Warroad's Grant Slukynsky (27) crashes the net on a rush against Minneapolis Saturday morning. The Warriors defeated Minneapolis 5-1 in the early Hockey Day Minnesota game at Parade Stadium. Photo by Jeff Lawler, SportsEngine
Warroad moms, dads, grandparents, little kids — lots and lots of little kids — and luminaries such as former Olympians Dave Christian and Henry Boucha all were front and center for the spectacle that is Hockey Day Minnesota on Saturday in Minneapolis.
Which begs the question, who’s left 380 miles to the north, you know, keeping an eye on things in the tiny Canadian border town?
“I couldn’t believe it, I looked up in the stands and it was all black and gold and red, white and blue,” Warroad coach Jay Hardwick said after his Warriors beat Minneapolis 5-1 at Parade Stadium. “It’s probably pretty quiet in Warroad today.”
With eight youth hockey teams and some of the biggest names in state hockey history cheering them on, the Warriors showcased the smooth skating and deft passing that has kept them perched near the top of the state Class 1A coaches’ poll all season.
“We were really looking forward to this,” said Warroad’s Grant Slukynsky, a senior who ranks second in the state in scoring with 61 points, three behind Red Lake Falls’ Zak Kennett. “And I think the guys really enjoyed it.”
Warroad's Owen Meeker (23) tangles with Minneapolis' Evan Grimm (27) as he enters the offensive zone Saturday morning. Meeker had two goals and an assist in the Warriors’ 5-1 victory over Minneapolis at Parade Stadium. Photo by Jeff Lawler, SportsEngine
Owen Meeker scored twice and Zach Foster made 18 saves as Warroad eased past Minneapolis 5-1 on Saturday morning in a Hockey Day Minnesota matchup outdoors at a blustery Parade Stadium in Minneapolis.
Meeker opened the scoring 6:34 into the first period, and Anthony Foster stripped the puck from a Minneapolis player at center ice and breezed in for a breakaway goal to put the Warriors (16-1-0, 6-1-0) ahead 2-0 at the first intermission.
Jayson Shaugabay, the state’s top freshman scorer, notched a second-period goal for Warroad, ranked No. 3 in the Class 1A coaches' poll, to boost his season totals to 12 goals and 38 points.
Minneapolis’ Ben Murray scored late in the third period to ruin Warroad’s shutout bid. Goaltenders Cole Kloek and Alex Lamont split time in goal for Minneapolis (7-8-2), with both making several outstanding saves.
Legendary Warroad players Dave Christian and Henry Boucha were in attendance, as was former Minneapolis Southwest star Tom Chorske, who holds the distinction of being the state’s first Mr. Hockey award winner.
Minneapolis is a co-op, with this season's roster made up of players from Minneapolis Southwest, Minneapolis Washburn and Minneapolis South.
Minneapolis' Ben Murray (7) chips the puck into the corner against Warroad Saturday morning at Parade Stadium. Murray scored Minneapolis’ goal in its 5-1 loss to the Warriors. Photo by Jeff Lawler, SportsEngine
The MN Hockey Hub poll is for entertainment purposes only.