Duluth East Hockey
Jottings and Notes on the 1998-99 Season
February 1999

February 2, 1999

East 2, Duluth Denfeld 0. East held Denfeld to only seven shots on goal as they recorded their second shutout of the season. They put 29 shots on Hunter goalie Darren Greene, who played well enough to keep the Denfeld in the game much longer than they should have been.

It was the first time I can remember being bored silly at a game where the score was only 1-0 after one period. This wasn't a credit so much to Denfeld's defense as it was a credit to the sloppiest passing I've seen from the Hounds this year. They looked like they were going through the motion at times. They did clog up the slot area fairly well, keeping the Hounds from getting in close as much as they should have. Shots either were put directly on Greene, allowing for mostly easy saves, or they missed the net entirely. Poor performance, except for those who put out a serious effort every game. Nice to see sophomore Tom Simonson get his first goal. He played well in the Superior game and will bear watching in the future.

111:22EastNick LicariJon Hedberg, Tom Kolar1-0
311:18EastTom SimonsonMark Anunti2-0

February 4, 1999

East 7, Cloquet 1.
Silver Bay, Duluth Marshall 2 I'm lumping these two games together, because I had the opportunity to watch the first two periods of the Silver Bay-Marshall game before driving up to Cloquet to watch the East-Cloquet tilt. It was a contrast in experience. In the first game, a very close one at that, Marshall's speed provided for a very interesting matchup against Silver Bay's power and strong defense. For those who haven't had the chance to watch Mariner defenseman John Conboy, I recommend going to a Silver Bay 7A playoff game and seeing one of the better skilled defensemen in this area.

I left after the second period, with Silver Bay ahead 2-1. They had been coming on strong late in the period, and I strongly felt they would win this game. But Marshall's heart paid off when Jon Blomqvist scored with under a minute to go in regulation. The two teams then skated through a scoreless overtime. Shots were tilted in favor of the Hilltoppers 29-19, due mainly to Silver Bay being short-handed a number of times. Likely the most entertaining game I've seen at the DECC this season.

On to the East-Cloquet game, where East had their best effort since the Greenway game. The passing was much better than it had been, and they hustled like they should, hungry for a big win over their 7AA arch-rival. They outshot the Lumberjacks 34-17. Cloquet had their chances, but most rebounds that were left by Dan Hoehne were cleared out of harm's way by the Hounds. A late meaningless goal by Cloquet prevented Hoehne from garnering his second straight shutout.

A huge turnaround after a lackluster effort in the Denfeld game; if East continues to play like this, it's hard to tell how far they could advance in the 7AA tournament. This is the kind of intensity I've been looking for during the past month, and now all they have to do is continue to play this way.
18:51EastZach BurnsRoss Carlson, Nick Licari1-0
111:58EastChad RobergTom Simonson2-0
29:51EastRoss Carlson (pp)Nick Licari3-0
210:58EastMike MarshallRoss Carlson4-0
212:29EastMike MarshallMike Stellmaker5-0
35:26EastZach Burns (pp)Tom Kolar, Chad Roberg6-0
36:40EastLuke KuettelRyan Michela7-0
311:04CloquetJake Ziemski (pp)Matt Maunu7-1

February 6, 1999

PageStat2 view of Sections. Last year, for the first time, I looked at the upcoming Boys' section tournaments through the "eyes" of PageStat2. I'm doing the same this year, but the criteria are slightly different.

Last year, a team which was within one point of the top in their section was called a "favorite", teams within two points were designated "Good chance", and teams within 3.5 points were indicated as "You never know". This year, the criteria is tightened up. A team has to be within 0.5 points to be called a "favorite", 1.25 points to have a "good chance", and 2.0 points to be designated as "You never know".

Last year, twelve teams shown as favorites made the state tournament, two mentioned as "good chance" made it, and two mentioned as "You never know" made it. I don't expect the system to perform as well this year, due to the tightening of the criteria.

