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Thursday, December 31, 2015
Hockey (B)
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2016 State Boys' Hockey Tournament

By MSHSL Press Release
Xcel Energy Center - St. Paul, MN

Longtime tournament entrant Hermantown was selected as the top seed in the Class A field and Eden Prairie was given the No. 1 nod in Class AA for this week’s Boys’ Hockey State Tournament.

Hermantown has qualified for the tournament for the seventh consecutive season and 13th time overall. The Hawks have been runner-up in the small-school class for the past six consecutive seasons. Hermantown claimed a Class A championship in 2007.

St. Paul Academy and Summit School is making its debut appearance.

Eden Prairie is no stranger to the state tournament, either. The Eagles have qualified for the Class AA tournament for the third consecutive season and ninth time overall. Eden Prairie captured big-school championships in 2009 and ’11.

A new champion will emerge in both classes this season.

The Class A tournament begins quarterfinal play on Wednesday, March 2 at the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul. The large-enrollment schools will follow with their quarterfinals on Thursday, March 3. Championship semifinals in both classes will continue on Friday, March 4, followed by third-place and championship games on Saturday, March 5.

Consolation round games are scheduled for Thursday-Saturday at Mariucci Arena on the University of Minnesota campus.

In a conference call with state tournament head coaches, League Associate Director Craig Perry announced the top five seeds that were determined in an electronic vote of participating coaches. The remaining three teams were randomly drawn to form the tournament bracket.

 

            Class A quarterfinals

            Mankato West (15-11-2) vs. No. 2 seed Breck School (24-3-1), 11 a.m.: Mankato West, the Section 1 champion, is making its first state tournament appearance since 2008 and second overall. The Scarlets, members of the Big Nine Conference, lost to tournament qualifier St. Paul Academy twice during the regular season, 4-1 in the Duluth Denfeld tournament and 8-1 in a nonconference game. The Breck School is no stranger to the Xcel Energy Center during state tournament time. The Mustangs are making their second consecutive appearance and 12th overall. In that span, Breck has won four state titles and finished third three times. During the regular season, the Mustangs defeated St. Paul Academy twice during conference play (6-0 and 4-3 in overtime) and topped St. Cloud Cathedral 9-1.

            Princeton (21-7-0) vs. No. 3 Thief River Falls (22-6-0), 1 p.m.:Princeton is back for the first time since 2003 when it made the second of two consecutive state tournament appearances. The Tigers, members of the Mississippi 8 conference, didn’t play any tournament qualifiers during the regular season. Thief River Falls last made a state tournament trip in 2012. Prior, the Prowlers had made 11 other trips. Thief River Falls, one of the dominant programs in the early years of the tournament, had early-season losses to Breck, Hermantown and Bemidji, all state tournament entrants this week.

            Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato (20-8-0) vs. No. 1 Hermantown (24-2-1), 6 p.m.: Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato, the Section 3 champion, is back for the first time since 2008. Its only other state tournament appearance was 1996. The Dragons, members of the Wright County Conference, did not play any tournament qualifiers during the regular season. Hermantown, a longtime representative of Section 7, has been on the threshold of its second small-school championship the past six seasons, but has fallen short. The Hawks have seven total runner-up finishes and two third-place trophies in their state tournament trips. Hermantown had victories this season over Wayzata of the Class AA field, and wins over Thief River Falls and St. Cloud Cathedral, as well as a loss to Bemidji.

             No 5 St. Cloud Cathedral (20-7-1) vs. No. 4 St. Paul Academy and Summit School (23-5-0), 8 p.m.: St. Cloud Cathedral is making its seventh state tournament appearance, six of them in the Class A field. The Crusaders, members of the Granite Ridge Conference, also played in the Tier II format in 1993. St. Cloud Cathedral had losses to tournament entrants Breck and Hermantown during the regular season. Crusaders coach Derrick Brown led Luverne to the state tournament in 2014. St. Paul Academy and Summit School is making its state tournament debut. The Spartans lost to Breck twice during conference play this season.

               

            Class AA quarterfinals

            Farmington (18-8-1) vs. No. 2 Stillwater Area (26-1-1), 11 a.m.: Farmington, the Section 1 champion, returns for the first time since the 2000 tournament. In 1994 and 2000, the Tigers played in the Class A field. Farmington, a member of the South Suburban Conference, tied a game and lost one to Burnsville during the regular season, and ended the Class AA title-reign of Lakeville North with a victory in the section final. Stillwater won in dramatic fashion, a 1-0 overtime thriller over Hill-Murray in the section final, to earn a trip back to the state tournament for the first time since 2014 and second overall. The Ponies, members of the Suburban East Conference, didn’t play any tournament qualifiers during the regular season.

