The Minnesota District of USA Hockey is set to host the 2016-17 Tier 1 Playoffs at the Girls 14U, Youth 14U and Youth 15 levels on October 8-9 at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, MN. The champion of each level will qualify to represent Minnesota at the 2017 USA Hockey National Championships.
The Minnesota District Playoffs will consist of four teams at each level competing in a single elimination format. Semi-final matchups will take place on Saturday, October 8, and the championship games will be held on Sunday, October 9.
The winner of the Girls 14U Minnesota District Playoffs will automatically qualify for the 2017 USA Hockey Girls 14U Tier 1 National Championships in Rochester, Michigan on April 6-10, 2017. The champions of the Youth 14U and Youth 15 level will travel to Scottsdale, Arizona on April 6-10, 2017 to compete in the 2017 USA Hockey Youth Tier 1 National Championships.
All Tier 1 sanctioned teams in Minnesota were eligible to qualify for the Minnesota District Playoffs. The four teams at the Girls 14U and Youth 15 levels advanced to the District Playoffs through the CCM Minnesota Hockey High Performance Tier 1 League (“HP Tier 1 League”) Playoffs. At the Youth 14U level, the top three teams from the HP Tier 1 League qualified and Shattuck-St. Mary’s, the only independent Tier 1 team in Minnesota, received an automatic bid.
All games will be live streamed on FASTHockey. FASTHockey.com, a service of HockeyTech, is the world’s premier digital media partner for ice hockey national governing bodies, leagues, teams and events.
The Green Giants (District 10), who won the Girls 14U HP Tier 1 League regular season and playoff titles, enter the Minnesota District Playoffs as the top seed. They will host the Blue Ox (North) at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 8. The Blue Ox have shown they know what it takes to play the top teams. They’re also on a bit of a roll lately as they’ve only lost once in regulation over their past seven games. The key for them will be finding some early offense to put the Green Giants on their heels.
At 3:45 p.m., the second seeded Lakers (District 6) will take on the Moose (District 8) in what is sure to be a tight game. The Lakers and Moose split a pair of one-goal games during the regular season and are the only two teams to beat the Green Giants since the opening weekend. The Lakers had a strong showing in League Playoffs going 3-0 in pool play before falling to the Green Giants in the championship game. Meanwhile, the Moose utilized two shootout wins to claim the third seed.
For more information on the Minnesota District Girls 14U Tier 1 Playoffs, click here.
The first contest of the Youth 14U District Playoff will feature Shattuck-St. Mary’s against the Lakers (District 6) at 1:30 p.m. on October 8. Shattuck-St. Mary’s enters the tournament as the defending national champion at the Youth 14U level, but they will face a tough first test against the Lakers who were the HP Tier 1 League regular season champion with a record of 9-1-2.
The Blue Ox (North) won the inaugural League Championship and Taconite Trophy over the Lakers to earn the number one seed at the Youth 14U level. They will take on the Green Giants (District 10) at 2:15 p.m. The Blue Ox topped the Green Giants 3-2 in the League Playoff semifinals, but the teams split games during the regular season.
For more information on the Minnesota District Youth 14U Tier 1 Playoffs, click here.
The top seeded Walleye (District 3) have looked like the team to beat at Youth 15 level for most of the season. They started the regular season 8-0-1 but went 1-2-1 over their last four regular season games. The Walleye re-asserted themselves in playoffs, earning a pair of 4-1 wins en route to the League Playoff Championship.
The Walleye won’t have an easy path to the finals though as they will take on the Polars (District 5) in their semi-final at 3:15 p.m. The Polars enter the Minnesota District Playoffs as the fourth seed, but they finished the regular season in third place and knocked off the season’s second place team (Lakers) in order to qualify.
In the 1:00 p.m. semi-final game, the Green Giants (District 10) will host the Moose (District 8). The Moose held a slight advantage during the regular season as they earned a 2-1 win and had a tie against the Green Giants. However, the Green Giants seem to be finding their stride at the right time as they turned a sixth seed entering League Playoffs into a runner-up finish.
For more information on the Minnesota District Youth 15 Tier 1 Playoffs, click here.
The CCM Minnesota Hockey High Performance Tier 1 Leagues are a prestigious series of tryouts, skill development sessions and competition weekends that provide the top players from each district or section a chance to play with and against the best players in the state. The Leagues are conducted in accordance with USA Hockey rules and all teams are eligible for USA Hockey’s Tier 1 National Championships.