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2014 STATE TOURNAMENT PREDICTIONS

Well, the 2013-14 Minnesota State High School Hockey League has begun it's season, and we have already seen a lot of great games on the young season.  As promised, I am going to make my predictions for the 2014 Class A and Class AA State Champions and Runner-Ups, as well as my prediction on who will win the 2014 Minnesota Mr. Hockey Award.  Please check back here often as I will be releasing a prediction every few days or so.

I am going to start with how I think the seedings for the State Tournament will shake out (assuming all of the teams I predicted to advance to the State Tournament indeed make it).  Those seedings have been posted for Class A, and Class AA will be posted as soon as I announce my predictions for the Class A State Champion and Runner-Up.

 

Then, I will be periodically posting who I think will win each game until we get to the Championship game.  At that time I will post the winner and the runner-up on both this page and the main High School page on this website.  As always, I would appreciate hearing any and all feedback you might have!

CLASS A STATE TOURNAMENT PREDICTIONS

 

CLASS AA STATE TOURNAMENT PREDICTIONS

 

CLASS A STATE TOURNAMENT GAME THOUGHTS

OPENING ROUND

EAST GRAND FORKS vs MANKATO WEST
Mankato West will have a good team this season, but it will be hard for them to keep a talented East Grand Forks team off the board.  The Green Wave is just too deep, and I think they make pretty quick work of Mankato West in this game.  Not to take anything away from Mankato West, as I think getting to this spot will be a big first step for this program.  Would love to see their program grow and hockey start to really flourish in Southern Minnesota again.  FINAL SCORE PREDICTION: 6-2
BRECK SCHOOL vs LUVERNE
After making amends for last season and winning Section 3A to advance to the State Tournament, Luverne draws a very tough first-round match-up in Breck School.  While I think Luverne will be a good team this year, and is perfectly capable of putting pucks in the net, I think that Breck School will be much too deep for Luverne to handle.  Like with Mankato West, I do think this is will be a great first step for Luverne.  FINAL SCORE PREDICTION:  8-3
ST. CLOUD CATHEDRAL vs PRINCETON
I anticipate that this game, if it were to happen, would be a fairly close fought battle.  So far this season, St. Cloud Cathedral (7-0-0 against Class A's 14th hardest schedule) has fared better than Princeton (3-3-0 against Class A's 37th hardest schedule) much because St. Cloud Cathedral has been much better defensively.  While Princeton is currently averaging 6.5 goals per game, they are also giving up over 4 goals a game to their opposition.  St. Cloud Cathedral, while only scoring 3.86 goals a game so far this year, has held it's opponents to under 2 goals a game.  For this reason, I think St. Cloud Cathedral wins and moves on.  FINAL SCORE PREDICTION:  4-2

HERMANTOWN vs ST. PAUL ACADEMY

If this game does happen, I think it will be a much better game that most people would anticipate.  Both teams are putting a lot of pucks in the net already this season, with Hermantown averaging 5.17 and St. Paul Academy averaging 5.2.  The main difference is that Hermantown has been doing it against Class A's 6th hardest schedule so far while St. Paul Academy has played Class A's 25th most difficult schedule.  I think this will be a high scoring affair with Hermantown edging out St. Paul Academy in the end.  FINAL SCORE PREDICTION:  6-5

SEMI-FINAL GAMES

EAST GRAND FORKS vs ST. CLOUD CATHEDRAL
If this game were to happen, it would be a really great game.  These teams are so evenly matched, and both teams are very well coached.  So far this season, East Grand Forks is 5-1-1 and has scored 3.29 goals to their opponent's 1.71.  St. Cloud Cathedral is undefeated on the season, sitting at 8-0-0 with a 4.12 goals per game average to its opponent's 1.62 goals per game.  The big difference is that East Grand Forks has put up its record against Class A's 3rd most difficult schedule so far, while St. Cloud Cathedral has played Class A's 20th most difficult schedule.  East Grand Forks has played a daunting schedule so far, and I think that experience pays off here as they edge out St. Cloud Cathedral to advance to the finals.  FINAL SCORE PREDICTION: 3-2.
BRECK SCHOOL vs HERMANTOWN
This game should be an EPIC showdown, should it occur.  Both of these teams have been perennial powerhouses in Class A hockey over the past decade, and both programs are having great seasons so far.  In fact, these are the top two teams in Class A in my rankings as of today.  In MNHS games so far this season, Hermantown is currently 8-2-0 (with their only losses coming against Class AA opponents Eagan and Wayzata).  Breck has fared equally as well against MNHS opponents so far this season, as they are currently 8-2-1 (with their only losses coming against Class AA opponents Edina and Duluth East and a tie against Holy Family Catholic).  Hermantown has been a goal scoring machine this season (averaging a staggering 5.8 goals per game) and Breck has been putting pucks in the net in abundance as well (averaging 5.36 goals per game).  Both teams have been stingy defensively as well, as Hermantown is only allowing 2.6 goals per game and Breck has been holding opponents to 2.27 goals per game.  In the end, I think Hermantown's offense is a bit too potent for Breck School, and they win a tight one in overtime.  FINAL SCORE PREDICTION 4-3 (Overtime)

CLASS A CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

EAST GRAND FORKS vs HERMANTOWN
This was a really, really hard game to decide on.  Both of these teams are really good hockey teams.  Hermantown is having another wonderful season so far.  Up to this point in the season their only losses have come against Class AA teams (Wayzata and Eagan).  They are averaging a mind-boggling 5.67 goals per game and have only given up a meager 2.17 goals per game.  They are an offensive juggernaut that has been proving again this season that they are one of the premier programs in this state. 

Like Hermantown, East Grand Forks is also having a fantastic season.  Their only loss (to MNHS teams) this season have come at the hands of Breck (they also lost to Notre Dame Academy of WIHS), and they tied Warroad.  They are only averaging 3.15 goals per game, but they have been one of the stingiest defensive teams in high school hockey this season (only allowing a miniscule 1.38 goals per game). 

If any team is capable of shutting down Hermantown's well-oiled offensive machine, it is East Grand Forks.  I almost want to say that they will do it (and it wouldn't suprise me in the least bit if they did), but in the end I think the offense from Hermantown is a bit too much and they do just enough to hold East Grand Forks off the board to squeak out a double-overtime victory in what would be an absolute blast of a game to watch.  FINAL SCORE PREDICTION:  3-2 (DOUBLE OVERTIME)
 

2014 MINNESOTA MR. HOCKEY PREDICTIONS

Predictions for the 2014 Minnesota Mr. Hockey Award will be coming soon!
 

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