After an incredible week of section finals, the brackets have been set for next week's Minnesota State Boy's High School Hockey Tournament at the XCel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.
We'll start with Class AA, which features the big schools in the state. Parity was the big word this season as nobody really established there self as the team to beat. That parity showed itself in the section tournaments where only three of the eight teams seeded first--Stillwater, Grand Rapids, and Bemidji--survived to advance to the tournament. As a result, this is one of the most wide open tournament fields in years on the AA side. Anybody has a shot to win this thing.
It's also worth nothing that for the second time in three years, all eight teams in the field are public schools.
Here are the seeds for next week's Class AA Tournament:
#1 Eden Prairie
#4 Grand Rapids
The schedule for Thursday's quarterfinal is as follows. The winners of Thursday's first two quarterfinals will meet in the first semifinal Friday evening, and the winner of the second two quarterfinals will meet in the second game Friday evening.
11AM Farmington vs. #2 Stillwater
1PM Burnsville vs. #3 Wayzata
6pm Anoka vs. #1 Eden Prairie
8pm #5 Bemidji vs. #4 Grand Rapids
The Class A side, which features that the state's smaller schools, also had its' share of upsets in the section tournaments, with only five top seeds advancing to St. Paul. But Class A this year has been a two-horse race between Hermantown and Breck with a large gap between them and everybody else. Anything can happen in the State Tournament, but it would be a big surprise if these two Class A powers weren't facing off for the state title next Saturday.
Here are the seeds in Class A
3. Thief River Falls
4. St. Paul Academy
5. St. Cloud Cathedral
And the schedule for the Class A quarterfinals, which will be played on Wednesday. Winners of the first two quarterfinals meet in the first semifinal on Friday, winners in the evening session meet in the second semi.
11AM Mankato West vs. #2 Breck
1PM Princeton vs. #3 Thief River Falls
6PM Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato vs. #1 Hermantown
8PM #5 St. Cloud Cathedral vs. #4 St. Paul Academy