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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Losing Streaks

Be warned: This is only a quasi-Twins post tangentially related to baseball.

I am a native of White Bear Lake, MN, and am a 1999 WBL high school graduate. I didn't play on the hockey team (full disclosure: I quit hockey at age 8 or so, right when players, much larger than me, started to check), but of course was a hockey fan. White Bear Lake is a pretty large high school, and generally has fielded a competitive hockey team. In fact, since I have been around, several players went on to play Division I hockey, many for the Gophers, and a couple have made it to the NHL.

For those that follow hockey, you are aware that perennial power house Hill-Murray plays in the same conference as WBL, the Suburban East Division. A private school with an incredible hockey history, Hill-Murray recruits from within the state and produces some of the best players. Not that WBL is an underdog in comparison to many teams in the state, but Hill-Murray historically has been the New York Yankees of the Suburban East Division.

This year, WBL and Hill Murray advanced to the title game of the Suburban East Division, and somehow WBL managed to upset Hill-Murray in double overtime, snapping a recent 14 game losing streak against Hill-Murray. The fact that they advanced to the state tournament was pretty incredible itself. Now comes the rub: The WBL Bears are the proud owners of an 0-17 losing streak in the first round of the state tournament, dating all the way back to 1945. That's right - one of the better high school hockey programs in one of the larger towns in Minnesota has never advanced in the winner's bracket of the state tournament, let alone won the darn thing. Today, the Bears lost their first round game in double overtime to Duluth East, another great hockey program, stretching their streak to 18 first round defeats over the course of more than 60 years.

Suddenly, the Twins' (relatively) recent struggles in the first round of the playoffs, going 0-12, mostly against the Yankees, don't seem quite so bad.

OK, on second thought, the Twins' streak still seems pretty bad. Now I guess I'm annoyed on two fronts.

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