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Class A State Tourney: Five storylines

By Class A Hockey Guy , 03/04/24, 1:00PM CST


Five storylines to follow in this year's Class A State Tournament.

Senior captain Jack Lamski leads an Alexandria team that has made three straight trips to the Class A State Tournament.

Back Again This Year

One of the major themes when looking at the Class A Tourney field is that it features seven of the eight teams from last year. With that much tourney experience returning, it should mean we are in store for some good hockey.

These teams know the drill of what to expect and how to prepare and get themselves ready. Also, every head coach in this year's field has coached their team to state at least once, which should lead to some very prepared and ready hockey teams.

The Drive for State Title #5 for #5

This offseason was tragic for the Warroad Warriors Hockey team as they woke up this past July to find out the shocking news that their beloved Assistant Coach Michael Tveit, age 38, had passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. Coach Tveit was the stepfather of star Senior forward Carson Pilgrim and was a father figure to all those on the Warrior hockey team.

Now, six months later, his beloved Warroad hockey team heads back to the Tourney playing in his honor and in search of State Title #5, which just so happens to be the number that Michael wore when he had the honor of putting on the Warrior sweater in his high school days. The drive for Title #5 for their fallen and beloved #5 seems like destiny, and the Warriors will be playing for something bigger this week. 

A competitive Class A Wednesday Quarterfinals?

One of the knocks on the Class A State Tournament is the blowouts produced on Wednesday in the Quarterfinals between the seeded and unseeded teams.

However, this tournament field would appear to be one of the deepest we have seen as seven of the eight teams finished ranked in the Top 10 of the Final A Rankings and with no massive gap this year between the top two or three seeded teams and the rest of the Class A field.

It would appear we should be in store for the best Wednesday we have seen since the epic upset Wednesday of the classic 2017 Class A Tourney. 

Another road trip to St. Paul

Many of our Boys State Class A teams' fan bases will be making a return trip to St Paul after a week to rest as four programs (Northfield, Orono, Hermantown & Warroad) qualified for both the Girls and Boys Hockey State Tournament this winter.

That is an impressive feat for the small school communities and a testament to the work their youth program and community members are putting in to produce really good hockey players both on the boys' and girls' sides. 

Alumni Head Coaches 

This Class A tournament features five of the eight teams being coached by alums Head Coaches. Jay Hardwick of Warroad, Pat Andrews of Hermantown, Josh Meyers of Alexandria, Robbie Stocker of St Cloud Cathedral, and Ryan Neuman of New Ulm all coach the teams they once wore jerseys for in high school this week.

It's a great trend to see alumni returning to the community and teaching the game they love to the next generation of stars from where they once grew up and attended. 

Last year's Class A runner-up Warroad will make yet another trip to the Xcel Energy Center this week.

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