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Another Way to look at Peewee A (and AA) North Region

By frederick61, 01/30/13, 7:15AM CST


Grand Rapids AA defender Brandon Howsen just misses batting the Wayzata goal out of the net in the Thunderhawks loss at Eden Prairie’s Thanksgiving Day Tourney

Note: The East Regional write up posted earlier this week is formatted by district (D2, D6, and D8 and within each district the peewee AA and peewee A teams are discussed).  This post has two sections; North Peewee AA Regional and North Peewee A Regional because the North has fewer teams playing AA and A peewee.  The North Region is truly a north regional this year.  The three most northern districts in the state are playing in the regional tourney (District 11, District 12, and District 16).

North Peewee AA Regional (played at Bemidji March 1-3)

The field is almost set for the North AA Regional tourney.  It was set mostly last October when the associations in the districts in the North AA Regional tourney decided on what peewee teams they would field at what level.

The associations decisions resulted in only seven AA peewee teams being fielded this year  in all three North Regional districts.

District 16 has two AA teams this year, Roseau AA and Bemidji AA.  Both teams will be playing in the North Regional.  District 11 has three AA teams, Cloquet, Duluth East, and Hermantown.  All three teams will be playing in the North Regional.  District 12 has two AA teams playing in the North Regional, Grand Rapids AA and Hibbing AA.

The eighth team in the North Regional will be D10’s #5 team (projected to be Anoka or Irondale).

Setting confusion aside about how the northern districts will decide on their AA playoffs, the seedings can be determined by relative strength of the teams shown this season.

Grand Rapids should get the #1 seed in D12.  The Thunderhawks are ranked #10 in the state and have a 25-8-0 record on the season.  They beat Duluth East 8-1, Brainerd 7-5, and Hermantown 4-0 last week.  Hibbing AA has struggled all season, but continue to improve.  They have lost big to Grand Rapids early in the season.  The Bluejackets take the #2 seed in D12.

In D16, Bemidji is the favorite to take the #1 seed.  The Lumberjacks have struggled in January losing twice to Grand Rapids 8-1 and 5-3, losing to Moorhead AA 5-0, and East Grand Forks 7-6.  They did beat Brainerd 3-2.  But they hold two D16 wins over Roseau,  4-2 in early December and 5-1 in early November.

Note: In one of the more interesting games this week, Bemidji plays Owatonna at the Cloquet Barn Burner.  Bemidji is leading in D16 and Owatonna is in second place in D9.

Roseau gets D16’s #2 seed.  Roseau lost to White Bear Lake last week in the championship game of the Warroad Tourney.  They are an up and down team.  They beat a tough Blaine AA team 4-2 in their tourney and then next week tied Osseo/Maple Grove A 2-2 at Warroad.

Sometimes, districts can be a mystery and this year D11 certainly qualifies.  Duluth East is the top ranked D11 team (#12 in the YHH poll), but trail Hermantown (ranked #27) in regular season play.  The two teams play each other in a D11 game in two weeks that will decide first place.  Hermantown beat Duluth East 4-3 in their first D11 game played in early December.  Both teams are struggling as the year ends.  Duluth East will play in the Moose Goheen tourney this week.  The draw Osseo/Maple Grove AA, Centennial AA, and Eden Prairie AA in pool play and will be tested.

Duluth East gets the #1 seed.  Hermantown and Cloquet play in Cloquet’s Barn Burner this week end (a 16 team AA/A tourney).  Hermantown draws Sartell and Cloquet draws Brainerd A in opening bracket play.

Hermantown gets the #2 seed and Cloquet gets seeded #3 for the North Regional.

The opening round draw for the North Regional should look like this.  Grand Rapids (D12 #1) plays Cloquet (D11 #3) and Bemidji (D16 #1) plays Hermantown (D11 #2) in the upper bracket.  In the lower bracket, Duluth East (D11 #1) plays Hibbing (D12 #2) and Roseau (D16 #2) plays Anoka or Irondale (D10 #5).

North Peewee A Regional (Played at Two Harbors, March 1-3)

D11, D12, and D16 have four peewee A teams in their District.
Proctor is leading D11’s Peewee A league and has a lock on the regular season championship and the #1 seed.  Duluth Denfeld has second place sewed up, Duluth East A has third and Hermantown A has fourth place.

