ST. PAUL — The 2020 Minnesota boys state high school hockey tournaments provided a number of memorable moments.
The Rink Live's Mick Hatten was not in Xcel Energy Center for any of the games, but next door at the Let's Play Hockey Expo at RiverCentre. On March 6-7, he conducted 11 interviews with a variety of guests from the state and discussed several key topics in the game.
The list of guests include commentator/Four Star Hockey founder/former St. Cloud State player Geno Parrish, state tournament play-by-play announcer Jim Erickson, Moorhead boys hockey coach Jon Ammerman, Warroad boys hockey coach Jay Hardwick, documentary producer/director Adam Howard, Minnesota Warriors vice president of business operations Tim Loney, Minnesota Hockey Executive Director Glen Andresen, Blake boys hockey coach and 1980 Miracle on Ice player Rob McClanahan, Randy Lieberg of JLG Architects on the refrigeration upgrades needed at local rinks, USA Hockey American Development Model Manager for Goaltending Steve Thompson and Steve Carroll of the Carroll Goaltending School.
In case you missed it, here are each of the interviews:
Geno Parrish, who played for the St. Cloud State Huskies from 1996-2000, is the founder and president of Four Star Hockey.
Growing up in Bloomington, Geno Parrish talks about how, despite beginning high school at Bloomington Jefferson, he never played for the Jaguars during a stretch when they won three straight state titles. Parrish talks about the reasons why he had to transfer to Academy of Holy Angels.
Parrish would go on to play defense in junior hockey for three seasons before being asked to walk on at St. Cloud State, where he played with his brother, Mark.
Parrish shares many colorful memories from his playing days, talks in depth about this year's Class A and AA boys state hockey tournaments and then ... has Mick Hatten refer to as "Mark" as he's thanking him for his appearance.
But Parrish takes it all in stride in this fun interview.
Before Jim Erickson agreed to take over as radio play-by-play announcer for the St. Cloud State men's hockey team in 2016, he had a stipulation. Erickson said that he would like to take the Division I gig, but he would miss one weekend a season.
That was because he had become the TV play-by-play announcer for all of the boys state hockey tournament in 2015 and had been doing the Class A games since 2011.
Between the Class A state championship game and the Class AA state championship game on Saturday, March 7, Erickson stopped by for an interview at the Let's Play Hockey Expo and talked about some of the highlights and top players in this year's tournaments.
He also talked about this season's St. Cloud State team, what it is like to work with color commentators Mark Parrish and Lou Nanne at the state tournament and he made sure he got the hat he was promised for his appearance.
Erickson grew up in Braham and is a former minor league hockey announcer.
In a tournament that many considered wide open, the eight Class 2A teams playing this weekend for the Minnesota state boys title each considered themselves a contender. Moorhead, making its 17th appearance, liked its chances.
The tournament’s No. 4 seed, Moorhead lost to No. 5 seed Hill-Murray 5-1 in Thursday’s first round.
Andover, which entered the tournament as the top seed, also lost its first round game. Andover topped the Spuds by a 4-1 margin, ending Moorhead's season.
Jon Ammerman, the Spuds' head coach, credited the Spuds senior class for its character and careers (two state tournament appearances and three 20-win seasons) during an interview with The Rink Live from the Let's Play Hockey expo in St. Paul.
"You grow to love them and you get pretty close to them," Ammerman said. "It's disappointing in the end, but really, what an outstanding group of kids and a fun season."
Ammerman also talks about Moorhead's youth hockey program and teams playing for a state title next year.
Despite a disappointing end, Warroad Head Coach Jay Hardwick talks about his team's hockey season, the difficulty of advancing out of Section 8A and the experience of playing in the state tournament.
Adam Howard and Casimir Semlak play adult recreational hockey a couple of times a week. They also work for Connections Media, a production company, in the Twin Cities.
About a year ago, the duo was talking after a game about going over to Europe and playing some hockey games over there. Then they said, "Why don't we talk to people about hockey over there about their love of the game?" And from there, they decided they wanted to make documentary on hockey culture from several different places.
The film will be called "4 the Love of PUCK" (4theloveofpuck.com/). In the next 5-6 months, they hope to have the documentary completed. It has taken them to a handful of countries in Europe, California, Toronto and Minnesota. It includes people who play recreational hockey, sled hockey, blind hockey, roller hockey and more.
Howard and Semlak are the co-producers and co-directors of the film that they are funding on their own and hope to enter into film festivals.
Howard swung by The Rink Live booth Saturday during the Let's Play Hockey Expo at the RiverCentre in St. Paul to chat about the documentary.
In an emotional interview, Tim Loney shares how the Minnesota Warriors hockey program helps connect veterans with a team after serving in the U.S. military.
The program is designed to provide wounded, injured or disabled veterans an opportunity to play hockey, in conjunction with the USA Disabled Hockey Program.
Loney, the vice president of business operations, shares stories of how the program has helped save lives of veterans.
Minnesota Hockey Executive Director Glen Andresen discusses how high school coaches and players can make an impact with younger players, and the depth of high school talent across the state.
The Blake School served as host for Hockey Day Minnesota, and returns to the spotlight after advancing to the Class AA boys hockey tournament.
Head Coach Rob McClanahan, a member of the 1980 Miracle on Ice team that recently celebrated its 40th anniversary with a reunion in Las Vegas, joins The Rink Live to talk about the high school tournament after his team's 7-5 quarterfinal win over Maple Grove.
Randy Lieberg specializes in arena refrigeration systems for JLG Architects and swings by The Rink Live booth during the Let's Play Hockey Expo at the RiverCentre in St. Paul to talk about the issues that communities and arenas face when addressing the changing landscape of refrigeration systems in their rinks.
JLG Ice, a division of JLG Architects, focuses on designing ice hockey facilities. The website says JLG Ice is the "architect-of-choice for the National Collegiate Hockey Conference, and has been the lead architect for the United States Hockey League and the North American Hockey League."
Last August, Mick Hatten went behind the scenes on how St. Cloud State and the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center are addressing the issue.
Former college goaltender and coach Steve Thompson stops by The Rink Live to talk about innovative coaching techniques, the mental development of goalies and his assessment of the country's top women goalies.
Thompson was the goalie coach for the U.S. Women's National Team that won the gold medal at the 2019 International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championship.
In his role with USA Hockey, Thompson is responsible for the development and management of the American goaltending program, including player development, coach development, parent education and more.
Steve Carroll joins The Rink Live during the 2020 Minnesota state high school boys tournament to discuss developing goalie skills in players of all ages, how the position has evolved over the years and his memories of the 1977 Minnesota state tournament.
The founder of Carroll Goalie School, Carroll played for Minnesota State University Mankato and the long-time goalie coach for the Gustavus Adolphus College women's team. He is director of Minnesota Hockey’s Dave Peterson High Performance Goalie Camp, which he created in 2005, and USA Hockey’s Goalie Coach-in-Chief – Minnesota District.