Benilde enjoying heartfelt cheers

  • Article by: RACHEL BLOUNT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 10, 2012 - 12:49 AM

The Catholic school is in the unusual position of getting widespread support due to "Jabby."

hide

Dan Labosky of Benilde-St. Margaret's skated in on Lakeville South goalie Tyler Schumacher and scored a first-period goal in a Class 2A semifinal Friday night.

Photo: Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

About an hour before his Lakeville South team faced Benilde-St. Margaret's in a Class 2A semifinal on Friday, coach Kurt Weber looked at the red band on his wrist and chuckled. "I think even my wife is cheering for them,'' said Weber, who had not taken off the wristband worn in honor of injured Benilde forward Jack Jablonski.

Ken Pauly knew exactly what Weber meant. The Benilde coach is used to private schools being viewed as the villains at the boys' high school hockey state tournament, but the hockey world's mass support of Jablonski has diminished that. "We're enjoying the fact that the anti-private school cheers aren't as loud,'' Pauly said with a laugh. "There are still some diehards out there who are going to love Jabby and hate us, and that's fine.''

Both teams navigated what Weber called "a tender walk'' Friday, as Benilde overpowered the Cougars 10-1 to set up a title match Saturday against Hill-Murray. Since Jablonski was paralyzed in a game last December, Pauly has reminded his players that they cannot feel burdened by the public's wish for a storybook ending to the season. Lakeville South is among the many teams that have pulled and prayed for Jablonski, leading Weber to assure his players that beating Benilde would not make them the bad guys.

Friday's blowout -- coming on the heels of Thursday's last-minute victory over Edina -- added to the growing aura surrounding the Red Knights. They showed none of the stage fright that hampered them in the quarterfinals, scoring five goals in the first 15 minutes, 38 seconds.

Pauly expected them to be looser, and he knew they were eager to atone for a Thursday performance they felt was lacking. At this point, he said, his players have grown used to the high-wattage spotlight generated by Jablonski. They have learned how to keep him close without being overcome by emotion, putting them in position to play for their third state title and first in Class 2A.

"We've had the right perspective on it from the beginning,'' Pauly said. "The noise gets amplified the farther we go, and it isn't always easy. Every question asked goes back to Jack. But we don't hide from it. We embrace it.''

Friday's loss left another close-knit team short of its goal. Lakeville South star Justin Kloos could have chosen to refine his game in junior hockey or with the U.S. national team development program. But he stayed at his high school so he could continue to play with his best friends, Alex Harvey and Joe Freemark, and take another shot at a state championship.

Shortly after Jablonski's injury, the Cougars met to talk about it. They wore Jablonski wristbands and stickers on their helmets and had left messages on his CaringBridge page.

Weber asked them, too, to separate their feelings for Jablonski from Friday's mission on the ice. The best tribute they could pay, he said, would be to play as well as they could.

"[Benilde] has reason to be emotional,'' Weber said. "We feel the same passion for Jack that everyone else does, but at the same time, we know it's an honor to compete. The way you honor Jack and honor the game is to make sure his team competes against a really good team.''

The Cougars didn't come through as they hoped, leaving both Weber and his team empty as the Benilde students chanted "I believe in miracles'' and "We love Jabby.'' They will play for third place Saturday, as Benilde prepares for a game that carries even more emotional weight.

Pauly is well aware of the feeling of inevitability now surrounding the Red Knights. He knows that thousands of strangers have shed tears for a young hockey player they never met and have intently followed his rehabilitation. They desperately want the story to end the way it is supposed to, in triumph, with his teammates putting a state championship medal around his neck.

Pauly had tried to resist that feeling himself. Friday, he entertained the possibility, with one caveat: Whatever happens, it is merely the next chapter in his team's continuing story, and in Jablonski's.

"You do kind of wonder after a while,'' he said. "I think of what Samwise said to Frodo [in the "Lord of the Rings"]. He asked, 'What kind of adventure are we in?'

"I don't know what sort of adventure we're in. A happy ending, there's no such thing. There is no end to this.''

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles 6 Bottom 4th Inning
Chicago Cubs 1
Detroit 1 Bottom 5th Inning
Kansas City 0
Philadelphia - J. Williams 3:05 PM
Oakland - D. Pomeranz
Toronto - M. Stroman 3:05 PM
NY Yankees - C. Capuano
Arizona - T. Cahill 3:10 PM
Colorado - E. Butler
Boston - R. De La Rosa 6:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Milwaukee - M. Garza 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Washington - J. Zimmermann 6:10 PM
Miami - J. Cosart
NY Mets - J. Niese 6:10 PM
Atlanta - M. Minor
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - C. Archer
Cleveland - T. House 6:10 PM
Minnesota - T. May
Seattle - C. Young 6:10 PM
Houston - D. Keuchel
Cincinnati - M. Leake 6:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Wacha
San Francisco - Y. Petit 7:40 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Texas - C. Lewis 8:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 35 3rd Qtr 3:00
Rice 21
Troy 0 4th Qtr 10:35
(13) Georgia 59
Georgia Tech 10 4th Qtr
Virginia Tech 16
Eastern Mich 7 3rd Qtr 0:41
(11) Michigan State 59
Iowa 17 4th Qtr 10:55
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 10 3rd Qtr 10:20
(19) Wisconsin 55
Maryland 31 3rd Qtr
Syracuse 13
Tulane 7 3rd Qtr 14:15
Duke 19
Hawaii 3 1st Qtr 3:03
Colorado 0
Marshall 10 1st Qtr 5:00
Akron 0
North Carolina 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(20) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(23) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
(18) Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(14) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(8) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(9) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(17) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Vancouver FC 4:00 PM
Portland
Houston 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
New England 6:30 PM
Columbus
San Jose 6:30 PM
Montreal
Seattle 6:30 PM
Red Bull New York
D.C. 7:30 PM
Chicago
FC Dallas 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary

ADVERTISEMENT

Advertisement
Golden Gavel by Star Tribune

Countdown to great deals

Bid Sept. 21-29

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close