The Pain and the Party

The Minnesota State Boys Hockey tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul is a four-day whirl of athleticism, emotions, pain and partying.  Each of the games feature a little bit of all these traits and I got to see them up close this past week.

I photographed Duluth East and Virginia for the Duluth News Tribune, Moorhead for the Fargo Forum and Warroad for the Grand Forks Herald.  The days were long and tiring and more than one of the days saw me having to shoot an early game and then the last game of the day.  Due to photo positions and how hard it was to get spots, more often than not I had to stay there the whole day eating popcorn, Diet Coke and cookies.

I recently updated my Sportsshooter page with some of my favorite images from this year’s tournmament.  Below are a few of them from that page and some of my favorite work from the weekend.  Check it out!

Moorhead's Alex Altenbrand celebrates his second period goal that put the Spuds up 3-1 against Edina Thursday evening at the XCel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Moorhead's Alex Altenbrand celebrates his second period goal that put the Spuds up 3-1 against Edina Thursday evening at the XCel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Eden Prairie's Mitche Rogger (left, 9) celebrates his first period goal in front of Moorhead's Ian Cochran (center, 3) and goaltender Logan Marks (right, 31) Saturday evening at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Eden Prairie's Mitche Rogger (left, 9) celebrates his first period goal in front of Moorhead's Ian Cochran (center, 3) and goaltender Logan Marks (right, 31) Saturday evening at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Left:  Eden Prairie goaltender Andrew Ford (right, hands out) celebrates his shutout and his team's victory over Moorhead in the state championship game Saturday evening at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.  Right:  Virginia-Mt. Iron-Buhl's Chris Westin picks up a hat that was thrown on the ice from the Little Falls student section after the Flyers' Ben Hanowski completed a hat trick during the second period Wednesday evening at the XCel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.  Hanowski would go on to score five goals in the game.

Left: Eden Prairie goaltender Andrew Ford (right, hands out) celebrates his shutout and his team's victory over Moorhead in the state championship game Saturday evening at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Right: Virginia-Mt. Iron-Buhl's Chris Westin picks up a hat that was thrown on the ice from the Little Falls student section after the Flyers' Ben Hanowski completed a hat trick during the second period Wednesday evening at the XCel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. Hanowski would go on to score five goals in the game.

Moorhead players watch Eden Prairie celebrate their Minnesota Class AA Boys Hockey State Championship Saturday evening at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Moorhead players watch Eden Prairie celebrate their Minnesota Class AA Boys Hockey State Championship Saturday evening at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Moorhead's Braden Rahman (center, 10) emerges from the net around Cretin-Derham Hall's Neil Bartholomay (right, 28) and goaltender Ben Walsh (left, 33) after putting the Spuds up 1-0 in the first period Friday evening at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Moorhead's Braden Rahman (center, 10) emerges from the net around Cretin-Derham Hall's Neil Bartholomay (right, 28) and goaltender Ben Walsh (left, 33) after putting the Spuds up 1-0 in the first period Friday evening at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Moorhead's Tyler Larson (center, 27) puts a shot on Edina goaltender Johnny Ankeny (right) during the second period Thursday evening at the XCel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Moorhead's Tyler Larson (center, 27) puts a shot on Edina goaltender Johnny Ankeny (right) during the second period Thursday evening at the XCel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Warroad's Dane Shaugabay celebrates his first of two goals in front of St. Cloud Cathedral's Nate Schmidt (on ice) Friday afternoon at the XCel Energy Center in St. Paul.  The goal put the Warriors up 1-0 in the first period.

Warroad's Dane Shaugabay celebrates his first of two goals in front of St. Cloud Cathedral's Nate Schmidt (on ice) Friday afternoon at the XCel Energy Center in St. Paul. The goal put the Warriors up 1-0 in the first period.

Warroad goaltender Jason Goldsmith (left) makes a save while his teammate Dane Shaugabay (12) knocks St. Cloud Cathedral's Jon Larkin (44) to the ice Friday afternoon at the XCel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Warroad goaltender Jason Goldsmith (left) makes a save while his teammate Dane Shaugabay (12) knocks St. Cloud Cathedral's Jon Larkin (44) to the ice Friday afternoon at the XCel Energy Center in St. Paul.

As you can see there is a little bit of pain, a little bit of partying and a whole lot of athleticism.  All in all, I took over 3,000 photos this past weekend while covering 9 games.  It was a lot of fun, but it was tiring.

Check back tomorrow to see what fuels a photographer working 12-14 hour days at a state boys hockey tournament…