On the Saturday of the Masters golf tournament, the leaders emerge for Sunday. They call it moving day. This weekend is Moving Day, too. But it will be on Sunday instead of Saturday. At rinks in Duluth, Hibbing, Woodbury, Grand Rapids, Moorhead, and White Bear Lake there will be some great games and potential for great movement in both our Staff Rankings and computerized Now Rankings™. This week we dug up the brackets for these beauties and gave our take on what takes place and how it may turn out.
Duluth PeeWee B: 16 team bracket play tournament. The bottom half of this bracket is power ranking heavy: Minnetonka, Edina, Minneapolis Orange, and Sartell take up four of the eight slots, only one goes to the championship game. The top half has some teams that have shown great signs of improvement: Sibley (Red), Stillwater (Red) and Eagan (Green). Unless we are proven otherwise, YHH says Minnetonka in the bottom bracket in a re-match of their game earlier this week over Edina. Don’t count out Minneapolis or Sartell. In the top half we gotta go with Stillwater (Red), three very impressive wins in a row and an impressive 11 wins over all. The five outstate teams could throw a wrench into this plan. One of the cardinal rules of hockey predictions: never count out a team from Canada. In this tourney there are four of them.
YHH says: Minnetonka wins over Stillwater (Red)
Grand Rapids Bantam A: An eight team bracket play special. Grand Rapids on the top will cruise to the finals. Top rated Anoka and Jefferson will have a nice game in the semifinals. The winner of that game will face powerhouse and only twice defeated GR.
YHH says: GR will get some home cooking and beat Jefferson (again) by one goal. This time it won’t be in overtime.
Grand Rapids PeeWee A: Another 8 team bracket play tourney. Grand Rapids is strong on the top half. We still don’t think that this team has hit it’s stride. This weekend could be the time. On the bottom half of the bracket sits Roseville and St. Cloud. That proves to be the second best game of the tournament, two very good team with multiple early season wins. The winner of that game will face GR in the finals.
YHH says: GR will be too strong for either Roseville or St. Cloud, Thunderhawks will win.
Hibbing Squirt B: My compliments to Ken White, the Tournament Czar in Hibbing. This is a first class affair. A ton of great teams all on two great sheets of ice up in Hibbing. Hibbing Memorial is a great venue. With so little data on teams it is a crapshoot to choose a winner. But here goes (pool winners in BOLD):
Pool A: Eveleth Black, North Branch, Mahtomedi Gold, and Edina Gold
Pool B: Hibbing Navy, Eveleth Gold, North Country, Minnetonka
Pool C: Mahtomedi Blue, Irondale, Eveleth White, Hibbing White
Wild Card: Edina/North Branch loser
North Branch is the real deal, Eveleth White is off to a fast start, Minnetonka has great teams every year at Squirt B, and Edina is very well coached.
YHH says: When the dust settles, D6 will reign supreme. Minnetonka over Edina in the finals.
Moose Goheen U12A: A well balanced field with very fair brackets. Each game on the championship side should be very close. No clear cut favorite. First round winners: WBL, Rochester, CR/Spring Lake Park, and Elk River. Elk River and White Bear Lake in the finals with the slight edge to the Bears.
YHH says: White Bear has a lot of talent, this is the weekend they put it all together and win their own tournament.
Moose Goheen U10A: Very good field. One clear favorite, Forest Lake. However, some potent teams in the bottom half of the bracket (Woodbury, FL, Duluth and Farmington).
YHH says: #1 Forest Lake over an improving White Bear Lake team in the finals.
Woodbury PeeWee AA/A: An 18 team affair. Six three team pools flighted into 3 flights of 6. The team in each flight with the highest point total (likely 3-0) and highest goal differential (likely 10+) will advance to the Final 4 with a Wild Card (likely another 3-0 team with a lower goal differential likely 5+). This tourney is “A” laden: Highland, Edina, Prior Lake, OMG, Shakopee, Chisago Lakes, Spring Lake Park, St. Cloud, and River Lakes. The list of AA teams is good. A bunch of teams with something to prove: STMA and Woodbury head the list followed by Hastings, Jefferson, Forest Lake, Rochester, Mounds View, and Andover. Every one of these teams has shown signs of potential.
Black Flight: Edina White
Royal Flight: Woodbury
White Flight: Jefferson (Hastings)
Wild Card: Hastings (Jefferson)…both of these teams should finish 3-0 and have a nice goal differential.*
Final Four: Woodbury > Jefferson and Edina White > Hastings
YHH says: Woodbury will end Edina’s 20+ game winning streak in the finals.
*Don’t count out Superior, Andover, or STMA they have just as good a chance to advance, most of the top half of this field is very close.
Moorhead Squirt A: An 8 team field pool play tournament with a four game guarantee. Note: Tournament Directors, this is how it should be done. Moorhead headlines the American pool and River Lakes and Blaine headline the National pool. We look for the Spuds to win their pool and Blaine to win theirs. After the pool play, all bets are off. Moorhead has way too many weapons not be thought of as a favorite, but their lack of early season games may hurt them. Blaine and River Lakes are both tournament tested and into their second ten games of their season.
YHH says: Blaine over Moorhead in the finals giving the Bengals their second tournament title in three weeks.