Happy Valentine's Day.
On that note, John Rosengren of SBNation writes about two rival high school hockey teams which probably won't be sending heart-shaped notes to each other.
Roseau and Warroad are natural rivals, separated by only 20 miles, which is nothing up here in the North Country. Warroad got the railroad; Roseau grabbed the county seat in 1896 under what one Warroad old-timer still believes were “false pretenses.” When Bill Marvin, the Marvin Windows & Doors magnate, offered to donate $4 million to build a courthouse in Warroad and relocate the county seat almost 20 years ago, the Roseau mayor resisted and made comments about Warroad that the townspeople remember as “crude and cruel.”
Since their inceptions, the two towns have measured themselves against one another, and hockey quickly became the gauge. As early as 1908, pickup teams from the two towns challenged one another. These ragtag outfits developed into more serious men’s teams playing in regional leagues. The focal point of the rivalry transferred to the prep level in 1945 when the state of Minnesota sanctioned high school hockey and introduced the state tournament. In those early years, the qualifying playoff final took place in Roseau, because it had an indoor rink, much to the chagrin of Warroaders. “They not only had home ice but home referees,” one old-timer recalled. “It was so bad that everybody said you couldn’t win in Roseau.”
Not until 1948, when the region playoff moved to Thief River Falls, did Warroad beat Roseau 3-2 to play in its first state tournament ...
... The Rams and Warriors have played 161 times since 1945. Roseau holds a 94-63 edge with four ties, though that’s mostly due to its dominance in the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. Over the past 30 years, Warroad has won 36, lost 28 and tied two.