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OKLEE, Minn. -- The picture of Aaron Chaput on Red Lake County Central High School's version of a wall of fame has been an inspiration for Michaela Casavan. The pictures of several former RLCC standouts hang above a trophy case in the entry way to the school's gymnasium, recognizing them for athletic achievements.
The future looks strong for East Grand Forks Senior High boys hockey. But Senior High co-coach Cory Chupka is concerned about the present -- and finishing plays. Senior High takes the No. 5 seed into the Minnesota Section 8A playoffs. The 9-13-1 Green Wave play fourth-seeded Crookston in an 8:15 p.m. quarterfinal game Thursday in Thief River Falls. Five of the Green Wave's top six scorers are underclassmen, as is starting goaltender Hunter Aubol.
Against every opponent not named Warroad, Crookston is averaging 5.0 goals per game this season. Against Warroad, however, the Pirates are averaging 0.5 goals a game. Generating some offense is the big challenge when Crookston plays Warroad at 7 tonight in the championship game of the Minnesota Section 8A girls hockey tournament in Crookston. Crookston, 21-5, is 0-2 against the Warriors, being outscored 10-1. That's not unusual -- the Warriors have allowed three goals in only two games this season; otherwise, they've held every opponent to two goals or less.
Matt Malm, who led Grand Forks Red River to five North Dakota boys high school hockey state championships, died Tuesday night. Bill Chase, Malm's assistant coach at Red River for six seasons, said Malm's family said he died of a cancerous brain tumor. "Matt was a good coach, a good friend, a good man," said Chase, who succeeded Malm as the Riders' head coach. Malm,49, resigned from the Red River coaching position in July of 2009 after his Roughriders won the 2009 state championship. In his 11 seasons as the Roughriders' coach, he led the team to nine berths in the state championship. "Mat
Jared Vandal takes a 4-0 record to the North Dakota Class B state wrestling tournament. The Rolla-Rock Lake-St. John senior also takes the No. 1 seed at the 189-pound weight class, even though he saw such limited action. "I was pretty surprised (by the No. 1 seed)," said Vandal, who missed most of the season because of a shoulder injury he suffered during the football season. "I expected to be a high seed, but not a one. All the other guys had a lot of matches. I didn't wrestle until the end of the season. I'm hoping I can prove that I should be up there. "Seeding isn't that big a deal.
Corey Poole doesn't have to look far to find role models for his young Thief River Falls girls hockey team. With seven players in Minnesota's Section 8A committed to NCAA Division I programs, there's plenty of talent to watch in opposing lineups. "We'll tell our young girls that they're capable of being as good as those other girls," said Poole, whose regular 12-player rotation includes only two seniors and three juniors. "But I also think it's important that our girls don't get awestruck by those (opposing) girls. "We don't have those 100-point scorers now. But we're young and talented.
A lot has changed for Grand Forks Red River since the first intracity boys basketball game of the season. When Red River and Central met on Jan. 20, Red River entered the game with a 4-5 record. The Roughriders were in seventh place in Eastern Dakota Conference standings. Red River eked out a 66-65 win against the Knights -- the start of a six-game winning streak that has vaulted the Riders into EDC title contention. Red River entered the weekend tied for second place in the conference with Fargo Shanley, one-half game behind leader Fargo North. Red River is at Central for a 7:30 p.m.
For a change, there's no sure thing in Hillsboro's wrestling lineup. Over the last three seasons, the Burros had wrestlers such as Tanner Boeddeker, Andrew Grothmann and Anthony Von Ruden -- individuals who rarely lost and could be counted on to win in every tournament. Boedekker was a state champion last season, while Von Ruden and Grothmann won in 2009, the second straight for Grothmann. "We don't have that one guy who we expect to walk through every tournament," Hillsboro senior Alex McLean said. "We have guys who we know can make the finals.
Nick Dostal is one of the tallest players on the Badger-Greenbush-Middle River boys basketball team. But the 6-foot-3 junior's game is built more around distance than height. Dostal has been on a roll with his perimeter shooting. On Friday, he set a program record for most 3-point baskets in a game, going 9-of-10 against Blackduck. In the game before that, he was 5-of-9 on treys. "Nick's definitely been in a groove with his shooting," Gators coach Kent Christian said. "He's a tall, lanky kid who's more comfortable on the perimeter. He's confident in his outside shooting.
First-time tournament pressure was no problem for Kyle Pederson. As a freshman, playing in the quarterfinal round game of the District 3 boys high school basketball tournament, Pederson poured in 27 points for Hatton-Northwood. "I didn't feel any nerves," Pederson said. "I don't think Mike (Paulson) did, either. We'd played the whole year on varsity. We took it as just another game. But I was shocked by that (27-point total)." Pederson and Paulson both started on that team as freshmen. They're now juniors and young veterans on the Hatton-Northwood team, which has a young guns theme.