For about 55 years, the Minnesota state prep hockey championships have been the "crown jewel" of local high school sports, with fans and families planning trips months in advance to watch games and local television broadcasting championship rounds live.
In other words: There are a lot of eyes on the MSHSL Tourney ... which means plenty of puckheads witnessed Alexandria defenseman Zach Van Orsdel stumble into one of the most memorable pregame intros we've seen. But the dude was a very good sport about it. Watch and wince:
(Apologies on the quality; only clip available as of this morning.)
Our only regret for this clip: That there wasn't an isolated camera on Van Orsdel and the teammate standing next to him stone-faced during the tumble, just to see when that tension was broken. And that Bob Saget wasn't around to add the requisite sound effects. We'd have gone with a "Scooby-Doo running in the air," followed by a "PLONK."
Loren Nelson, editor of Minnesota Hockey Hub, was live blogging Alexandria's 7-1 loss to Mahtomedi on Wednesday at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. His take:
Alexandria's Zach Van Orsdel just lived out the nightmare of every player who has ever been to the state tournament. During the announcement of the starting lineups, as players skate to the blue line and toward the camera man ... you know where we're going with this ... yes, he wiped out.
He did fall gracefully, however, and did not take out the cameraman. He also recovered well, flashing a big smile and giving a mock fist pump as he got up.
Damn right. Nicely done by Van Orsdel, and major respect for him. Stuff happens, you move on. Heck, Marc-Andre Fleury(notes) bounced back nicely from his epic intro fail the following season for the Penguins, didn't he?