John's Journal
Class 3A Girls State Basketball Tournament3/11/2019
Wednesday through Saturday at Williams Arena and Maturi Pavilion
(All semifinals and championship games at Williams Arena)

Quarterfinal pairings

Class 3A
Wednesday at Maturi Pavilion

Hibbing vs. DeLaSalle, 10 a.m.
Fergus Falls vs. Holy Angels, noon
Austin vs. Cooper, 2 p.m.
Marshall vs. Becker, 4 p.m.
Class 2A Girls State Basketball Tournament3/11/2019
Wednesday through Saturday at Williams Arena and Maturi Pavilion
(All semifinals and championship games at Williams Arena)

Quarterfinal pairings

Class 2A
Wednesday at Williams Arena

Redwood Valley vs. Roseau, 6 p.m.
Proctor vs. Caledonia, 8 p.m.
Wednesday at Maturi Pavilion
Albany vs. Holy Family, 6 p.m.
St. Peter vs. Minnehaha Academy, 8 p.m.
Class 1A Girls State Basketball Tournament3/11/2019
Wednesday through Saturday at Williams Arena and Maturi Pavilion
(All semifinals and championship games at Williams Arena)

Quarterfinal pairings

Class 1A
Thursday at Maturi Pavilion

Red Lake vs. Minneota, 11 a.m.
Ada-Borup vs. Heritage Christian, 1 p.m.
Mountain. Iron-Buhl vs. Goodhue, 3 p.m.
BOLD vs. Menahga, 5 p.m.
In A Surprise Matchup, Cathedral Defeats Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin 3/9/2019
Four days into 2019, the boys hockey team from St. Cloud Cathedral took the ice for a home game against Hermantown. This was the biggest regular-season contest in Class 1A hockey: Cathedral was ranked No. 1 and the Hawks were No. 2.

Hermantown came away with a 2-1 victory in overtime. I was in attendance on that Friday night at the St. Cloud Municipal Athletic Complex and wrote that it was "as good a hockey game as you will ever see."

It was a measuring-stick game for both teams. "You look at the calendar in October and you circle this one," said Hermantown coach Patrick Andrews after his team's big victory.

Cathedral coach Derrick Brown said, "We try really hard to schedule as many tough teams as we can. This was such a great atmosphere and such a great game for us to play, and like I told the boys, we're only four days into January. The potential is there to only get better. So when the moments really do happen, in hopefully February and maybe March if we're fortunate enough, we've been there, we've played these teams, we know what to expect.”

In the wake of that game, an assumption was made by many hockey fans: We may see these teams meet again in the state tournament, maybe even in the championship game.

If that had happened, hardly anyone would have been surprised.

On that same Jan. 4 evening, the Raiders of Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin had made the trip from the Iron Range to the Twin Cities for a game at Chaska. The Raiders lost 5-4 in overtime, and lost by the same score in the same fashion the next day at Orono. That gave them a record of 5 wins and 9 losses.

One win and three more losses followed, but the Raiders started to roll in late January. They closed the regular season on a six-game winning streak before defeating North Shore 7-1 and Duluth Denfeld 6-2 in the Section 7 playoffs.

Then came the earthquake in the section championship game: Raiders 3, mighty Hermantown 2 in double overtime. The Raiders won two games at state before falling to St. Cloud Cathedral 5-2 in Saturday’s title game at Xcel Energy Center.

“It’s a cliché and it sounds weird to say, but when you believe, you believe,” Greenway coach Grant Clafton said. “It’s not an arrogance or a cockiness or anything like that. When you go through what these guys have gone through all season, and you’re that battle-tested … preparation breeds confidence and these guys are prepared. They’ve gone through every situation throughout the season. I keep saying it’s like a protective shield of armor to have that belief.”

The Raiders became the darlings of the tournament, regardless of class. They seemingly had it all: Iron Range appeal, an 18-year state tourney drought and fears a decade or so ago of losing the hockey program due to a lack of players.

But through hard work by coaches, parents and others, the hockey team survived and now has thrived in recent years, capped by this year’s playoff run.

