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Girls Hockey:State Tournament 2024 Advance Release

Posted: Tuesday, February 20, 2024 - 7:20 PM

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Sixteen Girls Hockey teams skate onto center stage this week for the Minnesota State High School League’s annual state tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The Class A quarterfinals open the four-day tournament on Wednesday, Feb. 21 followed by Class AA on Thursday, Feb. 22. The semifinals for both classes are on Friday, Feb. 23 with championship games on Saturday, Feb. 24.  

Wednesday, Feb. 21 

Class A quarterfinals 

  • Willmar (20-7-0) vs. No. 2 Orono (20-6-1), 11 a.m. 
  • Fergus Falls (15-11-1) vs. No. 3 Dodge County (21-4-0), 1 p.m. 
  • Luverne (17-10-0) vs. No. 1 Academy of Holy Angels (21-3-3), 6 p.m. 
  • No. 5 Proctor/Hermantown (18-8-2) vs. No. 4 Warroad (19-8-0), 8 p.m. 


Willmar is on a five-game winning streak entering its fourth state tournament and first since 2020. Included in the Cardinals’ season journey are victories over Luverne and Fergus Falls, two other state tournament entrants. Orono was the runner-up a season ago to Warroad. Included in the Spartans’ season is a split with Holy Angels, the top seed in the Class A field. Fergus Falls returns after a sixth-place finish in 2023. It is the fourth state tournament trip for the Otters. Dodge County, however, is making its state tournament debut. The Wildcats, the Section 1A champion, are 6-1 over their past seven games. Luverne also returns for the fifth consecutive season. The Cardinals enter the state tournament on a five-game winning streak where they have outscored the opposition 28-5. Holy Angels earned the label as the team to beat in Class A on the strength of a powerful run during the regular season and section play. The Stars are 11-1 in their past 12 games. The only loss in that stretch was a 5-3 loss to Hill-Murray, the No. 2 seed in Class AA. Holy Angels was the Class A champion in 2005. Proctor/Hermantown reached the winner's circle in 2021 and was the runner-up the following year. The Rails placed fourth a year ago. Warroad, making its ninth consecutive appearance and 15th overall, will try to defend its Class A crown from the No. 4-seed position. Don’t let the Warriors’ eight losses fool you. They typically play an aggressive regular-season schedule filled with games against Class AA opponents. 


Thursday, Feb. 22 

Class AA quarterfinals 

  • Roseau (18-10-0) vs. No. 2 Hill-Murray (23-3-1), 11 a.m. 
  • Rosemount (14-9-5) vs. No. 3 Andover (21-4-3), 1 p.m. 
  • Maple Grove (20-7-1) vs. No. 1 Minnetonka (25-2-1), 6 p.m. 
  • No. 5 Northfield (27-1) vs. No. 4 Edina (21-6-1), 8 p.m. 


Roseau, the Section 8AA champion, returns for the first time since 2020 and seventh time overall. After opening the season 1-4, the Rams are on an 11-2 stretch since the holiday break. Hill-Murray, under the direction of coach and AD John Pohl, is a team of stars on the rise. Pohl is a former University of Minnesota standout and NHLer. His wife, assistant coach Krissy (Wendell) Pohl, is all over the state and national record books after a Hall of Fame career. The Pioneers opened the season on a 12-game winning streak. Their last loss was a 2-1 setback to Minnetonka on Jan. 25. Senior goalie Grace Zhan has a 1.34 goals-against average. On offense, senior forward Chloe Boreen has 30 goals and 25 assists. Rosemount returns after a sixth-place finish a year ago. The Irish won three games in the Section 3AA tournament by outscoring the opposition 14-4. Andover was the runner-up a year ago to Gentry Academy. The Huskies are 10-1 since Jan. 13, the only loss coming against Edina. Junior defender Mackenzie Jones has 17 goals and 27 assists. Senior forward Bella Shipley powers Maple Grove with 28 goals. The Crimson, the Class AA runner-up in 2016, are 9-1 in the past month. Minnetonka received the top seed on the strength of a season with just two losses. The Skippers have not lost since a 1-0 setback to Edina on Jan. 6, a span of 11 games. Senior forward Lindzi Avar leads the Skippers with 22 goals. Minnetonka has captured three big-school crowns and finished runner-up twice. Northfield boasts the best record in the field with just one loss. That came to Dodge County of the Class A field on Jan. 30. The Raiders rebounded, however, to win the regular season finale and three more in the Section 1AA tournament. Senior forward Ayla Puppe, a University of Minnesota recruit, has a state-best 61 goals and 49 assists. Senior defender Grace McCoshen chips in with 19 goals and 29 assists. Edina is no stranger to the annual state tournament. In addition to a third-place finish last season, the Hornets have four state championships and three runner-up finishes. In her eighth season guiding the Hornets, head coach Sami (Reber) Cowger has 202 career victories. After a loss to Orono in the regular-season finale, Edina rattled off three wins in the Section 6AA tournament, outscoring the opposition 25-4. 

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Class A Girls Hockey State Quarterfinal: Orono 4, Willmar 1