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Another Way to look at Peewee A (West Regional)

By frederick61, 02/05/13, 4:45AM CST


Mound/Westonka’s Torsten Lee scores against Arapahoe Colorado AA in the Whitehawks semifinal win at the Edina Invitational

Last year, District 5 peewee A teams from St Michael/Albertville (STMA) and Monticello/Annandale/Maple Lake (MAML) won the West Peewee A Regional comprised of teams from D5, D15, and D16.  This year’s West Peewee AA Regional is comprised of teams from D3, D10, and D15.  District 5 is part of the controversial South Peewee AA Regional this year.

The West Peewee A Regional has enough teams and follows the handbook, but the Peewee AA has been modified because the AA regional set up this year lacks AA teams.  The result is a funky, but tough AA Regional played at the PIC in Plymouth, Wayzata’s home ice.

The AA Regional gets funky because D3 and D15 seeds to the AA are already set.  The two D3 AA teams, Wayzata AA and Osseo/Maple Grove AA, are in the AA tourney.  The two D15 AA teams, Brainerd AA and Moorhead AA, are in the tournament.  D8 sends their #5 seed to the West Regional.  The previous YHH post on the East Regional (that includes D8) outlined the D8 playoffs and projected Eagan AA as the D8’s #5 seed.

With four teams already in the tourney and a 5th coming from D8, the West Peewee AA Regional is about who is playing who; and it is not about who will be in the tourney.

Once the four teams from D3 and D15 are seeded, most of the mystery is gone.

On the West Peewee A Regional side, there are three real district peewee A playoffs happening.  In District 3, nine teams will compete for D3’s three seeds to the West; in District 10, eight teams will compete for D10’s three seeds; and in District 15, eight teams will compete for D15’s two seeds.

District 3 (Three Peewee A regional seeds/two Peewee AA regional seeds)

District 3 Peewee AA

District 3’s format for the playoffs is solid.

The peewee AA playoffs in D3 are about as fair as you can make a two team playoff in hockey.  The best two out of three games will determine the winner.  NOW ranked #9 Osseo/Maple Grove AA and NOW ranked #7 Wayzata AA have played each other once this season, Wayzata AA won 2-1.  The teams have nearly identical season records, OMG’s record is 30-13-4 and Wayzata’s record is 28-10-3.  Both teams have similar D3 records.

OMG went 7-3 in January losing to Lakeville South 6-1 two weekends ago weekend.  Wayzata is 9-0-1 in January since losing to Lakeville South 4-1 in the third place game of the Edina Invitational.

OMG played in the White Bear Lake Moose Goheen Tourney this weekend.  They lost to Duluth East AA 5-2, lost to Centennial AA 5-1, and tied Eden Prairie AA 3-3 in pool play.  This week the Crimson play their last D3 game of the season against the Trojan’s at PIC.  The game will be a tune-up for the three game peewee AA district playoff.

Last week, Wayzata beat Woodbury AA 8-3 and St. Louis Park A 4-1 and have a return game scheduled against the Predators.  They beat Centennial 4-3 ten days ago.

Wayzata AA looked to be the challenger to Edina AA at the start of the season.  They lost early to the Hornets 5-1 and then lost to the Hornets by bigger scores.  OMG AA lost big to the Edina AA early in the season 16-4.  A month later they almost beat the Hornets losing 3-2.  Wayzata AA has improved in the last month.  To paraphrase what somebody famous once said, maybe this is Wayzata’s time.  The Trojans win in three games.

District 3 Peewee A

D3’s peewee A playoff format is the one recommended by Minnesota Hockey; an 8 team, double elimination tournament based on bracket play.  The season standings will determine where teams play.  With nine teams in the league, there will be one play-in game between the eighth and ninth seeds.

Each peewee A team during regular season plays a home and home with the other eight peewee A teams and plays one game with the two D3 AA teams during the regular season for a total of 18 D3 games (it also yields an 11 game peewee AA schedule).

