Moorhead was, on paper, an early favorite for the Class 2A crown. It had a loaded group of seniors returning off a state tournament team from last season and a crop of incoming sophomores that had just won the state Bantam AA title.
Expectations, at least from outsiders, were lowered due to early departures. But the Spuds (19-9-0), who boast arguably the best youth program in the nation, found a way to make a return trip to St. Paul.
Growing pains and a lack of depth didn’t keep Moorhead down long, and it now enters the tournament with a battle-tested, well-traveled group that could be setting the stage for future domination.
The high school state championship that has evaded Moorhead for so long (the Spuds are 0-for-8 in title games) seems to be closer than ever, and, if the program can keep players around, the proud hockey community someday might finally get the one banner it’s missing.
Don’t write the Spuds off this season, either.