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Prowlers in the way of New Ulm milestone

By Star Tribune, 03/06/12, 10:00PM CST

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About the Prowlers: We'll find out if there's any magic left in the hat. Thief River Falls stunned two-time defending champion Breck a year ago with a five-goal, third-period rally in the quarterfinals en route to a third-place finish. Those bronze medals were the Prowlers' first state tournament badges of honor since the school's glory days of the 1950s. Coach Tim Bergland and his assistants weren't around back then, but all played for Thief River Falls and would love to bring more hardware back north. If it's going to happen, defense will be key. Goaltender Jon Narverud carries an 18-1-1 record and a 1.66 goals-against average into the state tournament.

About the Eagles: Is it finally time for a victory? This is New Ulm's fourth state tournament appearance, which is nothing to scoff at. However, all that the Eagles have returned home with is a combined 0-6 record. No game has been closer than the 4-2 loss to Rochester Lourdes in the 2010 consolation round. The Eagles face another challenge against the stingy Prowlers, but if ever a team was due for a victory, this is the one. With three consecutive trips to state, experience is a given. Senior Brody Peterson tops that list. His 68 points this season give him 145 for his career, roughly 30 points behind the school's all-time record held by some guy named Terry Steinbach.

Did you know? Thief River Falls stumbled to an 0-1-1 start before winning six consecutive games.

BRIAN STENSAAS

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