“Iron Range hockey is a huge tradition, and we’re not just playing for Coleraine and the Greenway area, we’re representing Virginia, Eveleth and International Falls, Hibbing and those schools,” Clafton said. “And there’s a lot of pride in that.”

Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin senior Donte Lawson, who was named to the Wells Fargo All-Tournament team and also received the Herb Brooks Award, said he never had a doubt.

“I always knew, no matter what, all the adversity we’ve battled, I knew at the end we’d be here,” he said. “We stuck together as a group throughout the season, through the hard times.”

Class 2A Championship: Edina 3, Eden Prairie 2 (OT)

During the regular season, Edina defeated Lake Conference rival Eden Prairie three times by a combined score of 18-5. The fourth game in the season series needed overtime before Edina won 3-2. Peter Colby scored the winning goal at 2:41 of overtime to secure the championship.

--In celebration of 75 years of state hockey tournaments, an all-time all-tournament team was announced: Coach: Willard Ikola, Edina Goalie: Greg Stutz, Centennial Defense: Ryan McDonough, Cretin-Derham Hall Defense: Henry Boucha, Warroad Forward: Mike Antonovich, Greenway Forward: Dave Spehar, Duluth East Forward: John Mayasich, Eveleth.

Wells-Fargo All-Tournament Teams

Class 1A: Trey Ausmus, East Grand Forks; Colin Hagstrom, Noah Skillings, Mahtomedi; Logan Wright, Ben Troumbly, Cameron Lantz, Donte Lawson, Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin; Jon Bell, Nate Warner, Jack Smith, Jackson Savoie, Noah Amundson, St. Cloud Cathedral.

Class 2A: Carsen Richels, Cole Hansen, Blaine; Ryder Donovan, Duluth East; Henry Welsch, Lakeville South; Keegan Langefels, Jack Jensen, Luke Mittelstadt, Eden Prairie; Jake Boltmann, Liam Malmquist, Mike Vorlicky, Jett Jungels, Louden Hogg, Edina.

Herb Brooks Award Winners

Class 1A: Donte Lawson, Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin

Class 2A: Jack Jensen, Eden Prairie

Tournament Recordbook

Lakeville South goaltender Henry Welsch set a state tournament record for combined saves with 131 in three games. He made 63 saves in a triple-overtime loss to Eden Prairie in the quarterfinals, 34 in a victory over White Bear Lake in the consolation semifinals and 34 against Duluth East in the consolation final. The previous record was 124, set in 1970 by St. Paul Johnson’s Doug Long.

Saturday’s Games

Class 1A

Fifth-place game: Delano 2, North Branch 1
Third-place game: Mahtomedi 7, East Grand Forks 3
Championship game: St. Cloud Cathedral 5, Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin 2

Class 2A

Fifth-place game: Duluth East 5, Lakeville South 0
Third-place game: Blaine 5, St. Thomas Academy 1
Championship game: Edina 3, Eden Prairie 2 (OT)

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.
From Nine Time Zones Away, A Minnesota Hockey Fan Tunes In3/8/2019
A day ago in this digital playground I recounted the story of a gold medal from the very first boys state hockey tournament in 1945. Much of the details came via email, and later that evening another item in my inbox sparked another reminder of how far and wide the hockey tournament's reach extends.

As we all know, KSTC Channel 45 does a world-class job of televising MSHSL state tournaments, and boys hockey is the crown jewel. And viewers who don't have access to the television broadcast can watch the games online via

I have received emails and Twitter messages from viewers far away, including (as mentioned here the other day) Thailand and France. This latest dispatch arrived late Thursday night from someone who was watching the day's final game between Duluth East and St. Thomas Academy.

The first line in the email read: "CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED."

This was a pretty good clue that it was from someone in the military. The message was brief, ending with this: "0745 here, nothing like a little morning hockey in the sun."

More emails were traded, more details were discovered, and this really says something about the appeal of the tournament. Even from a time zone nine hours away from Minnesota, native-born hockey fans want their tournament fix.

