The State Hockey Tournament

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Yeah, I know.  It’s about time, ole hummus breath!  Uffda, I hate to put this up there first because it doesn’t reflect the closeness of the game.  But we’ll get into that . . .

Prior to the game, I was interviewed live on InformedTV about the Cardinals’ team.  To my knowledge, I was chosen only because the 40 more knowledgeable people all had prior commitments.  Anyway, it did go out live over the airways, and I learned from ex-neighbors who just happen to be here for a couple of weeks preparing their old house for sale that they saw it live because they only have rabbit-ears TV.  😉

My demo tape for ESPN:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJrdW7qR4Fc&feature=player_detailpage

[p.s.  Apologies to Lauren, I know her number is 21!  😉  ]

Bravo! Phenomenal interview! Is there any more coverage from Al?  I was able to listen to yesterday’s game on the radio, thanks of course to KXRA.  ~  Sue

Wow!  Sorry about the losses.  You have the gift of gab for your own show each weekend.  I hope that works out for next year.  Comments on your TV performance: 1. Both the bald men on the show should powder their head to avoid glare.  2. You crossed your arms for ten minutes in the middle of the show, don’t do that.  3.  When the MC asks if you have anything else for the third time, say no. :-).  Also, if I get out there this year, I want to go to Pete’s Country Meat Market and get some of those hotdogs/brats to bring home with my case of Carlos Creek.  ~  Marcus

And then the following e-mail exchange with Patty Wicken, KXRA morning host, moments before we hit the road:

Patty, 5 years ago I reported we were driving down to the girls’ state hockey tournament, listening to you while you reported it was 26 below zero (we were headed to the Cities where it was a balmy minus 10!).  When we pick up Bob (“Weakie”) and Vivian Annen a couple of minutes, the temperature will be very similar to that the year we won the state tournament!  An omen?  ~  Cubbie

Whoo-hoo!  I hope so!  Fingers crossed for the gals.  ~  Patty

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[Pretty much the first tourney photo every year.  “Weakie,” Viv, and the supervisor in the skywalk over Kellogg Boulevard from the parking garage to the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul.  Here “Weakie” demonstrates the Le Homme Dieu two-step.]

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[East on Kellogg.]

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[West on Kellogg.]

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[Ooops, they’re getting away from me.]

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[The ‘X’]

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[Many of the Cardinal faithful are already here!  😉 ]

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[Let the festivities begin!  🙂 ]

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[Cards take the ice.]

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[The scoreboard is bigger than Forada.]

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[Nice spacing!]

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[We were playing Red Wing, the No. 2 seed in the tournament.  Their record was 25 – 2 and they were averaging over 6 goals per game.  They had the leading scorer in the state, a junior who has already committed to U of M, Mankato, and a senior defenseman who is going to be a Gopher next year.  And they’re really young!  Seemed easy enough?]

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[I think it took the Cards a while to realize that a team from “Red” Wing had purple and white for their school colors?]

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[The supervisor in her Rink Rat shirt – each of the 8 teams competing in class A are represented, the Cards are on the right.]

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[The supervisor advises a hockey mom to text the team to let them know we’re playing a team in purple and white.]

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[The troublemakers:  Nicole Schammel (21) is the state’s leading scorer, Paige Hailey (16) is the coach’s daughter and Gopher-to-be.]

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[Cardinal fans.]

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[Brittin and Andy]

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[Cardinal fans drove security nuts by changing seat locations without using the appropriate corridors!  😉 ]

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[More Cardinal fans!]

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[The team cheerleaders are: Gabrielle Cahlin, Britanny Rochert, Kenzie Bakeberg, Madisyn Klimek, Ally Johnson, Lexie Hubbard, and Mariah Lichty.  (I know that’s too many, but I’m trying here!]

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[And introducing Rachel (4), junior]

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[Melissa (6), junior]

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[Kaila (7), sophomore]

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[Hanah (11), freshman]

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[Madi (12), senior]

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[Mari (18), freshman]

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[Lauren (21), freshman]

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[Nicole (23), sophomore]

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[Taylor (24), junior]

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[Marisa (25), sophomore]

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[Sara (27), senior]

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[McKenzie (29), 8th-grade]

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[Anna (31), senior]

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[Amy (33), freshman]

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[Micaela (34), sophomore]

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[Bailey (35), sophomore]

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[Becca (37), senior]

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[Shelby (38), senior]

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[Shanee’ (40), senior]

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[Mount up, ladies!]

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[Put your hats on!]

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[Forward, the Light Brigade!  Becca, McKenzie, Shelby, Anna, Amy, and Shanee’.]

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[LET’S PLAY HOCKEY!]

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[Shanee’ presses forward – the Cards usual opening gambit.]

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[Schammel somehow broke through and scored 15 seconds into the game.  Unbelievable!  The rest of the 1st period was lost photographically when the setting on my camera got changed in all the excitement.  It happens.  Usually I notice it sooner than a whole period gone.  Just as well.  The Wingers were up 4 – 1 after the 1st period and Schammel already had a hat trick.  It’s not like we didn’t know how they do it – it was a matter of terrific execution on their part.  Schammel usually floats around center ice waiting for breakaways.  She has a teammate, Haley, who can hit her with long passes from her own zone.  And Schammel just had one of those days where if she only had a 2 inch opening to shoot at, she’d put it in there.   Amazing performance.  In their next game against Blake, the eventual champ, she was just missing those shots.  Oh, if that touch had only been reversed!  Nicole had the Cardinal goal in the period, from Hanah, that tied the game for a short while.]

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[2nd period face-off.  The Cards showed their mettle by outplaying the Wingers the rest of the game, but a 3-goal lead was too much to overcome.]

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[I think the Cards had an overall team speed and depth advantage, but the Wingers had the superstars.]

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[Hanah’s line with Kaila and Mari played well in the tourney.]

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[Hanah’s line in the offensive zone.]

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[Cards score!  I think this was Shelby from Lauren, which made the score 4 – 2.  But the wingers scored again (power play, I don’t recall) to go up three again.  And then it appeared the Cards had scored again (that may be this sequence)?  But on review, it was determined the puck was kicked in.  If the goal would have pulled us within 5 – 3, the 3rd period could have been really interesting.]

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[The face-off after the kick-in?  Red Wing got a 6th goal before the period ended – that was the killer.]

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[We played great in the 3rd period – just couldn’t get any pucks to go in.]

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[Shelby knocking on the door again.]

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[And Becca was coming in for a rebound.]

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[A time-out just for the rest – and to tell them they fought back nicely.]

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[Congrats to the Wingers.  The shots-on-goal at the top we didn’t think was telling.  The Cards had more shots, but they were either off the goal or blocked at the defense.  But now we were staying in the Cities overnight, as the Cards would be playing in the consolation bracket at Ridder in the morning.  If they’d won, we would have gone home to Alex and come back on Friday for the semifinals.]

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[And my consolation was an après-game nosh at Cossetta’s with an adult beverage.  See you again on the morrow.]

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