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District 6 PWAA….Elimination Tuesday

By Tony Scott, 02/20/13, 7:45AM CST


#21 Ryan Elder with a blast in the second period for Minnetonka.

A hard fought season with seven teams with high hopes for post season success came down to a set of two, one game elimination games in Chaska. Burnsville was eliminated on Saturday by Jefferson leaving six teams left vying for the final four berths to Regions.

Team Synopsis

#3 Prior Lake – a talented team with a great slate of tough games and quality wins all year, including a recent win over then ranked #2 Lakeville South.  Rated #9 by YHH at the end of the regular season.

#4 Chaska Chanhassen – a great team with not as much out of league success as others in D6, but an impressive four wins and two ties in District 6 play.

#5 Minnetonka – great early season success and a laundry list of Top Ten victories.  Was a top ten team all season. Beat top five Centennial convincingly last week. Rated #10 by YHH.

#6 Jefferson – Only two wins and five ties in District 6 play, but a nice tournament win in Woodbury and Runner Ups in Midwest and Rochester.

Game One, Minnetonka v. Chaska Chanhassen

Season Series: The two teams split their two District games early in the season both teams winning convincingly on home ice.

A very fast paced game that played into the hands of the bigger and faster Skippers. In the first period, blue clad Tonka got on the board when Jack Bayless scored on an assist from Tonka star Joe Molenaar. At the end of one Tonka had the lead 1-0.

The second period had a few good scoring chances for both teams. One was by CC winger James Marooney as he barreled down the left wing gaining leverage on both the Tonka defenseman as he crashed into the goalie and knocked the goal off it’s moorings. Tonka would anwer with several point blank shots to no avail. Heading into the second intermission and a resurface, Tonka led 1-0.

In the third period Minnetonka began to take control of the game but could not convert on the all important second goal.  The tension in the rink grew as the game headed into the second half of the third period. Finally Tonka got the goal they were looking for when Mitchell McGannon rifled a shot past CC goalie Ben Urbanciz’s right shoulder at the 7:24 mark to make it 2-0. At this point CC began to press Tonka to no avail. Late in the game, YHH saw one of the prettiest goals of the year. Tonka defenseman K’Andre Miller backhanded an unbelievable 10 foot saucer pass from his own zone right on the stick of Tonka big man Ryan Elder. Ryan went in all alone on Urbanciz and beat him with a nifty move to give Tonka the win and a trip to Regions.

Final Score: Minnetonka 3, Chaska Chan 0 

Game Two, Jefferson v. Prior Lake

eason Series: Prior Lake won the first game in November 5-1 and the two teams skated to tie in January, 1-1.

Both teams came out on all cylinders creating scoring chances on both ends testing battled tested goalies Ryan Miller (PL) and Evan Redepenning (Jefferson). Prior Lake got on the board first when Max Valek scored on a rebound (or Jack Kennedy..the scoresheet legibility was sketchy)…assists went to Brock Penton and Luke Beaty. The Jags would answer late in the first when scrappy centerman Tyler Rollwagon scored unassisted.  End of 1, Lakers 1, Jags 1. Shots in favor of PL 10-6.

After a resurface, the teams really got after it. The period had a combined six shots for both teams. The second period was more like a brawl rather than a hockey game.  The Lakers had a power play attempt late in the second which amounted to the only scoring chance of the period, but Redepenning stood tall, literally. After two, still tied…1-1. Shots PL 13, Jefferson 9.

Early in the third, Jefferson got some pressure in the Prior Lake zone and converted.  Tyler Rollwagon scored again on his own rebound at 11:11 with an assist to Jaguar sparkplug Nick Lindquist. For the next 5 minutes the Lakers would dominate the Jefferson zone trying to tie the score.  Each time they would get an opening the puck wouldn’t bounce their way or a Jefferson defender would clear just in time. With the pressure mounting a scrum behind the net would decide the game. A Jefferson defender got tied up with a Laker attacker  and to which a penalty could have been called, followed by a Laker attacker made a jarring hit. The ref would raise his hand and neither side knew what was going to be called.  A Hit to the Head penalty was called on Prior Lake.  From that point on Jefferson was able to subside the PL pressure. With a minute and change left, Patrick Marty tipped in a Nathan Johannes shot from the point to give the Jaguars the insurance goal they needed to send Jefferson to Regions. Shots Jefferson 22, Prior Lake 20.

Final Score: Jefferson 3, Prior Lake 1

Commentary: The single elimination format that D6 puts together for the PeeWee and Bantam AA teams is simply wrong.  The two teams who lost tonight put in countless hours of practice and energy to have their season end in a one game elimination format.  D6 prides itself as the “premier Minnesota Youth Hockey League…” It should have a premier playoff format, too.

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