Orono A has a three point lead over the Minneapolis Storm and one D3 game left with OMG A.  The Spartans had a good week beating Hopkins 7-1 and St. Louis Park 4-2, but lost to Mound/Westonka 7-1.  Still, the Spartans should beat OMG A for the title.  With two games left on their schedule (Wayzata AA and Armstrong A), the Minneapolis Storm A has the lead over the third place Mound/Westonka.  The Whitehawks finished their D3 season last week.  The Whitehawks beat Orono A Monday night 7-1,  OMG A 5-0, and lost to St. Louis Park 5-2 to finish in third place in D3.

There was an alligator in D3’s peewee A standings, St. Louis Park A.  The Orioles are in last place in D3, but had three unreported D3 wins and one unreported D3 tie until last week (NOW rankings have those game scores-Park beat Wayzata A 5-3 on December 3, beat Crow River 3-1 on December 23, and beat OMG A 4-0 on December 27; they tied Hopkins 1-1 on January 21).  Those three wins and one tie were added into the standings this past week plus the losses to Orono and Wayzata AA.  With St. Louis Park’s win added to the standings, the Orioles take fourth by a single point over Crow River.  Crow River and Park play Thursday in the game that will likely decide 4th place.  St. Louis Park should win and take fourth.  Wayzata A has two games left with OMG A and Armstrong they should win.  Wayzata takes 5th and Crow River takes 6th.

OMG A, Armstrong, and Hopkins are in the bottom third of the league.  Hopkins won the Faribault tourney two weekends ago beating Shakopee 6-4 in the championship game.  The Royals showed improvement in that tourney, always a good sign at the end of the season.  Armstrong hosted a 12 team peewee A tourney this week end.  They finished third in their pools (Apple Valley A finished first and Eden Prairie A second in Armstrong’s pool).

OMG A played in the Warroad tourney two weekends ago.  The Crimson played Devil’s Lake North Dakota, Springfield, and Roseau AA in pool play.  They tied Roseau AA 2-2.  OMG A should take seventh place, Hopkins eighth, and Armstrong ninth.

Hopkins beats Armstrong in the play-in game to keep eighth for the tourney.

Based on those projections, Orono would play Hopkins in the opening game of the D3 peewee A playoffs.  The Spartans team is the #4 ranked peewee A team in the state.  They have beaten Hopkins twice in D3 this year, 7-1 and 7-1 and should win again.  The second game in the upper bracket would match the #13 ranked St. Louis Park and #18 ranked Wayzata A.  These two teams have split in their two games this year, Park winning 5-3 and losing 4-1.  In a tough game, the Orioles edge Wayzata A.  The Trojan A’s have been rising in NOW’s peewee A pool the past month.

Based on the predicted finish, the Minneapolis Storm would play OMG A in the first game of the lower bracket.   The Storm placed second in pool play at Breezy Point’s tourney this past weekend.  They beat Northfield 10-0, beat Andover A 5-0 and lost to Wayzata A 2-1.  The championship semifinals Saturday, the Storm beat Spring Lake Park 4-1 and Sunday beat Wayzata A 2-1 to win the title.  OMG A is another team with talent and size that has struggle all season long.  They lost to the Storm twice in D3 play 6-3 and 6-2.  The 6-2 loss was two weeks ago.  The Storm wins.

In the second game in the lower bracket, Mound/Westonka plays Crow River.  The Tigers are struggling in late January and did not have a good Red Wing tourney two weekends ago, losing to the host 3-2.  Both teams have size and talent, but the Tigers can’t match the Whitehawks’ strength and speed at forward.  Mound/Westonka wins.

The semifinal round would match Orono and St. Louis Park.  Park wins.  In the second semifinal, Mound/Westonka beats the Storm.  Two weekends ago, the Whitehawks lost a tough game to St. Vital Winnipeg 5-4 in Inver Grove Heights Championship game.  This time in the D3 championship game, the Whitehawks win.  Mound/Westonka gets the #1 seed and St. Louis Park gets the #2 seed.  Wayzata A emerges from the loser bracket to take the #3 seed.