            Burnsville (16-10-2) vs. No. 3 Wayzata (19-8-1), 1 p.m.: Burnsville returns to the tournament for the first time since 2007 and ninth time overall. They made consecutive appearances from 1983-87. Burnsville won back-to-back titles in 1985 and ’86. The Blaze lost to Eden Prairie and Wayzata in the Schwan Cup during the holiday break, and also defeated and tied Farmington during the South Suburban Conference season. Wayzata is one of two teams representing the Lake Conference along with Eden Prairie. The Trojans return for the first time since 2013 and the fourth time overall. Wayzata’s first state tournament appearance was in 1954. Wayzata split with Eden Prairie during the conference season, defeated Burnsville and Grand Rapids and lost to Farmington.

            Anoka (18-9-0) vs. No. 1 Eden Prairie (19-7-2), 6 p.m.: Anoka, the Section 5 champion, returns for the first time since 2003. It is the sixth tournament appearance overall for the Tornadoes, who were the big-school champions in 2003. Anoka lost to Wayzata early in the season. Eden Prairie finished fourth in last season’s tournament, losing to conference rival Edina in the third-place game. The Eagles’ pre-tournament resume includes splitting two games with Wayzata and victories over Burnsville and Grand Rapids.

            No 5 Bemidji (23-2-2) vs. No. 4 Grand Rapids (21-6-1), 8 p.m.: This is a rematch of a game where the teams skated to a 1-1 tie in late November. Bemidji represented Section 8 last season, and lost in the quarterfinals to Edina (6-4) and to St. Thomas Academy (4-2) in the consolation semifinals. It is the eighth state tournament appearance for the Lumberjacks, who made three consecutive trips from 1972-74. Bemidji didn’t play any other Class AA qualifiers, but defeated Thief River Falls of the Class A field twice. Grand Rapids was the big-school runner-up to Roseau in 2007 in its last state tournament trip. The program has 15 trips overall. The Thunderhawks had losses to Eden Prairie and Wayzata during the regular season.

Longtime tournament entrant Hermantown was selected as the top seed in the Class A field and Eden Prairie was given the No. 1 nod in Class AA for this week’s Boys’ Hockey State Tournament.

Hermantown has qualified for the tournament for the seventh consecutive season and 13th time overall. The Hawks have been runner-up in the small-school class for the past six consecutive seasons. Hermantown claimed a Class A championship in 2007.

St. Paul Academy and Summit School is making its debut appearance.

Eden Prairie is no stranger to the state tournament, either. The Eagles have qualified for the Class AA tournament for the third consecutive season and ninth time overall. Eden Prairie captured big-school championships in 2009 and ’11.

           A new champion will emerge in both classes this season.

           The Class A tournament begins quarterfinal play on Wednesday, March 2 at the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul. The large-enrollment schools will follow with their quarterfinals on Thursday, March 3. Championship semifinals in both classes will continue on Friday, March 4, followed by third-place and championship games on Saturday, March 5.

           Consolation round games are scheduled for Thursday-Saturday at Mariucci Arena on the University of Minnesota campus.

           In a conference call with state tournament head coaches, League Associate Director Craig Perry announced the top five seeds that were determined in an electronic vote of participating coaches. The remaining three teams were randomly drawn to form the tournament bracket.

 

            Class A quarterfinals

            Mankato West (15-11-2) vs. No. 2 seed Breck School (24-3-1), 11 a.m.: Mankato West, the Section 1 champion, is making its first state tournament appearance since 2008 and second overall. The Scarlets, members of the Big Nine Conference, lost to tournament qualifier St. Paul Academy twice during the regular season, 4-1 in the Duluth Denfeld tournament and 8-1 in a nonconference game. The Breck School is no stranger to the Xcel Energy Center during state tournament time. The Mustangs are making their second consecutive appearance and 12th overall. In that span, Breck has won four state titles and finished third three times. During the regular season, the Mustangs defeated St. Paul Academy twice during conference play (6-0 and 4-3 in overtime) and topped St. Cloud Cathedral 9-1.

