Upsetting a higher-ranked private school is how veteran Totino-Grace boys’ hockey coach Mark Loahr notched career victories No. 1 and 500.
Loahr directed the Eagles’ to a 3-1 victory over Breck on Jan. 21 to reach the plateau. Totino-Grace’s Kai Barber scored twice, Nick Tandeski added a third-period insurance tally and Dominic Wippler made 29 saves.
Loahr, in his 32nd season at Totino-Grace, heard the Mustangs’ announcer mention career victory No. 500 and posed for pictures on the ice after the game.
But that was enough for the understated Loahr. Milestone? More like a stone in his shoe.
“It’s nice to have it over with,” Loahr said. “It’s not that people were bugging me but they would remind me.”
After the Breck game, those questioning how close Loahr was getting became admires of how far he had come.
“I got a bunch of texts and e-mails,” Loahr said. “It was nice to know people care.”
Loahr coached the Totino-Grace, a private school located in Fridley, to four state tournament appearances and won a Class 1A championship in 2002.
He recalled his first victory, defeating Cretin (before the St. Paul private school merged with Derham Hall) 5-2 in his first game as a head coach.
Will he go for 600?
“If I do get there, it’s either because we won a bunch of games or I am really old,” Loahr said.
Statistics and streaks
No metro area girls’ hockey team is on a better roll than Maple Grove. The Crimson entered this week on a seven-game winning streak, equaling Hill-Murray for sustained excellence. Maple Grove outscored seven Northwest Suburban Conference teams by a combined 39-6 margin. … Anoka senior guard Kyrah Fredenburg scored 16 points last Friday and reached 1,000 for her career. She will play at Concordia-St. Paul next season. … Trey Rooney scored twice, including the game-winner, as the Cooper boys’ hockey team edged Irondale 4-3 in overtime Saturday.
David La Vaque • 612-673-7574