High school hockey in Minnesota has a storied tradition of producing some of the best American hockey players. The teams that compete in the tournament play a maximum of 25 regular season games, then participate in the section and regional finals if they are successful. The high school games consist of three, 17 minute periods.
The boy’s hockey tournament last for four days in March, it take place at the Exel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. From 1945 – 1991 the tournament included eight teams from the entire state of Minnesota, which competed for the championship. In 1992 the format changed to a two tiered system which includes larger schools (Class AA) and smaller schools (Class A.) The state tournament attendance record book was shattered in 2004 when over 120,000 people attended the tournament. In 2006 the average attendance for the championship games exceeded 18,000.
In 1994, the Minnesota State High School League changed the process used for determining section assignments for boy’s hockey. Currently schools are divided into two groups based on the enrollment and activity classifications. What resulted from this is that the largest 64 schools complete in Class AA and all the remaining schools participate in Class A. Both classes are divided into 8 sections, the section is primarily determined by geographic location. Some schools opt to play at the Class AA level even though they are classified as Class A schools. In recent history the top four teams have been seeded to allow for more even qualifying rounds and better championship games.