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Tom’s Notes: MLB Spring Training Underway + State Hockey Tournaments Heat Up

Full–squad workouts for both the Minnesota Twins and the Milwaukee Brewers are underway.

Spring training exhibition games will get started for both this weekend.

The Brewers holding camp in Arizona again this year, but lost 1st baseman Matt Gamel for the season due to knee injury. He hurt his ACL on his knee that will require surgery.

The Twins are again in Ft. Myers but they have revamped their coaching staff, and pitching staff during the off–season.

Twins General Manager Terry Ryan feels confident of the offense and defense heading into the season. Ryan said, “With Mauer, Morneau, Willingham and some of those guys we have a pretty good group here offensively. We have a pretty good corps offensively, defense we should be fine. For the most part we are relatively healthy.”

 

Puck Playoff Time

Win or else starts Tuesday night. High School boy’s hockey playoffs in Minnesota and Wisconsin resume tonight across the Northland.

In Wisconsin, the Superior Spartans the #1 seed in their section will host New Richmond at Wessman Arena starting at 7pm.

In other games around the area tonight:

St. Michael-Albertville at Duluth East 7pm

Forest Lake at C-E-C at 7pm

St. Francis at Grand Rapids at 7pm

Pine City at Proctor at 7pm

Ely at Greenway at 7:30pm

 

State girl’s hockey tournament:

Last week’s state tournaments were Alpine skiing, dance and Cross–Country skiing.

This week the girls state high school hockey tournament over takes the Xcel Energy Center.

The Hibbing–Chisholm Bluejackets earned the #5 seed, and will take on the 4th seed, South St. Paul Packers.

That game will be played Wednesday night at 8pm at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

The Bluejackets are 18–9 on the year and will be making their 9th trip to the state tournament.

The Packers beat the Bluejackets earlier this year in overtime, 4–3. Hibbing–Chisholm is ranked 12th in the state and the Packers 7th.

The last state trip in 2008 for Hibbing-Chisholm and Head Coach Pete Hyduke knows it’s been awhile, “It’s been a long dry spell here the past four years but I couldn’t be more proud of this team to turns things around and have this kind of success.” He added, “We play three solid lines and we carry four. We’ve got six solid “D” and good goaltending. We have a real complete team and we have great leadership from our seniors.”

They beat the Mirage in the Section 7A final last Friday 4-2.

Hibbing/Chisholm scored 79 goals to opponents’ 60. Both senior Katie Dye and junior Erin Scovill have 11 goals, with Dye adding 21 assists and Scovill adding nine assists. Junior Nichole DeBoom has eight goals and 10 assists. Seven other Bluejackets have accumulated 10 or more points on the season.

The Packers of South St. Paul, ranked No. 7 by Let’s Play Hockey, return to tournament action for the fourth consecutive year and their 13th overall appearance. South St. Paul won titles in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006, plus finished second in 1995, 2011 and 2012. During the regular season the Packers defeated The Blake School 4-0, but lost to Hibbing/Chisholm 4-3 in overtime and also were beaten 4-1 by Mound Westonka. South St. Paul scored 85 goals, including 17 power-play goals, while giving up 42. The Packers are led by senior forward Riley Viner with a team-leading 43 points on 13 goals plus 30 assists. Junior forward Brigette Miller has a team-leading 24 goals and 13 assists. Senior defender Lauren Wilcox added 18 goals and 22 assists. Sophomore goaltender Sydney Conley has played the most minutes and has made 455 saves for a .920 save percentage.

This also is the eighth year that all championship rounds of the tournament will be played at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. All consolation games will be conducted at Ridder Arena on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis.

Keep Smile’n Northland

I will.

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