Note that where there is more than one team in a given catagory, they are listed in order of their rating, from best to worst.

Section 1AA: Favorite: Rochester Mayo You never know: Rochester John Marshall, Albert Lea, Winona.

Section 2AA: Favorite: Hastings

Section 3AA: Favorites: Hill-Murray, Roseville Good Chance: White Bear Lake You never know: Centennial

Section 4AA: Favorites: Blaine, Maple Grove, Anoka Good Chance: Park Center You never know: Osseo, Armstrong

Section 5AA: Favorites: Eagan, Bloomington Jefferson, Holy Angels Good Chance: Burnsville You never know: Lakeville, Eastview

Section 6AA: Favorites: Eden Prairie, Edina Good Chance: Wayzata You never know: Minnetonka, Hopkins, Chaska

Section 7AA: Favorite: Elk River Good Chance: Duluth East, Hibbing, Greenway You never know:Forest Lake

Section 8AA: Favorite: Roseau Good chance: St. Cloud Apollo You never know: Moorhead

Section 1A: Favorite: Red Wing Good Chance: Rochester Lourdes You never know: Mankato West, Lesueur

Section 2A: Favorite: Hermantown Good Chance: Chisago Lakes You never know: Proctor, Cambridge, Pine City

Section 3A: Favorites: St. Thomas Academy, Mahtomedi, Farmington You never know: North St. Paul

Section 4A: Favorite: Fergus Falls Good Chance: Sauk Rapids You never know: Little Falls, Detroit Lakes

Section 5A: Favorite: Benilde-St. Margaret's Good chance:Totino Grace You never know:St. Louis Park

Section 6A: Favorites: Breck, Blake, Buffalo You never know: Mound-Westonka, Prior Lake, Hutchinson, Orono

Section 7A: Favorite: Eveleth You never know: Silver Bay, Duluth Marshall, Mesabi East, International Falls

Section 8A: Favorites: Warroad, East Grand Forks Good Chance: Thief River Falls, Crookston, Lake of the Woods You never know: Red Lake Falls

February 10, 1999

From the mailbag: Usually, I just ignore emails such as the one I'll post here. However, in this case, I've nominated it for the upcoming annual "Slope Head Fans Speak Out About What They Don't Know" award. Winner to be announced at the end of the season, but I suspect this one has the inside track LOL.

This one is posted from rotten@grandnet.com

Hey man, YOU suck ! GREENWAY #1 _You seriously have got to get with the program. How about some stats. on the other teams!? For one, the section 7 leaders??? The only important team is duluth east !? Well here is an important piece of information for you, duluth east might have been something last year, but they're not going anywhere THIS year PAL!! so unless you want some more nasty e-mail, get with the program and give us what WE want, the important teams. Who do you think you are anyways, greenway is ranked 7... clue in. Where is east in the list??
My reply:

Well, since you made your point so eloquently (or is that the point on the top of your head I'm looking at?)...

Who cares what you want? You want to pay tribute to a team that hasn't been in the state tournament since 1987 (oh, except for the also-ran Tier II tournament they were in back in '92), then grow a brain, learn HTML and design a web page devoted to Greenway.

In other words....my money, my page, my rules. Don't like it? Tough.

Yeah, I know, they're too easy. Should hire some elementary student to handle incoming mail such as his/hers, but sometimes it's too much fun.

February 13, 1999

East 3, Anoka 1 Two games this season have defined what East is capable of playing like. The Greenway game was one example; this was the other example. A stellar defensive effort combined with just enough offense, and the Hounds came away from the DECC with a well-deserved win.

Had a feeling this could be a physical one when I was watching the Anoka players skating around their goal waiting for the Hounds to hit the ice and one player was yelling "it's body-bag time, guys!! Body-bag time!" What the hell is THAT?? C'mon, Anoka, give me a break here. Pissed because the Hounds beat you twice last year, or just feisty because you beat an Elk River team two days earlier 2-1? Clue number one: Elk River was without Paul Martin. Clue number two: Roughing isn't checking, it's just roughing, and you get to spend time in the penalty box when you play this way. Clue number three: You lost. And deserved to lose.

