Minnesota is highly regarded as the broomball mecca of the United States. It makes sense really, as any team that seeks the glory and honor of a national ranking must come into and through Minnesota to compete in some of the most prestigious broomball tournaments in the country. Needless to say, the one tournament that is closed to all outsiders is the Minnesota State Broomball Championships; and no matter what the result of the games are or who is crowned “Champion”, this will be a hard fought battle all the way through and at every level.
Although USA Broomball no longer has an official Men’s “D” level, Minnesota State will crown a “D” Champion out of the C/D pool. The majority of the teams will be fighting for the “D” Championship, while the top 3 seeds fight for the “C” Championship. Although, not much is known about several of these teams, one has to assume that the higher level of league play will bode well for Ice Mafia and Station 280, both of whom played in the States top indoor, the ABL (Augsburg Broomball League). The Ice Pirates have also shown some success at this level in the past and should be able to compete against most, if not all of these teams. Of course, any team could surprise us with a great run or talented roster and for that, we will have to wait and see.
…higher level of league play will bode well for Ice Mafia and Station 280…
The “B” bracket will be a battle as any team can come in and win. Full disclosure: some bias may be evident in this section. On paper, based on regular season and previous tournaments, your top two contenders are the Minnesota Bombers and the Wolves. While both played in the ABL, the Bomber’s took 3rd place overall, topping all but the Chiefs (A) and Fred’s Tire (not entered) while the Wolves placed 7th overall. The Wolves earlier in the year won the Midwesterns title over the Bombers in a hard fought double overtime game. However, with the likes of Wranglers, Superior Machine and Watkins Legion, all of which have all been powerhouses in their respective leagues, will look to find success with their chemistry and athleticism. Mel’s Boys placed 2nd in the Tier 2 in the Blaine League after losing to what basically amounted to be Nordic Stars (A). These relatively “unknown” teams could upset the favorites if they are on their game. Coming out of Pool A except to see the Bombers, Superior Machine and Wranglers in that order. Coming out of Pool B, expect to see Watkin’s Legion, Wolves and Mel’s Boys. If the Wolves and Bombers don’t make it the Semi finals, it will be a big disappointment for them.
There are two top contenders and they are of no surprise.
Okay, here we go, what we all truly care about, the best of the best, the cream of the crop, the top dogs, the teams fighting for the esteemed Minnesota State “A” Championship. There are two top contenders and they are of no surprise. The first is the Minnesota Chiefs who took 2nd place in the World Broomball Championships last November and won the Augsburg League title. They are a young group of guys with seemingly no weak spot, with a solid offense, shutdown defense and an outstanding net-minder. They will be matched well against C&L Excavating who is the number one ranked team in the United States adding a North Americans Championship and a Blaine League Championship to their belt this year. The best part of their game may be their backstopping which has won them more then a couple heavy-weight tilts. Of course, Kelly Lake, Furious and the others will have their say as to how this goes. Kelly Lake, 2018’s “A” Champion (the game winning goal showcased as the featured image) seems the most likely to upset one of these two teams but Furious has handed the Chiefs one of their two losses during league by playing their stubbornly slow paced/shut down style defense while capitalizing on their offensive chances. In a semi-surprising twist, both Kelly Lake and Sticks & Stones are entered to compete. In the past, these teams have combined and competed as Kelly Lake and have done really well by doing so. While great for the sport to have both teams playing, it may hurt their chances at the title. The Minnesota Flames, which is still considered the longest running broomball team in US history, is in a building year but can score on fast breaks and turnovers. Nordic Stars averaged 3.5 goals per game in the ABL and if they can score like that in State will be a tough team to beat. Rochester United is a solid tournament team and will look to have teams take them lightly which would be a costly mistake. Coming out of Pool A, Chiefs, Furious, Sticks & Stones and then Flames. Coming out of pool B will be C&L Excavating, Kelly Lake, Nordic Stars and Rochester United.
March is no stranger to sports madness and it will be no different for the sport of Broomball with three of the biggest tournaments happening in the next 6 weeks: Minnesota State, International Broomball Championships and USA Nationals. It’s an exciting time to be a fan of the sport, who will be crowned King of USA Broomball? Tune into the Broomball Central YouTube page for all your Rink 5 action from Minnesota State showcasing all the exciting action taking place this weekend!