With victories at the Minnesota District Tier 1 Championships, three Minnesota teams advanced to the Girls 14U, Youth 14U and Youth 15 USA Hockey National Championships, which will be held March 24-29, 2021.
The champions included the Green Giants (District 10) 14U Girls team, Shattuck-St. Mary’s 14U Youth team and the Blue Ox (Team North) Youth 15 team. The Green Giants will head to West Chester, Penn. for the USA Hockey Girls 14U Tier I National Championships in Marlborough, Mass. Shattuck-St. Mary’s and the Blue Ox will both travel to San Jose, Calif. for the Youth 14U and 15 Tier I National Championship.
Girls 14U – The Green Giants, who finished second in last weekend’s CCM Minnesota Hockey High Performance League playoff last weekend, got revenge against the top-seeded Lakers in the District championship game, securing their trip to Nationals with a 3-2 victory. The Green Giants received goals from Avery Brown, Sophia Olson and Kendall Rykkeli, and Hailey Jussila had two assists.
Youth 14U – The Shattuck St-Mary’s 14U Youth team defended their Minnesota District title with a 7-3 victory over the Walleye (District 3). Shattuck-St. Mary’s had to rally from a 2-0 deficit in the first period, but they continued to push, piling up 44 shots, and eventually pulled away in the third period. Brodie Ziemer of Carver, Minn. had a clutch performance for Shattuck-St. Mary’s. Ziemer scored a game-tying goal in the first period, had an assist on the eventual game winning goal in the second and added another key goal in the third period to make it 5-3 at the time.
Youth 15 – The Blue Ox advanced to Nationals for the second year in a row with a wild 4-3 win over Shattuck-St. Mary’s. Down 2-1 going into the third period, the Blue Ox’s top line took advantage of a series of power-play opportunities and scored three times with the man advantage in the third period. A natural hat trick by Aaron Reierson, fueled by three assists from Sam Kartch, gave the Blue Ox a one-goal lead they would hold to secure their third Minnesota District title in the past four years.
Minnesota will send four more teams to the National Championships with Minnesota District playoffs for Girls 16U and Girls 19U levels set for October 26 at Shattuck-St. Mary’s, and the Youth 16U playoffs scheduled at the Maple Grove Community Center on November 5. Shattuck-St. Mary’s will represent the Minnesota District at the Youth 18U Tier I classification.