Three D11 teams advance to the North A Regional.  Proctor should be the #1 seed once the D11 playoffs are decided and Denfeld should emerge as the #2 seed.  Duluth East A and Hermantown A should fight it out for the third seed.  The two teams have split two games this season Duluth East A winning 4-2 and losing 2-1.  The East A team lost to Highland 6-3 last week.  Still they should beat Hermantown A and look to be on the upswing taking the #3 seed to the North.

D16 has four peewee A teams this year, Thief River Falls, Crookston, East Grand Forks, and Warroad.  East Grand Forks has struggled all year.  They did not play well in their tourney in November.  At Roseau’s tourney, they were hammered four times losing to Osseo/Maple Grove AA 17-1, Lakville North AA 8-4, Brainerd AA 11-4 and Chaska AA 7-0.

On the same weekend of the Roseau Tourney, Thief River Falls was playing well in the hockey pool (not hotel) at St. Cloud.  The Prowlers pushed Hastings before losing 7-4 and pushed Stevens Point Wisconsin before  losing 6-5.  They were beaten by Mounds View 8-2 and pushed Burnsville in the getaway game before losing 4-3 at the Center Ice Classic.

Crookston took third place at Brainerd’s tourney in early December splitting two pool games, losing to Blaine AA 9-0 and beating Chisago Lakes A 4-1.  They beat a third D10 team, NCBD A 3-1 for the third spot.  At Bemidji’s Paul Bunyan, the Pirates lost to Grand Rapids 11-2, tied Rogers 2-2, and lost to the Grand Forks Greyhounds 7-2.  They beat Fort Francis in bracket play 3-1.

Warroad has struggled also.  They played in Roseau’s tourney two weeks ago.  Roseau played in their tourney last week.  At Roseau, Warroad lost to Minnetonka AA 9-0, Edina AA 12-0 and Hermantown 11-1.  In their own tourney last week, they lost to New Prague 6-2.

The D16 peewee A playoff format has not been posted and their standings are updated randomly in some years.  This is a random update year.  East Grand Forks should get the #1 seed to the North Peewee A Regional.  Thief River Falls should get the #2 seed, especially if they continue to improve.  That leaves Crookston and Warroad to fight it out for the #3 seed.  The nod here goes to Warroad.

Virginia leads District 12’s four team peewee A league.  They have beaten International Falls twice in league play 10-1 and 8-1.  They have beaten Greenway 8-1 and have one more league game left with Greenway.  At the Paul Bunyan tourney, the Blue Devils lost to Brainerd 12-5, Eagan 9-5, and beat Keweenaw Michigan 6-1 in pool play.  In bracket play they beat Marquette Michigan 10-7 and lost to Cloquet 4-3 in the Blue Ox championship game.

Eveleth is in second place.  The Golden Bears/Buccaneers/Blackhawks (and you can throw in the Biwabik Braves and the Palo Milkers if you are an old time ranger and can remember District 27) are in second place in D12 peewee A.  They lost to Greenway last week 5-3 and that loss throws the D12 race for second place up in the air.  International Falls is locked into last place.  The Broncos are not likely to catch either Eveleth or Greenway.

If the season ends as predicted above, the opening games played at Eveleth February 16-17 matches Virginia against International Falls and Eveleth against Greenway.  Virginia beats the Broncos and the Bears beat Greenway.  In the Championship game, Virginia beats Eveleth to take the #1 seed to Two Harbors.

Greenway beats International Falls to eliminate the Broncos.  Eveleth beats Greenway in the game for the #2 seed.

 Virginia and Eveleth roll down Highway 61 to Two Harbors sans Bob Dylan.  Then, they take Highway 16 east towards Palo.

The opening round draw for the North Peewee A Regional should look like this.  Virginia (D12 #1) plays Warroad (D16 #3) and East Grand Forks (D16 #1) plays Denfeld (D11 #2) in the upper bracket.  In the lower bracket, Proctor (D11 #1) plays Eveleth (D12 #2) and Thief River Falls (D16 #2) plays Duluth East A (D11 #3).

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