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State Tournaments: An “Only in Minnesota” Experience

By Glen Andresen, Executive Director, 03/15/16, 10:15AM CDT

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After a weekend of traveling to every Minnesota Hockey State Tournament location this past weekend, I closed out my travel at the St. Croix Valley Rec Center on Sunday. I arrived just minutes after Orono had secured a thrilling one-goal victory over Warroad in the Bantam A title game. As soon as I walked in, it was made clear to me that “I missed a great one.”

While disappointed about my timing, I wasn’t too worried. I knew that I’d still get to see Moorhead and Minnetonka tangle in the Bantam AA title game, and I was certain that would be a “great one” as well. All of these championship games are great, regardless of the score (although almost all were very close).

To see how hard the kids are playing, and the passion that they’re doing it with is special. To see the excitement in the crowds that packed our community arenas is special. To see the thrill on the faces of the winning players during celebrations is special. And to see the disappointment of coming so close for the runners up is special.

I won’t say this often, but it hit me that what captured the specialness of this weekend was something that didn’t even happen at a State Tournament host rink. It happened at a rink where there was no game being played.

In between the first and second overtime session of that Bantam AA title game, I decided to check the ol’ Twitter feed. I came across a tweet from a gentlemen in Roseau. The tweet said “Roseau crew watching Bantam AA State Championship from the Therapy Room” and was accompanied by a picture of seven adult men huddled around a TV inside Roseau Memorial Arena to watch a game that didn’t involve anybody from Roseau.

All I could think was, “that can only happen in Minnesota.”

And I realized that everything I witnessed over the weekend can only happen in Minnesota, where kids play for communities and with their friends. Every kid that played a game last weekend will remember that experience forever. They’ll forever have that bond with their teammates and the realization that they accomplished something great.

Of course, none of those memories would be possible without the time and dedication put in by so many volunteers to make every State Tournament experience the best it could possibly be. These tournament organizers have day jobs, families, hockey schedules for their own kids and plenty more. But they stop at nothing to run these tournaments for a bunch of kids and parents they will likely never know personally.

Again…only in Minnesota.

Congratulations to all the parents, players, coaches and volunteers on such a great season! 

Glen Andresen

Executive Director

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After a weekend of traveling to every Minnesota Hockey State Tournament location this past weekend, I closed out my travel at the St. Croix Valley Rec Center on Sunday. I arrived just minutes after Orono had secured a thrilling one-goal victory over Warroad in the Bantam A title game. As soon as I walked in, it was made clear to me that “I missed a great one.”

While disappointed about my timing, I wasn’t too worried. I knew that I’d still get to see Moorhead and Minnetonka tangle in the Bantam AA title game, and I was certain that would be a “great one” as well. All of these championship games are great, regardless of the score (although almost all were very close).

To see how hard the kids are playing, and the passion that they’re doing it with is special. To see the excitement in the crowds that packed our community arenas is special. To see the thrill on the faces of the winning players during celebrations is special. And to see the disappointment of coming so close for the runners up is special.

I won’t say this often, but it hit me that what captured the specialness of this weekend was something that didn’t even happen at a State Tournament host rink. It happened at a rink where there was no game being played.

In between the first and second overtime session of that Bantam AA title game, I decided to check the ol’ Twitter feed. I came across a tweet from a gentlemen in Roseau. The tweet said “Roseau crew watching Bantam AA State Championship from the Therapy Room” and was accompanied by a picture of seven adult men huddled around a TV inside Roseau Memorial Arena to watch a game that didn’t involve anybody from Roseau.

All I could think was, “that can only happen in Minnesota.”

And I realized that everything I witnessed over the weekend can only happen in Minnesota, where kids play for communities and with their friends. Every kid that played a game last weekend will remember that experience forever. They’ll forever have that bond with their teammates and the realization that they accomplished something great.

Of course, none of those memories would be possible without the time and dedication put in by so many volunteers to make every State Tournament experience the best it could possibly be. These tournament organizers have day jobs, families, hockey schedules for their own kids and plenty more. But they stop at nothing to run these tournaments for a bunch of kids and parents they will likely never know personally.

Again…only in Minnesota.

Congratulations to all the parents, players, coaches and volunteers on such a great season! 

Glen Andresen

Executive Director

Most Popular