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BOYS' 2016 STATE TOURNAMENT: Class AA Quarterfinals Preview

03/01/2016, 10:45am CST
By Peter Odney

Playoff Upsets Lead to Wide-Open Tourney Field

No. 1 seed Eden Prairie will face Anoka in its State Tournament quarterfinal. Credit: Tim Kruse, Epboyshockey.com

No. 1 seed Eden Prairie will face Anoka in its State Tournament quarterfinal. Credit: Tim Kruse, Epboyshockey.com

CLASS AA QUARTERFINALS

No. 2 Stillwater (26-1-1) vs. Farmington (18-8-1) - Thursday, Mar. 3, 11 a.m.

The Ponies, the No. 2 seed, are riding high after an intense 1-0 overtime win over Hill-Murray in the Section 4-2A finals. An explosive offense is the catalyst for the Ponies, with junior Noah Cates (23-37-60) and senior Jackson Cates (24-34-58) leading the way. Jackson has committed to Michigan Tech.

Farmington downed South Suburban Conference rival Lakeville North in the Section 1 finals, and features senior forward John Sibenaler (18-26-44) and senior Wyatt Jensen (16-27-43).


No. 3 Wayzata (19-8-1) vs. Burnsville (16-10-2) - Thursday, Mar. 3, 1 p.m.

No. 3 seed Wayzata enjoyed a relative explosion of productivity from senior forward Dillon Riley in the Section 2 playoffs. Riley totaled just one goal and four points in the regular season, but tallied three goals and eight points in three playoff games. Keep an eye on senior forward and North Dakota commit Mark Senden (9-28-37), who’s physicality and puck distribution can shift games.

Burnsville also has a playoff terror, with senior forward Cade Borchardt scoring nine goals and 14 points in the Section 3-2A playoffs, where the Blaze thumped top-seeded St. Thomas Academy 7-1 in the finals. Senior defender Eric Otto dished out 10 assists in three section games. 

Burnsville (shown in a game against Hill-Murray earlier this season) took out top-seeded St. Thomas Academy 7-1 in the Section 3-2A playoffs. Credit: Peter Odney.

Burnsville (shown in a game against Hill-Murray earlier this season) took out top-seeded St. Thomas Academy 7-1 in the Section 3-2A playoffs. Credit: Peter Odney.

No. 1 Eden Prairie (19-7-2) vs. Anoka (18-9-0) - Thursday, Mar. 3, 6 p.m.

Top-seeded Eden Prairie faces underdog Section 5-2A champion Anoka in the first round. The Eagles feature an ultra-talented forward corps, with two Division I commits in senior Michael Graham (16-33-49) and junior Casey Mittelstadt (28-40-68).

Anoka has its own offensive presence in junior Isaac Johnson (24-24-48), and senior forward Michael Talbot (18-23-41)


No. 4 Grand Rapids (21-6-1) vs. No. 5 Bemidji (23-2-2) - Thursday, Mar. 3, 8 p.m.

Senior forward and Mr. Hockey finalist Mitchell Mattson (20-37-57) paces Grand Rapids, which ended Duluth East’s run in Section 7-2A with a 6-5 victory in the section finals. 

Bemidji has 12 players with 13 or more points during the regular season, led by junior forwards Alex Pollack (16-28-44) and Brady Tatro (17-26-43). The Thunderhawks and Lumberjacks tied early in the season on Nov. 24 by a score of 1-1.


Quarterfinals Schedule

Class A - March 2

  • Mankato West (15-11-2) vs. No. 2 Breck School (24-3-1) — 11:00 a.m. 
  • Princeton (21-7-0) vs. No. 3 Thief River Falls (22-6-0) — 1:00 p.m.
  • Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato (20-8-0) vs. No. 1 Hermantown (24-2-1) — 6:00 p.m.
  • No. 5 St. Cloud Cathedral (20-7-1) vs. No. 4 St. Paul Academy/Summit School (23-5-0) — 8:00 p.m.


Class AA - March 3

  • Farmington (18-8-1) vs. No. 2 Stillwater (26-1-1) — 11:00 a.m.
  • Burnsville (16-10-2) vs. No. 3 Wayzata (19-8-1) — 1:00 p.m.
  • Anoka (18-9-0) vs. No. 1 Eden Prairie (19-7-2) — 6:00 p.m.
  • No. 5 Bemidji (23-2-2) vs. No. 4 Grand Rapids (21-6-1) — 8:00 p.m.

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Tag(s): State Of Hockey  News