            Princeton (21-7-0) vs. No. 3 Thief River Falls (22-6-0), 1 p.m.:Princeton is back for the first time since 2003 when it made the second of two consecutive state tournament appearances. The Tigers, members of the Mississippi 8 conference, didn’t play any tournament qualifiers during the regular season. Thief River Falls last made a state tournament trip in 2012. Prior, the Prowlers had made 11 other trips. Thief River Falls, one of the dominant programs in the early years of the tournament, had early-season losses to Breck, Hermantown and Bemidji, all state tournament entrants this week.

            Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato (20-8-0) vs. No. 1 Hermantown (24-2-1), 6 p.m.: Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato, the Section 3 champion, is back for the first time since 2008. Its only other state tournament appearance was 1996. The Dragons, members of the Wright County Conference, did not play any tournament qualifiers during the regular season. Hermantown, a longtime representative of Section 7, has been on the threshold of its second small-school championship the past six seasons, but has fallen short. The Hawks have seven total runner-up finishes and two third-place trophies in their state tournament trips. Hermantown had victories this season over Wayzata of the Class AA field, and wins over Thief River Falls and St. Cloud Cathedral, as well as a loss to Bemidji.

             No 5 St. Cloud Cathedral (20-7-1) vs. No. 4 St. Paul Academy and Summit School (23-5-0), 8 p.m.: St. Cloud Cathedral is making its seventh state tournament appearance, six of them in the Class A field. The Crusaders, members of the Granite Ridge Conference, also played in the Tier II format in 1993. St. Cloud Cathedral had losses to tournament entrants Breck and Hermantown during the regular season. Crusaders coach Derrick Brown led Luverne to the state tournament in 2014. St. Paul Academy and Summit School is making its state tournament debut. The Spartans lost to Breck twice during conference play this season.

               

            Class AA quarterfinals

            Farmington (18-8-1) vs. No. 2 Stillwater Area (26-1-1), 11 a.m.: Farmington, the Section 1 champion, returns for the first time since the 2000 tournament. In 1994 and 2000, the Tigers played in the Class A field. Farmington, a member of the South Suburban Conference, tied a game and lost one to Burnsville during the regular season, and ended the Class AA title-reign of Lakeville North with a victory in the section final. Stillwater won in dramatic fashion, a 1-0 overtime thriller over Hill-Murray in the section final, to earn a trip back to the state tournament for the first time since 2014 and second overall. The Ponies, members of the Suburban East Conference, didn’t play any tournament qualifiers during the regular season.

            Burnsville (16-10-2) vs. No. 3 Wayzata (19-8-1), 1 p.m.: Burnsville returns to the tournament for the first time since 2007 and ninth time overall. They made consecutive appearances from 1983-87. Burnsville won back-to-back titles in 1985 and ’86. The Blaze lost to Eden Prairie and Wayzata in the Schwan Cup during the holiday break, and also defeated and tied Farmington during the South Suburban Conference season. Wayzata is one of two teams representing the Lake Conference along with Eden Prairie. The Trojans return for the first time since 2013 and the fourth time overall. Wayzata’s first state tournament appearance was in 1954. Wayzata split with Eden Prairie during the conference season, defeated Burnsville and Grand Rapids and lost to Farmington.

            Anoka (18-9-0) vs. No. 1 Eden Prairie (19-7-2), 6 p.m.: Anoka, the Section 5 champion, returns for the first time since 2003. It is the sixth tournament appearance overall for the Tornadoes, who were the big-school champions in 2003. Anoka lost to Wayzata early in the season. Eden Prairie finished fourth in last season’s tournament, losing to conference rival Edina in the third-place game. The Eagles’ pre-tournament resume includes splitting two games with Wayzata and victories over Burnsville and Grand Rapids.

            No 5 Bemidji (23-2-2) vs. No. 4 Grand Rapids (21-6-1), 8 p.m.: This is a rematch of a game where the teams skated to a 1-1 tie in late November. Bemidji represented Section 8 last season, and lost in the quarterfinals to Edina (6-4) and to St. Thomas Academy (4-2) in the consolation semifinals. It is the eighth state tournament appearance for the Lumberjacks, who made three consecutive trips from 1972-74. Bemidji didn’t play any other Class AA qualifiers, but defeated Thief River Falls of the Class A field twice. Grand Rapids was the big-school runner-up to Roseau in 2007 in its last state tournament trip. The program has 15 trips overall. The Thunderhawks had losses to Eden Prairie and Wayzata during the regular season.

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