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Are You ready to Rumble?

By frederick61, 01/22/13, 11:45AM CST


Prior Lake’s #6 Chase Gackle’s shot rebounds left in the Lakers loss to Edina AA two weeks ago

This week seems like a Woodbury week in youth hockey.  The Peewee A team made it to the finals of the St. Cloud Center Ice Classic championship game played Monday morning.  Tuesday, the Woodbury Rumble Bantam AA and Bantam A tourney opens with NOW ranked #3 Prior Lake Bantam AA team playing #17 ranked Chaska/Chanhassen AA in the opening game of an 8 team bantam AA tourney.  The game will be played at Bielenberg Arena starting at 8:15 PM Tuesday night (tonight).

The Woodbury Association has fielded a bantam AA and a bantam A team this year.  Each will host a separate tourney. The Woodbury AA team, in a battle for the top spot in District 8 Bantam A league with Lakeville South AA, Rosemount AA, Farmington AA, and Lakeville North AA, hosts seven teams led by NOW ranked #3 Prior Lake/Savage and the Oklahoma Oil Kings Bantam Gold.

The Woodbury A team, in last place in the same bantam A league as the Woodbury AA team, hosts an eight team field led by two of the NOW ranked top three bantam A teams, #1 ranked Wayzata A and #3 ranked Edina A.

The 9 team Bantam A tourney will be played simultaneously with the 8 team Bantam AA tourney over this coming week.  The bantam A tourney has 8 A teams entered; Eastview AA is the ninth team.  Games will be played at Bielenberg Arena in Woodbury, Cottage Grove Arena, and Harding Arena in St. Paul.

One of the surprising entries in the Rumble’s Bantam AA tourney is the Oklahoma City Oil Kings Bantam Gold.  This is the second Oil King team to play in a Minnesota hockey tourney this winter.  The Oil King’s peewee team had a good Edina Peewee A Invitational tourney a month ago.  The Oil Kings play in the Dallas Stars Traveling Hockey League.

Bantam AA Tourney

The Bantam AA tourney is split into two pools of four teams each.  The top two teams advance as the #1 and #2 teams to the championship semifinal games played Sunday morning.

The Royal Pool has teams from Brainerd, Chaska Chanhassen, Oklahoma City, and Prior Lake/Savage.  The Black Pool has Jefferson, Forest Lake, MAML, and Woodbury.

Royal Pool

Prior Lake opens tourney play on Tuesday (tonight) against Chaska.  The Lakers are currently in first place in the District 6 Bantam AA league and are likely to win the league.  Jefferson and Chaska are in the same league as Prior Lake and are in a battle with each other for sixth or seventh place.

The Lakers have beaten Chaska twice in D6 play, 3-2 and 6-4.  This will be the third meeting between the two teams.  In hockey, it becomes increasingly harder for a team to continuously beat another, but in this case, the Lakers win a third game.

The Oil Kings are in the middle of the Dallas Stars Traveling Hockey league standings.  A number of the Oil Kings were on a national peewee championship team in 2011.

Oklahoma City draws Brainerd in a noon game on Friday at Bielenberg Arena.  Brainerd AA is one of two teams in District 15’s AA Bantam league (Moorhead is the other).  The D15 AA league has completed their season.

All two games have been played, but no scores have been posted on the D15 site.  Most likely Moorhead won.  NOW rankings have Moorhead beating Brainerd 6-4 in one game.  The Spud teams never post their D15 scores until near the end of the season.

Brainerd has struggled this season winning only 3 games (Hutchinson A 6-4, Fergus Falls A 3-1, and Detroit Lakes A 5-1); but their defense has been playing better.  Still the Oil Kings should win.

The Oil Kings and Chaska/Chanhassen play the late game Friday at Bielenberg.  Chaska maybe at the bottom of the D6 league, but two weekends ago, they sweep four games at Roseau beating the top ranked North Dakota Bantam A team, the Bismark Generals 6-2 and beating #34 ranked Roseau, #23 ranked Champlin Park, and #6 ranked Mounds View by the identical score of 4-1.

In a tough call, the Oil Kings edge the Hawks to assure themselves of a seed to the championship round on Sunday.  Prior Lake/Savage beats Brainerd in the other pool game Friday night.

That sets up a Royal Pool championship game between Prior Lake and Oklahoma City played at Harding.  The Harding rink is a nice simple clean single sheet rink of the type that built Minnesota Hockey.  It is also noted for the temperature inside the rink area (a fan has to be in the rink area to watch the game) approximates the outside temperature.  Saturday’s outside temperature will be around 0 degrees F.

