Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Very Important High School Tournament Starts Tonight

Wisconsin high school hockey has been waiting for something like this for some time. Under the direction of Notre Dame Academy (Green Bay), the first ever "Showdown In Titletown" starts tonight with regional games in Eau Claire and Stevens Point.

The coaches and administrators at Notre Dame Academy pulled off a mid-season non-conference tournament featuring 8 of the top teams in the state of Wisconsin with the finals being played at the Resch Center in Green Bay.

The regional games tonight feature fourth ranked Eau Claire Memorial hosting second ranked Wausau West in a rematch from earlier in the season. Memorial won the earlier contest in two overtimes. The game is scored as a tie officially due to WIAA rules of only playing one overtime (They played two becuase it was a holiday tournament). The game will be at 7:00 PM at Hobbs in Eau Claire.

The other regional game tonight will be at KB Willet Arena in Stevens Point and features the unranked SPASH panthers vs the number 1 ranked team in the state Notre Dame Academy. Notre Dame Academy features two of the best players in the state in forward Max McCormick and defenseman Tim Davison. Davison has been battling a concussion issue but returned Saturday in a win against rival Ashwaubenon.

The two other regional games will be played tomorrow and Thursday. The game tomorrow features honorable mention Catholic Memorial/Pius going on the road against sixth ranked Madison Edgewood. The Thursday game features ninth ranked Fond du Lac hosting eighth ranked Appleton United.

According to Wisconsin Prep Hockey, second round games will be contested at either the Resch Center or Cornerstone Community Center on Friday, January 22. The seventh place and consolation games will be played at Cornerstone on Saturday, January 23. The third place game and championship game will be played the same day at the Resch Center.

In conjunction with the high school tournament, the Green Bay Gamblers will host the Sioux City Musketeers Friday night at the Resch Center. Game time is 7:05pm. Former Wisconsin high school stars Matt Paape (Wisconsin commit), Chase Drake (Wisconsin commit), Sean Little(Wisconsin commit) , and Aaron Harstad (Colorado College commit) are expected to compete.

Having a mid-season tournament featuring teams ranked 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9 and one in the Honorable Mention is something the state of Wisconsin has never seen before. Minnesota has been doing this over the past few years with the Schwan's Cup tournament over the holidays with the top teams playing at the Xcel Energy Center. This is a step in the right direction for Wisconsin high school hockey.