Area hockey players take part in Great 8

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 17, 2006

The Great 8 in hockey is just that

&045; it is the best of the best from the eight sections in hockey in the State of Minnesota.

However, each section team consists of players from both classes in hockey, which makes the nomination to the team an even greater feat.

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The tournament was held in St. Paul March 31 and April 1.

Plenty of local players were part of the section 1A/AA had including: Albert Lea’s Alex Lair, Austin’s Tim Kirby and Alex Peterson, Waseca’s Luke Janssen and Owatonna’s Anthony Kramer.

Alternates to the team included Albert Lea’s Troy French and Austin’s Seth Arnold.

Players that are opponents during the regular season, whether it be in the conference or section all come together for one final tournament.

This year at the Great 8, Albert Lea coaches Roy and Dave Nystrom were able to sit back and

watch the game.

Last year, Coach Nystrom was selected to coach the section 1A/AA team.

The championship game was set with section 1A/AA meeting section 3A/AA.

Both teams playing had fought their way to the title round and neither wanted to walk away with anything less than the championship trophy.

After a scoreless first period the section 1A/AA team got the offense in gear in the second. Janssen was able to light the lamp to put the team on the board.

However, with just under five minutes left to play, section 3A/AA was able to get the puck past goaltender Peterson to knot the game up.

The intensity on the ice seemed to double as both teams knew time was slowly running out. With just under two minutes to play, section 3A/AA was able to slip another goal past the Section 1A/AA team.

It was at this time, section 1A/AA pulled its goalie and gave its opponent’s goaltender a battle as several shots were fired on goal with one hitting the cross bar of the net only to ricochet out.

The chances to tie the game were at hand, the shots on goal were there, however, there just wasn’t enough time left on the clock.

The final horn of the game sounded, as section 1A/AA fell by a score of 2-1.

Dispite the loss, the section 1A/AA team had a great tournament showing.

On its way to the championship game, it defeated section 4A/AA by a score of 8-4 and then defeated section 5A/AA by a score of 4-1.