Lakeville South's Cory Checco, front, possesses a familiar surname for boys' hockey state tournament fans. Two cousins previously played in the tourney.
Hockey state tournament appearances run in the Checco family. Lakeville South senior forward Cory Checco scored a goal in Thursday’s 5-2 quarterfinal upset of No. 2 seed St. Thomas Academy while his brother, Austin, served as backup goaltender. Their cousin, Steve, played at state with Irondale in 1980 and 1981. Cousin Nick starred for the Bloomington Jefferson dynasty, winning state titles in 1992 and 1993. Nick offered Cory advice before Thursday’s game.
“He said, ‘This is one of the things you’ll never forget,’ ” Cory said. “He said this is one of his favorite memories — winning a state championship with his team. He said he never forgot the guys he won it with. So it would be amazing to do that and never forget these guys right here.”
Coach on the ice
Moorhead’s current 19-game unbeaten streak (18-0-1) began right about the time Spuds coach Jon Ammerman and assistant Tony Kunka turned over the leadership reins for the final moments leading up to each game to senior Matt Herbranson.
“Coach Kunka and I like to leave [warmups] a little early,” Ammerman said. “Before one of our games, Coach Kunka called out, ‘Herbie, you’re the coach from here on out.’ ”
“Best decision he’s ever made,” quipped Herbranson, who scored a highlight-reel goal in the Spuds’ three-goal, second-period outburst in a 4-2 victory over Hill-Murray.
“He’s the one calling the shots,” Ammerman replied. “Finally, the press is talking to him.”
“It’s been too long,” Herbranson said with a smirk. “It takes a win at state to get that.”
St. Louis love for Yeo
Hill-Murray senior forward Kyler Yeo is the son of former Wild coach Mike Yeo. Kyler remained in Minnesota to finish his high school career while Dad coaches the St. Louis Blues.
Mike Yeo remained in St. Louis to prepare for the Blues’ back-to-back weekend home games against Anaheim and the N.Y. Islanders, but the Blues remembered to mention Kyler in a tweet from the team Twitter site that read: “We’re cheering for you all the way out here in St. Louis. Good luck, Kyler!”
Eden Prairie’s comeback victory over Wayzata was its 16th in a row, but the Eagles have needed third-period rallies in each of their past three games to keep their season alive. They trailed Prior Lake 1-0 after two periods in the Section 2 semifinals but came back to win 2-1, and were down to Holy Family 3-2 in the third period of the Section 2 final before rallying for a 4-3 victory.