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Sunday, January 22, 2012
Hockey (B)
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East Grand Forks

Highlights from 6th annual MNSO hockey trip

By Staff Report
State of Hockey, MN

The Roseau Rams stand for the national anthem before hosting the Brainerd Warriors. (Kyle Stevens/MNSO)

MNSO Fantasy Trip 2012

Day 1, Jan. 19: #8 (2A)
Moorhead 6, #5 (1A) East Grand Forks 0
Game recap / photo gallery
Good traffic and great weather gave the guys a chance to reach Grand Forks in time to check into the hotel and grab a bite to eat before heading back into Minnesota to watch Moorhead take care of business against East Grand Forks.
While taking in the end of the JV game, a chat with Spuds head coach Dave Morinville underscored the reason the staff takes a trip up north every year.
The conversation moved from watching games online to the new rules aimed at preventing checks from behind, boarding and head contact to the Spuds game against Warroad on Saturday (which they won, 3-1).
The rest of the time spent at the East Grand Forks Civic Center was spent watching the varsity game, making comparisons to other arenas, wandering the common areas to check out banners, trophies and the like, and, what we would find out later, bask in the general warmth that the EGFCC provided.
Moorhead maintained complete control of the game using a talented penalty kill and generally harassing the Green Wave en route to a 6-0 victory.

Day 2, Jan. 20: Bemidji 4, Eastview 1
Game recap / photo gallery
After a bite to eat at Bonzer's Sandwich Pub, and an entertaining night out at Bucks, the crew hit the road to Bemidji to see the Lumberjacks host Eastview.
Our arrival was timed to get a private tour of the Sanford Center, home of the Bemidji State Beavers. The arena is quite impressive, from the suites and seating to the championship banners lining the hallway to the locker room down to the beaver fur that puts a unique finishing touch in one of the lounges. But the game the staff were attending was back at the school at the Bemidji Community Arena. It, too, will be a great place to catch a game, but is not yet completed. Behind the benches is an area off limits to the general public, but accessible to us. For now it's a concrete slab, but in the future will hold a conference area and extra seating.
Below, on the ice, the Jacks used a potent power play to stymie the Lightning in a 4-1 victory.

Day 3, Jan. 21: Brainerd 5, #19 (2A) Roseau 1
Game recap / photo gallery
Due to some youth tournaments and fishermen hitting the border ice, the MNSO staff would head to Roseau to catch a game only to head south back to Bemidji. The full hotels in and around Roseau gave the town some extra life, witnessed while the crew was eating lunch while watching the Hockey Day Minnesota festivities.
Several Brainerd fans were also at Bottoms Up, while one San Francisco 49ers fan chatted with some new friends.
As the Minnetonka/Duluth East game hit the first intermission, and the impending announcement of Hockey Day's 2013 location loomed, the crew had a quick chat about the location. Baudette was mentioned, as were several metro locations. But when Grand Rapids was mentioned, the crew came to an agreement that that was the likely spot. As it turned out, the boys were right. HDM will head to the Iron Range and Grand Rapids. The MNSO staff is a perfect 5-for-5 on HDM location predictions (while liberally including Hermantown when Duluth was predicted).
This was also our chance to see a game in Roseau's Memorial Arena. It has been on the list for five years, and the guys finally got to set foot in the barn. It's truly a throwback place, with narrow walkways under the bleachers, a radio booth accessible only by ladder and a cozy atmosphere that keeps the fans close to the action.
The Rams fell to the Warriors and their physical play, 5-1, but we were honored to take in a game at Memorial Arena.
That left the crew with a two-and-a-half hour trip back to Bemidji, and one final night out before heading home. After trying a few different places, the crew settled at the local legion for pizza and brew.
Though the dates were not announced, the seventh annual MNSO hockey trip will likely coincide with Hockey Day Minnesota. Where will we be before Saturday's games on Pokegama Lake? No one knows. But we do know that we'll see some good hockey in a part of the state that breathes the game.

Hockey Day 2011
Lakeville, Grand Rapids, Moorhead
Day 1: Burnsville def. Lakeville North, 6-0
Day 2: Grand Rapids def. International Falls, 15-2
Day 3: Hockey Day Minnesota from Moorhead
Game 1: Wayzata def. Roseau, 2-1/OT
Game 2: Hill-Murray def. Moorhead, 3-2

Hockey Day 2010
Thief River Falls, Hibbing, Hermantown
Day 1: TRF's Ranum outshines Warroad star
Day 2: Hibbing hangs on to beat Grand Rapids
Day 3: Hockey Day Minnesota from Hermantown

MNSO Fantasy Trip 2009
Warroad, International Falls and Hibbing

Day 1: Warroad defends home ice in state's best rivalry
Day 2: Greenway upsets rival for first win
Day 3: Hibbing and Virginia put PIMs on notice
A Thousand Miles: Bad car, good times, great people

Hockey Day 2008
Game 1: Danny Usiski's hat-trick lifts Lake of the Woods
Game 2: Roseau escapes with streak intact

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