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Bayside Chatter: Nov. 27

The girls hockey team will host a Thanksgiving tournament today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday). Each day will have two JV and two varsity games. The Mariners will play Princeton today and Shakopee tomorrow with International Falls doing so on the opposite days. Shakopee, coached by former Agate Dereck Grosskurth, split its first two contests and are led by the freshman tandem of Lauren Hespenheidi and Amy Menke in scoring and a fine goaltender in junior Kailey Gansen. Princeton has a 7-4 victory over East Range in which Ellie McElhone, Julia Ostrowski and Marisa Paulson combined for five goals and eight assists.

Former Mariner hockey player Tait Sande is a member on the St. Thomas football team that advanced to the second round of the NCAA division III playoffs. They host Coe this weekend.

Kirstin Sandstrom received honorable mention in the Polar League All Conference volleyball team.

Abby Ray of Two Harbors was named to the second team.

While NHL general managers and other league executives continue to drag their feet and do study after study as to the correlation between head shots and concussions, the International Ice Hockey Federation has become very proactive on the issue.

NHL players playing in the Olympics next year will find out there will no such thing as a clean hit to the head. But then again, the type of player who does this habitually usually doesn't make an Olympic roster. Maybe these NHL execs need a couple of shots to the head to get the message. The players aren't stupid. If they continuously find themselves getting penalized and suspended for doing something, they will quit it for the most part.

The Lady Luck deer camp at Nine Mile Lake completed the 2009 firearms deer season with eight bucks taken. There were seven eight-pointers and a six-pointer taken with the largest going at 192 pounds.

The largest deer taken by a Nine Mile resident came from across the lake, where Kerry Boen got a nine-pointer that came in at 211 pounds.

Out of the 14 remaining unbeaten teams making it to the state semifinals, seven advanced to their respective state title contest today and tomorrow at the Metrodome. Three of the semifinal contests had unbeatens facing each other. The 4A title contest has unbeaten Sartell and Totino-Grace and the 3A game has unbeaten and defending champion Glencoe-Silver Lake and unbeaten New London-Spicer. I look for unbeaten Eden Prairie to beat Cretin-Derham Hall in 5A, Totino-Grace to win 4A and Glencoe-Silver Lake to repeat in 3A. Unbeaten Minneota should outscore Adrian in A and Stephen-Argyle should win their sixth title in seven years over Nicollet in nine man action.

Moose Lake has become the first 11-man team from the region to make it to a state title contest in football since Cook County in 1999 after the Rebels defeated Luverne 27-21 in the semifinal contest. I can't see them remaining unbeaten and getting past Waterville-Elysian-Morristown in the title game.

I got to watch the UMD womens hockey team play for the first time as they defeated Mankato 7-1. They had five goals from their special teams. They have a number of very talented first-year players. Libby Guzzo played the whole game at wing on the third line with sophomore Kacy Ambroz and freshman Gina Dodge.

Stillwater won the girls swimming title in AA and Sartell in class A.

The preseason polls for boys high school hockey have the top five in AA with Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Bloomington Jefferson, Blaine and Hill-Murray. In Class A it is Breck, Warroad, St. Thomas Academy, Hermantown and Mahtomedi.