Roseau vs. Warroad: The Rivalry - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Roseau vs. Warroad: The Rivalry

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As the puck drops on another night of rivalry hockey some of Roseau's former stars remember those big nights on the ice.

"I was 3-1 in my varsity career against them," remembers 2007 Minnesota High School Hockey State Champion and Captain Nathan Voll.

"I lost both my senior year," remembers Tyler Landman, a 2009 graduate and '07 state champion. "I know," he laughs as the guys pat him on the back. "It still haunts me to this day."

"We beat them in Warroad 16-0, 13-0 ... something like that," shares '78 Ram Dean Byfuglien, uncle to Stanley Cup Champion and current Winnipeg Jet Dustin Byfuglien.

"Yea it was just a heartbreaker," reflects 1996 Roseau graduate and University of North Dakota All-American Bryan Lundbohm, of one of the many former great match ups between the two hockey power houses. 

There's no shiny trophy. No cute name for the big game. Just old fashioned bragging right's and a lot of memories.

"Remember when they only had nine guys, had oxygen out there and they still gave a fight?" asks 1999 State Champion Captain Phil Larson.

"Oh yea," agreed Dean Byfuglien, "that's one thing about Warroad, they're gamers. I don't care. They will come after ya."

Stories. Legends. And lore. At least twice a year since 1945.

"Every time you play them something happens where it just builds up for the next game where you want to beat them," explains Ram senior forward Brady Castle.

"Growing up you go to high school games and you can't wait to put that sweater on and play for the Rams and play games like that against Warroad," remembers '08 Roseau graduate and current Bridgeport Sound defenseman Aaron Ness.

"It's the talk of the town when the high school kids come to play," adds 2010 Warroad grad and New York Islanders center Brock Nelson.

"You've got grandparents, parents, fans, people that have been coming to watch these games sense they were younger," shares Ram senior forward Alex Halstensgard. "And now they're coming to watch us. It's a lot of pressure for us."

The Warriors took the first meeting this season 6-4 in Roseau. Now the Rams would look to return the favor at 'The Gardens.'

"Senior year you don't want to get swept by Warroad," says Castle.

"That's one of our team goals is to sweep the Rams," responds Warrior forward Kyle Sylvester.

"We worked hard all fall and waited for this game," adds Warroad senior defenseman Blayke Nelson. "Marked this on the calendar right away, beginning of the year."

As this year's lucky few suit up for their final rivalry bout - the emotions lie under a mission.

"I get relief when I step out on the ice. I'm nervous before but it's relaxing once you're on the ice," explains Brock Nelson's younger brother Blayke. "You're at home on the ice."

"The best part about beating them there is hopefully we can get the sweep at home," adds Sylvester.

But everyone else isn't quite so lucky.

"Having a kid play in it," explains Bill Yon, father to current senior Zach Yon. "I tell ya I'm more nervous today than I ever was playing," shares the 1981 Ram and former Minnesota Golden Gopher.

"This is one of those games as a coach you wish you could put the skates on," adds Roseau head hockey coach and '95 Ram Andy Lundbohm. "You got the butterflies in ya."

In front of nearly 1,800 rowdy fans Warroad and Roseau duked it out once again Tuesday night.

As the puck drops another physical match up begins to ever rolling cheers and groans of the divided crowd.

The Rams would strike first at the hand of senior Zach Yon on an unassisted goal.

But it wouldn't be the only goal of the night.

Warroad answered back twice in the first period and laid it on heavy in the second period. Putting the Rams down two in the third period. 

"Hey we got 'em. We got 'em. We get one. We get two. We get one. We get two," said Coach Lundbohm late in the third.

At 8:34 of the third period senior Zach Yon puts Roseau within one with his third goal of the night, and the games second hat trick. 

But the night and the season series belongs to Warroad.

"Sweeping Roseau was the plan all year," Sylvester said after the game, a hat trick in his pocket as well. "This is a dream come true."

"Heads up fellahs. Heads up. Get your heads up," demanded Coach Lundbohm as the Rams made their way to center ice.

As the boys shake hands. And the rivalry is put to rest till next January, the shared comradery of a hockey community is reignited.

"Say what you want. Like them or not," says Bryan Lundbohm. "When you got a team you can compete and grow up with. Make good hockey players on both team..." 

"It's a proud moment," interjected Dean Byfuglien. "At least for me."

"It's always fun to see a kid from Warroad or Roseau do good," agreed 1999 graduate and state champion Derrick Byfuglien.

"Oh yea we don't care," agreed Larson. "Once the games over!" he added to a room full of laughs.

Valley News Live Sports Reporter Beth Hoole can be reached at bethh@valleynewslive.com for comment or story suggestions. Also follow her on twitter: @bethhooleVNL

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