For those who think they can breathe easily because East is the fourth seed in 7AA this year, who think East won't make any noise in the playoffs, think again. This is becoming a team that, when they play like the can and should, can stick with anybody in the state. It's a very promising sign heading into the playoffs, with the Hounds playing their best hockey of the season right now. Trick is to keep playing it like a team, and to avoid a backslide into playing as a loose collection of individuals. My gut feeling is that they'll put out the best effort they can, and if they do, there's no telling how far they'll go.

110:18EastJon Hedberg (pp)Ross Carlson, Nick Serre1-0
22:49AnokaGabe Hilmoe (pp)Brian Talbot, Shawn Stafford1-1
24:39EastMike MarshallNick Serre, Ryan Michela2-1
212:21EastNick Serre (pp)Zach Burns, Ross Carlson3-1

February 19, 1999

Section 7AA quarter-final: East 5, Cloquet 3. Not the most spectacular performance, but the Hounds get by their quarterfinal opponent and advance to next Tuesday's game against Elk River, the top-seeded team in Section 7AA.

Hounds dominated in the first period but only had a 1-0 lead to show for it. Their dominance continued early in the second period as they built a 4-1 lead. Cloquet wouldn't give up, however, and put two goals up late in the period to cut East's lead after two periods to 4-3.

At this point, Cloquet had the crowd behind them and momentum. It was a matter of whether East could hold off the Lumberjacks rally and secure the win. They did, but it wasn't easy, nor was it pretty. Zach Burns empty-netter sealed the win for East.

Weston Tardy made his return to the lineup tonight, and was sorely needed on defense as East had several critical lapses. They looked overpowering at times, and absolutely lackidasical at other times. The defense simply need to play better against Elk River. Tom Allen wasn't seen tonight, and I wonder what's up with that. He's a good one with a lot of potential, but Randolph decided to go with Michala-Hedberg and Anunti-Tardy as the defensive pairs.

"A win is a win", and that's a half-truth. Better effort in front of Dan Hoehne is going to be an absolute necessity if they are to put forth a serious challenge to Elk River in Tuesday's semi-final game. Paul Martin is back with the Elks, and they appear ready after hammering St. Francis in their quarterfinal game. Revenge for last year's 7AA title game pasting at the hands of the Hounds will also fuel Elk River's desire to even the score. East has something to prove, also, after Elk River's 7-3 win in the second game of the season. Will they?

On an unrelated and far less important note, I was asked if the sender of the email about Greenway (see below) had responded since his initial email. The obvious answer is "no". What could he say now? #1? Not by a long shot. (Yep, I had to get that last shot in, it was begging further comment LOL). I still don't know if this maroon has read the title at the top of the page where it says "Duluth East Hockey". Duh.

February 23, 1999

Section 7AA semi-final: Elk River 4, East 2. Some seasons it's just not meant to be. And it wasn't tonight. Both teams came to play this one, and gave their best effort, but in the end, Elk River's discipline, passing and defense won out.

It started horribly, when the Elks scored 12 seconds into the game played before a packed house at the DECC. In their initial meeting early in the season, Elk River had started quickly, also. It set East back on their heels for the first part of the period. When Ross Carlson chased down a loose puck and fed Nick Licari for the tying goal late in the period, East was pumped. The first period was played roughly even and it showed in the 1-1 score at the first intermission.

Whatever Tony "I'll break your jaw" Sarsland said to his Elks between period, worked. Elk River came out flying in the second period and flat out took it to the Hounds. They scored twice in the first 3:36, and added another goal with 19 seconds left in the period. Their fourth goal of the night was a crushing blow to East; taking a penalty with three seconds left in the period hurt East even worse.

