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Adapted Floor Hockey: Warriors storm to state championship

Members of the Brainerd Warriors state championship team included, front row: Assistant coach Eric Rohlfing (left), Karlee Schuler, Blaise Edinger, Zachary Denny, Tre’Von Otey, Matt Allord, student manager Turner Person. Back: Cody Vleck, assistant coach Josh Fordyce, Maddox Canon, Jacob Elias, Tate Boelter, Jacob Heinlen, Jake Heikkenen, Brach Delcastillo, head coach Todd Person. Bill Johnson / Picture Day Pro!1 / 4
Zachary Denny2 / 4
Jake Heikkenen3 / 4
Cody Vleck4 / 4

Warriors 8, Anoka 4

The key: Brainerd burst to a 6-0 lead in state championship game

Overall: State champion Warriors finish 15-0

Jake Heikkenen flicked in four goals and Cody Vleck recorded 21 saves as the Brainerd Warriors captured the PI Division state championship Saturday with an 8-4 victory over Anoka-Hennepin at Bloomington Jefferson High School.

The Warriors cruised to their first state championship since 2000 and the third in the program's 22-year history. Heikkenen, Zachary Denny and Vleck were named to the all-tournament team.

Brainerd, which finished the season 15-0, reached the state final with an 11-0 dismantling of Robbinsdale in the semifinals earlier Saturday.

"Coming into the tournament this year as the No. 1 seed from the North (Division) really made a difference," Warriors coach Todd Person said. "While we were able to rest our starting lineup in the (semifinal) game, Anoka was in an overtime battle with Rochester, the No. 1 seed from the South. Anoka won that game 5-4 with less than six seconds left in the 5-minute overtime.

"In that overtime win, Anoka lost their starting defenseman to an injury and had their senior goalie needed to leave with an illness. The extra rest our players had was a major advantage."

Brainerd, which had beaten Anoka three times during the regular season, built a 6-0 lead in the championship game. Matt Allord provided two goals in the final while Jacob Heinlen and Blaise Edinger each buried one.

"For the first time this season, we were able to score first against Anoka and once we had the lead, our kids were not going to let Anoka back into the game," Person said. "We were beating them to the puck in the corner and Cody Vleck, coming off his morning shutout, stopped everything Anoka threw at him in the first period.

"Anoka was able to get on the board when we started to get some of the other players time on the floor (late in the second period), but at no time did we feel the game was in jeopardy."

Heikkenen capped a spectacular state tournament with four goals and an assist in the championship game. He amassed 21 points during the weekend which broke the previous state tournament record of 20 set in 1994 by Marcus Onsum, who's now Robbinsdale's coach.

"I am very proud of how our team played this weekend," Person said. "Our players moved the puck extremely well and we kept the mental mistakes to a minimum. While Jake Heikkenen had an outstanding weekend, this was a total team effort.

"This group of players have been working for, not just the five months this year, but for the past several years, on all aspects of their game. Their hard work really shows in how well they communicate and execute when they are on the floor."


The Warriors set or tied four state tournament team records, including:

• Most goals in a tournament—36 (previously 33 by Robbinsdale in 1994)

• Set record for most goals in one period—9 (previous record set in 1994 by Robbinsdale (8).

• Tied record for most goals in one game—17 (Osseo scored 17 in 1997)

• Tied record for most goals by two teams in championship game—12 (record set in 1997 by Osseo (8) and Dakota United (4).

Brainerd 11, Robbinsdale 0

Heikkenen scored five goals and collected two assists as the Warriors romped past the Robbins 11-0 in Saturday's semifinals.

Tre'Von Otey supplied a hat trick and assist, Maddox Canon collected a goal and three assists and Denny added two goals and an assist. Vleck was required to make only nine stops.

"We controlled the game from the start," Person said. "Our players came out and moved the puck around the floor giving us a 7-goal lead midway into the second period. Along with the way our kids moved the puck, we played excellent defense, giving the Robbins three shots on goal through the second period.

"We were able to start getting younger players in the game at the midway point of the second period and Maddox Canon and Tre'Von Otey responded. The two seventh-graders traded goals and assists giving us four more goals. It was good to see the younger players not only become more aggressive around the net, but they started passing the puck to create some open looks for each other as well."


Brainerd 4 5 2—11

Anoka-H 0 0 0—0

First period: B-Jacob Heinlen 3:38; B-Blaise Edinger (Jake Heikkenen) 5:39; B-Matt Allord (Blaise Edinger) 12:00; B-Allord 12:57

Second period: B-Heikkenen 6:21; B-Heikkenen (Zachary Denny) 10:39; AH-Tyler Azell (Joey Manion) 11:07

Third period: B-Heikkenen 1:00; AH-Azell (Manion) 2:29; B-Heikkenen (Allord) 5:45; AH-Michael Arends (Azell) 6:52; A-Arends 14:33

Shots on goal: B 6-7-6--20; AH 10-5-10--25

Goaltenders: B-Cody Vleck (21 saves); AH-Ashanti Lacy (11 saves)


Brainerd 4 5 2—11

Robbinsdale 0 0 0—0

First period: B-Heikkenen 2:36; B-Heikkenen (Allord) 7:30; B-Heikkenen 11:37; B-Denny (Heikkenen) 12:00

Second period: B-Heikkenen (Denny) 3:05; B-Denny (Heikkenen) 4:24; B-Heikkenen 7:53; B-Maddox Canon (Tre'Von Otey) 10:31; B-Otey (Canon) 13:35

Third period: B-Otey (Canon) 0:30; B-Otey (Canon) 13:30

Shots on goal: B 15-16-4--35, R 2-1-6--9

Goalies: B-Vleck (9 saves), R-Hayley Engebretson (24 saves)


MVIR 0 2 1—3

Brainerd 11 4 1—17

First period: Brd-Denny (Heikkenen) 0:59; Brd-Heinlen (Heikkenen, Denny) 2:29; Brd-Heikkenen (Allord) 2:50; Brd-Edinger (Heikkenen) 4:18; Brd-Heikkenen (Denny) 7:00; Brd-Edinger (Heikkenen) 7:27; Brd-Otey (Heikkenen) 8:34; Brd-Heikkenen (Otey) 8:42; Brd-Heikkenen 9:04; Brd-Otey (Canon) 9:56; Brd-Brach Delcastillo (Canon) 11:04

Second period: Brd-Canon (Otey) 0:20; Brd-Otey 3:55; Brd-Canon 5:01; MVIR-Max Lippert (Thomas Scheller) 6:28; MVIR-Lippert (Grant Drew) 10:47; Brd-Tate Boelter (Denny) 14:32

Third period: Brd-Boelter (Karlee Schuler) 5:53; Brd-Schuler (Delcastillo, Boelter) 7:45; MVIR-Lippert (Drew) 8:45

Shots on goal: B 32, MVIR 14

Goalies: Brd-Cody Vleck (11 saves); MVIR-Luke Kostecky (15 saves)