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Apple Valley Bantam A ties Sibley 3-3 in D8

By frederick61, 12/23/12, 3:45PM CST

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Sibley’s Brendan Chamberlain knocks the puck our of Apple Valley’s goalie Benjamine Savard for Sibley’s second goal in their 3-3 game with the Eagles

In a game played Saturday afternoon at the Apple Valley High School arena, Apple Valley and Sibley tied 3-3 in the battle to position themselves for District 8 playoffs.  The problem is at this moment, nobody knows where to position for what?  District 8 has yet to post their post season tourney formats for peewee AA/A and bantam AA/A District 8 playoffs.

Unlike D6 and D10 who have enough bantam A teams to field an eight team or more district playoff, D8 has three East Regional seeds and four bantam A teams.  One of those teams (Apple Valley, Sibley, Cottage Grove, or Woodbury A) will not advance.  Three of the teams (Apple Valley, Sibley, and Cottage Grove) are locked in the middle of the D8 standings.  Woodbury A team is struggling. 

One thing is for certain, position in the standings will impact how D8 decides which three team advance.

That made Saturday’s game between these two teams important.  Neither team wanted a draw.  But that is what they got.

Period One

Both teams opened the game by playing a wild up and down hockey with no real direction.  There were a lot of individual attempts to move the puck; but those dead ended in when the puck carrier eventually got driven to the boards.

Sibley was the first team to get settled, they moved the puck into the Eagles’ zone, set up and scored off a melee.  Sibley’s Ryan Vlaisavljevich scored when the puck came loose in the left slot.  Ryan banged the puck into the net to give Sibley a 1-0 lead.  Hugo Hartnell got the assist.

After that goal, the game went back to a wild sort of up and down game with few good shots on the net.  Apple Valley started to pressure Sibley and was gaining momentum when the Warriors drew a penalty.  On the power play, the Eagles could not gain the attack until late in the penalty.

Sibley killed the penalty and the game returned to an up and down affair.  Finally at the 6 minute mark, Valley’s Zachary Crowley carried the puck out of the left corner in the Sibley zone, attacked the net and scored to tie the game 1-1.  It was an unassisted goal.

With three minutes to go in the first period, Sibley started to control the puck in the Apple Valley zone and pressure the goalie.  The Eagles were forced to ice the puck to get a change.  Sibley drew a roughing penalty on the icing.

The Eagles struggled for the first 60 seconds of the 90 second minor penalty.  They couldn’t get their power play working until a deliberate offside ruling resulted in a faceoff in the Sibley zone.  The Eagles controlled the puck in Sibley’s zone after the faceoff.  Jacob Dewall scored to put the Eagles up 2-1.  Patrick Erredge got the assist.  The first period ended with the Eagles up 2-1.

Period Two

The second period opened with Apple Valley on the attack.  They started to move the puck, their passes hitting the open wing, and pressuring the Warriors in the Sibley zone.  But they could not get any shots on goal.

Four minutes into the period, Sibley started a “run and gun” type offense.  They would hit the open forward with a longer pass and he would try to carry and shot.  The forward did not get many shots.

The epitome of the Warriors attack was reflected in a Sibley rush at the 6 minute mark.  A Sibley line came up with the puck on a 3-on-0 rush, closed to the slot with all three players perfectly position to score.  The right side puck carrier shot.  He never passed; to paraphrase Bob Marley “No pass, No score”.  It would become Sibley’s signature shot in the third period.

Sibley’s “run and gun” turned.  After the missed 3-on-0 scoring opportunity, the Warriors settled and played some good hockey.  They trapped the Eagles in the Eagles zone, brought pressure, and drew a penalty.  The Warriors set up on the power play only to have Apple Valley break pressure.

The Eagles turned the break into a 2-on-1 rush and when the remaining defense man choose to cover the Eagle forward swing wide right, the Eagles Zachary Crowley buried the puck with a high hard shot to the upper right corner of the net.  Eagles led 3-1.  The shorthanded goal was unassisted.

Four minutes to go in the period and down 3-1, the Warriors got mad.  They played some great hockey and they tied the game.  Still on the power play, they trapped the Eagles in the Eagles’ zone worked the puck down low left, and took a shot on net.  When Apple Valley’s goalie Benjamin Savard went to cover the loose puck with his glove, Sibley’s Brandan Chamberlain knocked the puck into the net to cut the Eagles lead to 3-2.  Nick Brzezinski got the assist.

Sibley did not stop their attack.  They continued to pressure the Eagles and demonstrated they could play good hockey.  With a minute left in the period, Sibley’s Andrew Allen came up with the puck at the Eagles blue line and fired a hard shot on net.  The puck went low, skipping on the ice and beat the Apple Valley goalie.  It was an unassisted goal and it tied the game.

Period Three

Sibley’s game disappeared at the start of the third period.  The Eagles drew a hooking penalty thirty seconds into the period.  The Warriors set up in the Eagles’ zone and worked the perimeter, but could not beat the Eagle the defense for a good shot.  Most of the Warrior shot’s ended up square on to the goalie.  Savard took them into the body and stopped them for the most part.  Those he didn’t stop were either wide or the rebound cleared by his defense.

Apple Valley had two power play opportunities in the period, but couldn’t score.  The Eagles had difficulty getting set up in the Sibley zone.

With a little over four minutes left in the period and the game still tied, the Eagles drew two hooking penalties.  Sibley had the face off in the Eagles’ zone and a 5-on-3 advantage.  Apple Valley won the faceoff and cleared their zone.  Sibley came back and Apple Valley cleared the zone.

With the penalty time down to forty seconds, Sibley finally set up.  But again the Eagles three man defense cut the Sibley passing lanes.  Sibley returned to taking shots square on to the goalie.  They couldn’t score.  And that was the game, a 3-3 tie game.

Summary

Both these teams have an excellent shot at playing in the East Regional.  There they would be matched with three D6 teams and two D2 teams.  Edina Bantam A is leading the D6 bantam A league, but are not dominating the league.  Kennedy and Waconia look to be tougher.  In District 2, like D8, they have a single bantam A league with five AA and three A teams.  Two of the three A teams (Tartan, Highland, and Mahtomedi) will play in the East Regional.

D8 has eight AA bantam teams and four bantam A teams in their single bantam A league.  League play is halfway through the season.  All four bantam A teams are playing in the middle of the standings.  Three AA teams are at the bottom.

It is possible that a single D8, double elimination tourney format that they have used for years, could have 5 AA teams and 3 A teams.  In that scenario, all eight teams go to the regional tourneys.  It is also possible that D8 can end up with eight AA teams in the final double elimination tourney and have all four bantam A teams eliminated in the opening single elimination round.  In that scenario, the teams finish in regular season could be the deciding factor.

One more note, D8 also has a scheduling problem.  D8 ends their playoffs the last Sunday of the season.  The final games usually conclude around 8 pm Sunday evening.  That leaves little time to resolve additional seeding.

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