District 10 (Three Peewee A regional seeds/five Peewee AA regional seeds)

District 10 has two separate peewee leagues this year.  The Peewee AA league is an 8 team league and the Peewee A league is an 8 team league.  Each team at the peewee AA/A level played 22 league games this year, 7 home and home games with teams in their league and a single game with the teams in the other league.

D10 regular season play ends this week.  The final league games are played on this Wednesday.

The D10 handbook outlines the playoff format for a tournament that sends three teams to the regionals.  It appears they will use the same format as D3 peewee A and send the third place game loser to the South regional as the #4 seed.

D8 has been told by Minnesota Hockey that they cannot give their fourth seed to the winner of the third place game.  D8 has the two losing teams in the second round of the single elimination side of the playoffs playing for their 5th seed to the regionals (West Regional).

D10 resolution of who earns D10’s fifth seed is not clear at this point.  The D10 handbook only refers to regional seeding of up to 4 teams.

District 10 Peewee A

With league play ending this week, the D10 seedings to their eight team peewee A playoffs are sorted out.  Spring Lake Park will take the #1 seed.  They won the league easily and are the only peewee A team with a winning D10 record.

Coon Rapids and Centennial A are separated by a single point in a race for second place.  Each team has one game left to play and both teams are favored to win.  Centennial should edge Coon Rapids for second place.  Coon Rapids takes third.

The North Country Blue Devils A (NCBD A) is locked into fourth.  NCBD A beat Irondale AA 3-2 last weekend.  Chisago Lakes A takes fifth and sixth place goes to Andover A.  Elk River A can tie Andover A with a win over Coon Rapids on Wednesday, but Andover A has the edge on sixth.  Seventh goes to the Elks and Blaine A takes eighth place.

Based on the D10 format, the playoffs opening game would have Spring Lake Park playing Blaine A.  The Panthers have beaten Blaine A twice this season, 5-0 in November and 5-0 in December.  The Panthers are playing well in January and Blaine A continues to struggle.  Spring Lake Park wins.

The second game in the playoffs would match NCBD A against Chisago Lakes.  The Blue Devils hold two D10 wins over Chisago Lakes 2-0 and 4-0.  They played in the Chisago Lakes tourney two weekends ago and tied and beat D10 rival Irondale AA 2-1 in the championship game.  NCBD wins.

In the first game of the lower bracket Centennial A should play Elk River A.  The Cougars beat the Elks 4-0 in the early season and beat them again 7-2 in late January in D10 games.  Centennial wins again.  The second lower bracket game would match Coon Rapids A and Andover A.   The Rapids beat Andover A 3-0  early in the season.  They have lost four tough games in late January, but show improvement.  The Cougars beat Andover.

In the first semifinal game, NCBD would play Spring Lake Park.  Spring Lake Park beat NCBD in November 3-2.  The two teams play each other in their last D10 game of the season this week.  NCBD A wins.  In the second semifinal game Coon Rapids would play Centennial A.  Coon Rapids edged Centennial 2-0 in a D10 game in mid-January.  In the D10 playoffs, Coon Rapids wins again.

Coon Rapids and NCBD A would battle for the D10 playoff championship.  NCBD A wins, the Blue Devils are playing better as the regular season ends.   NCBD A get the #1 seed to the West Regional, Coon Rapids the #2 seed.  Spring Lake Park wins the third place game for the #3 seed.

District 10 Peewee AA

On the peewee AA side, every year in the regular season play, Elk River and Centennial top peewee A’s have battled with a third team from another association for the D10 title.  It is no different this year in D10’s AA peewee league.  The third team in 2013 is Andover AA.

Elk River has the top spot locked up.  With a single game left on their schedule against Centennial, the Elks can’t be caught even if they lose to the Cougars.  However, Centennial needs to beat the Elks to take second place.  Andover has a single game left with Irondale.  A Huskie win and a Centennial loss would put second out of reach for the Cougars.  The first three teams should be Elk River AA #1, Centennial AA #2,and Andover AA #3.

