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Cottage Grove is #1 in District 8 Peewee A!

By frederick61, 02/22/13, 6:45AM CST


Park Cottage Grove’s goalie makes one of the best saves of the district playoffs when he blocks Sibley’s Nick Davison’s shot. Davison made a great play himself successfully banging the puck towards the net hitting it out of mid-air on a pass from the righ

The Park Cottage Grove Wolfpack beat Sibley Area 4-3 in District 8’s peewee A championship game played last night at Wakota Arena.  The Wolfpack pull off one of the biggest upsets in the district playoffs and they had to come from behind to do it.

The NOW ranked #27 team at the peewee A level had beaten the #3 ranked Warriors.

Sibley jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Chase Foley (assists to Brendan McFadden and Nick Davison) and Chad Crocker (Luke Herzog and Davison).  They were moving the puck with speed and precision only to be foiled by the Wolfpacks’ goalie Luke Maul.

Maul kept the Warriors caged in the first period and limited Sibley to two goals on tough shots.  He made 10 stops in the first period (YHH count).

Park’s has talent at the forwards, but could not maintain the speed needed to attack the Warriors’ net in the first period.  The Wolfpack had their chances and generated a number of good scoring opportunities, but the Sibley defense played better than previous games and kept the Wolfpack off the board.  But only in the first period.

After the ice was cleaned, it was a different story.  The Wolfpack scored 4 goals in the last two periods to upset the Warriors.  It was PCG’s their second win in the playoffs; they beat Apple Valley 3-2 in overtime last Sunday.
Park Cottage Grove had not won a regular season D8 game in the last thirteen D8 games played.  Their last regular season win came on December 2.  They beat Eagan AA 2-0.  The Warriors did not lose a single D8 regular season game.

Nobody told the Park Cottage Grove kids they couldn’t win; nobody allocated their team based on an October projection of which teams are the best.

Last night’s game between the Wolfpack and the Warriors is what Minnesota should be about-kids developing, kids learning to play hockey, and kids getting a chance to show how they have improved.  Records go out the window at playoff time and they need to be thrown out the window in October.

The Wolfpack return to Wakota next Friday to play in the Peewee A East Region Tournament.  As District 8’s #1 seed, Park Cottage Grove will open the lower bracket playing District 2’s #2 seed (either Tartan A, North St. Paul A, or Mahtomedi A).  New Prague A or Edina A will play Apple Valley to complete the lower bracket draw.

Apple Valley won D3’s #3 seed by beating Inver Grove Heights/South St. Paul 1-0.  The Eagles and Spartans were locked in a tense battle for two plus periods in a “loser goes home” game.  The Eagles Corey Zuelow scored the winning goal when an Eagle shot caromed off the shoulder of Spartan’s goalie James Royce and dropped in the crease.  Zuelow rapped the puck in the net for the only goal of the game.  It was an unassisted goal.

The game was a wide open affair with alternating streaks of ragged hockey and up tempo skating.  Both teams would go from full all-out attack one minute to leaving the puck lie for “more than a second” the next minute.  In the end, it was the goalies that carried the two teams.

Royce had 35 saves for the Spartans and Matthew Smith had 27 by YHH count.  Royce had to with stand flurries of Eagles attacks sporadically through all three periods.  He had to make 12 saves in the third period including some tough close-in shots to keep the Spartans in the game.

Smith had minutes of quiet and seconds of terror in the third period.  Late in the third period, he stopped the Spartans big rangy forward, Michael Lomax, coming down the slot.  Lomax had broken through two Valley defenders with the puck sliding just in front of him in the slot.  Smith held position and extended his stick to beat Lomax to the sliding puck and knock it away.  That check by Smith prevented Lomax from drilling Smith with his tough shot at close range.  It was an aggressive good play by both players.  Smith won and Apple Valley won.

Apple Valley now joins Sibley and Cottage Grove in the East Regional and will play either New Prague or Edina A in the last quarterfinal game played Friday at Wakota.

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