Four of the top six Class 2A boys’ hockey teams in the state will face off in a doubleheader that begins at 6 tonight at Mariucci Arena. Game 1: No. 2 Bloomington Jefferson vs. No. 3 Edina in the Section 2 final; Game 2: No. 1 Eden Prairie vs. No. 6 Minnetonka in the Section 6 final. Not surprisingly, ticket sales have been brisk.Applause to Minnesota hockey fans. This is awesome.
Officials said there are likely going to be about 2,000 tickets remaining for general sale when doors open at 5 tonight Mariucci Arena. Those hoping to snag a pair are advised to head down early because tickets could go fast.
I know everyone loves the romance of the state tournament, and the fact that over 18,000 fans will cram into the XCel Energy Center. But this is a lot more impressive. Mariucci Arena "only" seats 10,000, but think about this.
Two high school games are going to sell out one of the best college hockey facilities around.
I'm not sure we can duplicate this in a normal year, but as Chris at WCH points out, the crowd was pretty big last year, too.
Meanwhile, 3,000 fans showed up in Thief River Falls to watch Moorhead beat Roseau for the 8AA title Wednesday night. There were around 4,000 fans at the DECC to take in the 7A final between Hibbing and Virginia (both an hour or more drive away from Duluth, mind you). Another 4,000 or so are expected at the DECC tonight for the 7AA title game.
Then, next Thursday, two crowds of 17,000 or more will be in St. Paul for the state AA quarterfinals.
This is the State of Hockey. It's a phrase popularized by the Wild, but it means so much more than that.