Blaine has the fourth spot locked up.  Champlin Park gets the #5 seed.  Irondale gets the #6 seed and Anoka the #7 seed.  Rogers is locked into an eighth place finish.

Elk River AA, as the #1 seed, would open the D10 AA playoffs against Rogers AA.  The #5 ranked Elks have had a good January but have passed on playing in tourney in January.  Instead the Elks have focused on winning D10 games.  They have not played one game outside of D10.  It worked.

The Elks have lost only one D10 game this season, to Blaine AA 2-1 last week.  Rogers AA has struggled all season.  They had a good Orono Tourney in early December and played well at Inver Grove Heights last weekend.  But Rogers AA just have not won inside D10.  They lost to the Elks 3-0 in early January and could upend the Elks in the playoff opener.  Elks win,
The second game of the day in the D10 playoffs would match Blaine AA and Champlin Park AA.  Blaine AA has been steadily improving.  After beating Elk River AA last week 2-1, the Bengals beat Irondale AA 8-1.  Blaine AA wins.

The lower bracket matches NOW #4 ranked Centennial AA and Anoka AA in the first game.  Centennial AA beat Anoka AA 8-3 early in the season and 6-1 two weeks ago.  Centennial AA defense is improving.  Early in the season, the Cougars gave up 30 goals in five games.  In their last five games played, Centennial has given up 4 goals.  Anoka AA struggled in their tourney, losing to MAML AA 2-0 in their opening game.  At St. Cloud, they looked like pool winners but were upended by Sartell A 3-0 and lost to Stevens Point 5-1.  They are a better team.  Still, Centennial AA wins.

Andover AA and Irondale AA would play in the second game of the lower bracket on opening day.  Andover AA is one of those mystery teams.  In their “sort of” first game against Wayzata AA, the Huskies look like a team that could play hockey.  They surprised at mid-season having a good Bemidji tourney and then sort of disappeared until they ended up this past week in the middle of the D10 title chase.  Andover beat Irondale 3-2 in the middle of December.

Irondale won the New Ulm tourney early this month beating New Prague 5-0.  The Trojans had just beaten Edina A.  The Knights are not a mystery, they are an enigma.  A mystery always has a surprise, an enigma remains a puzzle.  The Knights beat Blaine 4-3 two weeks ago, and then lost to the same team 8-1 last week.  Andover AA wins.

Blaine has been improving and in the semifinals they prove it.  The Bengals beat Elk River in the first semifinal.  Centennial AA rolls against Andover AA in the second semifinal game.  Centennial AA beats Blaine AA to take D10’s #1 seed to the West Regional.  Blaine AA takes the #2 seed West.

In the two games that will be two great games to see, Rogers AA edges Champlin Park AA to eliminate the Rebels from the regionals.  Anoka AA beats Irondale AA to send the Knights home.  Elk River AA beats Anoka AA and Andover AA beats Rogers AA.  Elk River AA beats Andover AA in the third place game to take the D10’s #3 seed to the West.  Andover AA gets the #4 seed to the South Regional where they will play Rochester Red (D9 #1 seed).  By some means, Anoka gets the #5 seed to the North where they will play Roseau (projected to be D16’s #2 seed).

If you have followed all that, congratulations, you have aced the course.  To summarize, Centennial AA gets the #1 seed, Blaine AA gets the #2 seed, Elk River AA gets the #3 seed, Andover AA gets the #4 seed, and Anoka AA (by some means) gets the #5 seed.

District 15 (Two Peewee A regional seeds/two Peewee AA regional seeds)

District 15 Peewee AA

District 15 has two peewee AA teams this year, Brainerd and Moorhead.  They played a home and home series.  Brainerd beat Moorhead 3-0 early in the season and beat Moorhead 5-3 in early January to go win the title.  It appears they will not have a Peewee AA playoff.

