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High five

By MN Hockey Hub staff, 12/12/12, 5:00PM CST


Duluth East coach Mike Randolph gets 500th career victory in triumph over rival Cloquet

Duluth East poses for a team photo after beating Cloquet for coach Mike Randolph's 500th career victory. Photo by Loren Nelson

In his 24 years behind the bench at Duluth East, Mike Randolph has established a certain style, and his teams have always exhibited some telltale signs of Randolph instruction – the creative offensive zone cycles, the crisp puck movement, and the feet-always-going intensity, to name a few.

The biggest giveaway of a Randolph-coached team over the years, though, has been one thing – wins.

It’s fitting, then, that when the final horn blew on Duluth East’s 5-2 win over rival Cloquet/Esko/Carlton on Thursday night – giving the longtime coach of the Greyhounds 500 career ‘Ws’ – Randolph downplayed his accomplishment and was more focused on the next game on the schedule than the one that had just finished.

Mike Randolph smiles on the bench before Thursday night's win over Cloquet. Photo by Loren Nelson

To him, at least for now, it’s just another victory to add to the collection.

“I think I’ll reflect [on all the wins] someday when I retire,” Randolph said. “But right now I’m just concentrating on this season and our next game, which is at Centennial. This [game against Cloquet] was a very important section game.”

When Randolph does close the book on his coaching career and takes the time to look back on all that’s been accomplished in his days at Duluth East, he might need another 24-plus years to scour through the history.

His résumé is extensive.

He’s coached two state champions. He’s coached 13 teams to the state tournament. He’s coached 13 Mr. Hockey finalists and two Frank Brimsek Award winners. He’s coached every single one of his Duluth East teams to a winning record. He’s coached or coached with family and friends.

“I’ve got a lot of great memories; I don’t know where to begin. I’ve been fortunate to coach a lot of great players and make a lot of trips to the state tournament,” Randolph said. “I’m honored, I feel very fortunate to have coached at a great school with a great tradition, and I have two assistant coaches – Terry Johnson and Larry Trachsel – who have been with me for many, many years and helped me along the way.”

“I’ve surrounded myself with great players and great coaches. This doesn’t get done by one guy, so I feel very fortunate to get to that 500 mark.”

500 Win Club

Name Team Career Wins
Roy Nysrom Albert Lea* 649
Lorne Grosso Rochester Mayo 645
Willard Ikola Edina 616
Tony Sarsland Elk River 588
Larry Ross International Falls 566
Cliff Thompson Eveleth 534
Mike Randolph Duluth East** 500

*Nystrom won 94 games -- and three state titles -- in seven seasons at Grand Forks Central.
** Randolph won 14 games in one season at Duluth Cathedral (now Duluth Marshall).

Statistics, Summary

Game Recap

Hogan Davidson

Senior Hogan Davidson scored three goals – one in each period – to lead Duluth East past Cloquet/Esko/Carlton 5-2 as Greyhounds coach Mike Randolph reached the 500-win plateau on Thursday, Dec. 13, at Duluth Heritage Sports Center.

Davidson scored the only goal of the first period, put the Greyhounds ahead 2-1 in the second and all but finished the Lumberjacks in the third as he scored to make it 5-1 just 3:59 into the period.

Randolph, in his 25th season at Duluth East, joined an exclusive fraternity of legendary Minnesota high school coaches with 500 wins, a group that includes Edina’s Willard Ikola, Albert Lea’s Roy Nystrom and Rochester Mayo’s Lorne Grosso, among others.

Randolph, a high school star at Duluth Cathedral (now Duluth Marshall) coached one season at his old high school and compiled 14 wins before taking over at East.

Drew Dincau and Weston Michaud scored for Cloquet, which hasn’t defeated the Greyhounds since a 2008 Section 7AA playoff game – a losing streak that stretched to nine games on Thursday.

Duluth East's Hogan Davidson. Photo by Loren Nelson

1. Hogan Davidson, Duluth East
Scoring three times against a rival would warrant first-star honors in most games, but what Davidson did on Thrusday night against Cloquet is all the more impressive when you consider how far he stepped out of his usual role to get the job done. Davidson, a hard-nosed center for Duluth East has become known more as the guy that is tough to play against up and down the rink rather than the goal scorer. On Thursday, he played both those roles, and he played them to perfection.

2. Meirs Moore, Duluth East
Moore didn’t record a point, but he was the quarterback for the ‘Hounds from the backend all game long. When Duluth East needed to start a rush, Moore made a quick, perfect pass. When the ‘Hounds were looking to regroup, Moore slowed play down and made the smart, composed play. The points will come – probably in bunches – but the consistent little plays like Moore made tonight are the ones that will go further in Duluth East’s trek through the 2012-13 season.

3. Phil Beaulieu, Duluth East
Like Moore, Beaulieu provides a calming presence at the blue line. He’s not afraid to jump up into the play, either, and it resulted in a pair of assists on Thursday night for the junior defender.

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