We’re probably a little biased here at Snipers Edge Hockey (being a Minnesota-based company) but like many people, we firmly believe that Minnesota is the greatest hockey state in the U.S.A. Don’t just take our word for it though. ESPN recently named the Minneapolis-St. Paul area the #1 hotbed of hockey in America and anointed Edina, MN as the “center of the American hockey universe”.
Why is Minnesota widely considered the best place in the country for the sport? It is because there are always so many great hockey-related activities going on here. And, March might be the best month of the entire year here for hockey.
The NHL’s Minnesota Wild have a packed home stretch throughout the month of March and the college hockey conference tournaments go throughout the month. What Minnesota has though that other hockey hotbeds don’t is two of the biggest events in the sport that happen in March, both on and off the ice. The is the Minnesota High School Hockey Tournament and the Let’s Play Hockey Expo. Here is what you need to know about these two huge events.
Minnesota State Hockey Tournament
What the Indiana State High School Basketball tournament and the Texas State Football Tournament are to their respective sports, the Minnesota State Hockey Tournament is to hockey in the U.S.
Minnesota high school hockey is the most popular sport in the state with over 250 schools and over 6,000 players competing in the sport. This makes the end of the year tournament one of the must-see hockey spectacles in the country.
The tournament’s 2020 edition runs March 4 – 7 at the home of the Minnesota Wild, the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The tournament regularly draws over 100,000 spectators who come to watch the high-quality hockey and see some of the stars of tomorrow today.
Over the years, the tournament has seen many current and former NHL greats such as TJ Oshie, Ryan McDonagh, Anders Lee, Jamie Langenbrunner, Phil Housley, Neal Broten (and his brothers), and even the coach of the 1980 Miracle on Ice team, Herb Brooks. Some players even went on to make their name in other arenas such as MLB catcher Terry Steinbach, Heisman trophy winner Chris Weinke, and former governor Tim Pawlenty.
One of the best (unofficial) parts of this event is the All-Minnesota high school hockey hair team. These are the awards given out for the best hockey “flow” or “lettuce” in the tournament. If you have never seen this, it is hilarious, must-see stuff.
Let's Play Hockey Expo
While the Minnesota high school hockey action is happening on the ice, the Let’s Play Hockey Expo, the largest consumer hockey show in the world is going on off it. Running concurrently to the tournament, this hockey industry trade show regularly draws over 120,000 people.
The event is on March 6 and 7 at the St. Paul River Centre and includes vendors in hockey equipment, apparel, training aids, and more. There are also hockey celebrity appearances from some of the biggest names in the international, national, and Minnesota hockey worlds. It is an event that everyone in the hockey industry has to attend.
Minnesota truly is the state of hockey in America. Between the Minnesota high school hockey tournament and the Let’s Play Hockey Expo, March in Minnesota is one of the best moths of the year. Whether you are able to be in Minnesota in March or not, you can still check out some of the best hockey training aids around at Snipers Edge Hockey. We offer all the off-ice training aids hockey players need to sharpen their skills to someday play in the Minnesota high school hockey tournament or the one in your home state!