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.
Serving as a much-needed mood-lightener in a hockey game quickly devolving into something resembling a wrestling bout was an odd exchange between Edina defenseman Jake Boltmann and Centennial goalie Travis Allen.
Edina defenseman Ben Brinkman was standing on the ice at 12:21 of the second period of Saturday’s state Class 2A tournament third-place game as referees were sorting out penalties to both teams. He noticed Boltmann and Allen passing the puck back and forth at the other end.
Boltmann called for the puck. Allen passed it to him. Boltmann returned the favor, and Allen fired a one-timer wide. Boltmann retrieved the puck out of the corner and sent another pass Allen's way.
This time the sparse crowd cheered as Allen buried a one-timer. Allen and Boltmann each raised their arms in unison to celebrate the "goal."
“We we’re talking with the Centennial guys like, ‘What’s going on?’ ” Brinkman said. “They said, ‘Our goalie is a little weird.’ We’re like, ‘Well, Jake is a little weird, too.’
“I’ve never seen anything like that. It was really funny.”
Edina won the game 11-0. Seven penalties had been called before the good-natured puck sharing between Boltmann and Allen. Just two more penalties were called the rest of the game.