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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Duluth Lakers Win... Leads to 1st Place for North Metro

The North Metro Peewee B1 Pirates are the Champions of the PeeWee A “Chiller Challenge” Invitational tournament held last weekend in beautiful Hayward, Wisconsin. The team went undefeated in the four game round-robin tournament, with 2 wins and 2 ties!

Tournament Synopsis:
The Pirates got off to a slow start on Saturday morning with a 1-1 tie against Spooner, WI, but they stormed back that evening with an 8-2 win against a team from Ames, Iowa. They continued their dominate play on Sunday morning with a 6-2 win against the Duluth Lakers. Another win in the Sunday afternoon game would have all but sealed the championship for the Pirates, but a motivated home Hayward team (with the help of some hometown refereeing) fought for a 4-4 tie. That turned the Pirate players and parents into (temporary) Duluth Laker fans for the final game of the day, where a Laker win or tie over Spooner would give the title to North Metro. The enthused Pirate crowd cheered the Lakers to a win and then stormed the ice to receive their 1st place trophy. Congratulations to the North Metro Peewee B1 team!

What impressed me was the team’s tenacity in playing both ends of the rink: back-checking in the neutral zone; killing penalties in key situations (critical in all levels of hockey); and a willful display to pass the puck to teammates. Despite a key injury... both goalies hung in there too.

It was great to observe their ability to work and cycle the puck along the boards as well – an offensive strategy that can be really effective in tiring out the opponent’s line and increasing the goal scoring opportunities. Scoring nineteen goals over a four game tournament is not at all uncommon in youth hockey. Out-shooting the opponents in every game? It can make all the difference in a team’s fun factor and confidence.

Without a doubt all the players (male/female), coaches, families and fans had a wonderful time.

The Irony?
Sure, I live in Duluth. Hockey culture here is alive and well. In fact, I would cheer and support youth hockey on the shore any time. BUT, to see my nephew and his North Metro team have fun and win a tournament? Priceless. Congratulations Dylan! I’m so proud of you.

Thanks also to the Hayward community for its amazing hospitality. Glad to know that I’m one of the last people from Minnesota to know that Famous’ Dave’s Barbeque originates from… well, Wisconsin. I'm not much of a ribs guy but thanks for feeding us!

Go Packers...


North Metro Youth Hockey
Duluth Youth Hockey
Hayward Youth Hockey
The Birkie
Grand Pines Resort/ Famous Daves
St. Joseph's, Hayward WI

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