Often D15 rewards the regular season champion the option of playing in the tourney or taking the #1 seed.  If the regular season champs decide to play in the district playoffs, they will not be guaranteed the #1 seed, but will be guaranteed the lowest seed.  Last year Fergus Falls was the regular season champion but was also hosting the D15 peewee A playoffs in their new rink.

The Otters opted to play and won the #1 seed.

With no AA playoffs, Brainerd gets D15’s #1 seed to the West Regional.  Moorhead gets the #2 seed.

District 15 Peewee A

District 15 has planned for an 8 team tourney.  They do have 8 teams in the league, but teams will sometimes opt out.  The tourney format is the one recommended by Minnesota Hockey for districts that have two seeds to the regional.  It adds a game to the format recommended to districts that have three seeds that matches the loser of the championship game with the winner of the third place game for the #2 seed.

Fergus Falls is ranked #6 in YHH’s peewee A poll and is unbeaten in D15 play with a 12-0 record.  The Otters have two games left to play.  They lead Detroit Lakes by 5 points after the Lakers lost last week to Little Falls 6-5. The Lakers can’t catch the Otters.  They play the Otters in one of their last two games and can close the gap, but the Lakers would need all sorts of help.

Alexandria plays Fergus Falls in the Otters’ other game.  Alexandria trails by 6 points and play Moorhead A and Detriot Lakes also next week.  The Otters should win the league title.

The Cardinals have three 15 games left to play, but are not likely to catch the Otters either.  Alex is in a good position to take second, leaving Detroit Lakes to third place.  Little Falls is likely to take fourth and Brainerd A fifth.  Northern Lakes has sixth place.  Moorhead A takes seventh and Park Rapids takes eighth.

The D15 Peewee A tourney will be played February 15-17 in Park Rapids.  Fergus Falls would open the tourney playing the host Park Rapids.  The Otters beat the Rapids 9-1 and 11-2 over the holidays in D15 games this year.  Park Rapids has been improving and could give the Otters a battle in front of the home crowd.  Fergus Falls wins.

The second playoff game in the upper bracket matches Little Falls and Brainerd A.  The Flyers have improved over the past few months, but so has Brainerd A.  The Warriors beat the Flyers 3-2 in their first game and tied the Flyers 3-3 in the second game they played.  The Flyers win.

Alexander and Moorhead A play the first game of the lower bracket.  Alex beat Moorhead A 7-1 earlier in the season and the two teams play each other next week.  Alex wins.  In the second game of the lower bracket, Detroit Lakes plays Northern Lakes in the battle of the lakes.  Northern Lakes has lost twice to Detroit Lakes 3-1 this season.  The Lightning lose again.

Fergus Falls beats Little Falls in the first semifinal game, Alexandria beats Detroit Lakes.  In the D15 peewee A playoff championship game, Fergus Falls wins to take the #1 seed.  Alexandria plays Little Falls for the #2 seed.  Little Falls wins.

West Regional Tourneys Draw

If the peewee A teams win as predicted, then the first round of the West A Regional would look like this:

Fergus Falls (D15 #1) would play Spring Lake Park (D10 #3) in the first game on Friday, March 1.  North Country Blue Devils (D10  #1) would play St. Louis Park (D3 #2) in the second game of the upper bracket.  In the lower bracket, Mound/Westonka (D3 #1) would play Little Falls (D15 #2).  Coon Rapids (D10 #2) would play Wayzata A (D3 #3).

If the peewee AA teams win as predicted, then the first round of the West AA Regional would look like this:

Brainerd AA (D15 #1) would play Elk River AA (D10 #3) in the first game on Friday, March 1.  Centennial AA (D10 #1) would play Osseo/Maple Grove AA (D3 #2).  In the lower bracket, Wayzata AA (D3 #1) would play Moorhead AA (D15 #2).  In the final game, Blaine AA (D10 #2) would play Eagan AA (D8 #5).
If you got this far in the read, thanks for hanging in.

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