CLASS A STATE BOYS HOCKEY TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINAL SCHEDULE
ALL GAMES WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6 AT XCEL ENERGY CENTER IN ST. PAUL
11:00: Marshall vs. Breck (Seed 2)
1:00: Duluth Marshall vs. Hermantown (Seed 3)
6:00: St. Cloud Apollo vs. St. Thomas Academy (Seed 1)
8:00: Rochester Lourdes (Seed 5) vs. East Grand Forks (Seed 4)
Examining the field: The day's opening game pits the Marshall Tigers, in their first appearance in the tournament, taking on the second seeded Breck Mustangs. It's the fifth straight year in St. Paul for the Mustangs and they're tournament tested, beating the two Duluth schools, East and Marshall as well as Rochester Lourdes and Moorhead. The Tigers maiden voyage to the X could be a tough one.
In the second game, it's "The Battle of the Twin Ports" as the Duluth Marshall Hilltoppers face the third seeded Hermantown Hawks. The two tams met on Jan. 3 with the Hawks on top 4-3. Will they sweep the Hilltoppers or will Marshall top Hermantown and prevent them from making a third straight trip to the finals?
The evening session begins with the St. Cloud Apollo Eagles taking on the top seeded and two defending Class A champion St. Thomas Academy Cadets. It's the first trip to St. Paul for Apollo since 1984 and the 14th overall for a St. Cloud school (including Tech and Cathedral). Since the inception of the state boys hockey tournament in 1945, no St. Cloud team has won a championship and it will likely be the case against an STA team that's moving up to Class AA next season.
Quarterfinal Wednesday concludes with the fifth seeded Rochester Lourdes Eagles and the fourth seeded East Grand Forks Green Wave. The Eagles fly into their fourth straight tournament while the Green Wave returns to state for the first time since 2002. There could be a wave of green in the X's matching color seats to cheer on East Grand Forks as they hope to win their first state title.
The Class AA quarterfinals are next.