This site was the concept and creation of John Vosejpka, long-time official scorer for the Minnesota Boy’s Hockey Tournament. For years, he debated over what to do with his score sheets and programs from past tournaments. It seemed like every year at the tournament, something would happen that would beg the question “I wonder if that is a record?” or “what is the record?” In the age of instant access to nearly everything on the internet, surprisingly there was no place to go and find a comprehensive list of records. After his retirement from the St. Paul Public Schools, he had the time to do something about it.
Before he could even consider attempting to look for potential records, he needed to obtain the box scores from ALL of the state hockey tournaments. At first, he devoted his time to the boy’s state tournaments but then considered compilation of the girl’s state tournament box scores, as well. This meant getting 1,067 boys box scores and 358 for the girls. Searching through the archives of the Minnesota State High School League, the Minnesota History Center and St. Paul Public Library were all part of what was needed to accomplish his task. After hundreds of hours of painstaking research, the first part of the “project” was complete.
Next he needed a website that would be able to store and view all of those box scores. Enter David Norrgard from Urban Planet Software. John and David had worked on a previous athletic website covering the St. Paul Public Schools (saintpaulsports.org) so both knew of each other and their passion for research, statistics and a usable platform in which to showcase them. David was able to lend his expertise in making a website that was user friendly. After months of tweaking and trial-and-error concepts, the final product was rolled off of the assembly line in January of 2017.
The final stage is making the public aware of this site so it can be used and enjoyed by all. Please share this site with others you know that look forward to the annual Minnesota state hockey tournaments.
Before you begin your journey, here are some other things you should know:
WHAT THIS SITE HAS…..
Every box score from every state tournament game ever played is found on the site. This includes not only scoring and shots on goal, but penalties, goalie saves, power play goals and chances, along with open-net and short-handed goals. The names of the officials that worked the game are also listed as well as the attendance, date and site. It also has an ever-expanding list of team and individual records.
WHAT THIS SITE DOESN’T HAVE…..
In the early years of the boy’s tournament (1945-1954), newspaper accounts and even the official scorebooks did not list the time of penalties. It wasn’t important, back then, to inform spectators of the times of the penalties. Because of this, it is not possible to determine if a goal was a power play goal. There were also a few games in those early years that did not indicate the reason for the penalty (i.e., tripping, etc.) so, although they are listed with the player’s name, they do not have the time or the kind of infraction the player had committed.
In 1972, there was no official scorebook found in which to obtain box scores. This means, for that year, for most of the games, there is no listing of the kind of penalty that was called (once again the newspaper accounts of the games did not list the infraction).
If you have ever attended a state tournament game, the attendance at the game was normally announced sometime during the second or third period of the second game of a session. Did you ever wonder how the MSHSL could come up with an exact figure in such a short period of time?
Well, they can’t because it would be impossible to obtain an exact figure. The announced number is, at best, an approximation of tickets that have been sold. It doesn’t take into account the number of tickets that are returned by competing schools. A good example is the 2016 Class AA boy’s semifinals. The Friday evening attendance figure was announced as an all-time building record of 22,244. The official total, released by the League several weeks later, was 19,964. So the number that is announced is not the official amount.
All of the box scores contained in this site are the official League total that is recognized by them.
Here are some timelines that alert you to additions and/or changes in the tournaments over the years.
· 1947 – the first radio broadcast of tournament games. A Roseau radio station covered all of their games that year.
· 1949 – the format for qualifying for the state tournament changed. The creation of the teams from Region 1 and Region 3 were the runner-up teams from Region 4 and Region 5 playing off for the chance to represent Region 1. The runner-up in Region 7 and Region 8, represented Region 3. Those two runner-up teams did not play off but rotated which runner-up team would go to the tournament (alternating every-other-year). Over the years, subtle changes were made to these two regions, commonly referred to as the “back door” regions. In 1968, Region 1 ended this process and had teams from the southern part of the state represent it. Region 3 ended this in 1975 and were replaced by teams from the metro suburbs.
· 1951 – the length of time for the first overtime was changed to sudden-death. Previously, the first overtime period of five minutes was played to the end. In 1950, a game had both teams scoring in the first overtime period. That occurrence caused the change in the rule.
· 1956 – the length of time for overtime periods was changed. After the eleven overtime game the previous year, coaches and the League sought out a change. Originally, the coaches had suggested that if a region or state tournament game went beyond three overtime periods, a flip of the coin would determine the winner of the game. A more practical rule was put into place that year -- after the third overtime, the Penalty Shot Rule (another name for a shoot-out) would take place with each team having five players attempt to score on the opposition’s goalie. This rule was first used on February 11 in the Region 4 semifinals that year when St. Paul Washington defeated St. Paul Monroe in a shootout after the two teams were tied after three overtime periods. On the eve of the first state tournament games, the League’s Board of Control voted down the Penalty Shot rule in favor of eight minute overtime periods. Eventually, the rule evolved into even numbered overtime periods being played in the same amount of time as a regular period of hockey (12 minutes, then 15 minutes until the current 17 minutes).
· 1956 – the first televised games of the tournament began. A Twin Cities television channel (KEYD, Channel 9) broadcast the two evening games on Thursday. They also did the Saturday championship game. The process of televising some of the games was discontinued until 1961 when the championship and third place games were broadcast by Channel 11 (WTCN) from the Twin Cities.
· 1971 – the length of time for a period went from twelve minutes to fifteen minutes.
· 1975 – the state's private schools were allowed to play in the MSHSL state tournament. Prior to that, they played in the State Catholic Tournament (1949-1969) and the State Independent Tournament (1970-1974).
· 1979 – minor penalties went from a minute and a half to two minutes; major penalties from three minutes to four minutes.
· 1986 – a third official (linesman) was added to the officiating crew.
· 2004 – the length of time for a period was increased to seventeen minutes from fifteen minutes.
· 2007 – boys began seeding the top four teams (to eliminate the possibility of the two best teams in the state playing in the first or second round). The girls began to do this in 2009.
· 2009 – a second linesman was added to the officiating crew, bringing it to a total of four.
· 2013 – the teams seeded the top five teams (rather than four).