Saturday, March 13, 2010

Tournament Time

The 2nd weekend in March in Minnesota means it's High School Hockey State Tournament time. We've been going every year for as long as I've known Eric. His dad has been on the season ticket list since the 60's. Last year it was pretty exciting for us, the boys High School made it into the tournament and won it all. I wrote about it here, here, and here. This year, it's still exciting, the hockey is always great, but no home team emotions going on. And that's OK by me!

The first game that we saw on Thursday afternoon was Edina...a neighboring school vs. Roseau...a small school from northern Minnesota with a strong hockey tradition. It's always fun to see a small school going up against the bigger schools. With all of the High School kids in the building, the excitement and energy levels are pretty high.

The school bands are there. I thought that the tuba player for Edina had an interesting uniform...tie-dyed shirt, bow tie, and card board hockey helmet. Whatever it takes. Go Team!

The teams were playing, things got a little jumbled up by the Edina goal....

....and the next thing I saw was that the goalie had lost his stick! Wouldn't it be a bummer to be a goalie without a stick?

Sort of like being up a creek without a paddle. Oh no, here comes the puck.

The goalie pounced on it like a cat. Whew.

He got his stick back and all was well. Doesn't he look relieved?

The play is fast and furious and players are crashing into the boards and each other all the time.

Sometimes they crash too hard, or crash into someone in front of the referee and they have to go to jail. The sin bin. Some people call it the penalty box.

OK # 5...sit here for a couple of minutes and think about what you've done.

Sometimes when one guy is in the box his team mate thinks he looks lonely so he'll crash into someone and get to join his buddy in jail. At least they have someone to talk to.

Even with two guys in the sin bin for a while, Edina was able to win....and the celebration begins. Woo Hoo!

The other team has to take a deep breath and then come over to shake hands with the winners. These kids play with all they've got, losing isn't easy to swallow....but they seem to be good sports about it all. Besides, everyone is watching, so they better behave themselves.

The coach for Edina High School is former NHL player Curt Giles, a Canadian that played defense for the Minnesota North Stars from 1979 - 1991. The Stars moved to Dallas in 1993 and eventually were replaced in Minnesota by the Wild. Just a little hockey trivia for ya. I think it's cool that he returned to Minnesota to coach the kids. "Whad ya tink of dat game aye?"

"Woooooo....dat's more nerve wracking than playing dat's fer sure." Did you know that Canadian and Minnesotan accents are pretty much the same aye?

Then the Zamboni comes out, cleans the ice, and it all starts all over again.

They introduce the next set of officials. People act silly to get on TV.....

...they stick cameras in the faces of the teams and introduce them....

....and it's time to see which team goes on and which team goes home. It's 3 days of fun.

When you are entering an arena that has a statue of Herb Brooks outside, you know that something special is bound to always has.

High School Hockey in Minnesota, it's where miracle stories begin.

No comments: