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Bouncing back

By Star Tribune, 03/06/13, 8:04PM CST


Duluth East, Moorhead overcome difficulties and return to Class 2A tournament

Duluth East struggled during the holiday tournament season but has rebounded by winning its last 16 games. Star Tribune photo

About the Greyhounds: Duluth East lost much more than a game in the Schwan Cup quarterfinals in December. Hogan Davidson injured his spleen and was hospitalized after the Greyhounds’ 2-0 loss to Breck. Rallying around their fallen comrade, players rebounded to defeat top-ranked Edina 4-1 the next day. Davidson, a talented player who scored six goals in eight games, was later ruled out for the season. But the Greyhounds’ spirit endured. “It told us a lot about this team,” coach Mike Randolph said. “This team has come from nowhere in terms of what we lost from last season. We’re not as high-scoring of a team, but if you play good defense you always have a chance.”

About the Spuds: Facing a sub-.500 record more than halfway through the season, Moorhead regrouped to make its third consecutive and 14th overall state tournament appearance. First-year coach Pete Cullen, cousin of Minnesota Wild forward Matt Cullen, coaxed the team to a 7-3-1 finish. The Spuds improved in key areas, playing fast and gritty while getting tougher in the defensive end. Section opponents Bemidji and Brainerd scored a combined 17 goals in four regular-season meetings with Moorhead but just one in the playoffs. Top-line forwards Tony Uglem and Thomas Carey enter the tournament with 17 goals each. Second-line center Aaron Herdt leads the team with 19.

Did you know? Duluth East’s Randolph won his 500th game earlier this season.

-- David La Vaque, Star Tribune

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