Article Update: Seedings for the Mid-States Hockey Association playoffs were announced late Sunday night, with the top 16 teams in the state earning a berth a the elite St. Louis Blues Challenge Cup bracket.
The top 16 second-tier teams were seeded in the Wickenheiser Cup bracket, with the bottom 10 teams landing in the Founder’s Cup bracket.
Ladue was named the No. 3 seed in the Founder’s Cup, and Burroughs was selected as the No. 7 seed.
Game schedules for the Mid-States Hockey playoffs will be announced on Monday, with a strong likelihood that Ladue and Burroughs will be seeded on the same side of the bracket, and could possibly face each other in the first round beginning on Thursday or Friday.
With one night left to make a final impression on the Mid-States Hockey Association seeding committee, the Ladue High and John Burroughs High varsity hockey teams took to the ice late on Saturday, hoping to improve their playoff standing once the bracket comes out on Monday.
Neither team is expected to compete in the elite Challenge or Wickenheiser Cup playoffs, but both are hoping to earn a favorable slot for the Founder’s Cup playoff tournament, which will begin with games around the area next weekend.
In the end, it was Ladue that made the most of its final chance to move up the standings, with a supremely impressive 5-1 win over the Bombers.
“I thought we played pretty good tonight, definitely,” Ladue head hockey coach Jon Hodgins said. “It’s Senior Night, so that makes it special. I didn’t get misty or anything yet. But an hour from now, I’ll probably tear up pretty good.”
The Rams were saying goodbye to three seniors – forward Caleb Ellis and goalkeepers Grant Schalk and Cameron Yang – and all three contributed to the win with an assist for Ellis and a combined victory in net for Schalk and Yang.
But the true stars of the game proved to be sophomore forward Matthew Gould and sophomore defenseman Joey Tackes.
Gould, a talented winger for the Rams, had two sensational goals on the night and was an effective offensive catalyst for Ladue all night, while Tackes supplemented his awesome play at the back of the defense with a goal and two assists of his own.
In fact, Tackes had a hand in Ladue’s first three goals of the game, assisting on Gould’s first of the night, before adding his own tally late in the opening period, and then setting up Ellis for his goal at the start of the second.
Freshman Ian Thomsen made it 4-0, with a score early in the third, before Gould finished off the night, with his seventh goal of the season, midway through the final stanza.
The only question left was whether or not goalkeepers Schalk and Yang would get to celebrate the Senior Nights with a shutout.
And that answer became no they wouldn’t, when Burroughs senior Garrett Eales slipped one past Schalk in the final minutes to ruin what would’ve been a perfect night for Ladue’s two senior goalies.
Eales was one of five Burroughs seniors, along with Will Bramlett, Hayley Estes, Josh Gollub, and Alex Spurgetis, that were also celebrating their own Senior Night on Saturday.
“They’re all such great kids,” Burroughs coach Andy Leonard said. “And my two captains (Bramlett and Gollub), have been with me since sixth grade. So this is a really special group to me.”
The loss dropped the Bombers to 3-18 this season, which means Burroughs will be one of the lowest ranked teams in the Founder’s Cup playoffs, while Ladue, which is now 5-15-1, might be one of the top teams in this year’s lower-tier state championship bracket.
Playoff seeding meetings were scheduled for Sunday evening at Maryville Centre in Chesterfield, with the team’s likely finding out where they’re headed first thing Monday morning.