Three state titles, three perfect records, and three players with hat tricks.
Brainerd defeated Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka 13-1 for its third consecutive state championship in the physically impaired (PI) division of adapted floor hockey Saturday at Bloomington Jefferson High School.
"We were giving it almost everything, knowing that these guys were champions before we took over," Brainerd junior Blaise Edinger said.
The Warriors (13-0) won their fifth title overall and have a 40-0 record over the past three seasons. The Robins gave the Warriors some of their toughest games all season, when they trailed or were tied, Brainerd coach Todd Person said.
"So we knew that they're a good team," Person said. "But our players today just really did a good job of working together, top to bottom on the roster. It didn't matter who we had out on the floor, they did what they were supported to do and made the passes they needed to."
Brainerd led 4-0 after the first period. Edinger and freshman Tre'Von Otey each completed hat tricks in their team's five-goal second period. Freshman Alex Goedker had a third-period hat trick.
"It's just the best feeling to know that you got those hat tricks to support your team's goals," Otey said.
The Robins (8-5) scored early in the second period to make it 4-1 on senior Vincent Luu's 42nd goal of the season. But Brainerd took control with goals 34 seconds apart for a 6-1 lead.
Prolific St. Cloud goes back-to-back in CI
St. Cloud Area senior Brian Jones set the state tournament record with 21 goals over the three games, lifting his team to 16-5 victory over South Washington and back-to-back state championships in the cognitively impaired (CI) division.
"Beat the state record, that was good," Jones said. "It was pretty nice. My team did great today."
Jones had six goals and two assists — with a hat trick in the first period – in the title game. The Slapshots found themselves in a 1-0 hole early in the game when Jones couldn't start because he pulled a muscle in the 12-1 semifinal victory earlier in the day.
The Slapshots were a little frazzled, according to coach Mike Bakken, until Jones came in and scored the first of three shorthanded goals in 42 seconds for a 3-1 lead.
Senior Jordan Williams contributed five goals, including four in the eight-goal second period for the Slapshots (14-0), who outscored opponents 40-5 in the tournament.
"Usually I don't let them score too many goals during the season," Bakken said. "We don't run up the scores too often. These guys were all seniors now, so it was their last year."
For the Thunderbolts (10-2), sophomore Tyler Tinucci scored a hat trick, giving him a tournament total of eight goals and six assists.
Junior Elizabeth Schmidt scored the team's other two goals.