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Midwest Regional Tournament: Preview and Predictions

By Tony Scott, 12/27/12, 2:45PM CST


YHH says Prior Lake in PWB, Eastview in PWA, Wayzata in Bantam B and Kennedy in Bantam A

The Midwest Regional has historically been one of the best tournaments of it’s kind. Featuring top teams from all over the country, playing several g
ames in a Silver Stick format. A lot of great games packed into a small window of time at historic Bloomington Ice Garden. (Insert needle scratching record here). Well, that’s all changed now. Zero teams from out of state, 1 top ten AA team in PeeWee and Bantam, and a couple top end teams in Bantam B and 1 Top Ten PeeWee B. But to make matters worse, the 12 team Silver Stick format has been altered to a 3 game bracket play tournament. So much for tradition…the Midwest barely qualifies as “just another tournament”. Rant over.

PeeWee B

Should be a good tournament with Chaska/Chanhassen as the only high end team in the field. The StormHawks come in 18-3-2 with a few very nice wins on their resume (Stillwater Red and Edina). They play Irondale/St. Francis who also boasts a nice record including 13 wins so far. In other first round games Jefferson takes on MAML, Prior Lake plays St. Michael-Albertville, and Hastings plays Tartan.

First round winners include: Jefferson, Hastings, Chaska/Chan and Prior Lake.
Semifinal winners will be Prior Lake over Chaska/Chan (rematch of a game played last week and won by Prior Lake) and Hastings over Jefferson. Prior Lake will beat Hastings in the Championship.

PeeWee A

The Bloomington Tournament Committee had a tough job pairing teams in this tournament. They try to keep Jefferson and Kennedy on separate sides of the bracket as well as keeping the brackets evenly balanced. In this case the committee paired two of the best teams in a first round game: Eastview and Jefferson. Some say this is a championship game being played in the first game. Eastview comes into the Midwest ranked #3 in both the YHH staff rankings and NOW Rankings and the prohibitive favorite to win the tournament. Jefferson has played some great hockey of late going 7-1-1 in the month of December including a tournament victory in Woodbury. In other first round match-ups Kennedy takes on MAML, Rosemount plays Wayzata “A”, and Tartan plays Woodbury.

First round winners include: Eastview over Jefferson, Woodbury over Tartan, Rosemount over Wayzata and MAML over Kennedy.

Semifinal winners will be Eastview over Rosemount and Woodbury over MAML
Eastview will be beat District 8 rival Woodbury in what will be a great preview of the District 8 regular season and playoffs. Both of these two teams will be a factor in regular season standings and district playoffs.

Bantam B

Just like last year, this tournament promises some great games and potentially a legendary semifinal game between Wayzata Navy and Stillwater Red (Number 1 and Number 2 in both Bantam B polls). These two teams have a combined 1 loss in 38 games this year. Each team plays in a very good district with tough competition every night. The first round finds some pretty good games. Keep an eye on Hudson and Champlin Park, the winner of this game may surprise someone later in the tournament.

First Round winners include: Stillwater over Chaska/Chan, Wayzata Navy over Andover, Hudson over Champlin Park and Jefferson over Highland.

Semifinal winners include: Wayzata (Navy) over Stillwater (Red)….this game is way too close to call and Hudson over Jefferson
Wayzata (Navy) will be too much for anyone in the bottom half of the bracket.

Bantam A

An interesting format in this eight team bracket. The top half has four AA teams including Top Ten Jefferson and the bottom half has four A teams including three top teams as ranked by YHH’s Now Rankings #6 Kennedy, #13 Tartan, and #7 Sibley. All four first round games should be very exciting and entertaining. Sibley versus Tartan on Friday night should be a great game.

First Round winners include: Jefferson over MAML, Chaska/Chan over Woodbury, Kennedy over Spring Lake Park and Sibley over Tartan.

Semifinal winners include Jefferson over Chaska/Chanhassen and Kennedy over Sibley.

YHH looks for Kennedy to beat neighbor and rival Jefferson in a low scoring affair for the championship. A game that would draw hundreds of spectators from all over Bloomington to watch.

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