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2014 Class A state boys hockey tournament preview



11:00: Luverne vs. Hermantown (Seed 2)

1:00: Chisago Lakes vs. New Prague (Seed 3)

6:00: Orono vs. East Grand Forks (Seed 1)

8:00: Totino-Grace (Seed 5)vs. St. Cloud Cathedral (Seed 4)

Examining the field: The day's opening game pits the Luverne Cardinals in their first trip to St. Paul against the perennial Twin Ports power the second seeded Hermantown Hawks. The Cardinals are the only unbeaten team in the tournament at 27-0-1 but looking at their schedule, they haven't played any of the top teams in Class A. It will be a real test for the southern Minnesota school against a team that has finished second three years in a row and has a shot at the title now that St. Thomas Academy is playing in Class AA. An interesting match up to watch.

Rounding out the afternoon session is the Chisago Lakes Wildcats and the third seeded New Prague Trojans. The Lindstrom based Wildcats are in the tournament for the first time since 1995 and the Trojans are in their maiden voyage to state. Can New Prague shake off first time jitters and make the most of their first trip to state?

Opening up the evening session is the Orono Spartans and the top seeded East Grand Forks Green Wave. The Spartans return to St. Paul after a seven year hiatus, coming off a win in the Section 2 finals against top seeded Breck. What a winter so far for the Green Wave? There's been excitement for hockey fans along the banks of the Red River with the girls team finishing second in Class A and the boys have an outstanding shot at bringing back a trophy up north. Their only loss to a Minnesota school was to Breck. Expect a lot of green on Championship Saturday in the X's identically colored seats.

Wrapping up the Class A quarterfinals is the fifth seeded Totino-Grace Eagles and the fourth seeded St. cloud Cathedral Crusaders. The only two private schools in this year's field square off in a game where both schools came away with close wins to go to state. St. Cloud Cathedral beat Alexandria in the Section 6 final and Totino-Grace came out victorious against Mahtomedi in overtime. This game is too close to call.

Next up, the Class AA preview.

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