Fri 7 Mar 2008
The Class AA boys state hockey tournament went as scripted on Thursday with all four seeded teams posting wins. Top ranked and unbeaten Roseau was dominate against Blaine but looked like a different team in their 6-2 loss Friday night against Hill Murray. It would have been a great script to have Roseau taking on Edina in the finals, but we’ll have to settle for the Hornets taking on another of the “hated” private schools.
Which brings me to another point. I agree that there should be two tournaments, not one. But the second tournament shouldn’t have anything to do with enrollment. We should take a page out of the Illinois and Ohio high school playbooks and have a public school tournament and a private school tournament. The privates are dominating this tournament anyway so let’s give them their own tournament. That way everybody is on a level playing field. Private schools have been recruiting for years and despite high school league rule changes it will continue. They can offer “scholarships” and all the goodies they want to the “student athlete” and that’s fine. Except don’t expect to compete in the same tournament with public schools. Two tournaments, one public and one private. Then those miserable crowds that the privates draw to their games can be isolated.
This is the second year that teams in the tournament were seeded and the plan seems to be working. Some coaches however were not happy with the fact that only the top four teams were seeded. Hogwash. This formula is as good as any, plus it leaves open the luck of the draw aspect which last year led to three opening day upsets.
The other topic of discussion was the usual two format debate. Why bother with the class A tournament? It does give 8 more teams a chance to play in this venue, however miserable first day attendance and the preponderance of private schools that dominate this tournament begs other questions. Perhaps a 16 team “sweet 16″ format should be considered, similar to what was done in basketball 10 years ago. If not that then at least create a Championship Saturday night like basketball and have the Class A and AA games run consecutively.
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