2016 CLASS A STATE GIRLS HOCKEY TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINAL SCHEDULE
GAMES PLAYED WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17 AT THE XCEL ENERGY CENTER IN ST. PAUL
11:00: Northfield vs. Warroad (Seed 2)
1:00: Alexandria vs. St. Paul United (Seed 3)
6:00: Luverne vs. Blake (Seed 1)
8:00: New Prague (Seed 5) vs. Proctor/Hermantown (Seed 4)
Examining the field: There’s reason to celebrate in the home of Carleton and St. Olaf Colleges as the Northfield Raiders make their first trip to the X. The bad news is that they have to go against one of the most successful Class A programs in the Warroad Warriors. Both teams have ended the reigns of powerhouses. The Raiders ended Red Wing’s five year state tournament run, though the wingers lost in overtime to Owatonna in the semifinals and the Warriors dethroned defending state champion Thief River Falls in the Section 8 championship game. Warroad is one of the favorites in Class A and is looking for its third state title. Can Northfield pull off the upset?
Two familiar team will battle to round out the afternoon session as the Alexandria Cardinals face third seeded St. Paul United. The Cardinals are in the hunt for their first Class A title since 2008 and are back in St. Paul for the third consecutive year. St. Paul United, comprised of students from St. Paul Academy and Visitation advance by beating the team that they lost to in last season’s Section 4A final, the South St. Paul Packers. St. Paul United got off to a great start with an 18 game unbeaten streak that ended in January with a loss to Blake. It was one of two losses to the Bears this season. They could be looking at Round Three if they play on Saturday.
And speaking of Blake, the top seeded Bears open up the evening session against another first time team, the Luverne Cardinals. Blake beat their rival, the top ranked Breck Mustangs in the Section 5A final in overtime on Sarah McClanahan’s goal. They’re the favorites to go for state title number six. As for the Cardinals, it’s been a great hockey season at the confluence of Minnesota, Iowa and South Dakota as the Cardinals, after years of playing in New Ulm’s shadow finally get the chance that their successful male counterparts have a chance to do in two weeks and play for a state title. It won’t be easy go up against a high powered offense in the Bears and a solid goaltender in freshman Olivia Bizal.
Wrapping up Wednesday’s quarterfinals is the fifth seeded New Prague Trojans and the fourth seeded Proctor/Hermantown Mirage. The Trojans are the second team from the Highway 19 corridor to head to St. Paul, the other is Northfield. It’s also the first trip to state for New Prague since 2008. The Mirage has been on a roll with eight straight wins, including a section victory against the team that left the team buses in the garage, Hibbing/Chisholm. The two teams played each other on November 7 with Proctor/Hermantown winning 3-1. Who will win the rematch?
Next up will be the Class AA quarterfinal preview.