WE’RE GOING TO STATE (AGAIN)!

Amazing. The Alexandria girls’ hockey team discovered their “game” at exactly the right time. After a regular season of taking on “the big schools” all season long, the last half almost always on the road, and finishing with an 8-14-1 record, the Cards, with a new found self confidence, steamrolled through the section with 10-1 and 8-3 wins, and finally a 4-0 championship victory over Fergus Falls last night in Detroit Lakes. This was not a fluke – the better team won.

We picked up fellow Super Fans, Joyce and Dave Rogosheske, on Lake Miltona yesterday afternoon and made our first venture out of Douglas County since the invention of the internal combustion engine. We headed to DL with the idea of eating at Zorbaz on the lake before the game. Naturally, after arriving in the city we missed our turn, as older people are wont to do. We made a U-turn and discovered we had just missed it by one block. Upon reaching Zorbaz, we were struck by the sight of people heading to the lake carrying their golf bags – while it was a bright sun shiny day, the temperature was about 10 degrees, apparently just right for a mid-winter tournament on the ice. Barb and Roger Riley, with granddaugher, Megan, joined us shortly thereafter where we all enjoyed various applications of pizza and Mexican foods. The entire Ellingson ensemble was there also.

[Zorbaz 🙂 (The inside of the men’s room door – you don’t get this kind of reporting just anywhere!]

Then it was on to the Kent Freeman Arena. Once seated, we had to assure the supervisor this was going to be a Card victory. Fergus had beaten the Cards twice during the regular season, but we outshot them both times. And Joyce pointed out how difficult it is to beat a team three times in one season.* The first period was evenly played with the Cards holding a slight shot advantage – the score was 0-0 at the break. In the 2nd period, Shelby Iverson scored and it looked to be the start of something good! Shanee’ Herd continued her play-off scoring binge with another goal, and the Cards took a 2-0 lead into the third. The Cards began the final period playing just two lines – and then when the third line was sent out, they were so fresh they really carried the play. That’s when Robo commented that the Otters were wearing out. Shelby scored again – and Claire Illies put in an almost length-of-the-ice open netter for the final goal. As in the section semi-finals, the line of Shelby, Claire, and Claire’s sister Becca had a dominant game. And Stephanie Drown, with a terrific assist from her defense, pitched a lovely shutout in goal.  When the final buzzer sounded, in fine hockey tradition, the ice was littered with helmets, gloves, sticks, mouth guards, and retainers making the surface look like Animal House after a toga party. We found our way home by the light of an incredibly bright full moon.

[Super Fans, drowsy from pizza :-)]

[KXRA announcers Dave Harris and Bob Cunniff.]

So, now it’s on to the “X” for the state tournament, beginning Wednesday. We’ll be there for full on-site coverage. Here are four videos from the game – the intros, the start, the celebration, and the awards:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cVgQWfFP50

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9AgADY2X8w

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2bUI-lF_88

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Pr3Tqwh9Bk

Fortunately, the merriment from DL was enough to offset the rest of the evening’s results. The girls’ basketball team was at Fergus with a chance to tie the Otters for 1st place in the conference. The Otters won 65-57, in OVERTIME. Once again, as in the first game against them (when we shot less than 20%), we forgot to bring out shooting touch. The Cards only shot 25% for the game (so maybe Fergus has something to do with it?). But we have to wonder how a team gets to shoot 41 free throws in a game – as the Otters did – making 25 of them. Please indulge my skepticism about a team getting 40% of its points for “free.” * We will invoke the Joyce Rogosheske adage here – it’s hard to beat a team three times in one season. If the Cards can shoot terribly twice and still amost win both times, we will have to be the favorites if we play Fergus in the sections?

It was also a tough night for the boys. The basketball and hockey teams both lost to Moorhead – in defense of the hockey team, they won the night before but it’s tough to have enough left in the tank to play two nights in a row. [Note: It’s was also the girls’ basketball team’s 2nd game in two nights – that may have been telling.]

Management and staff of this blog will take a short break from sports reporting to venture out of the county for the second day in a row for Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion performance in Morris this afternoon.

p.s. Undocumented staff report in:

Hockey mom Chris Kragenbring, obviously overcome with excitement, was also up early today:

Whoo Hoo! Going to STATE!!!

Your email will be busy these next few days. Please check it regularly for important state information…..schedule, banquet, fan bus,  etc.

Mitch should know what seed we get by noon today, which will then set the schedule for our first game.

We will keep you posted as information comes our way.

Section Championship t-shirts will be printed and ready for the girls to wear to school on Tuesday.

Whoo Hoo! Going to STATE!!!

California correspondent “Dr.” Gretchen Nelson filed another report:

Two important games and I’m here.  We will be at our daughter’s house during the time both teams are on the court so won’t be able to stream with KXRA.  I refuse to go to sleep tonite until I hear at least the scores of both.  I’m also wondering how Parker is doing.  All the senior players for that matter.  Maybe I’ll call Tami Curry for a run down on some of the activity.

We went on a long walk–almost two hours worth.  Sunny and mild with rain due tonite.  Our daughter lives in Carlsbad so the drive is an easy one and very close.  It’s supposed to begin raining later today so it’s a good thing we have AWD if that coastal rain turns into icy sleet.  Oh, right, we’re in southern CAL.  No worries here.

The guys from Don’s old golf group always golfed here in Oceanside every Sat. a.m. They’ve already called it off for tomorrow.  Don hasn’t achieved anything remotely like his usual tan.

I’m glad the JV team is doing well.  Like them also.  They’re very fun kids.  Also glad Alli is back on her feet.  Loved the pictures of her next to Dave at the mic.  She’s a very free spirit.  They really must whomp FF tonite.  It’s a must. 

Take care.  – Gretch

Super Fan Dusty Johnson:

Hi, got back from Chicago and had a good trip. Granddaughters 3rd b-day, went to Chuck E. Cheeses games and kids all over the place. Anyway got back and Joy got sick with the flu the next day. So missed the bball game and will miss the hockey game in DL, will listen to it on the radio tho. Could go but I don`t want to pass anything around if she has been sick.  I`m ok so far – anyway have a good trip and hope both girls teams win………..Dusty

And finally, Bob “Weakie” Annen checking in from the lanai in Sarasota:

What a game! Listened to the whole thing. Sounds like we outplayed them from the git go. That team is really starting to come together. Off to the State tourney for you guys. We will miss that.

[Break up the Gopher men’s hockey team?]

[And this morning’s sunrise over beautiful Lake Darling!]

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