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New Prague A knocks Minnetonka A out of D6 playoffs

By frederick61, 02/19/13, 7:45AM CST


New Prague scores the winning goal late in the third period to beat Minnetonka A in the D6 peewee A playoffs

Three years ago, New Prague decided to join District 6 when the associations were re-aligned.  District 6 lost Apple Valley and Eastview to District 8.  District 9 was formed and New Prague opted to join D6. 

It was a sensible move for the Trojans. Three D6 associations (Shakopee, Prior Lake, and Chaska) are a twenty minute drive going against rush hour traffic.

New Prague has struggled at the A level since then.  Last night, they beat Minnetonka A 2-1 in a key D6 peewee A playoff game to keep their hopes alive of advancing to the East Regional tourney.  Their win gets the Trojans to the double elimination part of the tourney.

To some, it maybe an upset-New Prague winning.  At YHH we predicted it.

New Prague joins league champion and NOW ranked #1 Edina A, Shakopee A, and Prior Lake A in the playoff semifinals with two chances to be one of the three teams to advance to the regional tourney.  New Prague is one of the few teams to have beaten Edina A this year.

The game started slow.  The general trend in all the playoff games has been slow cautious opening play.  Minnetonka’s forwards used their quickness to establish control of the puck in the New Prague zone.  They would move the puck with ease at times, but were expending more energy than the larger, more older, Trojans.  That would cost the Skippers at the end of the game.

The Skippers scored halfway through the first period to take a 1-0 lead.  The Skippers had the advantages in the early part of the game, but could not score.

New Prague tied the game in the second period.  They caught the Skippers in a mismatch of lines and punched the puck in to tie the game 1-1.  Two successive penalties in the latter half of the second period slowed the Skippers.  A late second period New Prague penalty gave Minnetonka life.

The Skippers attacked the Trojans in the New Prague zone, but could not beat the bigger New Prague players low.  The second period ended in a 1-1 tie.

The third period opened with Minnetonka on the attack.  The Skippers had a number of good scoring opportunities, but the Trojans started to get the better of the Skippers late in the third period.  New Prague scored with less than 4 minutes left to play on a hard shot that found the goalie’s 5-hole to take a 2-1 lead.

Minnetonka tried to move the puck and gain control in the Trojans’ zone, but they simply ran “out of gas” and spent most of the time struggling to gain control in their own zone.  Minnetonka forwards put out “gutsy” effort in the third period and were surprising.  In a game against Waconia three weeks ago, the Skippers looked lethargic.  They ended their seaon on an up note.

New Prague is a patient team for being 12-year old kids.  They played with poise last night and will give Prior Lake A trouble in the semifinal game played Wednesday.  One more win for the Trojans and it is on to the regionals. 

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