David La Vaque has covered all but one state hockey tournament game since 2009 and has worked as a Star Tribune high school sports reporter since 2004. His favorite tournament experiences include cheering for alma mater St. Paul Johnson in 1991 and staying for most of the Apple Valley/Duluth East marathon semifinal game in 1996. Loren Nelson has covered every state tournament since 2009 as the national media editor for Sport Ngin. He attended many, many other Tourney games as a high schooler from the far northern reaches of Minnesota making the annual pilgrimage south to the old St. Paul Civic Center in the 1980s.
Settling in for Day 3 at the as the Mahtomedi student section floods into the building. More on those zany kids and their brush with security below the Millen photo.
Elevators were out of service yesterday going up from the parking ramp, so was forced to take the stairs and confront my shocking out-of-shapeness. Took the stairs today just because.
In case you missed it, Mr. La Vaque had a chance to chat with Cloquet legend Corey Millen yesterday. As David reported in our Day 2 notebook, surprisingly, Millen was making his first appearance at the state tournament in 33 years. David also posted the entirety of his Q and A with Millen yesterday.
I remember Millen as a legendary player even before he hit high school. Back in the 1970s and 80s, International Falls held a Bantam tournament to end all Bantam tournaments. Teams from throughout Minnesota, Ontario and even Europe attended, the games were on radio and the bracket rivaled the NCAA hoops tournament in size.
I remember Millen squaring off against another Bantam and future high school superstar in Hibbing's Pat Micheletti in the championship game. Both Millen and Micheletti were small in stature by supremely skilled skaters and stickhandlers.
Can't remember who won that championship game. Hibbing maybe?
Millen never played on the big stage. He was injured in the playoffs and missed playing in the 1982 state tournament for the Lumberjacks. Given Millen's legend, below is what I consider one in a handful of iconic state tournament photos.
On another note, one of my big regrets in putting the Top 100 Minnesota high school players of all time is not ranking Millen higher. I would probably move a lot of players around, but Millen is the one that stands out the most as having been placed too low.
Cloquet's Corey Millen was forced to sit out the 1982 state tournament with a broken ankle. Associated Press
David reports that he bumped into members of the Mahtomedi student contingent toting a reasonable facsimile of the Stanley Cup. While snapping the picture below, he was told that security had informed the Zephyrs' fans that the Cup's entry in the building was a no-go. No word on Lord Stanley's current location.
Up next, a quickie video of Lakeville North defenseman Luke Seper and his majestic flow.
Tag(s): Two-Man Advantage