John's Journal
From 1996 To 2018, Breck Coach Is Familiar With State 2/21/2018
Way back in 1996, a ninth-grader named Ronda Curtin assisted on four goals in one period for the Roseville girls hockey team during the state tournament. That was the second year of the tournament, and Curtin’s achievement was a state tourney record that still stands more than two decades later.

Curtin’s four assists came in the second period of a 6-2 win over Blaine/Coon Rapids in the single-class, four-team tournament’s semifinals; three of those assists came on goals scored by Curtin’s younger sister Renee and the fourth was on a goal by Winny Brodt. That was on Feb. 23, 1996, and it was Ronda Curtin’s first appearance at state.

On Feb. 21, 2018, Ronda Curtin marked another milestone: coaching in the state tournament for the first time. Back in 1996 (and again when her Roseville team went to state in 1997, 1998 and 1999) the tournament was played at the State Fairgrounds Coliseum. The Coliseum no longer puts down ice and the state tourney’s home is now Xcel Energy Center.

Curtin is now Ronda Engelhardt, married to husband Brett, mother of three and a counselor at Hopkins High School. She is in her fifth season as the head girls hockey coach at Breck, and Wednesday’s 9-2 Class 1A state quarterfinal win over Marshall brought her full circle as player and coach at state.

“The Coliseum was our practice rink, but there’s always a different feeling when you walk into the state tournament,” Engelhardt said. “It just elevates, no matter how familiar you are with the rink or not.”

Breck will meet Proctor/Hermantown in the state semifinals Friday at 11 a.m.; Proctor/Hermantown defeated Red Wing 3-1. In Wednesday’s other quarterfinals, Warroad defeated New Ulm 5-0 and Alexandria beat St. Paul United 3-2.

Engelhardt (pictured) was named Minnesota’s Ms. Hockey as a senior in 1999, played on two state championship teams, and went on to a stellar career at the University of Minnesota, where she was a two-time All-American.

Breck’s trip to state this year is its first since 2012, when they won their first Class 1A state championship. The Mustangs lost in the section title game for the previous five years.

“It’s such a big thing,” Engelhardt said. “It was like, ‘Hey guys, we broke the curse.’ That’s exciting, you want to earn your way in here. It makes it a little more special.”

The old Fairgrounds Coliseum and the Xcel Energy Center have nothing in common, but Engelhardt had some advice for her players before they took the ice Wednesday.

“My biggest thing for them, because it is the Xcel Center, is to demystify it,” she said. “It’s still the same ice, the same size, there’s nothing different, there’s going to be a lot more empty seats, that’s about all the difference you’re going to experience.”

Most of Breck’s players may not know all the details of their coach’s storied on-ice career, and that’s just fine with Ronda.

“I’m not someone who talks about myself,” she said. “My assistant likes to call me ‘Ronda the two-time All-American,’ and she says it all the time to embarrass me. The kids have Googled and looked it up. But they’re great. They’ve listened to me from day one.”

Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn
Final Class 2A Gymnastics Rankings2/19/2018
The final Class 2A gymnastics rankings of the season, provided by the Minnesota Girls Gymnastics Coaches Association.

1 Lakeville North 2AA 149.483
2 Owatonna 1AA 148.817
3 Stillwater 4AA 148.642
4 St. Cloud Tech 8AA 147.817
5 Cambridge-Isanti 7AA 147.633
6 East Ridge 3AA 147.158
7 Lakeville South 2AA 146.908
8 Champlin Park 5AA 146.758
9 Maple Grove 5AA 145.600
10 Anoka 7AA 144.658
11 Rosemount 1AA 144.592
12 Eden Prairie 6AA 143.917
13 Eagan 3AA 142.942
14 Prior Lake 2AA 142.942
15 Northfield 1AA 142.758
16 Apple Valley-Eastview 3AA 142.650
17 Wayzata 5AA 142.450
18 Bemidji 8AA 141.533
19 Rogers 5AA 141.033
20 Farmington 1AA 140.917
21 New Prague 2AA 140.775
22 Buffalo 8AA 140.692
23 Brainerd 8AA 140.558
24 Forest Lake 7AA140.525
25 Roseville Area 4AA 140.350
Final Class 1A Gymnastics Rankings2/19/2018
The final Class 1A gymnastics rankings of the season, provided by the Minnesota Girls Gymnastics Coaches Association.

1 Detroit Lakes 8A 151.817
2 Sartell-Saint Stephen 7A 147.875
3 Willmar 6A 146.808
4 Mahtomedi 4A 146.475
5 Watertown-Mayer/Mound-Westonka 5A 145.900
6 Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa 1A 145.883
7 Worthington 3A 145.700
8 Perham 8A 144.617
9 Big Lake 7A 143.967
10 Melrose Area 6A 143.392
11 Waconia 2A 142.108
12 Monticello 7A 141.983
13 Jackson County Central 3A 141.842
14 North Branch 7A 141.225
15 Becker 7A 141.042
16 New London-Spicer 6A 140.042
17 Chisago Lakes 7A 139.825
18 Austin 1A 139.758
19 New Ulm Public/NUACS/MVL 2A 138.342
20 Mankato West 2A 138.275
21 Breck 5A138.242
22 Hendricks/RTR 3A 137.425
23 Benson-KMS-Montivideo 6A137.392
24 Fergus Falls 8A 137.267
25 Alexandria 8A 137.258
Frazee, Benilde-St. Margaret's, Wayzata Win State Dance/Jazz Titles2/17/2018
The jazz portion of the 2018 state dance tournament was held Friday at Target Center. Congratulations to all the competing teams. High kick teams will compete on Saturday.

Here are the top three jazz finishers in each class...

Class 1A
1 Frazee
2 Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd
3 Zumbrota-Mazeppa

Class 2A
1 Benilde-St. Margaret's
2 Totino-Grace
3 Sartell-St. Stephen

Class 3A
1 Wayzata
2 Eastview
3 Maple Grove

Frazee, Sartell-St. Stephen, Eastview Win State Dance/High Kick Titles2/17/2018
The high kick portion of the 2018 state dance tournament was held Friday at Target Center. Congratulations to all the competing teams.

Here are the top three high kick finishers in each class...

Class 1A
1 Frazee
2 Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd
3 Aitkin

Class 2A
1 Sartell-St. Stephen
2 Totino-Grace
3 Faribault

Class 3A
1 Eastview
2 Wayzata
3 Lakeville North