Greater Grand Forks high school notebook: Green Wave are just another ranked team in Section 8A girls hockey playoffs
The state poll this week has East Grand Forks Senior High as the No. 9-ranked team in Minnesota Class A girls hockey. That's the good news for the Green Wave. The bad news for the program is that, with Section 8A playoffs beginning next week, thr...
The state poll this week has East Grand Forks Senior High as the No. 9-ranked team in Minnesota Class A girls hockey.
That's the good news for the Green Wave. The bad news for the program is that, with Section 8A playoffs beginning next week, three of the teams ranked ahead of the Wave also are from 8A.
Warroad is defending state champion and the state's top-ranked team. Crookston is ranked fourth and Thief River Falls is No. 7.
"I think (the poll) says we're a pretty solid team," Senior High coach Jim Scanlan said. "But when you look at all the rankings, we have a pretty tough section."
Coaches will seed the section's six teams Monday. The top two teams get byes in Thursday's quarterfinals. Scanlan said his team likely will get a third or fourth seed and host a quarterfinal game.
Senior High, 15-9-1, has split a pair of games against Crookston, including a 6-4 win Thursday in which Leah Jensen had four goals. Against Thief River Falls, the Wave have a tie and a loss. Senior High is 0-2 against Warroad, dropping 6-0 and 9-2 decisions.
"If you want to get to state, you'll probably have to go through Warroad," Scanlan said. "They've had some injuries. But they're still clearly the favorite in our section."
Jensen, a UND-bound player who recently registered the 200th point of her career, dominates the Senior High offense. The senior has 49 goals, as well as 16 assists. Behind her in the offense are Emily Swenson (14 goals, 9 assists), Jaclyn Scanlan (3-18), Maggie Tweten (5-16), CoCo Piche (9-10) and Chelsey Grassel (9-10).
In goal, Madi Galstad has a 3.14 goals-against average and a .852 save percentage.
"Goaltending is very important this time of year," Jim Scanlan said. "Madi is only 14 years old. She's done a solid job. But this will be her first experience in the playoffs."
GF teams meet
on the mat tonight
Last Saturday, Grand Forks Central outscored Grand Forks Red River by just 13.5 points (147-133.5) at the Larimore Invitational wrestling tournament.
What kind of a barometer that will be when the teams meet at 7 tonight at Red River in the teams' lone dual meeting of the season remains to be seen.
"We both had some injuries and held some kids out because of season match limitations at Larimore," Central coach Matt Berglund said. "Neither team had the lineup it will put on the mat against each other. Neither of us are at full strength yet."
Berglund said the Grand Forks teams have different looks.
According to the Class A coaches' state poll, Central has more quality individuals. Three Knights have top-three rankings in the state in Bryce Fish (third, 140 pounds), Erik Jones (second, 145) and Kaccee Morin (third, 152) while only one Roughrider is a top-three individual. Keaton Hanevold is ranked third at 189.
But, Berglund said, "Red River probably has more balance in its lineup. It could be a 7-7 toss-up in matches; Red River may have an 8-6 or 9-5 advantage."
Logjam atop East Region boys puck
There's a logjam at the top of the East Region boys hockey standings heading into the final week of the regular season.
Grand Forks Red River and West Fargo are tied for first with 22 points. Grafton-Park River is in third with 21 points, one ahead of fourth-place Grand Forks Central.
"There's parity like crazy,'' Red River coach Bill Chase said. "There are six teams who, if they won the region tournament, it wouldn't be a surprise. Who's playing hot, who's got the hot goalie, some breaks -- anything can make the difference.''
Red River controls its own finish with head-to-head matchups. Red River hosts West Fargo on Thursday, then is at Grafton-Park River next Saturday in its season finale. "I'd rather have the outcome up to us, not relying on what somebody else is doing, to win it,'' Chase said. "We can have no excuses -- it's all up to us.''
Central closes its region schedule by hosting Devils Lake tonight, then traveling to Fargo South-Shanley on Thursday.
"If we win out, we'd be at 24 points,'' Central coach Tony Bina said. "The worst we could finish then would be second or third. But we'd really need a lot of help to win it. Right now, we're not worried about first place in the regular season. The biggest thing is finishing strong to get ready for tournaments.''
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