N.D. state tournament begins today

The North Dakota state high school tournament starts today in Ralph Engelstad Arena, and I don’t remember a tournament that has been more up-for-grabs as this one.

Tom Miller wrote this story for Thursday’s paper, detailing how basically every team from the East split with each other during the regular season.

There will be a couple of D-I prospects playing in the tournament in Red River’s Jacob Benson, a St. Cloud State commit, and Bismarck Century’s Alec Rauhauser, who scored a goal that ended up on SportsCenter a couple of weeks ago. There are several others who could develop into D-I players as well.

I will be following the state tournament from afar in Denver, but will drop a few predictions for the sake of conversation.

Fargo North (No. 4 East) and Bismarck Century (No. 1 West) should be a great first-round matchup (Century beat the Spartans to start the year), but I’m going to say the East goes 4-0 on Day One and we have a showdown between the East Region tournament champion, Red River, and the defending state champion, Fargo North, in the finals. Red River 5, North 2. MVP: Benson.

Let’s hear all of your picks.

11 thoughts on “N.D. state tournament begins today

  1. First round upset. The Spoilers will be spoiled. BHS will be the only west team to advance out of the first round. After that, RR will take on Fargo North in the Championship and get some sweet revenge on Mr. Aasand. RR wins 6-2 with two empty netters. Ross Johnson with 2G 1A, Andy Norman with 1G 2A, and John Lizotte is your MVP.

  2. I have watched lot of high school hockey this year and I would say that the best player I have watched is John Lazat (spelling) really a smart playmaking dman. I would love to see GPR vs. Davies in the ship.

    • I have watched a lot of EDC hockey this year–none of my kids play any more, but I do know my hockey and although Lizot is a force out on the ice with a beauty of a wrist shot, he has a tendency to be lazy out on the ice. I do think in these big games–and the last games for most of these kids–he will come through…I think you give him a little too much credit. His game is good, but most who have watched him since stepping in as a 9th grader will say that there has not been much improvement in his play. Benson is a gifted skater and stick handler, but will be in for an eye opener next year in the juniors where he is expected to go play before going on to St. Cloud. If RR is going to win this, and I think they will, it is going to take a team effort. They have several under rated players on that team–both Lunksi boys and Norman have been skating pretty darn good. This tournament is up for grabs still though as it could easily be Davies, North or Grafton. Fun to watch no matter who you are cheering for. Great weekend of hockey! I am calling RR 4-2 over North. Game winner going to B. Lunski…. tourney MVP Benson.

  3. Boys I want to go with my school in RR but Grafton is a tourney team so I have Grafton over RR 3-1 and girls hockey I have Jamestown over RR 5-2.

  4. The west sure did well yesterday. Century pulled it off and for Bismarck to push Grafton into a few overtimes was impressive! It would have been entertaining to see an all Bismarck semi-final game.

  5. Well looks like I am one of the only ones who did the girls game also but it looks like I nailed the 3rd place game I should get something for that.

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