John's Journal
Six-Overtime Game Ends At 1:02 A.M.; Twitter Was On Fire2/23/2013
In case you actually went to bed at a decent hour Friday night, you missed a wild time at Xcel Energy Center. The Class 2A girls state hockey semifinal between Minnetonka and Lakeville North was nearly an all-nighter, with Minnetonka winning in the sixth overtime. Yes, the SIXTH overtime.

The score was 3-3 at the end of the second period and remained that way until Minnetonka senior forward Amy Petersen scored the game-winning goal in the sixth overtime.

Multiple state tournaments records were broken during this game…
--Longest game in girls hockey state tournament history (113:29).
--Most shots by one team in an overtime game (Minnetonka, 63).
--Most stops one game (Lakeville North, Cassie Alexander, 59).

During the marathon game, Twitter was a hotbed of late-night conversation. By the time the game finally ended, we had experienced quite an entertaining online evening/morning.

In chronological order, here is a summary of some of what I tweeted and re-tweeted…

--5:00 left in regulation, Minnetonka and Lakeville North tied 3-3 in 2A girls state hockey semifinals.

--OT at the X! Minnetonka and Lakeville North are tied 3-3 at the end of regulation in 2A girls state hockey semifinals.

--DOUBLE OT. Minnetonka and Lakeville North still 3-3 after 8 minutes of OT. We'll take a break, scrape the ice and go at it again.

--If one of these bands busts out Lionel Richie's "All Night Long" I may take a dive right out of the press box. #2ndOTunderway

-- RT@rstanzel: @MSHSLjohn hopefully they haven't last called for Diet Coke yet! … No more DC's tonight. Snack table has been cleared. #travesty

-- RT @rstanzel: How late can they go? … In the words of L. Richie ... all night long.

--FYI: This girls state semifinal hockey game began today at 8:48 ... p.m. I believe.

-- RT @njrowan @MSHSLjohn I'm more concerned about whether or not they have enough diet coke to last any more OT's … Per earlier tweet: #travesty

--Shots are Minnetonka 40, Lakeville North 27 as we begin what the scoreboard has designated as "Period 6."

--FOUR OVERTIMES! 3-3 deadlock between Minnetonka and Lakeville North after 3 OT. We'll mop the ice, put 17:00 up and keep rolling.

--1996 boys state: Apple Valley beat Duluth East boys 4-3 in 2A semifinals, 5 overtimes, ended at 1:39 a.m.

--I know it's late when I start seeing Tweets from Hawaii with state basketball tournament scores. And that's happening now.

--Good morning from Xcel Energy Center!... where Lakeville North and Minnetonka have been playing hockey for 84 minutes. 4th OT awaits!

--Both of these teams will play another full state tourney hockey game ... later today.

-- RT@amyeolson1: @mshsljohn What's the soda tally? I sense a record in the making … It's a bad scene. Supply has run out. #imhurtingman

-- RT @MSHSLjohn@amyeolson1 @mshsljohn I would imagine concessions have been closed for a long time … They'll open for the a.m. session soon

--If this thing goes too much longer I might be late on my paper route.#calmdowngrandpa

--33 years later, it'll be another miracle on ice if I make it home before sunrise.

--1 2 3 4 I declare a thumb war. #thatmightsettlethis

-- @rgrammond: @mshsljohn I boldly predict that the last shot of this epic contest will be the game winner.#outonalimbguy … Next goal is big RT

--The Wild's next home game is scheduled for Tuesday.#crossyourfingers

--Since the last goal was scored, I have shaved. Twice.

-- RT @BethMillea: @MSHSLjohn Miss you, hope you're home by breakfast. #kiddingbutnotreally … Hi. I remember you.

--Two things are official. 1) This is longest game in girls state tourney history. 2) I am unsure if I will ever see sunlight again.

--Minnetonka band now playing "California Girls" by Katy Perry. Or maybe Perry Como. #gettingpunchy

--It's now 1 a.m. in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota, and we're still playin' hockey. What's cooler than that?

-- RT @savoypizza: We wish we were still open to get @mshsljohn a pizza and some caffeine. … You and me both. #bestpizza

--WE HAVE A WINNER. Minnetonka beats Lakeville North 4-3 in 5 overtimes. Game ends at 1:03 a.m.

(These next two Tweets are from Saturday morning…)

--@nelses1:@MSHSLjohn how did the diet coke count end up last night? ...They cut me off after regulation #hulksmash

--@Chanstormcenter: @MSHSLjohnLaying in bed laughing at tweets from girls' hockey last night. You up yet? ... I'm up! Did that really happen?
A Girls Hockey Tournament For The Survivors 2/23/2013
The big question early Saturday morning, after Minnetonka had held off Lakeville North in the longest game in girls or boys state hockey tournament history, was this: How in the heck will those two teams be able to play another game later the same day?

The answer? Very handily. North defeated Eden Prairie 3-2 in the Class 2A third-place game, which began at 4 p.m. at Xcel Energy Center. And at 7 p.m., here came the Minnetonka Skippers, ready to face Hill-Murray and try to win their third consecutive 2A state championship.

