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Hill-Murray and Dodge County win top boys' and girls' divisions at 12th annual Schwan Cup hockey tournament

01/02/2013, 2:00pm CST
By Barclay Kruse, NSC Chief Communications Officer

Blaine, Minn. (January 1, 2013) – The 12th annual Schwan Cup hockey tournament wrapped up a full seven-day run on New Year’s Day capping a hockey extravaganza that began on December 26 with the high school boys taking the ice at three different arenas – Schwan Super Rink, Ridder Arena, and Fogerty Arena -- stretching through the high school girls tournament, and ending January 1 with championship games in the youth divisions. A total of 125 teams played in the various divisions.

The marquee half of the tournament, as it is every year, is the high school tournament, for both boys and girls. Sixty varsity teams were split into eight divisions, four for the boys and four in the girls. Most of the media attention goes to the boys’ gold division, and this year’s tournament offered perhaps the strongest field ever, with seven of the eight teams ranked in the top ten.

After an opening day featuring  upsets in three of the four games – Burnsville over Blaine, Breck over Duluth East and St. Thomas Academy topping top-ranked Edina – the championship game came down to a battle between Classic Suburban rivals Hill-Murray and St. Thomas Academy. The two teams had played just weeks earlier, with St. Thomas Academy coming out on top 2-1.

This year’s battle promised more of the same: two evenly-balanced teams that depended on solid defense to win close games. And that’s the way the game played out. After regulation time ended with the score tied 3-3, then a scoreless overtime, it came down to a shootout. The Pioneers’ Willie Brown netted the winner on the final shot. It was a championship game as even on the ice as it was on paper, and notably, was penalty free for the full 59 minutes.

Unlike previous years when the boys’ gold division was anchored at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, that division, and all championship games, were played at Ridder Arena on the campus of the University of Minnesota. The change was made because of Wild home games scheduled at the Xcel Energy Center on December 26 and 28. Of course, with the NHL lockout lingering on, Xcel might have been available at the eleventh hour, but Schwan Cup director Pete Carlson had to make alternate plans months earlier. And the new venue got high marks from spectators, who enjoyed the intimate feel and excellent sight lines of the smaller venue.

FOX Sports North broadcasted four boys’ Schwan Cup games, as part of their FOX Prep Zone high school hockey schedule – the silver division semifinals on December 27 from the Schwan Super Rink and the silver and gold championship matches from Ridder Arena on December 28.

Additionally, the National Sports Center’s in-house webcasting service, NSCgamecast, provided live webcasts of all the games at Ridder Arena, for the first time in a free live viewing format. The change from a pay-per-view to a free platform was hugely successful, as over 9,000 views were recorded during the four days of the tournament.

Here is a summary of championship games in all the divisions:

High School Boys’ Varsity:

Gold: Hill-Murray 3, St. Thomas Academy 3. (Hill-Murray won overtime shootout.)

In a championship game that was as evenly played as possible from the opening whistle, Willie Brown scored the winning shot in the overtime shootout to give Hill-Murray its second Schwan Cup Gold Championship.

Hill-Murray jumped ahead 2-0 in the second period on goals by Zach Mills and Mitch Slattery. But consecutive goals by the Cadets’ Alex Johnson and Alex Broetzman tied the game 2-2 heading into the third period.

The teams traded goals again, with Sam Becker scoring for the Pioneers and Gunnar Regan matching him just three minutes later. After a scoreless overtime, Hill-Murray won the three-player shootout 2-1.

Both teams recorded 38 shots on goal, and the entire game was penalty free.

Silver: Prior Lake 3, Lakeville South 0.

Jack Murphy, Ben Keckeisen and Dylan Zins tallied goals for Prior Lake as the Lakers convincingly beat their South Suburban conference rivals Lakeville South 3-0. Jordan Moran stopped all 23 shots he faced in goal.

Bronze: Mounds View 6, Orono 1.

Mounds View broke open a tight game with three third period goals. Jacob Tretsvin tallied two goals and an assist for the Mustangs, and Brandon Smith stopped 22 of 23 shots in goal for the victors. This year’s bronze division championship marked the Mustangs’ first Schwan Cup title after qualifying for the bronze championship game, and coming up short, in both 2010 and 2011.

Open: Minneapolis 3, Bloomington Kennedy 1.

Henry Christman tallied two goals and T. J. Mosely stopped 15 of 16 shots as Minneapolis dominated Bloomington Kennedy to capture the Open Division championship 3-1. Scoring all three goals in the first period, the Novas then controlled the rest of the game to cruise to the win.

High School Boys’ Junior Varsity:

Gold: Edina 4, Burnsville 2.

Silver: Stillwater 1, Centennial 1. (Stillwater won overtime shootout.)

Bronze: Mounds View 6, Cretin-Derham Hall 2.

Open: Spring Lake Park 3, Luverne 0.

High School Girls’ Varsity:

Blue: Dodge County 4, Orono 3.

Dana Rasmussen scored all four goals for Dodge County in their 4-3 championship victory over a game Orono team. Dodge County jumped ahead 3-0 after one period, but Orono clawed back and came within one goal at the end. Gabby Suhr, in goal for Dodge County, stood tall in the final flurry from Orono.

Red: Holy Family/Waconia 4, Silver Bay 1.

Abby Hanscom tallied a hat as Holy Family/Waconia defeated Silver Bay 4-1 in the Red Division championship game. Holy Family outshot the Mariners 31-13, and Lexi Harman stopped 12 of 13 shots in goal for the winners.

White: North Metro 3, Moose Lake Area 3. (North Metro won overtime shootout)

Taylor Anderson scored two goals, including the tying goal with just 10 second left, as North Metro rallied from behind twice to force overtime and then win the overtime shootout. Jessica Bird scored twice for Moose Lake.

Green: Northern Lakes 3, International Falls 2. (overtime)

Kaylyn Eggena scored 6:06 into the overtime period as Northern Lakes came from behind to defeat International Falls 3-2. Alex Palm tallied two goals for the winners as well.

High School Girls’ Junior Varsity:

Blue: Forest Lake 6, Orono 0.

Red: Holy Family/Waconia 4, North Metro 2.

Youth (all boys):

Bantam A: Blaine 7, Mounds View 1.

Junior Gold A: Osseo-Maple Grove 5, White Bear Lake 3.

Junior Gold B: White Bear Lake 5, Hastings Raiders 4.

U16: KC Stars 3, Lakeville Prowlers 1.

Click here to see all Schwan Cup scores and statistics for all divisions. And check out the photo gallery below of girls' and boys' varsity champions:

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