Pedal in Place fundraiser a moving experience
All-time leader scorer caps career with state title
A state record holder in adapted floor hockey capped his sports career with a state title for his team. The Dakota United Hawks, led by senior Grayson Nickolay, defeated Anoka-Hennepin Mustangs, 3-2 in the state finals of the PI Division March 19. It was the Hawks’ first state crown since 2006. The PI Division is for athletes with physical disabilities.
Nicolay, who led the Hawks with two goals in the title game, finished his career with a state-record 251 goals. He joined the team as a seventh grader.
The Hawks defeated Mounds View/Irondale/Roseville in the first round and then topped defending champion Robbinsdale/Mound-Westonka to reach the title game. The Robins were aiming for their sixth straight state title but settled for third place with a 4-2 win over Brainerd/Pillager.
Anoka-Hennepin reached the title game with wins over Maple Grove and Brainerd/Pillager. Rochester won the consolation crown, 10-2 over Mounds View/Irondale/Roseville. St. Paul Humboldt was the eighth team in the tournament.
Nickolay was joined on the all-state PI team by fellow Hawks Johnathan Lyons and Nick Kuefler. The Mustangs placed Joey Manion, Kai France and Tyler Ezell on the team. Other honorees are Grant Drew, Mounds View/Irondale/Roseville; Sean Healy, Rochester; Jake Heikkenen, Brainerd/Pillager Cody Fleck, Brainerd/Pillager; Cory Tesch, Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka and Chaun Johnson, Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka.
North Suburban Cougars won the CI title with a 6-5 win over Anoka-Hennepin. The title is the Cougars’ second, with the team’s first in 2013. The champions defeated Burnsville/Farmington/Lakeville and St. Cloud Area en route to the title game. The CI Division is for athletes with cognitive disabilities.
The Mustangs defeated Wayzata/Minnetonka and Owatonna to reach the title game. Owatonna took the third place title, defeating St. Cloud Area, 13-7.
South Washington County won the consolation crown, 13-3 over Wayzata/Minnetonka. Defending CI champion Dakota United was knocked out of the first round by Owatonna.
The all-tournament team includes Mick Reichenbacher, Josh Hamann and Anthony Bengtson from North Suburban and Tyler Baron, Jaden Chamberlain and Cole Denny from Anoka-Hennepin. Other team members are Ashley Gabrielsen, Wayzata/Minnetonka; Matthew Neuman, St. Cloud Area; Brian Jones, St. Cloud Area; Bryce Smith, South Washington County; Alex Burns, Owatonna and Zach Sencer, Owatonna.
The Minnesota State High School League offers floor hockey as one of three adapted sports. Wells Fargo joins the league in honoring the all-tournament teams.