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White Bear Lake (Peewee AA) Tourney Preview

By frederick61, 01/30/13, 7:00AM CST


Unbeaten and NOW ranked #1 Edina AA plays #16 ranked Lakeville North in the White Bear Lake Moose Goheen opening game tonight (Thursday)

They’re back.  Eight of the teams that played last year’s White Bear Lake Moose Goheen Peewee A tourney are back this year including NOW #1 ranked and unbeaten Edina AA.  Joining Edina AA is defending Moose Goheen Champion #4 ranked Centennial AA and last year’s State Peewee A State Champions #13 ranked Prior Lake AA.  Prior Lake did not play in last year’s tourney.

Other returnees are Duluth East AA, Minnetonka AA, Eden Prairie AA, Osseo/Maple Grove AA, and Woodbury AA in addition to the host White Bear Lake AA team.

New to the tourney this year is Andover AA, Lakeville North AA, and Champlin Park AA.

Four D6 teams, two D8 teams, three D10 teams, one D3 teams and one D12 team is entered.  The three top D6 AA teams (Edina, Eden Prairie, and Minnetonka); the two teams fighting for the D10 AA title (Andover and Centennial); the top D3 peewee AA/A team Osseo/Maple Grove; one of the top three D8 peewee A teams (Lakeville North-Woodbury is not far behind); and one of the two top D11 peewee AA/A teams (Duluth East) make it quite a field.  Host White Bear Lake AA has a lock on the D2 peewee A title.

Champions all.

The tourney starts Thursday evening, January 31 with two games at Vadnais Heights and ends Sunday, February 3.  Games are played over the weekend at Vadnais Heights and White Bear Sports Center.

Pool A (#1 Edina, #20 Andover, #14 Minnetonka, and #16 Lakeville North)

Edina AA opens pool play on Thursday against Lakeville North.  The #1 ranked Hornets are 40-0-0 on the season and are after their fifth tourney championship this year.  Since beating Eden Prairie in 8-3 in the Roseau Championship game, Edina has beaten Minnetonka 4-0 in D6 play.

Lakeville North is an improving team, but still needs to be more consistent in their play during the game.  Their forwards are starting to gel.  The Panthers pushed #3 ranked Eastview before losing 2-1 in a D8 game last week.  They beat Farmington 2-0 and tied Prior Lake AA (also in the tourney) 3-3 on the weekend.  Edina wins.

Andover AA and Minnetonka AA play in the second Pool A game Friday evening.  This game matches the NOW ranked #14 Skippers and the #20 ranked Huskies.

Andover has been an up and down team this year.  The Huskies beat Centennial 5-3 in a D10 game in early January and lost to Cloquet last weekend 5-4.  Minnetonka can match the roller coaster season that Andover has had.  The Skippers beat good teams and then lose big to good teams (Osseo/Maple Grove AA 10-8, Lakeville South AA 7-4, Wayzata AA 6-2).  If the Skippers can get their defense going, they will be tough the rest of the year.  Against the Huskies, they should play good enough “d” to win.

The White Bear Lake organizers must have felt the only way to blemish Edina AA’s record is to have them play an early morning game.  The Hornets play Minnetonka at 7:15 AM Saturday in what could be the best game of the tourney.  The Hornets have feasted on their neighboring Skippers this year beating them five times.  Statistically, the Skippers have accounted for 12% of the Hornets wins.  A loss Saturday morning will push that to 15%.  Skipper fans better bring the aspirin with the coffee Saturday morning, Edina wins again.

Lakeville North and Andover tangle in the second Pool A game Saturday morning at 8:45 AM.  Lakeville North beat Andover 4-3 in the Eden Prairie Thanksgiving Day tourney.  That was ages ago to a peewee kid.  Still Lakeville looks to be on the up side, Panthers win.

Saturday evening, Edina and Andover tangle.  Edina wins to sweep the pool and takes the#1 to the championship round.  Minnetonka beats Lakeville North.

