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Roseville Peewee AA beats North St. Paul 6-1

By frederick61, 01/12/13, 2:00AM CST


Roseville’s goalie Ben Herman wins the battle with North St. Paul’s Cole McCarver

The word development takes on more meaning this time of the year. Teams often emerge like a deer walking out of the woods in the evening sunset.  You don’t see them until they are standing in front of you.

Roseville’s peewee AA and North St. Paul’s peewee A are two of those teams this year.  Roseville has won 8 of their last 9 games to bring their season record to 17-7-3.  They have quietly moved to the #20 ranking in the YHH Peewee AA poll.

After winning only 5 of their first 16 games, the Polars are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and have climbed to #19 in YHH’s Peewee A rankings.

And the Polars have moved from the bottom of District 2 to a virtual 3 way tie for third place going into tonight’s game with Roseville.  The Raiders have won 8 of their last nine games and have moved up in D2 also.  They are tied with North St. Paul for third place.

Last night’s game between Roseville and North St. Paul is the first meeting between the two teams.

It turned out to be a great game for 2 ½ periods.

The first minute of the opening period was all North St. Paul.  They struck right off the face off and had a number of scoring chances down low around the crease but were unable to beat Roseville goalie Kyle Roy.

Roseville regain control of the puck after the initial Polar attack, moved the puck into the Polar’s zone and scored.  A shot from the left faceoff managed to trickle through the Polar goalies pads and end up stopped on the goal line in the corner of the net.  A Roseville forward was the first stick there and he scored the shorted goal possible.  The puck traveled the width of the puck for the goal.  Roseville led 1-0.

The remainder of the first period was just a nicely played game between two evenly matched teams.  Both teams held their positions well, they moved the puck with purpose, countered the opposition moves, and took advantage of opportunities.  Roseville goalie Roy and the Polars’ goalie Ben Herman played well in the nets.

There were no penalties and few stoppages.

With less than 30 seconds on the clock, Roseville scored again.  A shot from the blue line area, low on the ice, was deflected twice on its path to the net.  The second deflection put it into the right corner of the net past a committed Polar goalie.  Roseville led 2-0.

The great game continued in the second period.  Both teams moved the puck well.  The first period was played at a fast pace, the second period was even faster.  The puck was often handled by six or seven players in a few seconds as the two teams countered the other’s moves.

At the 8 minute mark, Roseville started to pressure the Polars in the Polars’ zone.  The Raiders were beginning to use their size in the corners to beat the Polar defense and attack the net.  In a flurry of shots on the Polar goal, a rebound came to Teague Bogenholm who banged the puck in the upper part of the net from the top of the crease left.  The Raiders led 3-0.

At the 4 minute mark, the Polars scored to cut the lead to 3-1.  The Polars’ Cole McCarver picked up a rebounding puck on the left side of the Raider’s net and fired the puck into the goal.

The game pace became hectic.  When the Raiders drew a slashing penalty, the Polars were set to attack on the power play.  The Raiders did something unusual on the penalty kill.  Whether planned or not, they dumped the puck into the Polar zone and went into a 4 player box inside the Polar’s zone.  Imagine a penalty kill box 120 feet in front of the goalie.

It worked.  The Raiders bottled the Polars in the North St. Paul zone and killed the penalty.  The second period ended with Roseville leading 3-1.

For the first half of the third period, the game pace was fast as both teams continued their great play.    It was marked by two great saves.  The first was made by the Raiders’ Roy.  On the attack, a Polar wing on the left side fed the puck to a breaking  Polar center who one timed the puck at the middle right of the net.  Roy made an excellent leg pad save kicking the puck midair out of the net.

North St. Paul’s goalie Herman came up big on a 2-on-0 rush a minute later making a save on a point blank shot on the breakaway.

At the 5 minute mark, the Raiders scored to clinch the game.  Their goal came off a rush where a lead Roseville forward cut to the net and the puck carrier moved behind the cutting forward.  The cut created a screen in front of the Polar net and the puck carrier put the puck into the net.  It was a nice play and it clinched the game for Roseville by giving them a 4-1 lead.

A minute later, Roseville scored on a breakaway to take a 5-1.  As the game was winding down, Roseville scored on another nice play.  This time they worked a give and go except the player receiving the puck went high in the Polar zone after making the initial pass.  The receiver took the pass coming down the right slot, but instead of shooting, he made a nifty pass to left weak side for the goal.  It was like watching an Edina team play.

The game ended 6-1.  For 2 ½ periods, it was a great game.  Both teams have improved since the season started and both teams will go in different directions at playoff time a month from now.

District 2 has 9 peewee AA/A teams playing this year.  Five teams are from associations classified as AA this year (Forest Lake, Mounds View, Roseville, Stillwater, and White Bear Lake).  Four teams are from associations classified as A this year (North St. Paul, Tartan, Highland, and Mahtomedi).

Normally, D2 uses the 8 team double elimination format and has the lower teams play-in for the last seeds.  Play-in games are played before D2 regular playoffs.  Minnesota Hockey’s handbook recommends an 8 team tourney format for that yields 2 or 3 seeds in a weekend’s play to constrain costs.  D2 uses that format, except D2 spreads their 8 team format out over a week.

If D2 abandons the 8 team format and splits into two tourney’s, AA and A; the 5 team AA double elimination tourney will become complex and have to be spread out over multiple nights driven in part by the 4 hour rule between games.  District 11 has used a 5 team double elimination tourney that yields three seeds in the past.  D11 tourney gets spread out over multiple nights.

D2′s four team peewee A playoff can be equally complex.  D8 has four peewee A teams and has a simple four team single elimination format because they have three seeds.  The team out will lose two games.  But D2 has only two seeds and will have to modify the D8 approach to eliminate two of the four teams.

The finish in the standings determine the seeds to the tourney (first place gets the #1 seed, etc).  If you take the D2 standings going into to tonight’s games and assume they split the into two tourneys, then you would have White Bear Lake playing the winner of Mounds View and Forest Lake on one side of a 5 team double elimination AA bracket; Stillwater playing Roseville on the other side.  In the peewee A tourney, Highland or North St. Paul would play Tartan and Highland or North St. Paul would play Mahtomedi.

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