CLASS A STATE GIRLS HOCKEY TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINAL PAIRINGS
GAMES PLAYED FEBRUARY 20 AT XCEL ENERGY CENTER, ST. PAUL
11: 00 Alexandria vs. Red Wing (Seed 2)
1:00: Mound-Westonka vs. Blake (Seed 3)
6:00: New Ulm vs. Warroad (Seed 1)
8:00: Hibbing/Chisholm (Seed 5) vs. South St. Paul (Seed 4)
Examining the Bracket: In the opening game, the Alexandria Cardinals look for their first title in five years but they'll need a big game to shut down the high powered Red Wing Wingers scoring attack. The Wingers are led by Nicole Schammel, who has scored 69 goals this season and Ms. Hockey candidate Paige Haley. Their only two losses were to Blake and New Prague. There could be a lot of Red Wing shots flying into the Alexandria net.
For years, the Mound-Westonka Whitehawks and Blake Bears have played in the same section before the state high school move Mound-Westonka into Section 2A in 2011. Now they'll meet in the second quarterfinal game. The Whitehawks are the only first time team in the field and have tough task ahead in shutting down one of the top players in Bears history, Dani Cameranesi. She's Blake's all-time leading scorer and a Ms. Hockey candidate. The Bears wihave overcome adversity after veteran head coach Brano Stanchovsky passed away last spring so this could be a Gipperlike moment.
The evening session begins with the New Ulm Eagles returning to the tournament for the fifth straight year. It won't be an easy task to pick up their first quarterfinal win as they face the top ranked and top seeded Warroad Warriors. The Warriors only two losses were to Section 6AA schools Minnetonka and Buffalo. Look for Warroad's Lisa Marvin to adeptly set up scoring opportunities for her teammates, she has 60 assists this season. Will another championship trophy head up to "Hockeytown USA?" They are the team to beat. First, they have to land the Eagles.
The day's final quarterfinal game features the fifth seeded Hibbing/Chisholm Bluejackets and the fourth seeded South St. Paul Packers. The two tams played each other in the Kaposia Classic with Hibbing/Chisholm winning in overtime. South St. Paul, last year's Class A runner up is in its 13th trip to state. The Packers hope to pack up the Bluejackets en route toward a potential eighth state final.
Next up, the Class AA quarterfinals.