MINNEAPOLIS -- With all due respect to powerful Elk River, the Blaine Bengals are Class AA boys state hockey champions.
The sixth-ranked Bengals defeated No. 3 Duluth East 6-0 Saturday for the school's first title. They benefitted from the absence of top-ranked Elk River, one of four Top 5 teams that were upset on their way to the tourney.
''With all respect to Elk River, you have to win when it's on the line. That's what championship teams do and we did it,'' Bengals coach Steve Larsen said.
Elk River was 6-0 against teams that did make state and they thumped Blaine 7-1 in the regular season finale.
''You could say that Elk River might be the best team around, but we're state champs,'' said Matt Moore, who scored twice in the second-biggest shutout in the tourney's 56-year history.
''Seedings don't matter when you get to the playoffs,'' Moore said.
That was confirmed in the Class AA title game, too, when second-ranked Breck School defeated top-ranked Warroad 3-2 behind junior forward Jake Brenk, a transfer from Detroit Lakes who led the Mustangs to their first state title.
Brenk scored the go-ahead goal in the Mustangs' victory at Target Center.
Breck wins A crown
Junior forward Jake Brenk is both a transfer and a transformer.
Brenk, who moved from Detroit Lakes to Breck School this season, led the Mustangs to their first Class A boys state hockey title on Saturday.
He scored the go-ahead goal in the Mustangs' 3-2 victory over top-ranked Warroad at Target Center.
''It's been real tough leaving my friends at home,'' Brenk said. ''But these guys at Breck have been real nice to me. It's just a great atmosphere.''
And now it's home to a championship boys hockey team for the first time.
''It's something real special,'' Brenk said. ''No one will ever forget that we won the first one. It's a great feeling.''
The second-ranked Mustangs (24-3-1), won their 15th straight game, a streak that included a 4-2 victory over last year's champion, Benilde-St. Margaret's, in the Section 5A final.
The Warriors, seeking their third state title, never led.
Elk River's Paul Martin
wins Mr. Hockey
ST. PAUL (AP) -- Elk River defenseman Paul Martin was named ''Mr. Hockey'' Sunday, the Minnesota Wild announced.
Martin, a senior who will play at Minnesota next year, scored 15 goals and had 35 assists in leading the Elks to the Twin Cities Suburban West title with an 11-1 league record and a 22-2 overall mark.
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