The Minnesota District of USA Hockey is set to host the Girls 16U/19U Tier 1 District Playoffs on Tuesday, October 25. The Minnesota District Playoffs, which will be held at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, MN, will determine Minnesota’s automatic qualifier for the 2017 USA Hockey Girls Tier 1 National Championships in Rochester and Macomb, Michigan on April 6-10, 2017.
The Girls 16U Tier 1 District Playoffs will feature the Upper Midwest High School Girls Elite League (“Girls Elite League”) Team Sky at the 16U level facing off with Shattuck-St. Mary’s. The game is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. on October 25th and will be played to a winner.
In 2016, the Minnesota District, which hosted the Girls Tier 1 National Championships, received two bids at the Girls 16U Tier 1 level allowing the Elite Grey to qualify for nationals with a 3-2 win for Elite Sky, while Shattuck-St. Mary’s topped Elite Royal 4-1. Elite Sky received an at large bid, resulting in three Girls 16U teams from Minnesota qualifying in the national tournament.
On their way to winning the 2016 Girls 16U Tier 1 National Championship, Shattuck-St. Mary’s knocked off Elite Sky 3-1 in the semifinals and beat Elite Grey by a score of 2-1 in the championship.
The Minnesota District Girls 19U Tier 1 Playoffs will also include two of the top teams in the country. Defending Girls 19U Tier 1 National Champion Shattuck-St. Mary’s will take on the Girls Elite League Team Red at 7:45 pm on October 25th. Elite Red and Shattuck-St. Mary’s are both ranked in the top five nationally among Girls 19U Tier 1 teams so far this season.
Last year, all four of the Girls 19U Tier 1 eligible teams from Minnesota qualified for USA Hockey’s National Championships last season and earned their way into the championship round. During bracket play, the teams were forced to battle each other. Elite Red edged Elite White 2-1 in the quarterfinals, and then Elite Black knocked out Elite Red 6-3 in the semifinals before falling to Shattuck-St. Mary’s 2-1 in the championship.