March 10, 2013
Hill-Murray is the State Runner-up
The 2013 Pioneers completed a very successful season with a repeat conference and section championship, and a 2nd place finish at State. Following a come from behind win against Wayzata that avenged an earlier loss, Hill-Murray suffered the reverse outcome in the final. Congrats to Edina and STA on their state championships.
The 2013 season featured many noteworthy accomplishments. Zach LaValle broke the all-time school points record, and Bill Lechner became the all time school wins leader among head coaches. John Dugas had one of the finest seasons ever by a Pioneer goalie, and the team finished with an overall 27-3-1 record that included wins over almost all of the state's other top teams.
March 2, 2013
Hill-Murray is the Section 4AA Champion
Historical notes: the section title is Hill-Murray's second in a row and 26th overall. Curiously, Hill-Murray has not reached the state semifinal in back to back years since 1985-1986. The most recent teams to have a chance lost the state quarterfinal in overtime, in 2007 and 2009.
In 53 seasons, this was just the ninth 1-0 game in school history. The last was on Dec 6, 2005, also a 1-0 victory over White Bear Lake. This was the first 1-0 section final, although a 2-0 win over White Bear Lake in 2000 included a late empty net goal.
Zach LaValle becomes the fifth Hill-Murray player to play in four state tournaments. LaValle is a two year captain and holds the school record for career points (193) and assists (112).
The 1971 team photo posted recently was incorrectly identified as the 1970 team. The correct 1970 photo is now posted. Thanks to Mike Remarcke for the fix.
February 17, 2013
Hill-Murray finished the regular season 22-2-1, including 10-1-1 against a very tough non-conference schedule. That was good enough to earn the state's top ranking, although the last two Hill-Murray teams with that distinction did not reach the state tournament. Section play begins Feb 23; Hill-Murray and White Bear Lake are once again the top two seeds in Section 4. Tartan, which denied St. Thomas Academy a share of the Classic Suburban title, is third.
February 13, 2013
Hill-Murray is the Classic Suburban Champion
February 8, 2013
Pioneer hockey has a new all-time leader in career points. Zach LaValle is now at the top of that very distinguished list, with 182 points (74 goals, 108 assists) and counting as of February 8. Congratulations to Zach on a well deserved achievement!
LaValle is also the all-time leader in games played, and is closing in on Todd Norman's (1984) mark of 111 career assists.
The individual leaders in career goals are Pat Conroy (1971) and Mark Krois (1983) with 88.
February 7, 2013
Two Pioneers were named finalists for the state's top individual awards. Zach LaValle is one of ten Mr. Hockey finalists, and John Dugas is one of two finalists for the Frank Brimsek Award.
February 3, 2013
Some old memorabilia that is new to this site is now linked. First, the history article now links to newspaper reports of each of the school's five state championships. Also, college photos of many players are displayed on the college alumni page.
Many new boxscores from the independent tournaments of the 1960s and 1970s are up. Here are a few games of interest:
February 15, 1965 - The first and still only 0-0 game in team history. Jack Reif was matched save for save by Blake's Mark Dayton.
February 15, 1970 - Hill's first state championship, won in overtime against five time defending Catholic champion Duluth Cathedral (now Marshall). Duluth's star that day was Mike Randolph, now the longtime coach at Duluth East. Many at the time believed it would also be the last ever game for Hill due to the threatened closing of the school.
December 6, 1970 - A beseiged Cretin goalie's 42 saves aren't enough to stop the mighty Hill Pioneers, who were in the midst of a 25 game win streak.
February 17, 1983 - The greatest comeback in school history also preserved a perfect season. Hill-Murray had defeated Johnson 11-6 the night before, so allowed 13 goals in two days but won both games.
January 27, 2013
Earlier this month, Bill Lechner passed Terry Skrypek's total of 325 wins which was tops among Hill-Murray hockey coaches. Congratulations to Coach Lechner and his staff on an accomplishment 16 years in the making!
January 25, 2013
The Pioneers wrapped up a rare three game season series against STA with a 3-1 win that evened the teams in the conference standings. Up next is third place Tartan on Saturday. Coincendentally, the win on Thursday ensured that Tartan is still the only Classic Suburban school to win a season series aginst Hill-Murray.
January 13, 2013
Catch the Pioneers in action on FSN on January 24 vs. St. Thomas Academy if you can't make the game in person.
Here's a link to some high quality photos taken by Michael Mingo at Braemar Arena on January 5 - varsity and JV.
January 5, 2013
Former Hill-Murray players (last year at HM), current team (league)
Ben Bahe (2011), Merrimack (Hockey East D1)
December 20, 2012
November 20, 2012
The alumni game will be held Sunday, Dec 30th from 3:00-5:00 at Aldrich Arena.
November 3, 2012
Pioneer Hockey's 53rd season will commence when Burnsville visits Aldrich Arena on November 29. Mark your calendars for this and many other games against Minnesota's top high school hockey teams!
* updates since last winter - four videos from the 2012 State 2nd Place season are now online
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