East killed off that penalty in the third period, and then Licari took a long feed from Zach Burns, fighting off two defenders on a great play, and scored early in that period to bring the Hounds to within two. There was still hope that East could make a comeback, but the Elks survived. Mike Marshall hit a pipe. Nick Licari missed a point-blank opportunity directly in front of Elks goalie Mitch Glines. There were other chances, but East simply couldn't convert.

It got slightly ugly very late in the game when a brawl broke out, but by then, the game's outcome had been decided, sending the Elks and their fans in a frenzy of celebration.

Final shots on goal were close, at 24-19 for Elk River, but the final score was what mattered tonight. Elk River had avenged their blowout loss to East in last year's 7AA title game, and will be headed up to Hibbing on Thursday night to play the Hibbing Bluejackets for the right to go to the State Tournament next week. For East, an early end to their season; for the first time since 1993, they won't be representing 7AA in the March Classic.

February 24, 1999

End of the season. Obviously not the type of ending Hounds fans had wanted. Was this season a success? If you compare it to the standards East has set for themselves, you'd probably say it wasn't. But consider this; the Hounds compiled a 18-6 record against one of the strongest schedules in Minnesota. They did this even after losing Nick Angell and Patrick Finnegan on defense, along with a host of high-scoring forwards. They did this in the midst of their most injury-plagued season in recent memory. They did this with a sophomore goalie who had to follow in the footsteps of Frank Brimsek award winner Adam Coole.

If you look at their season in light of all this, there's no escaping the conclusion that they had a successful season. It didn't match their success of the past five seasons, but it doesn't take away from what they did this year. And now it's time to once again pay tribute to the 1998-99 Hounds.

Seniors. The seniors always deserve to be at the top of any tribute to this team, so let's start with them:

  • Mark Anunti
  • Casey Gillman
  • Pat Loiselle
  • Jason Marshall
  • Mike Marshall
  • Ryan Michela
  • Chad Roberg
  • Nick Serre
  • Best wishes to all of them with whatever they continue on to in the future!

    Special recognition I paid a special tribute in certain catagories last season, and it's time to do this once again:

    Offensive Star: There were a few snipers on this team, but the award for best offensive player goes to Nick Licari. The best freshman forward East has had since Dave Spehar, with an extremely bright future. Nick had the ability to single-handedly turn a game around. Paired with the second best offensive player on the team, Ross Carlson, those two were dangerous this season.

    Defensive Star: Problems existed with the defense this year; no question about it. A lot had to do with injuries, as Mark Anunti, Jon Hedberg and Weston Tardy each falling victim to having to miss a number of games during the season. Dan Hoehne was left in the nets to bear the brunt of opposing teams' attacks. For a sophomore, he did well enough to hold East's opponents to under three goals a game. He started slowly, but had flashes of brilliance later in the season, including the Greenway game which was likely his best effort.

    Most Inspirational: One of the smaller players on the team, Zach Burns had no second thoughts about taking on any player he was going up against, giving away several inches and a lot of poundage at times. His constant enthusiasm and fire made him one of my favorite players to watch this year. He'll hopefully be back next year, bringing his work ethic to the Hounds squad.

    Most Unselfish Player: From digging in the corners for the puck to setting up Mike Marshall and others he played with to the number of little things he did which unfortunately weren't noticed, Nick Serre get this award. He spent two season prior to this one paying his dues for a chance to play full time on one of East's better lines this year. His rink attitude will be sorely missed.

    Most Valuable Player: This was a very tough one to give out. What makes an MVP? Hard work? Impressive Stats? I say it's the former, and if you talk about hard work combined with skill, then the award goes to Chad Roberg. He didn't have the numbers of Carlson, Marshall or Licari, but he had the strongest work ethic on the team this season. One of East's co-captains, he tried to lead by example.

    Even before I received the following email last night, I had my mind made up on this award. Actually, it was made up long ago.

