skip navigation

District 5 Crowns its Peewee A Champions

By frederick61, 02/24/13, 6:15AM CST


Luverne’s defenseman Trey Roberts waits at the point for a faceoff in the Marshall zone. The Cardinals beat Marshall 10-2 to advance.

Sports fans get used to always seeing the colleges and pros playing their game on time and schedules having been preset for a year.  At game time, a fan turns on the television and the teams are always on the ice or field ready to play at game time. 

Minnesota Hockey Districts outside the Twin Cities have a different logistic problem then districts in the cities.  Those problems can make scheduling and logistics a nightmare at times.  It is one of the big reasons, Minnesota Hockey does not tell districts how to conduct their playoffs (but will call the shots on allocations).

Outstate districts play hockey mostly on weekends.  Problems like snow storms on the weekend canceling games and force last minute district playoff decisions.  This year, D5 had to adjust their playoff schedule to the last weekend and come up with a format that would allow teams to complete their tourney in as little time as possible.

As a result, the Peewee A tourney became basically a one day affair.  The 9 D5 peewee A teams played last Saturday between the Sauk Rapids and Sartell arenas.

For those not familiar with the Sauk Rapids, Sartell, and St. Cloud area, the three towns occupy the banks of the Mississippi River.  St. Cloud is in the south on both sides of the river.  Sauk Rapids borders St. Cloud on the northeast side of the Mississippi; Sartell borders St. Cloud on the northwest side.

The three towns are natural rivals in sports.

D4/D5 played a joint regular season schedule and combined their peewee A playoffs.  D4 has 3 seeds to the Peewee A South Regional (played in Luverne) and D5 has 2 seeds to the South Regional.  Nine teams started play on Friday, five teams would go on to play at Luverne.

The Friday game was the only play-in game, single elimination, game.  In a loser goes home match, Sauk Rapids beat Redwood Falls 9-0 to end the Falls season.  The Storm’s Kirbey Schmidt got the hat trick.  Alec Doran scored twice for the Storm.

That game cut the number of teams playing in the double elimination Saturday to eight teams.  The remaining 8 teams were divided into two mini tourneys of four teams each.  The two winners of each first round games of their mini tourney played for a #1 seed (either D4’s or D5’s) to the South Regional.

Upper Bracket Mini Tournament

The first game of the mini-tournament, matched #3 seeded (for the D5 play-offs) New Ulm-Sleepy Eye against the #6 seed Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato.  The NUSE team wears SE for Sleepy Eye on their jerseys.  The New Ulm teams called themselves the Eagles, Sleepy Eye teams are called Indians. 

The Indians were not asleep on the ice Saturday morning, especially Luke Scheid.  After a scoreless first 10 minutes of the opening period, Scheid scored twice to put the Indians up 2-0.  Sleepy Eye’s Sam Berg added a goal in the second period to put the Indians ahead 3-0 going into the third period.  The two teams battled through most of the third period without scoring. 

The Indians held the LDC with a stiff defense in the neutral zone, checking the LDC forwards off the puck and firing the puck back into the Litchfield zone.  Orrin Grangroth scored with four minutes left in the third period to cut the score to 3-1.  Scheid scored a minute later to get the hat trick and to end the scoring 4-1.  Nickolas Wieben had three assists for the Indians.

In the second game of the mini tourney, #2 seeded Luverne beat the #7 seed Marshall 10-2.  Marshall battle through the first half of the game.  The Tigers’ scored first on an unassisted goal by Kaleb Welvaert.  Marshall made that lead stand up until late in the first period.  Luverne’s Declan Beers, a good solid center/forward, scored unassisted and Mark Sterrett scored to put the Cardinals ahead 2-1 at the end of the first period.

Luverne broke open the game early in the second period on two hard shots from Luverne’s defenseman, Trey Roberts.  He scored the goals from the point.  Coy Gonnerman joined in the scoring for Luverne adding two goals.  Beers scored again and in 5 minutes, the Cardinals opened up a 7-1.

Marshall’s Welvaert scored a second goal thirty seconds after Luverne had gone up 7-1 to cut the lead to 7-2, but the damage had been done.  Luverne added three goals in the third period to win 10-2.

Luverne and NUSE played the night cap game at Sartell’s arena.  Both teams wanted to win, mostly to avoid a return to trip to Sartell for Sunday’s games.  This was a winner goes home game happy.

Both teams had battled for the District 5 Peewee A Silver title all season long.  NUSE edged the Cardinals out by single point.  Saturday night it was the same story, second verse.

