The 51 Hours of Fury are winding down, but the boys hockey pace is picking up. We give the label 51 Hours of Fury to the time between 7 p.m. Wednesday, when section finals begin, and 10 p.m. Friday, when the last one ends and the spots in the Class 2A and 1A state tournaments are filled. Keep coming back to for coverage of Saturday's seedings and much more before the state tournaments begin Wednesday and Thursday.

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A letter sent from alum Ryan Carter to the current White Bear Lake hockey team before the season called for doing the little things well, especially at playoff time.

The former Minnesota Wild player could not have imagined how prophetic these words would become.

Never in head coach Chris Anderson's 16 years behind the White Bear Lake bench has one of his teams been beset by a ridiculous rash of injuries. From top-line forward Jack Stanius to top defensemen Nate Celski and Blake Eckerle. Even Zac Baay, who was brought up from junior varsity to offset the losses of Celski and Eckerle, got sidelined by an injury.

Anderson called Eckerle, a Division I-level baseball player committed to Utah, "a heart and soul leader" of the hockey team. Stanius, meanwhile, is the Bears' No. 2 forward, a player who meshed well with leading scorer Nolan Roed. So well, Anderson said, that Roed "would have had 15 more points" and the team "a few more wins" if Stanius had not missed nine weeks.

Bad news bears, indeed.

"It got to the point of, 'Who else?' " Anderson said. "I don't recall a year with this many injuries that cost guys multiple games."

Once again at full strength, White Bear Lake, the No. 2 seed, aims to topple favored Hill-Murray in the Class 2A, Section 4 championship game Friday at Aldrich Arena in Maplewood, the Pioneers' home rink. Don't bother showing up looking for a ticket. The 3,400-seat arena sold out just minutes after tickets went on sale Thursday.

Called "The Rivalry" by high school hockey observers, Friday night marks the Bears' and Pioneers' 20th section final meeting since 1984-85. Hill-Murray has won 14 of 19, including four of the past five.

Anderson's game plan won't differ much from the advice of Carter, the Wild television color analyst for Bally Sports North, or that of Lleyton Roed (Nolan's older brother and a Bemidji State standout) and many other alumni who have sent letters and video messages: Less is better and simple wins.

"It's not always as pretty as some of the things these guys do in summer hockey," Anderson said. "But our guys have bought into the idea that we're going to do the simple things better than anyone else."

White Bear Lake (19-7-1) settled for its lone tie against Hill-Murray (17-8-2) in their regular-season meeting Dec. 23. The Bears received two goals in the third period from Roed — who Anderson said is the program's first Mr. Hockey Award finalist since 2006 — but the Pioneers got the last word with Casper Lang's goal scored with six seconds remaining in regulation. The 3-3 tie lasted through an eight-minute overtime and left both sides looking forward to a customary playoff rematch.

Friday's winner earns a state tournament opportunity next week. Anderson hopes to extend the 97th season of White Bear Lake hockey.

"Friday's game is a big game," said Anderson, a 2003 White Bear Lake graduate, "but we want to win and have three more games."