Pool B (#29 Champlin Park, #13 Prior Lake, #28 Woodbury, and #15 White Bear Lake)

The B and C pools are tough to predict.  If one were to choose the tougher it would be this one.  White Bear Lake and Champlin Park open play in this pool Thursday night at Vadnais.  This will be the first game of the season between these two teams.  Champlin Park has spent January beating the teams they should beat and losing to the teams they should compete with.  As a result, the Rebels January record of 6-3 reflects that.  They beat Centennial A, Elk River A, and Andover A teams easily; but lost to Eastview AA 6-0, Elk River AA 6-0, and Andover AA 6-2.  That says their defense plays just good enough to win the games they should win.

White Bear Lake AA looked really impressive in their game against Wayzata AA at the Eden Prairie Tourney.  They beat the Trojans 4-2, but then lost to Grand Rapids in the evening 6-3.  Against Grand Rapids, there may have been too much orange and white on the ice.  The Bears have been on a run in late January beating Centennial AA 5-3 and Highland A 8-0.  They won the Warroad Tourney last weekend beating Roseau 8-3 in the championship game.  Before they left for Roseau, they lost to Wayzata AA 4-2.

The Bears should best Champlin Park Thursday.

Friday evening Prior Lake AA plays Woodbury AA.  The Lakers beat Woodbury in mid-January 7-2 and has played well since.  They have tied three games since then (Jefferson AA 1-1, Wayzata AA 3-3, and Lakeville North 3-3) and lost to Edina AA 9-2.  Woodbury AA took second at the St. Cloud Center Ice Classic two weekends ago and has been playing well. In a tough game, Woodbury AA wins.

Saturday morning at 7:30 AM, Woodbury AA hangs on to beat Champlin Park.  Prior Lake beats White Bear Lake.  That evening in the first game Prior Lake beats Champlin Park.  That makes the last Pool B game between Woodbury AA and White Bear Lake AA the decider.  White Bear Lake upends the Predators throwing the pool into a three way tie between the Bears, the Lakers and the Predators.

The maximum of six goals per game differential is likely to be the tie breaker and White Bear Lake. because they should hand Champlin Park the worst beating. advances.  The Rebels may have something to say about this prediction.

Pool C (#9 Osseo/Maple Grove AA, #12 Duluth East AA, #4 Centennial AA, and #18 Eden Prairie AA)

Pool C opens play Friday evening with OMG AA playing Eden Prairie AA.  These two teams opened their season playing each other in mid-October.  Eden Prairie won 2-1.  OMG beat Eden Prairie 5-3 in mid-December.  Eden Prairie beat OMG AA 6-3 at the Edina Invitational New Year’s Week End.  The two teams tied 4-4 in early January.

It fits that they should play each other the first week in February.  OMG AA wins.

Duluth East plays Centennial in the second game Friday night.  East has played some tough teams in the past two weeks and has played them tough.  East pulled a surprise at Roseau beating #2 ranked Lakeville South 5-2 in the opening game.  But since then they lost to Moorhead 9-7, tied Eden Prairie 7-7.  Earlier in January they beat Eden Prairie 9-7 and lost to Brainerd 7-6.

Defense is not part of the Greyhounds game plan.

Centennial’s play features a tough defense.  In 45 games this season, the Cougars have given up more than five goals four times.  In most of the games the Cougar opponent scores 2 or less.  No surprises this time, Centennial defense beats the Greyhounds high scoring offense.  Centennial wins.

 Saturday morning, Centennial AA plays OMG AA.  It will be the first time the two teams have played each other.  In another close game, Centennial wins.  Duluth East and Eden Prairie have another high scoring exciting game, the Greyhounds win.  Saturday evening, Centennial beats Eden Prairie to win the pool championship.  OMG AA beats Duluth East.
Minnetonka takes the wild card seed.

Championship Sunday

Edina opens playing Minnetonka at 8:00 AM going for their 7th win over the Skippers.  The Hornets lose.  Not because they play badly.  They lose partly because the Skippers have had enough with losing to the Hornets.  In the other semifinal game, Centennial plays White Bear Lake.  Centennial beats the Bears and goes on to beat the Skippers in the Championship game.  Centennial is a repeat Champion.

Should be a great tourney.

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