Blake wins Class 1A hockey title

  • Article by: DAVID LA VAQUE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 22, 2014 - 10:51 PM

The Bears charged back from a 2-0 deficit to win their second Class 1A state championship in a row.


Blake players piled on goalie Anna Kruesel in celebration of their 3-2 come-from-behind victory over East Grand Forks in the Class 1A championship game Saturday.

Photo: Photos by DAVID JOLES •,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Blake’s goaltender, a precocious eighth-grader named Anna Kruesel, had more than just teammates supporting her late in Saturday’s Class 1A championship game.

Per their custom this season, Jeff and Sheila Kruesel moved to seats closer to the daughter in goal for the third period. Sheila sat parallel to the goal in the sixth row, her hands folded for much of the final 17 minutes. Jeff, a goalie at Rochester John Marshall and St. Cloud State, was eight rows higher and remained standing.

They watched as the Bears staved off a final push from East Grand Forks and thrust their hands in the air at the conclusion of Blake’s 3-2 comeback victory.

Trailing 2-0 at the first intermission, an undermanned Blake team made adjustments to the lineup and rallied for a second consecutive Class 1A state title at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

“It’s a really good feeling,” said Kruesel, who stopped 29 shots and outdueled East Grand Forks Senior Goalie of the Year finalist Madi Galstad. Kruesel traded hand signs with her father and facial expressions with her mother at times during the game.

Already without injured standout forwards Karlie Lund and Jordan Chancellor, Blake watched as top-seeded East Grand Forks (26-3-1) stormed to a 2-0 lead behind goals from sisters Haley and Alexa Mack.

To counter, Blake (23-7-1) coach Shawn Reid moved defenseman Sylvie Wallin from defense to forward to spark the offense. Wallin’s first shift as a forward was highlighted by Carly Bullock’s 50th goal of the season at 8:38 of the second period.

A great chance for Haley Mack later in the period was thwarted by a better save from Kruesel. Instead of waiting on Mack to come toward the net, Kruesel moved out to challenge her and made the stop.

Wallin added two goals in the third period to give Blake its first lead. Having blown a two-goal advantage against Red Wing in the semifinals, the Bears applied their experience to prevent an East Grand Forks comeback.

“We knew we had to be relentless,” Wallin said. “We couldn’t stop pressuring because we knew we didn’t want to go to overtime again.”

Saturday’s state title is Blake’s fifth, most of any school. Asked about whether his team would consider opting up to Class 2A, Reid said: “I don’t know. That’s not my decision. It’s a decision for the administration. Wherever we’re placed, we’re going to play as hard as we can at all times.”

  • related content

  • Blake’s Anna Kreusel, an eighth-grader, made a save in the first period.

  • Blake players celebrated after a goal by Sylvie Wallin, middle rear, that tied the score 2-2 in the Class 1A final.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Cleveland 86 FINAL
Indiana 93
Washington 81 FINAL
Philadelphia 89
Golden State 113 FINAL
Toronto 89
New York 121 FINAL
Detroit 115
Orlando 88 FINAL
Atlanta 95
Charlotte 98 FINAL
Boston 106
LA Clippers 97 FINAL
Memphis 79
Brooklyn 98 FINAL
Houston 102
Miami 102 FINAL
New Orleans 104
Minnesota 89 FINAL
Chicago 96
Utah 104 FINAL
Denver 82
San Antonio 107 FINAL
Sacramento 96
Milwaukee 93 FINAL
LA Lakers 101
Oklahoma City 112 FINAL
Portland 115
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 2
Calgary 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Washington 0 FINAL
Carolina 3
Chicago 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay 4
Colorado 5 FINAL(SO)
Dallas 4
Los Angeles 2 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Siena 63 FINAL
Quinnipiac 73
Harvard 49 FINAL
Cornell 57
Penn 69 FINAL
Brown 75
Fairfield 65 FINAL
Canisius 72
Manhattan 75 FINAL
Iona 79
Saint Peters 67 FINAL
Marist 69
Princeton 60 FINAL
Yale 81
Ohio 58 FINAL
Akron 70
Dartmouth 84 FINAL
Columbia 71
Valparaiso 56 FINAL
Cleveland State 53
Louisiana Tech 75 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 88
Seton Hall 77 FINAL
Xavier 60
Cornell 54 FINAL
Harvard 60
Yale 49 FINAL
(14) Princeton 67
Elon 51 FINAL
Drexel 54
Northeastern 47 FINAL
James Madison 82
St Johns 60 FINAL
Butler 49
Creighton 71 FINAL
Georgetown 62
Brown 58 FINAL
Penn 75
Columbia 50 FINAL
Dartmouth 60
Canisius 54 FINAL
Siena 58
St Josephs Brooklyn 35 FINAL
Western Carolina 86 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 80
Colorado 66 FINAL
Arizona 51
Southern Ill 72 FINAL
Bradley 66
Drake 59 FINAL
Wichita State 80
Indiana State 71 FINAL
Evansville 53
Illinois State 53 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 67
Northern Iowa 70 FINAL
Missouri State 72
Utah 42 FINAL
(10) Arizona State 46
Providence 62 FINAL
Villanova 71


question of the day

Poll: With Adrian Peterson's suspension overturned, what should the Vikings do?

Weekly Question





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