Blaine, MN – October 9, 2016 – With victories at today’s Minnesota District Tier 1 Championships, three Minnesota teams advanced to the 14U and 15 USA Hockey National Championships, which will be held April 6-10, 2017. Two of the teams advancing were members of Minnesota Hockey’s CCM Minnesota Hockey High Performance Tier 1 League, which opened its inaugural season of play this past August.
The champions included the Lakers (District 6) 14U Girls team, Shattuck-St. Mary’s 14U Youth team and the Green Giants (District 10) 15 Youth team. The Lakers will go on to face other USA Hockey District champions at the USA Hockey National Championships in Rochester and Macomb, Michigan. Shattuck-St. Mary’s and the Green Giants will be advancing to Scottsdale, Arizona, home of the 14U and 15 Tier 1 National Championships.
Girls 14U – The Lakers knocked off the CCM Minnesota Hockey High Performance League champion Green Giants, by a 4-1 score. The Lakers scored the first four goals in the game, including two in the first period and one in the second before the Green Giants ended the shutout bid late in the third period.
Youth 14U – The Shattuck St-Mary’s 14U Youth team earned a chance to defend their 2016 National Championship after a 7-4 victory over the Blue Ox (Team North). The high scoring affair saw the teams combine for five goals in the first period, with the Blue Ox holding a 3-2 edge. Shattuck answered with two goals in the second period, and then tacked on three more in the third to knock off the champions of the CCM Minnesota Hockey High Performance League.
Youth 15 – The Green Giants advanced to Nationals after sneaking past the League champion Walleye (District 3), by a score of 3-1. The Green Giants jumped out to a 1-0 advantage in the opening seconds and held a narrow 2-1 lead after two periods. They withstood a furious charge by the Walleye in the third period before notching an empty netter to secure the victory.
Minnesota will send four more teams to the National Championships later this fall. District playoffs will be held at the Girls 16U and Girls 19U levels on October 25 at the Schwan Super Rink. The Youth 16U and Youth 18U District Playoffs will also take place at the Super Rink, November 7 and 8.