And people thought Minnesota kids were just fast skaters.  Need to skate fast in Minnesota to keep warm.  The Lakers win to take the #1 seed, the Oil Kings take the #2 seed.  Hope the Oil Kings bring blankets.

Black Pool

NOW ranked #24 Woodbury AA and #11 ranked Jefferson AA meet on Thursday in a game that will test the NOW rankings.  MAML plays Forest Lake AA Friday afternoon.  Game time is 1:35 PM at Bielenberg.

Woodbury AA, Jefferson AA, and MAML AA were all in the same bracket at the Bloomington Midwest Regional Tourney just after Christmas.  The fourth team was the Chaska AA team entered in the Royal Pool.

Woodbury AA won the bracket beating Chaska AA 4-2 and Jefferson AA 2-1.  Jefferson beat MAML 7-0 and Chaska beat MAML 5-4.  Woodbury and Jefferson tied each other 2-2 in a game last Saturday at Richfield Arena.

This game will be played at 5:20 PM at the Harding Arena, Woodbury Association’s second home.  The association is a dominant user of the rink.  That makes sense.  The rink is two blocks over and one block up from where Highway 61 dead ends on Third Street in St. Paul, that is about a 10 minute drive from most of Woodbury.

That arena will be cold and for the Jefferson team, it will be colder.  The Jags lose to Woodbury on fast hard ice.

Forest Lake and MAML battle in the second Black Pool game played Friday.  The Rangers are struggling in the 8 team District 2 Bantam A league mostly because #6 ranked Mounds View AA, #7 ranked Stillwater AA, and #2 ranked bantam A, Mahtomedi, are dominating the league.

Forest Lake is ranked #27 and has been playing well lately (they lost two tough games last weekend to Tartan 2-1-the team that won the Bloomington tourney-and to Crow River 4-3).  MAML has been playing .500 hockey and lost close games to two tough teams this past week (STMA 4-0 and St. Cloud AA 3-2).  In a tough call, Forest Lake wins.

Jefferson beats MAML again Friday night and Woodbury beats Forest Lake.  Saturday, Jefferson and Woodbury win again.  Woodbury gets the #1 seed and Jefferson gets the #2 seed.

Bantam AA Championship

The Royal Pool #1 seed plays the Black Pool #2 seed Sunday morning in a 9:00 game at Bielenberg.  That should match Prior Lake and Jefferson.  Prior Lake beat Jefferson 4-1 last Sunday in a District 6 game that kept the Lakers in position to run away from Edina and win the D6 crown.  The Lakers win again.

The Royal Pool #2 seed Oklahoma City Oil Kings and the #1 seed Woodbury AA would play a Sunday morning game at Harding with outside temperatures forecasted at 10 degrees F.  The ice will still be hard compared to other arenas.  Woodbury wins.

The host plays Prior Lake in the Championship game at Bielenberg at 5:30 Sunday evening.  The Lakers win.

The Oil Kings get to play their third game at Harding for third place against Jefferson AA Sunday afternoon.  The temperature could be a balmy 20 degrees F on a sunny afternoon; but the ice will still be hard.  Oil Kings win.

Bantom A Summary

There are three pools of three teams in the bantam A tourney.  Eastview AA, Wayzata A and Minnetonka A are in the Black Pool.  The winner of the Easview AA/Wayzata A played Thursday night should win the Black Pool.  Wayzata A should beat Eastview.

Crow River is the favorite in the Royal Pool.  The Tigers should beat Prior Lake A and Sibley A.  It is Edina A in the White Pool.  The Hornets should beat Rochester A and Woodbury A.  All three pool winners will be seeded based on points.  All three are likely to win both games.  Goal differential with a maximum of 5 goals per game is the third tie breaker and the likely decider of the seeding.

Edina is favored to win both their games by big scores and should have the largest goal differential.  The Hornets take the #1 seed.  As the #1 seed, the Hornets would get a bye.  Wayzata A and Crow River A, District 3 rivals, would play in an early Sunday game.  The winner plays Edina and the loser gets the third place trophy.

Wayzata A and Crow River A have tied each other twice in D3 play, 0-0 and 2-2.  This time there can be no tie, Wayzata A wins.

That pits the NOW #1 ranked bantam A team, Wayzata A, against the #3 ranked Edina A team.  Wayzata A owns two 3-2 wins over the Hornets, but they will not win on Sunday.  Edina A wins to shake up the NOW Bantam A rankings.

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