Luverne has another nine player team this year; and they have a big defenseman in Trey Roberts who spends most of the time on the ice following the footsteps of Toby Sengvongxay’s play when he was a peewee.  Roberts has the strength, size, and ability to play an outstanding defense.  Like Sengvongxay, he curtails the offensive part of his game to conserve his energy.
Yesterday, he was on the ice 60-70% of the time and consistently broke up the Indians rushes.

New Ulm-Sleepy Eye team is a tough.  They have four girls on their team.  One is a goalie and two others form a line that constantly generates positive play when on the ice.  The fourth NUSE girl is as small as Trey Roberts of Luverne is tall.  The small one, Danielle Weiss, plays smart hockey with Glavin Schugel a line mate that matches her in size and desire to play.

The NUSE-Luverne game was a scoreless until late in the third period.  The first period was a well-played up tempo game.  Luverne, always a fast starter, drew four first period penalties.  They were forced to skate 5-4 for at least half of the opening period.  It slowed the Cardinals down and would cost them late in the game.

Two overlapping penalties halfway through the second period should have given the Cardinals a 4 on 3 and 5 on 3 power play for over three minutes.  With the Indians play slowed down, Luverne had an excellent chance to break the scoreless deadlock.  Instead the Cardinals drew a penalty.  It killed their power play.

NUSE had some strong scoring attempts in the second period including two by Weiss where she lost races by inches to put the puck into the open net.  The second period ended in a scoreless tie.

The Indians scored the only goal of the game on a simple play.  A Luverne defender fell trying to cut off a NUSE rush.  The rusher continued on from the left side and beat the Luverne goalie to put the Indians ahead 1-0.  It was the game winner and the only score of the game.  NUSE won either D5’s #1 seed or D4’s #1 seed to the South Regional.  The Indians will get D4′s #1 seed that Sartell refused.

Both teams played hard to win the championship, the regionals were not on their mind.  They wanted to beat each other, they wanted the championship.

Luverne came back Sunday morning to beat St. Cloud A 2-0.  As the highest seed, the Cardinals won the choice of either D5’s #2 or D4’s #2 to the South.  They chose D5′s #2 seed.

Lower Bracket Mini Tournament

The #1 seeded Sartell Sabres opened play Saturday morning against the #8 seed Sauk Rapids.  The Sabres won 7-1 outshooting the Storm 44-13.

The first half of the game was close.  Sartell did not get the lead until Nathann Warner scored a power play goal with just under 4 minutes left in the second period.  It gave Sartell a 2-1 lead.  The Sabres went on to add five more goals to win 7-2.  Twelve of the Sartell forwards figured in the scoring.

The second game of the mini tourney matched #5 seed Hutchinson against the #4 seed St. Cloud A.  Hutchinson’s Lane Glaser scored two unassisted goals in the first period.  Reggie Deyak scored for St. Cloud A.  The first period ended 2-1.

The second period was scoreless.  Hutchinson scored four goals in the first five minutes of the third to break the game open.  Cassie Longie scored two unassisted goals and Glaser scored his third for a “pure” hat trick.  All six Hutch goals were unassisted.

Sartell beat Hutchinson in the lower bracket championship game 7-2.  The Sabres defense contained the Hutch forwards for most of the game.  They beat the Hutch forwards to the puck in the neutral or stopped them at the Sabres blue line.  Sartell, as the #1 seed going into the tourney, has the choice of either D4’s #1 seed or D5’s #1 seed.  The Sabres choose D5′s #1 seed.
Sunday afternoon, Hutchinson beat LDC 6-4 to earn either D4’s #2 seed or D5’s #2 seed.  Hutch got D4#2, the seed that Luverne refused.

Loser Bracket Games

In the first of two loser goes home games played Saturday, LDC beat Marshall 8-2 to send the Tigers home.  Penalties got the Tigers in trouble in the second period and broke open a close game. 

Second period penalties also hurt Sauk Rapids in their loser go home game with the St. Cloud A.  The Storm trialed 2-1 going into the second period and took 5 second period penalties.  St. Cloud A scored two goals, one on a power play to lead 4-2 going into the third period and win the game 4-2.

Kevin Hayward scored twice for St. Cloud; Sauk Rapids’ Talon Lenzen scored twice.  The loss ended Sauk Rapids season.

In the final game Sunday, Litchfield-Dassel/Cokato and St. Cloud A played for D4’s #3 seed to the South Regional Sunday evening.  St. Cloud A won 5-3 and will be going South to play in the regional.

Recent MN YHH News