design has become a stronger priority to both the teams and our Committee. Possibly the funniest pin we saw was from East Grand Forks – logo, sparkle, hockey gloves, dangles, flags, it had everything except the light.

The Field: Burnsville, Fergus Falls, MPLS, Shakopee, Wayzata B, Armstrong, Chaska Chan and Alexandria. The Committee chose two from northern District 15 to avoid Northern Bias complaints. Noticeably absent this year: Rosemount…usually a huge favorite because of sparkle and size, Edina…much more subtle this year, very classy just like all their fans (well, almost all) and much better than last year’s “We are the Champions” version, and WBL…after last year’s solid effort and first round loss, I think the folks from White Bear focused more on their hockey than the pin.

First Round: Burnsville with another strong effort this year…this year’s version had an ice rink, flames, kid names and more sparkle than a Justin Bieber concert. The Blaze faced #8 Shakopee…the Sabers were overheard complaining to the Committee that they got paired with a D6 opponent in the first round. The skating Saber was solid, but not enough to get past Burnsville.  The #2 seed was Fergus Falls, the angry Otter with a state of MN dangle was a nice touch, they knocked off MPLS who had the sliding Yeti with the downtown skyline design. An impressive showing for the Storm, just like on the ice. In the 3/6 matchup , Wayzata B just crushed Alexandria. The animated Trojan was too much for the state of MN Cardinal skating guy. The always tough 4/5 match up paired hockey helmet Chaska Chan and state of MN shaped bird Armstrong Cooper.  The hockey helmet was a huge hit with the Committee garnering every vote possible. If this had been a hockey game, it would have been in running time. 

Semifinals: Burnsville hosted CC.  Burnsville strutted their way into the YHH conference room with their ice rink and CC had their helmet in a special pin bag for the unveiling. After a nice presentation by both teams, the committee met.  One member said of the Burnsville pin, “it looks like a birthday cake from Cub..” and another said (with sunglasses on), “it’s so bright.” After two nights in Fargo, bright is the last thing we wanted to see.  The Hockey Helmet advanced over the birthday cake into the Minnesota final.  In the night game, Wayzata B was ready to play versus Fergus Falls. Two outstanding designs…both animated, one bold and one angry.  The committee had a hard time deciding between the homer metro team Wayzata and the outcast northern team.  The Otter won our was love at first site. 

Finals:The championship vote was going to be easy. You either like the helmet or you don’t. The committee spent a lot of energy with the Otter/Trojan vote, I think they just wanted to be done. It was kind of like the Minnetonka girls team on Saturday night after their multiple OT victory over LVN, when they saw Hill Murray, they just wanted to be done.  The Otter went down quickly to the Helmet.

CC advance to the finals for a bout with the Lancers.

World Title: In the finals the goalie from Omaha came out of the net, a la Ron Hextall and got first blood, cracking the CC helmet with his armor and defending his goal with his shield. A good battle ensued, but the Helmet could not recover.  A Lancer goalie is hard to beat. Kind of like the Northern Colorado zamboni last year.  Congrats to Omaha on winning this year’s Pin Bracket Challenge. To view a full gallery of pins sent to us, Click Here.

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