News Archive

March 13, 2010

Hill-Murray is the State 3rd Place Winner. The Pioneers rebounded to defeat Apple Valley hours after a four-overtime loss to pre-tournament favorite Minnetonka in a game that could have gone either way.

Chris Casto, Willie Faust, and Jack Walsh were named to the All-tournament team.

At 86 minutes, 31 seconds, the semifinal was the longest game in school history, shattering the old mark of 75:39 set in 1992. It was also the second-longest game in tournament history, seven minutes short of the 1996 5OT game.

In the final period of the season, the 2010 Pioneers broke another school record, this one for shooting the puck at the opposing goalie. The team finished with 1199 shots on goal, eight more than the 2006 team.

Other highlights of the season included a fifth consecutive section championship and the school's first ever win against Holy Angels, which was also their only overtime victory. A February 4 win over Mahtomedi was win #1000 in program history. After 50 seasons, Pioneer hockey has an all-time record of 1009-281-28.

Tournament articles here, here , and here.

Video of the Duluth East and Minnetonka games.

March 6, 2010

Hill-Murray is the Section 4AA Champion.

The 2010 Pioneers broke the school record for fewest goals allowed in the section playoffs with one goal against in three games. The old record was two, set five times, most recently in 2008.

Hill-Murray has averaged 40 shots per game this season, a mark equaled only once in school history (1975).

Senior captain Jordan Johnson will become the fourth Pioneer to play in four state tournaments. The others are Pat Ethier (1979), Ben Belde (1980), and Tyler Zepeda (2009).

Hill-Murray's quarterfinal opponent is Duluth East. The schools have played twice in the state tournament before, both notable games. Hill-Murray defeated East 3-1 in its first ever state tournament game in 1975, and won again 5-3 in the 1991 state championship game. Since 1991, both schools have qualified for 11 state tournaments, but have not played each other in any of their previous 10.

Articles on the White Bear game from MN Hockey Hub and the Star Trib. Article on the Mounds View game.

February 20, 2010

Hill-Murray is the Classic Suburban Champion.

The Hill-Murray JV team scored in the final minute of regulation and again in overtime to defeat Moorhead and complete a 24-0-1 season.

February 4, 2010

Congratulations to all members of Hill-Murray hockey past and present on winning 1000 games in program history!

January 31, 2010

A 9-0 victory over Simley was win #999 in program history. The all-time school record now stands at 999-279-28. Hill-Murray now faces its closest conference competitors back to back, with its first chance at win 1000 on Thursday against Mahtomedi, followed by the second showdown against St. Thomas Academy on Saturday.

Hill-Murray has now defeated Simley 22 consecutive times, the longest active streak versus another school. The record streak is 28 wins against Forest Lake. 61 wins against St. Thomas Academy is the highest total versus an opponent, followed by 47 over White Bear Lake.

January 21, 2010

Kevin Becker stickhandled to the net and scored on a nifty backhand move, giving Hill-Murray its first ever win against Holy Angels. The Pioneers now go into the second round of conference play with eight straight games against Classic Suburban opponents. Hill-Murray leads the conference by one game over St. Thomas Academy and two games over Mahtomedi.

January 16, 2010

The time of the Holy Angels game on Thursday has been switched to 7:30.

Hill-Murray has 995 wins in program history, but none against Holy Angels (0-7-1). The tie was in 2006 when those teams were #1-2 in the state.

January 7, 2010

Pioneer Press recap of the St. Thomas game.

The JV Pioneers won the Gold Division tournament, winning the championship in a shootout over St. Thomas. They followed that with a 4-0 victory at St. Thomas on Thursday.

January 3, 2010

Pioneer hockey alumni currently playing junior, college, or professional hockey with last year at Hill-Murray, current team and league.

Brian Arrigoni (2006), Hamline (MIAC)
Jay Cascalenda (2004), South Carolina (ECHL)
Dan Cecka (2008), Owatonna (NAHL)
Bo Dolan (2008), Penticton (British Columbia)
Ryan Furne (2008), Green Bay (USHL)
Gabe Guentzel (2006), Colorado College (WCHA)
Ryan Guentzel (2005), Notre Dame (CCHA)
Mike Hoeffel (2006), Minnesota (WCHA)
Brian Kaufman (2002), Gwinnett (ECHL)
Isaac Kohls (2009), Streetsville (Central Canadian)
Nick Larson (2007), Minnesota (WCHA)
Jim McKenzie (2000), Johnstown (ECHL)
Erik Morrow (2005), St. Olaf (MIAC)
Tom Morrow (2002), Kalamazoo (ECHL)
Joe Phillippi (2008), Fairbanks (NAHL)
Mike Phillippi (2005), Nebraska-Omaha (CCHA)
Paul Prescott (2009), Streetsville (Central Canadian)
Nick Pryor (2006), Maine (Hockey East)
Andy Singerhouse (2008), St. Thomas (MIAC)
Bryant Skarda (2006), Army (Atlantic Hockey)
Dan Sova (2008), Waterloo (USHL)
Vince Unklesbay (2006), St. Mary's (MIAC)
Jeff Westerhaus (2009), Hudson (MJHL)
Nick Widing (2009), Owatonna (NAHL)
Tyler Zepeda (2009), Waterloo (USHL)

December 27, 2009

Hill-Murray will play Blaine on Monday and either Edina or Duluth East on Tuesday, both games at the Xcel Energy Center. If they win both, they will play 8:30 Friday at the Xcel, otherwise 12:30 Wednesday at a different venue.

