Things are a little different these days in sports, but one thing remains constant: the annual Minnesota Boys’ Hockey Tournament. This year’s event – which crowns two State Champions – kicks off Tuesday in State Hockey.
While 2020 Class A champion Mahtomedi is not back, 2020 Class AA champion Hill-Murray is. Eden Prairie, who lost in last year’s championship game to Hill-Murray (and also lost in the 2019 title game to Edina) is chasing her first state title since 2011.
What to expect from this year’s show remains to be determined with the teams impacting COVID-19, but one thing is for sure: the flow should be epic, as always. The Minnesota State Tournament is well known for the hairstyles that were revealed during pre-game introductions.
Here’s everything you need to know about the 2021 tournament.
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What is the Minnesota Boys State Hockey Tournament?
The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) is made up of nearly 200 schools, but only 16 teams qualify for the state tournament through two classes: Class A and Class AA.
At the end of the regular season, schools play in sections and the winning schools in each section – eight each for grades A and AA – are then reseeded for the right to play for the state championship taking place this week.
Where is the 2021 Minnesota Boys’ Hockey State Tournament?
Once again, the tournament will be held in St. Paul, Minnesota, at the Xcel Energy Center, which is home to the NHL’s Minnesota Wild. The arena has hosted the event since 2000.
When is the 2021 Minnesota Boys’ Hockey State Tournament?
This year, the tournament runs from Tuesday March 30 through Saturday April 3, with the Championship matches for Class A and AA on the final day.
The game begins with the Class A quarter-finals, starting at 11:00 a.m. CT Tuesday. The class AA quarterfinals will take place on Wednesday. The Class A Championship game will be held at 6:00 p.m. CT on Saturday, followed by the Class AA Championship game at 8:00 p.m. CT.
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What channel is the 2021 Minnesota Boys’ Hockey Tournament airing on?
- TV Channel (Minnesota): 45TV
- Direct: Prep45.com
Will fans be allowed at the 2021 Minnesota Boys State Hockey Tournament?
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the general public and season ticket holders will not be permitted to attend games in 2021. Schools will receive a limited number of tickets and all in attendance will be required to undergo screening on the site. Once inside, all spectators are required to wear masks and maintain social distancing.
Which schools are participating in the 2021 Minnesota Boys’ Hockey State Tournament?
|CLASS A||CLASS AA|
|(1) Hermantown (19-1-0)||(1) Eden Prairie (18-1-2)|
|(2) Gentry Academy (16-0-0)||(2) Hill-Murray (18-2-0)|
|(3) East Grand Forks (13-8-0)||(3) Lakeville South (18-0-2)|
|(4) Small falls (13-4-1)||(4) Maple Grove (20-1-0)|
|(5) Delano (14-6-1)||(5) Andover (18-2-1)|
|Dodge County (17-3-1)||Moorhead (13-7-1)|
|Litchfield / Dassel-Cokato (10-8-2)||Saint-Thomas Academy (13-4-3)|
|Northern Lakes (18-3-0)||Wayzata (13-5-2)|
What was the impact of COVID-19 on the 2021 Minnesota boys’ hockey tournament?
Class A No.1 seed Hermantown will be outfitting members of his junior squad this week. The school has been told a number of its varsity players are due to quarantine themselves after being seen as close contact after their semifinal game against Virginia last Tuesday. Top scorer Zam Plante, who missed the game with injury, is set to play in the team’s quarter-finals.
On March 29, Hill-Murray, the No.2 seed in Class AA, announced that it also had college players potentially exposed to the virus from an opponent.
We are working with the MN Department of Health and the MN State High School League to determine the eligibility of our varsity hockey players following potential exposure to COVID with an opposing player.
We hope our boys will play in the state tournament this week.
– Hill-Murray School (@ HillMurray1) March 29, 2021
The next day, Hill-Murray was forced to give up his match.
