Louie St. George
- Member for
- 4 years 11 months
PREP BOYS HOCKEY / DULUTH EAST 10, SUPERIOR 0 If hockey games were decided by shots on goal, the 2018-19 Duluth East Greyhounds would be borderline unbeatable. The Greyhounds routinely outshoot their opponents, but that hasn't always translated into victories this winter. It is, of course, shots in goal that matter. East recorded an abundance of those Monday evening at Heritage Center, where 10 of its 45 attempts had the desired outcome in a 10-0 rout of Superior.
Ever since he was hired as Duluth East's coach in 2012, it's puzzled Rhett McDonald to see just one retired jersey — the No. 22 of former Greyhound girls great and 1985 Minnesota Miss Basketball Denise Holm-Olson — hanging on the gym wall. "You wonder why the heck is there only one jersey up there," McDonald said. He won't have to wonder any longer. After Saturday, Rick Rickert's No. 44 also is off-limits. And for good reason.
PREP NORDIC SKIING / SECTION 7 MEET BIWABIK — Garrett Beckrich admits that classic skiing isn't his strength. Then again, when you open up a full minute lead in the freestyle portion of a Nordic pursuit race, it really doesn't matter. So dominant was the Grand Rapids senior during the first part of Thursday's Section 7 meet at the snow globe that was Giants Ridge, the conclusion was anticlimactic. Beckrich skated 5.2 kilometers in 17 minutes and 38 seconds, while Cloquet-Esko-Carlton senior Aidan Ripp was next at 18:38.5.
Most high school swimmers arrive to a meet knowing precisely which events they will compete in. Not Julien Yung, at least not always. The Duluth East junior only has himself to blame. Yung is the kind of swimmer who isn't easily pigeonholed. In other words, he can do a little of everything. "He's pretty much got it all," said Sandy Verry, coach of the Duluth team, an East-Denfeld co-op. "He's got all four strokes. He's got the sprint down. He's got the distance down. He's our utility player." And, Yung says, he's "fine with that."
After 50 seasons as a high school wrestling referee, Don Kuusinen worked his final match at the 61st annual Skip Nalan Invitational on Jan. 26 in Grand Rapids. A quote for a story back in 2009 didn't leave the 73-year-old Kuusinen much choice. "I haven't had any wrestlers come up and say that I refereed their grandfather," Kuusinen said a decade ago. "Then I would know it would be time to quit."
For his book, “Home Ice: Reflections on Backyard Rinks and Frozen Ponds,” noted hockey writer Jack Falla visited Duluth to check out the patch of ice that’s sat on the corner of Waverly Avenue and Hardy Street since the 1940s. It’s the handiwork of Robert Fryberger, unofficially a founding father of Duluth hockey. Fryberger died in 1957; his rink lives on.
Hermantown's status as a Class A boys hockey powerhouse increasingly has become a contentious topic. And, with the Minnesota State High School League getting ready to realign sections for another two-year cycle, the parent of two former Hawks players and one current one will make his case at tonight's Hermantown School Board meeting that the program should opt up to Class AA.
Ely's Patrick Vanderbeek scored 33 points in a 72-56 win at Duluth Marshall on Jan. 19, the kind of production that, in the past, would have required 11 3-pointers from the slick-shooting guard, Timberwolves coach Tom McDonald joked. Vanderbeek wasn't necessarily a one-trick pony — or wolf, as it were — but his offensive skill set wasn't diverse, either. Consider: When he drilled 12 long-range attempts during a December 2016 game, Vanderbeek finished with ... 36 points.
HOCKEY DAY MINNESOTA Micah Gernander's introduction to high school hockey in Minnesota was a doozy. Despite being raised out east, Gernander knew all about the Greenway program his dad starred for and his grandpa coached, including the Raiders' fervent rivalry with neighboring Grand Rapids. So when Gernander's family moved to the Iron Range last summer, he took notice of Greenway's opening opponent for the 2018-19 season. The Raiders went into a jam-packed IRA Civic Center on Nov. 24 and defeated Grand Rapids 4-1 in front of a few thousand rowdy fans.
Coming into the 2018-19 boys hockey season, Greenway was widely pegged as a state championship contender in Class A. The Raiders returned much of the personnel that produced a 20-8 mark last year and took Hermantown to double overtime in the Section 7A final. This winter, though, hasn't stuck to the script, with Greenway limping along at 6-12. The Raiders can turn things around and jumpstart their playoff push Saturday on frozen Lake Bemidji during the 13th annual Hockey Day Minnesota.