Sloane Martin made history on Wednesday, and that's something that has been happening in recent days. Last Saturday, Sunday and Monday, Marney Gellner became the first female to handle play-by-play duties for Minnesota Twins broadcasts, calling spring training games from Florida for Fox Sports North and WCCO Radio.
In downtown St. Paul on Wednesday, Martin made her mark as the first women to do television play-by-play at the MHSL boys state hockey tournament. She worked the first two Class 1A games with Mark Parrish, the analyst for all the 1A games.
It has been a little bit of a whirlwind for Martin (pictured). Last weekend she was in Indianapolis calling a women's basketball game between Indiana and Purdue on the Big Ten Network.
"As soon as the game was over, I drove to the airport and was pulling out my hockey stuff and looking at my notecards," she said after Wednesday's broadcast had ended.
Now a reporter with WCCO Radio, Martin is a Los Angeles native who played basketball at Division III St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y. She has previously called girls state hockey tournament games as well as several Prep Bowl football games.
"I always say that I'm so happy to have had an introduction to Minnesota hockey with the girls because that exposed me to the kind of talent that's in this state, the kind of skill that we see," she said. "I felt like I was able to easily slide into things and it wasn't any kind of adjustment because of my three years doing the girls tournament.
"It's open notes but it's a test. But it's not just a test, it's a big one. It's like the bar exam or the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) or something. I really take a lot of pride in being as prepared as possible. Of course it's knowing players, but I think being a reporter myself I'm very big on narratives and storylines and background stories."
During the telecast Martin was informative, excited and stayed on top of the action. She takes pride in being the first woman to call boys state tournament games, and knows the impact this can have.
"It's been very exciting. And to me the most important thing about this is that representation is important. When you have women who are visible in these roles, it's just going to normalize someone occupying this position. And that's the goal with all of this.
"It's not that I would want any attention for myself, and I'm sure (Marney) would think the same way. It's letting more people see this, so it just becomes something that we accept and know is going to happen in the future."Tournament Tidbits
--The first goal of the 75th annual tournament was scored by St. Cloud Cathedral's Jackson Savoie at 13:25 of the first period in the Crusaders' 7-0 victory over North Branch. A crucial goal for Cathedral came shorthanded by Nate Warner in the second period, making it 3-0. Warner, who finished with a hat trick, missed half the season with an injury. He will play collegiately at Minnesota. He's also a former neighbor of Minnesota coach Bob Motzko, who coached at St. Cloud State prior to this season.
--North Branch is a team without a rink. The Vikings drive 13 miles to use the rink at Chisago Lakes; that's the team they defeated in the Section 5 championship game to earn the trip to state. On many days they met at school to board a bus at 4:20 a.m. and head to practice. No wonder they use the hashtag #NoRinkNoProblem. After the Vikings lost to St. Cloud Cathedral in a game that started shortly after 11 a.m., coach Matt Cottingham was asked if playing early in the day was a factor. His answer (with a smile): "We should have started at 5:15 in the morning."
--St. Cloud Cathedral's enrollment in grades 7 through 12 is 621. According to school officials, 554 of those students were on hand to watch the Crusaders face North Branch.
--In Wednesday's second game, East Grand Forks defeated Minnesota River 5-2. Tanner Mack and Landon Parker each scored two goals for the Green Wave and Jade Reicks scored the Minnesota River goals.
--A common question before and during the tournament has been: Who is Minnesota River? That hockey team is a cooperative program involving five school districts: Le Sueur-Henderson, St. Peter, Tri-City United, Cleveland and Belle Plaine.
--Mahtomedi 6, New Ulm 0: Mahtomedi's goal scorers included senior twins Tom and Joe Paradise, who are grandsons of Herb Brooks. Tom Paradise scored twice, as did J.D. Metz.
--Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin 6, Delano 4: The Raiders advanced to Friday's semifinals with an exciting, back-and-forth victory over the Tigers.
--Delano's school colors are orange and black but many of the fans wore purple to honor 18-year-old Marleena Anna Dieterich, who died in a car accident earlier this month. Tigers coach Gerrit van Bergen and his assistants wore purple ties.
--Online webstreaming of the tournament via prep45.com makes it possible to watch the action anywhere. Two of the most far-flung viewers Wednesday were Tweeting from Thailand and France.
--Best sign in the stands: "I just hope both teams have fun."
--A limited number of tickets for Thursday's Class 2A quarterfinals will be sold at the Xcel Energy Center box office beginning one hour prior to the first game of each session (tickets will go on sale beginning at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.). Standing-room-only tickets will be available if reserved seats are sold out.75th Boys State Hockey Tournament
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
11 a.m./ St. Cloud Cathedral vs. East Grand Forks
1:30 p.m./ Mahtomedi vs. Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin Class 2A
11 a.m./ White Bear Lake (21-4-1) vs. #2 Blaine (22-2-2)
1:30 p.m./ Lakeville South (14-12-1) vs. #3 Eden Prairie (17-9-2)
6 p.m./ Moorhead (21-6-1) vs. #1 Edina (24-2-1)
8:30 p.m./ #5 Duluth East (18-6-2) vs. #4 St. Thomas Academy (24-3-1)--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.