The State of Hockey will crown its high school champions this Saturday night at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Two teams — one from Class A and one from Class AA — will emerge from the 8-team brackets victorious, entering the history books as the 2015 titleholders in Minnesota’s favorite winter sport.
Here is a graphic showing the schools who’ve won the most state boys’ hockey championships in Minnesota history (Click to Enlarge):
This year, in the Class AA bracket, six perennial powers and two up-and-comers will battle for the title. Defending champions Edina, along with Duluth East, St. Thomas Academy, Hill-Murray, Eden Prairie and Blaine have all won the championship before — in fact, they have captured a whopping 28 state titles between them. The final two teams in the bracket — Bemidji and Lakeville North — have never won a championship, though the Panthers from Lakeville North enter the tournament as the undefeated top seed and look poised to change that.
The Class A bracket is wide open. Breck is the only team to have one multiple state championships (4), while five teams — New Ulm, New Prague, Mahtomedi, Spring Lake Park and St. Cloud Apollo — have never one a title. Last year’s champion was East Grand Forks, and Hermantown enters this year’s tournament with the #1 seed.
So, will Edina win their third straight state tournament and add a 13th championship banner to it’s rafters in the Class AA pool? In Class A, will Breck skate past the competition to collect their 5th Class A championship? Or will teams who have yet to taste the title hoist the trophy this Saturday night?
Here is the schedule — all games will be played at the Xcel Center and be televised on KSTC45.
Wednesday, March 4 — Class A Quarterfinals
11 a.m. — New Ulm (18-8-2) vs. Mahtomedi (24-2-2)
1 p.m. — New Prague (20-8) vs. East Grand Forks (23-4)
6 p.m. — Spring Lake Park (16-11-1) vs. Hermantown (25-2-1)
8 p.m. — St. Cloud Apollo (22-4-2) vs. Breck (21-7)
Thursday, March 5 — Class AA Quarterfinals
11 a.m. — Bemidji (23-3-2) vs. Edina (24-1-2)
1 p.m. — Duluth East (14-10-4) vs. St. Thomas Academy (24-4)
6 p.m. — Hill-Murray (21-7) vs. Lakeville North (28-0)
8 p.m. — Eden Prairie (18-9) vs. Blaine (22-5-1)
Friday, March 6
11 a.m. — Class A Semifinals
1 p.m. — Class A Semifinals
6 p.m. — Class AA Semifinals
8 p.m. — Class AA Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
9 a.m. — Class A 3rd Place
12 p.m. — Class A Championship
4 p.m. — Class AA 3rd Place
7 p.m. — Class AA Championship
Author’s Picks: Edina and Breck win, carving themselves out a little larger slice of the all-time championship puck pie.
Image via: Brent Lee — Google