The 2023 Minnesota State High School League’s adapted floor hockey state championship games may have had spectators wondering if they had traveled back to 2022. Both PI and CI division title games were a repeat match for the teams. But the outcomes would not be the same.
The Burnsville/Farmington/Lakeville Blazing Cats avenged last year’s state tile loss in the CI championship, topping the Trojans of New Prague/Tri-City United/LeSueur-Henderson/Belle Plaine/Jordan, 15-6.
The win gave the Blazing Cats their first state championship in school history. The Blazing Cats opened up the title game after a close first period, The second period ended 12-5 and there was no looking back. Several Blazing Cats scored more than once. Caden Roseth led all scorers with nine goals. Teammate Riley Deutsch recorded a hat trick and senior Clarke Ruhland was the final Blazing Cat with multiple goals, scoring twice. For the Trojans, Aaron Adamson finished with three goals and Raymond Parker had two.
The Blazing Cats got to the title game by topping White Bear Lake Area and Maple Grove.
Maple Grove defeated Dakota United, 6-5, for third place. Crimson senior Gaetano Sanders would be successful in overtime, scoring with 1:32 left in the five-minute period.
The Stillwater/Mahtomedi Ponies claimed the CI consolation crown with a 6-1 win over the North/Tartan Polars. Mason-Mora Clark led scoring for the Ponies with five goals.
The St. Cloud Crush was the eight team in the tournament. The team is made up of athletes from St. Cloud Apollo, Sauk Rapids-Rice, St. Cloud Tech and Sartell high schools.
All-tournament team members are Aaron Blood, Clarke Ruhland and Angel Figueroa, Burnsville/Farmington/Lakeville; Ada Kramer and Thomas Christopherson, Dakota United; Alec Singh and Gaetano Sanders, Maple Grove; Landon Malecha, Aaron Adamson and Trystan Seger, New Prague/TCU/LSH/Belle Plaine/Jordan; Kaylee Larios, North/Tartan and Mason-Mora Clark, Stillwater/Mahtomedi.
The CI Division is for student-athletes with cognitive disabilities.
The Brainerd Warriors came away with the title, their sixth state championship and their first since 2019. The Warriors defeated the Hawks of Dakota United, 4-3, in overtime.
Seventh-grader Aiden Olsen scored the game-winning goal about a minute into OT. It was a back-and-forth game, and very exciting for spectators.
Brainerd defeated the St. Paul Humboldt Hawks and Anoka Hennepin Mustangs to reach the title game.
The Robins of Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka defeated the Anoka-Hennepin, 5-2, for third place. Jose Leon Estrada helped lead the Robins with four goals. The Robins overcame a 0-2 deficient to fly back in the second period.
Maple Grove topped Rochester, 9-8, for the consolation title. Rochester led 6-3 at one point, but a third period comeback was topped by the game-winning goal from seventh-grader Lincoln Scearcy. Scearcy finished the game with six goals. Teammate Ben Pfeifer chipped in with the other three for Maple Grove.
The Minneapolis South Tigers were the other team in the tournament.
PI all-tournament team members are Joey Tonna and Sophia Reither, Anoka-Hennepin; Owen Olsen, Andrew Kargel and Cadence Atwater, Brainerd; Jae Bahma, Fiona Sitzmann and Cayden Needham, Dakota United; Bryan Lopez, Maple Grove; Darius Larson and Jose Leon Estrada, Robbinsdale/Hopkins/ Mound Westonka; and Joe Hansen, Rochester.
The PI Division is for student-athletes with physical disabilities. The tournament was hosted by Bloomington Jefferson High School.