Complete 2021 Minnesota Men’s Hockey State Tournament Schedule
|TUESDAY, MARCH 30 (CLASS A)||TIME AND / CT||FLUX||LOCATION|
|North Lakes 0, (2) Gentry 8 Academy||Noon / 11 a.m.||Preparation45||Xcel Energy Center|
|Litchfield / Dassel-Cokato 1, (3) East Grand Forks 8||2:00 p.m. / 1:00 p.m.||Preparation45||Xcel Energy Center|
|Dodge County 7, (1) Hermantown 1||7 p.m. / 6 p.m.||Preparation45||Xcel Energy Center|
|(5) Delano 1, (4) Small drops 2||9 p.m. / 8 p.m.||Preparation45||Xcel Energy Center|
|WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31 (CLASS AA)|
|Wayzata def. (2) Hill-Murray due to COVID||Noon / 11 a.m.||Preparation45||Xcel Energy Center|
|Moorehead vs. (3) Lakeville South||2:00 p.m. / 1:00 p.m.||Preparation45||Xcel Energy Center|
|Saint-Thomas Academy vs. (1) Eden Prairie||7 p.m. / 6 p.m.||Preparation45||Xcel Energy Center|
|(5) Andover vs. (4) Maple Grove||9 p.m. / 8 p.m.||Preparation45||Xcel Energy Center|
|FRIDAY APRIL 2|
|Class A SF: (2) Gentry Academy vs (3) East Grand Forks||Noon / 11 a.m.||Preparation45||Xcel Energy Center|
|Class A SF: Dodge Country vs. (4) Little Falls||2:00 p.m. / 1:00 p.m.||Preparation45||Xcel Energy Center|
|Class AA Semifinal 1: Wayzata vs TBD||7 p.m. / 6 p.m.||Preparation45||Xcel Energy Center|
|Class AA semi-final 2||9 p.m. / 8 p.m.||Preparation45||Xcel Energy Center|
|SATURDAY 3 APRIL|
|Class A Championship||7 p.m. / 6 p.m.||Preparation45||Xcel Energy Center|
|Class AA Championship||9 p.m. / 8 p.m.||Preparation45||Xcel Energy Center|
Draft and draft eligible players to watch in 2021 Minnesota Men’s Hockey State Tournament
Cade Ahrenholz, C, Lakeville South (Colorado College)
The Lakeville South captain is ranked “C” by the NHL Central Scouting for the 2021 Draft. This season, he has 19 goals and 16 assists in 20 games on the front row of the school.
Carter Batchelder, F, Eden Prairie (College of Colorado)
One of eight Mr. Hockey finalists in the tournament (the award goes to the state’s most outstanding high school player), Batchelder skates on the front row of Eden Prairie and has more than twice the points (52) than matches played (21) in 2020-2021. He also played four NAHL games with New Mexico. He is a member of the Eden Prairie management group.
Jackson Hallum, F, St. Thomas Academy (Michigan)
Drafted in 2020 by the Vegas Golden Knights in the third round (91st overall), the cadet captain leaves for the University of Michigan in the fall. Mr. Hockey’s finalist comes with 41 points (17 goals, 24 assists) in 20 games this season. He has scored eight points in nine games for the USHL’s Green Bay players.
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Kyle Kukkonen, F, Maple Grove (Michigan Tech)
Another Mr. Hockey finalist, Kukkonen has 72 points in 21 games (30 goals, 42 assists) and enters the tournament ahead of high school hockey in Minnesota with 3.43 points per game. Kukkonen is classified as a “C” prospect by central NHL screening.
Mason Langenbrunner, D, Eden Praire (Harvard)
A key member of Eden Prairie’s defense alongside Mittelstadt, Langenbrunner was selected in the fifth round (151st overall) by the Boston Bruins in the NHL Draft last October. He has 29 points in 21 games in high school. He skated in four games with the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers.
Luke Mittelstadt, D, Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Mittelstadt, the younger brother of Sabers prospect Casey Mittelstadt, is a 2021 Mr. Hockey finalist who will head to the University of Minnesota in the fall. He has 30 points in 21 blue line games (nine goals, 21 assists). He also played six games with the USHL Lincoln Stars before the start of the high school season. He is the highest rated player for the 2021 tournament draft; NHL central scouting classifies him as a player who could be drafted in the second or third round (“B” rating).
Henry Nelson, D, Maple Grove (Notre-Dame)
Another Mr. Hockey finalist, Nelson is ranked as a Level “C” draft prospect (fourth to sixth round). Blue-liner with solid offensive play, he had 43 points in 21 games for Maple Grove.
Joe Palodichuk D, Hill-Murray (Wisconsin)
Palodichuk is a solid defenseman and, like Nelson, is a Mr. Hockey finalist who got a “C” by Central Scouting. He played 10 games with Bismarck of the NAHL and accumulated 33 points in 20 games with Hill-Murray as team captain. There’s a chance Palodichuk won’t see any action in the tournament because Hill-Murray is still trying to figure out which players he needs to quarantine.