Full tournament bracket

Video highlights of the exciting 2-2 Benilde game
and Hill-Murray's 5-0 victory over White Bear Lake.

December 13, 2009

The Pioneers and Bears will play for the 70th time Tuesday evening at Aldrich Arena. Hill-Murray leads the series 45-22-2, including 16-6 in postseason games. One team has ended the other's season 20 times in the last 26 years and only once in that span has neither advanced to the state tournament. There have been 13 overtime games, but only two ties, the last in 1989. A look back at 10 memorable games between the teams:

Game #9 - White Bear Lake 4, Hill-Murray 2
Dec 29, 1983 at Met Center
Newly integrated with the old Mariner High School, White Bear Lake ends Hill-Murray's school record 33 game win streak in the first annual Edina Holiday Classic.

Game #11 - Hill-Murray 3, White Bear Lake 0
March 1, 1985 at Met Center
In the schools' first ever head-to-head section final, the Pioneers defeat the favored Bears with goaltender Rick Horvath posting the shutout.

Game #18 - White Bear Lake 4, Hill-Murray 3 (2OT)
Feb 22, 1989 at Coliseum
The Bears defeat top-seeded Hill-Murray for the first time in sectional play. Despite being outshot 41-23, White Bear wins the semifinal in the second overtime on a goal by Jeff Maas.

Game #24 - Hill-Murray 4, White Bear Lake 3
March 1, 1991 at Met Center
When Brian Bonin scores in the second period, the Bears lead 3-0, but Hill-Murray scores four unanswered goals, the last coming off the stick of Jim Young with under three minutes to go. The Pioneers go on to win the state championship in the final one-class tournament.

Game #33 - White Bear Lake 2, Hill-Murray 1 (OT)
March 5, 1994 at Mariucci Arena
At the new Mariucci, Todd Strohkirch scores in overtime to hand Hill-Murray its first loss in 16 section finals. The Bears are coached by Mike Schwartz, whose brother, Dave, is Steve Rohlik's assistant at Hill-Murray.

Game #39 - White Bear Lake 4, Hill-Murray 3 (OT)
Feb 28, 1996 at Coliseum
Hill-Murray enters the section semifinal 22-1 and is the state's top ranked team, but freshman Shawn Roed scores twice and White Bear goes on to make the state tournament with a losing record.

Game #44 - Hill-Murray 5, White Bear Lake 4 (OT)
Feb 14, 1998 at Aldrich
In the last regular season game with the Twin Cities Suburban conference championship at stake, the Pioneers rally from a 4-2 third period deficit and win in overtime as Matt Koalska sets up David Graham's goal. But White Bear subsequently upsets the Pioneers in the playoffs for the fourth time in five years.

Game #50 - Hill-Murray 2, White Bear Lake 0
March 3, 2000 at Coliseum
After losing twice in the regular season, Hill-Murray finally turns the tables on the Bears in the section final behind a shutout by Dan Kehler and goals by Christian Toll and Andy Nolan.

Game #58 - Hill-Murray 5, White Bear Lake 4 (OT)
March 1, 2004 at Coliseum
The Pioneers climb out of a 3-0 first period hole to win the semifinal in overtime, then nearly upset eventual state champion Centennial in the final, the only year since 1982 that Hill-Murray or White Bear Lake have not won their section.

Game #60 - Hill-Murray 1, White Bear Lake 0
Dec 6, 2005 at Aldrich
In the first ever live statewide telecast of a regular season high school game, Mike Hoeffel's late goal stands as the game winner as Joe Phillippi gets the shutout in net. Hill-Murray would go on to lose just once in the regular season, but was pushed to double overtime before defeating the Bears 5-4 in the section final. This also began Hill-Murray's current 10-game win streak against the Bears, by far the longest streak by either team in the series.

November 8, 2009

Pioneer hockey embarks on its 50th season in 2009-10. One year after Hill High School opened its doors in 1959, varsity athletic programs began and student athletes have been donning the green and white jerseys ever since. If round numbers signify anything, here are three: by the end of season 50, roughly 500 young men will have participated in Pioneer hockey and their combined efforts will have won approximately 1,000 games.

During a virtually uninterrupted run beginning in the late 1960s, Hill-Murray teams have enjoyed on-ice success unparalleled in the St. Paul area and among the best in all of Minnesota. Twice a state champion before private schools were integrated into the high school league in 1974, Hill-Murray teams have since qualified for 23 state tournaments and won three more state championships.

The trophies are but one part, though, of the larger community that is Hill-Murray hockey. In addition to the friendships forged by players and coaches over the years, the program has been a constant source of entertainment to students, parents, and other members of the Hill-Murray community and greater St. Paul, who have responded with enthusiastic fan support. Thanks to their efforts, Pioneer hockey continues to hold a special place in the unique pastime that is Minnesota high school hockey.


The 2010 schedule is ready. It is virtually identical to last season's except the non-conference schedule replaces Edina with Duluth Marshall, which visits Aldrich Arena on December 5th. The holiday tournament runs Monday and Tuesday, with the championship game Friday and other third round games Wednesday.

FSN has released their high school TV schedule. Hill-Murray is currently slated for three telecasts.


Updates since last season:

Video highlights of the 2009 section final and state quarterfinal.

We now have a nearly complete record of all state playoff scores since 1975, with independent tournament scores pre-1975. Check the playoff history page for more info.

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