The email came from Army Captain John A. Reich, who lives in Duluth and is with an Army Reserve unit in Kuwait. His unit is based in Milwaukee.

He wrote, "Cool thing is, there are a little over 600 Minnesota National Guard Red Bull Soldiers here. So, it's almost like being at home."

He grew up in Montrose, was a hockey manager for the Buffalo High School team under coach Carl Davis and fell in love with the game. He was in the Marines from 1989 to 1993, spending time in Tennessee, San Diego and Japan. He attended St. Cloud State and played pickup hockey, then went to school at Minnesota Duluth.

He wrote that he “followed the UMD women's team religiously because the women DO NOT get the support they deserve.”

John's hockey ties include some big names in the game. Godparents of his children include Reed Larson, who coached in Willmar and Virginia; UMD star and four-time Olympian Jenny Potter; and former UMD player Julianne Vasichek.

He wrote, “Nope, not much of a hockey guy;)”

No surprise here, but John said he is missing his family a ton.

“My wife Crystal (Super Hockey Mom) is holding down the fort with our 4 children, Celeste 12 (goalie), Savannah 7 (probably a defenseman), Anthony John (AJ) 5 (instigator) and Brandon 3 (probably enforcer after dealing with his siblings).”

Our email exchange ended with these final words from John:

Hope this finds you well.
CPT Reich
368th Public Affairs Detachment
U.S. Army

Tournament Tidbits

--Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin senior Donte Lawson had a special group of kids cheering for him during Friday's Class 1A semifinal game against Mahtomedi. The fans were from the Ronald McDonald House in Minneapolis, where Donte’s younger brother Dominik has spent a lot of time.

Dominik, 13, recently underwent a third kidney transplant at University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital. But he has been able to join family and friends in watching the Raiders play at state this week.

The friends of Dominik and Donte brought handmade signs with messages that read “Go Donte Go” and “Good Luck Raiders.”

Donte scored the first goal of Friday’s game, which went to overtime before the Raiders’ Ben Troumbly scored the winning goal, his second of the game, to defeat Mahtomedi 3-2.

--Speaking of Greenway High School, there is no town by that name on the Iron Range. The school, located in Coleraine, is named for John Campbell Greenway (1872-1926), one of Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders. He oversaw the first mine in Coleraine and raised $100,000 in 1908 to build the school that bears his name.

--St. Cloud Cathedral 6, East Grand Forks 2: The Crusaders advanced to Saturday’s noon state championship game against Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin. Jack Smith led Cathedral with two goals and Blake Perbix had a goal and three assists.

--Eden Prairie 4, Blaine 3: The Eagles used the power play to their advantage, scoring three goals with an extra man during a four-goal second period in defeating the Bengals in the Class 2A semifinals. Blaine opened the game with an early 2-0 lead before the Eagles rallied.

--Edina 6, St. Thomas Academy 3: The Eagles’ victory set up an all-Lake Conference 2A championship game. Eden Prairie and Edina will meet at 7 p.m. Saturday.

--Championship games are televised by KSTC Channel 45 and webcast at no charge by

--Third-place games are webcast at no charge by

75th Boys State Hockey Tournament

Class 1A

Wednesday’s Quarterfinals
St. Cloud Cathedral 7, North Branch 0
East Grand Forks 5, Minnesota River 2
Mahtomedi 6, New Ulm 0
Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin 6, Delano 4

Friday’s Semifinals
St. Cloud Cathedral 6, East Grand Forks 2
Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin 3, Mahtomedi 2 (OT)

Saturday’s Championship game
Noon: St. Cloud Cathedral vs. Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin

Class 2A

Thursday’s Quarterfinals
Blaine 4, White Bear Lake 2
Eden Prairie 3, Lakeville South 2 (3 OT)
Edina 4, Moorhead 2
St. Thomas Academy 3, Duluth East 1

Friday’s Semifinals
Eden Prairie 4, Blaine 3
Edina 6, St. Thomas Academy 3

Saturday’s Championship game
7 p.m.: Eden Prairie vs. Edina

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.