The night's tilt featured the heavily favored Monona Grove Silver Eagles versus the scrappy but undermanned McFarland Spartans. The Silver Eagles were superior in every way save uniform design. It was my first chance to see MG's Russell Blaser, one of the finalists for this year's Wisconsin Player of the Year and this reporter was not disappointed. Blaser was a man among boys out there, single-handedly taking over the game when the never-say-die Spartans netted two easy goals to pull within a score early in the third period.
Russell Blaser (5) makes the final turn before single-handedly putting away McFarland late in the third period of Tuesday night's showdown with McFarland.
The Silver Eagles have cost The Commissioner dearly in past pools, but he's feeling better about choosing them to get past Middleton in the next round. While it will be tough to rolling only two lines against the more deeply benched Cardinals, Blaser is good enough to pull off a big win. (I am sure Misters Keith and Hansen respectfully disagree.)
All in all, a great way to start the trip. If McFarland is what counts as a 4-16 team in Wisconsin these days, Dairyland prep hockey had come a long, long way.