The final score was Minnetonka 3, Hill-Murray 1 … and there were no more questions.

The fact that the Skippers and Panthers were on the ice past 1 a.m. Saturday was an issue, no doubt. But both teams returned with determination; after all, who wants to play a six-overtime game and then come out and skate like zombies the next time out?

After North’s victory in the third-place game, the Panthers were absolutely giddy. They performed a clearly well-practiced routine in their locker room. They stood in a circle, arm in arm, and danced while singing a take-off of the Brady Bunch theme song. It ended with, “That’s the waaaaay we became the Panther Bunch!”

There was no shortage of smiles for Minnetonka, either. Some of the players sat in ice baths before going to bed, they all did some walking Saturday morning and afternoon to keep their legs alive, and then they strapped on the pads and got to work.

“They’re an amazing team, an amazing program,” said Hill-Murray coach Bill Schafhauser, who brought a young team to the tournament, a team that will be reckoned with in the future.

In the Skippers’ postgame news briefing, senior forward Amy Petersen – who scored the winning goal in the sixth overtime of the semifinal -- put an amazing spin on the marathon semifinal game, saying, “I was happy to get six more periods to play with this team.”

Minnetonka coach Eric Johnson offered a similar sentiment when he said, “The most sad part for me as a coach is I don’t get to go to practice with them on Monday.”

In the 1A title game, Blake became the team that survived, defeating Warroad 7-2. The Bears’ quest goes back to late December, when they lost to Warroad 12-3 at the Kaposia Classic in South St. Paul. Anyone expecting a repeat Saturday was very mistaken … for two reasons: 1) Blake career scoring leader Dani Cameranesi was away in December, playing with the U.S. Women’s National Under-18 Team; 2) That was a long time ago.

Warroad coach David Marvin, whose team won state titles in 2010 and 2011, was pretty frank in his postgame assessment. Here are some outtakes from his comments…

--“They took us out behind the woodshed.”

--“We couldn’t stop them and we couldn’t score. That’s a bad combination.”

--“They played great and we played not good.”

--“It was like an avalanche.”

--“We’ve done that to teams but it hasn’t happened to us a lot.”

Marvin joined the Blake contingent in wondering why Bears goaltender Tori Johnson was not part of the Wells Fargo all-tournament team. When Tori was asked about that, all she talked about was the team and not her own accolades.

First-year Bears coach Shawn Reid smiled as he listened to his goalie, then said, “That is example No. 472 of why I love coaching this team. They are selfless.”

HERB BROOKS AWARD WINNERS

--Katie Dye of Hibbing/Chisholm (featured in John’s Journal on Thursday) was named the Class 1A winner of the award after the championship game.

--The award winner in Class 2A was Eden Prairie’s McKenzie Johnson.

ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAMS

--Class 1A: Leah Coughlin, Hibbing/Chisholm; Emma Polusny, Mound Westonka; Ashley Corcoran, Emily Stegora, Nicolle Schammel, Red Wing; Lauren Wilcox, South St. Paul; Lisa Marvin, Lynn Astrup, Warroad; Karlie Lund, Carly Bullock, Dani Cameranesi, Ali Ahn, Blake.

--Class 2A: Megan Wolfe, Eagan; Charly Dahlquist, Eden Prairie; Cassie Alexander, Alexis Joyce, Christi Vetter, Lakeville North; Sarah Bobrowski, Samantha Boyer, Hill-Murray; Sidney Morin, Sydney Baldwin, Amy Petersen, Laura Bowman, Sydney Rossman, Minnetonka.

CLASS 1A CONSOLATION GAMES

--Red Wing 3, South St. Paul 2: The Haley sisters, Paige and Regan, scored the first two goals of the game for the Wingers and Emily Stegora got the third goal before Lauren Wilcox and Riley Viner scored for the Packers.

--Hibbing/Chisholm 2, Mound Westonka 1: Leah Coughlin and Mallorie Iozzo scored for the Bluejackets, with Grace Holmen getting Mound Westonka’s goal.

CLASS 2A CONSOLATION GAMES

--Lakeville North 3, Eden Prairie 2: Megan Skelly scored two goals for the victorious Panthers. Goaltender Cassie Alexander, who set a state tournament record with 59 stops in the semifinals, had 26 saves against Eden Prairie.

--Eagan 5, North Wright County 2: Megan Wolfe had a hat trick in the first period for the Wildcats and scored her fourth goal of the game in the third period as Eagan finished fifth.

--Total attendance at the girls state hockey tournament was 19,540.

--To see photos from Saturday's girls hockey and gymnastics state championships, go to the MSHSL Facebook page.

BY THE NUMBERS
*Diet Coke Count: 3 for the day, 12 for the tournament, 12 for the winter state tournaments
*Schools/teams John has visited: 464
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry: 7,139
(*During the 2012-13 school year)

--Join the MSHSL on Facebook by clicking on the Facebook button on the right side of www.mshsl.org. John Millea is on Twitter @MSHSLjohn
Austin’s Fadness, Northfield's DuPay Win All-Around Titles2/23/2013
One year after finishing third in the Class 1A gymnastics all-around competition, Sela Fadness of Austin took home the gold Saturday. And in 2A, Northfield's Bailey DuPay won the all-around after a 9.9 performance in floor exercise. Read Luke Sleeper's story by clicking here.
Winning Big While Honoring Those Who Are Gone 2/22/2013
At two very different venues in the Twin Cities, Friday was a day to remember and honor two coaches who are no longer with us. Their friendship, their guidance and their ethics have left lasting impressions on their teams, who wore great big smiles on Friday while also shedding a few quiet tears.

At Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul, the girls hockey team from Blake wore the initials BRS on their helmets and a patch that read “Brano” on their jerseys. It was their way of honoring Branislav Robert Stankovsky, 56, who was the Bears coach for 14 years before passing away last April from complications related to several strokes.

And at the Sports Pavilion on the University of Minnesota campus, a common sight was a t-shirt worn by folks from New Prague. On the back of the shirts were the words “New Prague Gymnastics/In memory of Matt Shetka.”

Shetka, 54, coached the Trojans to five state titles and taught in the school district for 33 years. He passed away in December of an apparent heart attack while shoveling snow. He also was the Trojans’ longtime girls golf coach, and his teams won two state championships in that sport.

The loss of Stankovsky and Shetka hit their schools hard. Blake senior forward Dani Cameranesi said she thinks about Brano every day.

“Every time I pick up my jersey and see that patch, I think about him,” she said after the Bears defeated Red Wing 6-3 in the Class 1A semifinals.

“His entire family has been here for us through the entire tournament and the entire season, in fact. It’s also a lot of credit to the coaching staff this year. They have big shoes to fill and they’re doing a great job. We as teammates want to do it for each other, also. “

Stankovsky had a record of 290-74-19 in his 14 years at Blake and his teams won state titles in 2003, 2007 and 2009. He was not a teacher; he owned a company called Creative Health Care Management. But hockey was certainly in his DNA; he was drafted by the Pittsburg Penguins in 1975.

The New Prague gymnastics team captured the Class 1A team title Friday with a narrow margin over second-place defending champion Melrose. Athletes, coaches and fans all shed tears during the competition, the team’s first without Shetka in more than three decades.

For Blake and New Prague, the loss of their coaches helped bring teammates even closer together and unite them in their athletic efforts.

A banner taped to the wall outside the South St. Paul hockey locker room at Xcel Energy Center expressed sentiments that seemed appropriate Friday. The sign read:
“Believe in your coaches. Believe in your team. Believe in your line mates. Believe in yourself.”

Believe in your coaches. Even when they’re no longer with you.

CLASS 2A HOCKEY SEMIFINALS

--Hill-Murray 2, Eden Prairie 1: The Eagles led after the opening period on a goal by Charly Dahlquist before Hill-Murray’s Kenzie Prater scored on a power play in the second period and Sarah Bobrowski scored the game-winner in the third period.

--Minnetonka 4, Lakeville North 3 (6 OT): The longest game in the history of the state tournament finally ended after 1 a.m. when Amy Petersen scored the game-winner. The teams combined for 115 shots on goal.

CLASS 1A HOCKEY SEMIFINALS

--Blake 6, Red Wing 3: Karlie Lund had a hat trick and Cameranesi had two goals and two assists as the Bears, who scored on two of three power plays, moved into the state championship game.

--Warroad 4, South St. Paul 1:Kayla Gardner had two goals and an assist, and Lisa Marvin had a goal and two assists to lead the Warriors. They will meet Blake in the championship game at noon Saturday.

CLASS 2A HOCKEY CONSOLATION

--Eagan 3, Forest Lake 2: The winning Wildcats put 52 shots on net and Megan Wolfe scored two goals. Rachel Wall added a goal and assist for Eagan.

--North Wright County 3, Irondale 0: Dani Sibley had a goal and assist for North Wright County, which will meet Eagan in the fifth-place game at noon Saturday at Ridder Arena.

SATURDAY’S HOCKEY SCHEDULE

9 a.m. at Xcel Energy Center: Red Wing vs. South St. Paul in 1A third-place game.

10 a.m. at Ridder Arena: Mound Westonka vs. Hibbing/Chisholm in 1A fifth-place game

Noon at Xcel Energy Center: Blake vs. Warroad in 1A championship game

Noon at Ridder Arena: Eagan vs. North Wright County in 2A fifth-place game

4 p.m. at Xcel Energy Center: Eden Prairie vs. Lakeville North in 2A third-place game

7 p.m. at Xcel Energy Center: Hill-Murray vs. Minnetonka in 2A championship game

BY THE NUMBERS
*Diet Coke Count: 3 for the day, 9 for the tournament, 9 for the winter state tournaments
*Schools/teams John has visited: 464
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry: 7,089
(*During the 2012-13 school year)

--Join the MSHSL on Facebook by clicking on the Facebook button on the right side of www.mshsl.org. John Millea is on Twitter @MSHSLjohn
New Prague, Roseville Capture Team Gymnastics Titles2/22/2013
On an emotional day, the New Prague gymnastics team put on a strong performance and captured the Class 1A team title. In Class 2A, Roseville rallied to earn the championshop. Read Luke Sleeper's story by clicking here.