Saturday night was a rough night for the Musketeers. They suffered a 6-1 loss to Waterloo and fell to 1-5 against the Black Hawks this season. This is a troubling trend for Musketeers fans as the road to the Clark Cup Finals will most likely go through Waterloo. With only a handful of games left this season and only one against the Black Hawks, the Musketeers must solve the Waterloo puzzle before it’s too late. Luckily there are some reinforcements on the way.
Micah Miller, a forward for the Musketeers, left the team after Military Appreciation night in November to rejoin his high school, the Grand Rapids Thunderhawks, for the rest of the high school hockey season.
Miller was not only a senior but also the captain of his team and part of one of the deadliest lines in Minnesota high school hockey. It was only right that the Musketeers allow him to go home and fight for a Minnesota Class 2A state hockey championship.
Boy did he make it count.
Not only did Miller dominate all tournament long, he and his line mates Blake McLaughlin and Gavin Hain were responsible for all six of Grand Rapids goals in route to a 6-3 win over the Moorhead Spuds. The win earned the Thunderhawks their 4th state title and first since 1980.
Miller himself scored the decisive goal of the game that ultimately put it out of reach for Moorhead.
The spuds had scored two quick goals in under a minute to make it 4-2 late in the second period and they hung around until there was 10 minutes left in the game. That’s when Miller fired a laser from the slot that would give Grand Rapids a 5-2 lead and essentially seal the deal. Miller finished with 1 goal and 4 assists in the tournament.
While winning the Minnesota state championship is a perfect way to end a senior season that is not the only honor Miller would be receiving that night. The St. Cloud State commit, who was already a Mr. Hockey finalist, was awarded with the tournament’s prestigious Herb Brooks award.
According to the Herb Brooks Foundation website the award is “given to the most qualified hockey player in the state tournament who strongly represents the values, characteristics, and traits that defined Herb Brooks.” A few of these characteristics are commitment and loyalty to school, team and community, willingness to sacrifice for the team, integrity, excellent work ethic, mental toughness, and of course strong hockey skills. The player is selected by a committee comprised of current and former high school hockey coaches and other hockey community members with connections to Herb like his son and daughter.
While speaking with KBJR news in Minnesota Miller humbly described winning the award saying “It means a lot. Everyone has seen the movie and knows what Herb Brooks has done for the game of hockey. I’m just honored to be mentioned in the same sentence.”
On top of being awarded the Herb Brooks award Miller, along with his two line mates and the Grand Rapids goalie, were named to the all-tournament team. To put it mildly it’s been a very good couple of days for the Musketeer forward.
While there is no set date for Miller’s return he is due back sometime during the Musketeers upcoming 7 game home stand. It has been a little over 4 months since Miller played with the Musketeers so it may take a few games for him to rediscover some of the chemistry he lost while playing for Grand Rapids. Based on his recent play however, Musketeer fans should be very excited about his return as it will make a strong Musketeers team that much more formidable.
This is going to be a fun playoff run.
The Musketeers will be returning to the Tyson Events Center on Friday March 17th and Saturday March 18th to take on the Team USA U-17 squad. For tickets please call the Musketeer office at (712) 252-2116.