Monticello/Annandale/Maple Lake coach Eric Nelson learned this week the clothes make the man.
Initial curiosity and later respect came as the unseeded and first-time state tournament entrant Moose made a run to the title game.
"It's a fun experience to walk around the X or outside," Nelson said. "They look at your jacket — nobody really looks at your face around here, it's all what jacket you're wearing. When they see it's the Moose and we're battling and we're inspiring some teams to play a little harder, it's pretty awesome."
Hermantown coach Bruce Plante praised Monticello/Annandale/Maple Lake's toughness and apparel.
"I love their jerseys; they are the greatest jerseys I've ever seen," said Plante, who added the perturbed-looking Moose on the chest is "right up in our country."
Winning and losing high school hockey games typically isn't a life-or-death proposition. Unless you score in double overtime of a championship game and decide to celebrate by doing snow angels on the ice.
That's what Dylan Samberg did after his goal with 19.4 seconds left in the second overtime lifted Hermantown over Monticello/Annandale/Maple Lake. Samberg, sprawled on the ice and his teammates began jumping on top of him.
"You know, at first, I was at the bottom of the pile and I was like, 'Oh, my god,' " Samberg said. "And then everyone kept jumping and it kept getting heavier, and I'm like, 'I'm not sure if I am going to make it.' "
"And then, finally, right before I thought I was going to pass out, everyone started getting off. And that's when all the emotions started to flow."
Mittelstadt to USHL
Eden Prairie star forward Casey Mittelstadt leaves Wednesday to finish out the U.S. Hockey League season with Green Bay, Eagles coach Lee Smith said.
Mittelstadt started the season last fall with the Gamblers but left after 16 games to rejoin Eden Prairie. At that time, he was the USHL's leading scorer with eight goals and 13 assists. Smith said Mittelstadt was "75 percent" during the state tournament after sustaining a lower-body injury in the section final against Holy Family.
St. Cloud Cathedral defeated Northfield 2-1 in the Class 1A third-place game. Freshman forward Nate Warner scored the game-winning goal. Northfield goalie Ryan Bielenberg made 25 saves. In Class 2A, Eden Prairie won the third-place game by defeating Lakeville South 3-2 in overtime. Nolan Sullivan scored the winner with 1:05 left in overtime, his second goal of the game.
Delano won the Class 1A consolation crown with a 6-3 victory against East Grand Forks. Senior forwards John Keranen and Brian Halonen each scored two goals to spark the Tigers. Senior forward Ben Meyers added a goal and three assists. In Class 2A, St. Thomas Academy blanked Wayzata 5-0. Willie Reim and Carter Winkler each scored two goals and goalie Atticus Kelly stopped all 13 of the Trojans' shots.
Herb Brooks winner
Grand Rapids senior Micah Miller received the Herb Brooks Award in Class 2A. Monticello/Annandale/Maple Lake senior Charlie Voller received the Class 1A award. It is given to those best representing the former coach's values and character.