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Midwest Regional Bantam A Final: Tartan beats Woodbury in Backyard Brawl

By Tony Scott, 12/31/12, 1:00PM CST


Julius Huset with the game winning save to lift Tartan to Midwest Regional championship

Tartan Area is mostly defined by the communities of Maplewood and Oakdale.  Two cities that border closely to the Tartan area.  Despite not playing in the same Level (Tartan is A and Woodbury is AA) or District (Tartan is District 2 and Woodbury is District 8) these two teams know each other very well. By the time a kid hits Bantams groups of players know just about every team from every area.  Especially when your home rinks are only separated by a few miles. Tartan came into the tournament final red hot, beating highly ranked in Bantam A Sibley 3 to 2 in the opening round and then another top ten team Kennedy in the semifinals.  Woodbury defeated District 6 power Chaska/Chanhassen in the opening round 4-2 and then top ten Jefferson 2 to 1 in the semifinals.

It was a clean game from the start (only two penalties the whole game until the end)…Tartan got on the board early when super dangler Dalton Timmerman found the back of the net with a shot 3 minutes into the game.  Woodbury would get the equalizer in the second period when pint sized Tucker Kruse scored past Tartan’s Julius Huset (with assists going to Jarrod Ronquillo and Logan Welch). The game was tied heading into the third period.  Woodbury had a two to one advantage in shots at this point. Woodbury would get the lead early in the third 2 to 1 and then apply some major pressure to for the insurance goal, but Tartan goalie Julius Huset would be equal to the task.  Eventually Tartan fought back and got a game tying goal by big man Connor Brass.

Late in the third, the intensity really began to pick up.  Both teams began to throw the body around.  As the game was coming to a close a Woodbury defender hit a Tartan player from behind giving Tartan a five minute power play to end the game and into the overtime.  Woodbury killed off the penalty to end the game, but they had four more minutes to kill off in the Overtime.  They did it. Tartan had some chances, but they could not get the puck past Woodbury Goalie Parker Balfany. At the end of the Overtime, the shots were evening out, partly to the five minute penalty and partly due to the Titans all out attack.

In the shootout, the goalies stood out.  Balfany and Huset made great save after save. After four shooters, each team had one goal.  It was basically sudden death from here on out.  Would this be another marathon shootout? No. Tartan’s Jared Vejtruba scored past Balfany and showed off his celebration skills with a full ice sweep past the Woodbury bench. Woodbury superstar Kirby Rice was the last shooter….do or die.  He came in from the right circle and got Huset down with a fake and then deked left for the shot.  Huset was there for the save…and a big win for Tartan over Woodury!
All Tournament Team: Jimmy Mrozek (Kennedy), Ryan Graff (Jefferson), Dennis Nueenfeldt (Jefferson), Jarrod Ronquillo (Woodbury), Tucker Kruse (Woodbury), Jared Markeson (Woodbury), Dalton Timmerman (Tartan), Jared Vejtruba (Tartan), and Connor Brass (Tartan). Tournament MVP: Julius Huset, Tartan.

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