    I would just like to say something about Chad Roberg of Duluth East. He is one of the best leaders a team could ever have. His attitude is outstanding and he is always so encouraging. He has been so poised this season -- he is amazing. He is one of the hardest working athletes I have ever known. I look up to him in so many ways. I respect everything about him. Chad is a great person and hockey player and I just wanted someone else to know. Thank you so much for your time.

    Kendall Wheeler

    An extremely insightful testimonial to what Chad brought to the team, I would say.

    Other Players: They weren't mentioned above and they're well-deserving of mention here: Seth Amadio, Andy Letourneau, Trevor Marmon, Tom Allen, Tom Simonson, Tom Kolar, Charlie Norris, John Malone, Eric Johnson, Tim Johnson, Mike Stellmaker, Luke Kuettel. They will make up the nucleus of a Hounds team that will strive to get back to the top of the pack next season. Apologies to anybody I might have missed, such as any JV'ers who had some playing time on the varsity this season.

    From the mailbag: Kevin Oswald has sent in the following letter, requesting it be posted. Kevin, it's an honor to post the following:

    I would love to take a little time to Congratulate the East Hound Hockey team. Though your final goal was not realized you guys should hang your hats on the fact that you gave it your all. Trying to defend a championshiop is more difficulot than winning the first one. You guys faced plenty of adversity, including a extremely difficult schedule, and had an incredible season. To the seniors congrats on a great season and good luck in the future. Remember the times you've had while wearing the Hounds jersey. Don't ever forget playing with a group of guys who were your best friends, and in front of all of your families and peers. Winning is nice but the little memories are even better, trust me I know.

    Chadley, You've had such a great career and were a huge part of the past two seasons of success. You had a difficult job being captain and handled it very nicely. Your going a long way in life and your dedication and work ethic is incredible. Good luck kid!!

    Mark, Your a great strong player and without your defense last year was impossible. I have no clue what your plans are for the future but your a player and can play the next level. It was a blast playing hockey with you.

    Whitey, you've faced a ton and your story is amazing. Congrats on a great year and you've tought people in Duluth quite a bit. Your and inspiration.

    Marsh, Congrats, my man. You too have faced a lot and also had a great career. You scored plenty of big goals for East. I'll never forget Rapids in the semis last year. Huge goal! Godd luck with golf or hockey or tennis and this summer we will tee it up.

    Chucker, You've got great skills and I hope hockey works out for you next year. It was awesome playing with you and getting to know the last couple years. Your a blast and this summer we will hang. Congrats!

    Gibby, You sucked it up this year and accomplished quite a bit. You knew what you had to do and did it. I hope it was worth it and I think it was. Good luck next year.

    To all the underclassman, especially you Burnsie, Cardo, and Ross: Remember the feeling you had this year compared to last year. Use that as motivation for next year because your going be talented. It will be your team and you guys will be the leaders.

    Congrats again and good luck to everyone.

    The season is over but life goes on. Keep it safe, keep it fun, keep it sober, and we'll see you all next season!

    March 21, 1999

    Message from Jesse Karich

    I would first like to thank you personally for putting the time, effort and money into this page. I am in my first year of college at St. John's and appreciate being a link away from the scores of the Hounds. I have made my own page and I know how much time it takes to keep the pages accurate and up to date. I played on the 1998 team last year for the Hounds. I had the most fun on that team than any other year of hockey in my life. I don't even think it was because we won it, don't get me wrong that had a lot to do with it. But I want to thank the seniors that I played all the way up with and the seniors that were not there with us on the team as well. You guys were the best bunch of yahoos to play for and with. I have many memories that have come from the tournament but the memories that I charish most are the ones that no one else knows. The bus rides, hotel rooms, locker room talk and bonding that comes with an intense year of hockey with the same 20 guys. I want to thank you guys for giving me these memories and for making our final year one for the books. Everyone take care and good luck.

    Jesse Karich

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    last updated march 31, 1999