Year after year, it seems like Section 8A contains one of the top teams in the state, regardless of class. That is true again this season as the (21-3-1) Warroad Warriors look to make a deep playoff run. Not surprisingly, Warroad carries the #1 seed, while Thief River Falls, Detroit Lakes, and East Grand Forks take 2-4, in that order. The Warriors will be the favorites by far, but there are defiantly a handful of teams that could play spoiler in this section. Without further ado, lets dive in!
| Warroad | Senior | Forward | Prep Hockey #3 ’22’s
has boosted this Warroad team mightily as he decided to come back to his old team for his senior season. The Clarkson commit is the leading goal scorer on the team with 34 and has also added 33 assists. I defiantly feel like this team would be more down to earth if Gardner decided not to come back. Daimon has helped a lot and I’m more than certain that he’ll be a Mr. Hockey finalist.
| Warroad | Junior | Forward | Prep Hockey #3 ’23’s
The combination of Gardner andis very similar to what we saw back in 2020 when Grant Slukynsky and the freshman Shaugabay brought the Warriors down to the Xcel Energy Center. With last years Warroad team, Jayson was outstanding, but was missing that sidekick to put that team over the top. This season, Shaugabay has a very impressive point total with 66 through the regular season. The University of Minnesota-Duluth will be a fun player to watch still for years to come and I’m looking forward to watching him through the playoffs and into his senior campaign.
| Warroad | Junior | Goaltender | Prep Hockey #19 ’23’s
is in his first season being the starting goalie for Warroad and he has been outstanding. He has played ever game between the pipes and carries a GAA of 1.57, SV% of .925, and 8 shutouts. With how good this team is offensively, the goaltending play of Slukynsky is really the cherry on top. If the Warriors want to win a state championship in Class A, I think it will come down to Hampton’s play in the net in the end.
| East Grand Forks | Junior | Forward | Prep Hockey #7 ’23’s
is another college hockey bound player in this section as he is committed to the University of North Dakota. Despite the Green Wave’s struggles, Panzer has been the bright spot on this team, tallying 55 points in the regular season. When you look at East Grand Fork’s record, it doesn’t look very good at (8-17). You do have to take into account the schedule though and I feel like this team is better than what their record indicates.
Brendan Bottem | Thief River Falls | Senior | Forward
The Prowlers picked up the #2 seed in the section and probably have the best shot at knocking off Warroad. Both games were pretty close in the regular season, including an overtime victory in game #2. Brendan Bottem is unranked in our Class of 2022 rankings and we probably overlooked him. He has been outstanding this season as he leads the team in points with 47. For a matter of fact, Thief River Falls has a few players that have contributed much offensively this season and Bottem has been the leader of this charge. Don’t overlook this team here in the section playoffs.
Carter: Thief River Falls
Carter believes the 3rd time will be the charm for the Prowlers en route to a state tournament appearance.
Blake will go with the favorite in Warroad to return to the Xcel Energy Center after a one year hiatus.