The CCM Minnesota Hockey High Performance Tier I and Prospects Leagues will host their League Playoffs starting this Friday, October 2 through Sunday, October 4 at the Super Rink in Blaine, MN.
Teams from each league will once again compete in a double elimination tournament, with the top CCM HP Tier I League teams advancing to Minnesota District Playoffs and the Prospects League champion qualifying for a bid to USA Hockey’s Youth 14U Tier II National Championships.
MNHockey.Tv will provide live broadcasts with play-by-play during the CCM HP Tier I League and Minnesota District Tier I Playoffs. Games can be accessed here.
Below is a preview of the opening round games at each level. For brackets, scores and statistics, follow the respective links below for each age group and follow @MinnHockeyHP on Twitter for live updates.
#1 Lakers vs #8 Polars – The reigning League and Minnesota District champion Lakers sit atop the league’s standings once again, but they’re expected to face much stiffer competition in their quest for repeat titles. They will open the playoffs against the Polars from District 5.
#4 Moose vs #5 Voyageurs – This matchup, which is scheduled to be the first Girls 14U playoff game played, could be the best game of the weekend. The Moose and Voyageurs have similar records, goal differential, and the talent to beat any team in the league on any given day. Oh, and they played each other to a wild 5-5 tie in Alexandria earlier this year.
#2 Walleye vs #7 Blue Ox – The Walleye have been neck-and-neck with the Lakers and Green Giants all season, tying the Green Giants three times and splitting a pair of games with the Lakers. It would be easy for them to look ahead to the semifinals, but that would be a grave mistake as the Blue Ox have given the Walleye all they could handle in two games this season and beating them three times, especially in close games, won’t be easy.
#3 Green Giants vs #6 Loons – The Green Giants enter playoffs on a 12-game unbeaten streak and scored a league high 75 goals this fall. They will need to be ready to play right away though as they face a Loons team who beat them 1-0 earlier in the season and only give up about 2.5 goals per game.
To view the full Girls 14U Tier I League Playoff bracket and results, click here. The top four teams in the CCM HP Girls 14U Tier I League Playoffs will advance to the Minnesota District Playoffs on October 10-11 in Plymouth, MN.
#1 Blue Ox vs #8 Moose – Throw out the records and watch for this game to be more tightly contested than a typical #1 vs #8 matchup. In their only game this season, the Moose actually outplayed the Blue Ox in the first half but struggled to capitalize on their chances and lost 4-1. Defense and goaltending were a trademark of the top ranked Blue Ox this season. They allowed a league low 29 goals against, led by the goaltending duo of Ryan Gerlich (Brainerd) and Tate Metcalf (Bemidji).
#4 Green Giants vs #5 Voyageurs – The Green Giants may be starting out with the fourth seed, but they likely have their eyes on league title as they’ve beaten both the Lakers and Blue Ox this fall. The first step will be taking on a streaky Voyageurs team that had a four-game win streak this year but has largely struggled otherwise.
#2 Lakers vs #7 Polars – A testament to the depth of the Youth 14U Tier I League this year, this is another matchup that has all the ingredients of an upset. The Polars have played the league’s top teams extremely tough all year, including losses of 2-0 and 4-1 to the Lakers.
#3 Walleye vs #6 Loons – If you’re looking for a little excitement Friday night, this is the game to watch as each of these teams were in the top three in scoring this year, and they played to a 5-4 game earlier this year. The Loons are led by the league’s top two scorers, Gavin Katz (Mahtomedi) and Malachi McKinnon (Chisago Lakes), who each posted 23 points in 11 games. The Walleye have a more balanced attacked and were far stingier defensively, setting the stage for what should be a high-scoring seesaw battle.
To view the full Youth 14U Tier I League Playoff bracket and results, click here. The top three teams in the CCM HP Youth 14U Tier I League Playoffs will advance to the Minnesota District Playoffs on October 10-11 in Plymouth, MN.
#1 Walleye (Bye) – The Walleye were a dominant force all season, recording twice as many victories by six or more goals as they had losses and boasting four of the top five scorers in the league. They may need to prove they can win close games though as they were 1-2 in games decided by two goals or less.
#4 Polars vs #5 Loons – After a tough stretch to start the year, the Polars improved significantly in September, going 7-3 down the stretch including two wins over the Loons. The Loons, led by Jacob Troska of Roseville who finished fifth in the league with nine goals, have shown they can score with anyone and will look to fly fireworks over the Polars.
#2 Moose vs #7 Grey Ducks – The Moose have a dynamic and balanced offensive attack, scoring nearly six goals per game over 16 games and getting goal support throughout their lineup. The Grey Ducks will need to slow down their attack and play great team defense to cut down the league’s second ranked team.
#3 Green Giants vs #6 Lakers – The Green Giants have the edge on paper in this matchup as they had a strong year and rolled the Lakers 10-3 in their only head-to-head game this year, but the green machine sputtered a little in their last six games, opening the door for an upset. Meanwhile, the Lakers closed out the regular season with arguably their best game of the year, a shutout victory over the fourth-seeded Polars.
To view the full Youth 14U Prospects League Playoff bracket and results, click here. The winner of the CCM HP Youth 14U Prospects League Playoffs will qualify for USA Hockey’s Youth 14U Tier II National Championships on March 25-29, 2021 in McKinney, Texas.
#1 Walleye (Bye) – The Walleye are the top ranked team mostly thanks to their prolific offense, which racked up 72 goals in ten league games and have five of the league’s top ten scorers.
#4 Lakers vs #5 Green Giants – It’s been a tale of opposite fortunes since the Green Giants beat the Lakers 4-2 on September 12. Up to that point, the Green Giants had only loss in their first seven games, but they’ve recorded only one win since. Meanwhile, the Lakers team righted the ship shortly thereafter and are entering playoffs on a seven-game win streak. Will it be revenge time for the Lakers or could the teams’ fortunes flip again?
#2 Blue Ox vs #7 Polars – The defending league and district champion Blue Ox are poised to make a run at repeating their titles with a strong balance of scoring, defense and goaltending. It won’t be an easy path though as the Polars showed they can skate with the Blue Ox in a 2-2 tie a couple weeks ago, and that was before the Polars rattled off four straight wins against NAPHL teams and boosted their confidence.
#3 Loons vs #6 Moose – The Loons draw a tough matchup in facing the Moose in the first round. The Moose have played everyone extremely tough, evidenced by six of their seven league losses occurring by one goal or involving empty net goals against. To advance to the semifinals, the Loons will likely need a repeat of their 3-1 win over the Moose a couple weeks ago, in which they needed an empty net goal to seal the game.
To view the full Youth 15 Tier I League Playoff bracket, click here. The top three teams in the CCM HP Youth 15 Tier I League Playoffs will advance to the Minnesota District Playoffs on October 10-11 in Plymouth, MN.