BOYS HOCKEY: Green Wave find themselves in the rare position of underdog
ST. PAUL -- The East Grand Forks Senior High boys hockey team finds itself in a unique position. The Green Wave rarely have been the underdog this season and never by this much of a margin. It's a role Senior High coach Tyler Palmiscno is telling...
ST. PAUL -- The East Grand Forks Senior High boys hockey team finds itself in a unique position.
The Green Wave rarely have been the underdog this season and never by this much of a margin.
It's a role Senior High coach Tyler Palmiscno is telling his team to embrace.
"We have nothing to lose," Palmiscno said. "That's not a bad role to have. I imagine we'll have the majority of fan support. Enjoy it, but bring your 'A' game."
No. 4 Senior High, which beat Rochester Lourdes 3-2 on Wednesday, faces No. 1 St. Thomas Academy in today's 1 p.m. semifinal of the Minnesota state Class A boys hockey tournament at the Xcel Energy Center.
St. Thomas Academy is after its third-consecutive Class A state championship. It defeated St. Cloud Apollo 12-0 in the quarterfinals and outshot Apollo 50-3.
The Cadets are moving up to Class AA next season and make few friends of the casual fans. The Green Wave expect to have new fans today if the game stays close.
St. Thomas Academy, 25-2-2, is the runaway favorite to win the small-school championship and some project the Cadets are the best team in the tournament regardless of enrollment. The Cadets' only two losses this year came to Minnetonka and Hill-Murray.
"They're top to bottom better than any team in the state," Palmiscno said. "They've played them all and beat them all. They have high-end forwards, Division I defensemen and one of the best goalies in the state. They just don't have a weakness."
The Cadets outscored opponents 18-0 during the section tournament and didn't surrender a shot on goal to St. Cloud Apollo in the state quarterfinals until the final two minutes of the second period.
"I think the biggest obstacle is not being overly intimidated," Palmiscno said. "We have to respect their skill set and depth and what they do offensively, but we can't be intimidated. That can be a hard hurdle to overcome with some kids."
The Wave, who were the last undefeated team in Minnesota this season, are making their first state tournament appearance since 2002.
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