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Guentzel supply finally runs out for Hill-Murray

03/10/2012, 11:45pm CST
By Star Tribune

Jake Guentzel is the third and final child in his family to don a Hill-Murray hockey sweater.

Jake Guentzel is the third and final child in his family to don a Hill-Murray hockey sweater.

"I asked; they don't have any more boys coming through, so this will be it," Pioneers coach Bill Lechner said.

A father of three himself, Lechner said the Guentzel boys fit the mold. They might have the same resemblance and excel at the same things, but no three children -- or players -- are exactly alike.

Ryan graduated from Hill-Murray in 2005.

"Very polite, very calm, very much the mentor, big brother," Lechner said.

Gabe helped the Pioneers to state a year later as a senior.

"Feisty and super respectful," Lechner said.

As for Jake, a junior for this year's Hill-Murray team?

"A rowdy little third child that's controllable," Lechner said with a hearty laugh. "He takes your energy. All three are different, great kids. You need that. If you have 20 calm kids, that's not good. If you have 20 pistols, that's not good, either."

Hair-raisers

Planning to get a haircut around Hermantown this week? Your patience might be tested waiting in line.

Hawks players made a preseason vow to grow their locks till they lost. Saturday's defeat in the Class 1A championship game was the team's first since that pledge.

"Geez, they're like a buncha shaggy dogs," coach Bruce Plante said. "It's this NHL flow, slicked-back, greased-back look or whatever the hell it is. I don't know -- they look like hippies to me."

Crowd-pleasers

Friday evening's state semifinal session broke an all-time record for hockey game attendance in Minnesota. A robust 19,893 fans crammed into Xcel Energy Center not only shattered the previous record for the state tournament (18,895) but was the largest crowd for a hockey crowd at any level.

While reserved seats for the Class 2A sessions of the state tournament can be hard to find, the Minnesota State High School League sells standing-room-only tickets until the fire marshal says stop.

THREE STARS

1. Grant Besse, Benilde-St. Margaret's

Five goals. 'Nuff said.

2. Alex Johnson, St. Thomas Academy

Four points in Class 1A title game

3. David Zevnik, St. Thomas Academy

One goal allowed the entire tournament

NUMBERS

3 Championship game losses for Hermantown

3 Shorthanded goals for Besse

60 Degrees at the start of the Class 2A final

THEY SAID IT

"We knew we were in a good place."

Johnson, on the Cadets scoring 11 seconds apart.

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