THE TOURNAMENTS: The 50th Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Boys Hockey State Tournament and the 19th Girls Hockey State Tournament will take place Thursday-Saturday, March 5-7, at Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis. Ticket prices for the tourney are $10 per session. Individuals 13-years old and under will be admitted for $5 each session.
TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE AND PAIRINGS: The single elimination boys tournament features four teams in two divisions for the first time. The girls tournament also features four teams. There were 83 boys teams and 28 girls teams at the beginning of the championship Tournament Series this year.
BOYS SCHEDULE: (* approximate times)
Semifinals - Friday, March 6
Game-1: #1 Notre Dame (24-1-1) vs. #4 University School of Milw. (20-6-1) - 10 a.m.
Game-2: #2 Chippewa Falls (23-4) vs. #3 Verona (23-4) - 12:15 p.m.*
Championship Game - Saturday, March 7
Game-3: Winner of Game-1 vs. Winner of Game-2 - 2:30 p.m.
Semifinals - Thursday, March 5
Game-1: #1 St. Mary’s Springs (22-3-2) vs. #4 Rice Lake (11-13-1) - 10 a.m.
Game-2: #2 Northland Pines (24-3) vs. #3 Somerset Co-op (15-11-1) - 12:15 p.m.*
Championship Game - Saturday, March 7
Game-3: Winner of Game-1 vs. Winner of Game-2 - 9:30 a.m.
GIRLS SCHEDULE: (* approximate times)
Semifinals - Thursday, March 5
Game-1: #1 Middleton Co-op (23-3) vs. #4 Beloit Memorial Co-op (18-8) - 4 p.m.
Game-2: #2 Xavier Co-op (20-7) vs. #3 Hudson (12-13-1) - 6:15 p.m.*
Saturday, March 7
Game-3: Winner of Game-1 vs. Winner of Game-2 - 12:10 p.m.
ON THE AIR: The finals of the boys and girls State Tournaments will be televised live on WKOW Madison, WAOW Wausau, WXOW La Crosse, WQOW Eau Claire, WYOW Eagle River, WMOW Crandon, WCWF in Green Bay/Fox Valley, KBJR Superior/Duluth and WMLW Milwaukee. The finals will also be streamed live on the State Television Network’s websites.
STREAMS OF PRE-FINALS ON NFHS NETWORK: The boys quarterfinals and semifinals, as well as the girls semifinals will be streamed live via subscription on the WIAA.TV portal of the NFHS Network. To purchase a subscription to the live programming for only $10.99 per month, log-on to www.wiaa.tv or www.nfhsnetwork.com and click on the subscription button located on the page header. Archived streams of the sessions will be available On Demand on www.nfhsnetwork.com 72 hours after the tournament without requirement of a subscription.
LAST YEAR: University School of Milwaukee won the program’s third championship by skating past Neenah/Hortonville/Menasha/Shiocton 6-2 in the championship game. In the girls final, the co-op of Xavier/Appleton East/North/West/Fox Valley Lutheran/ Freedom/Hortonville/Kaukauna/Kimberly/Little Chute/ Menasha/Neenah/New London/St. Mary Catholic/Two Rivers/Wrightstown captured its first championship with a 6-5 victory in double overtime over Hudson in the final.
TOURNAMENT TEAM HISTORY: The first WIAA State boys hockey championship game was held in 1971. Superior won the first championship and has won 12 more since to give the Spartans a membership-leading 13 State titles. Madison Memorial has won eight titles, and Hudson and Madison East have won four. The first girls tournament was held in 2002. The D.C. Everest and Mosinee Co-op program has won three State crowns. Those came in 2008, 2012 and 2017. Hudson won the first two girls titles in 2002 and 2003, and one version of River Falls Co-op won championships in 2010 and 2011. Another River Falls configuration of the Co-op, with one additional school, skated to the title in 2009. One version of the Hayward Co-op won the title in 2013 and another version, adding three additional schools, won in 2016.
THE BOYS DIVISION 1 FIELD: Notre Dame was selected as the top seed. The Tritons are making their second State appearance in the last three years and their seventh overall. Their first five appearances came consecutively from 2010-14. The Tritons’ one State championship came in 2012. They qualify this season following a 2-0 shutout over the Beaver Dam Co-op in the sectional final hosted at Fond du Lac. Second-seeded Chippewa Falls returns to the State Tournament field for the first time since 1999 and for the sixth time overall. The Cardinals’ furthest advance toward a title was to the semifinals in 1999. Their return to State comes virtue of a 2-1 win over Hudson in the Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln Sectional final. Third-seeded Verona returns to State for the third consecutive season and for the ninth time overall. The Wildcats advanced to the title game two years in a row back in 2013-14, winning the title in 2014 and finishing runner-up in 2013. They advance to the State semifinals this season following a 5-2 triumph over Edgewood in the sectional final hosted by Edgewood. Defending champion University School of Milwaukee is the fourth seed. The Wildcats return to State for the 13th time overall. They have now won three State titles. The program’s first championship came in 2006. The Wildcats added their second title in 2010. This season, they return in the defense of their title as champions of the Brookfield Sectional after downing Arrowhead 5-2 in the final.
THE BOYS DIVISION 2 FIELD: St. Mary’s Springs is the #1 seed in the inaugural Division 2 bracket. It’s the first time the Ledgers have qualified as a stand-alone program. A co-op arrangement they were associated with qualified in 2018 and lost in the semifinals. They advance to the semifinals this season following a 6-0 blanking of Waupun in the final of the sectional played in Fond du Lac. Second-seeded Northland Pines makes its 19th appearance as a stand-alone program and the first since 1996. The Eagles also qualified in a co-op arrangement in 2004. They have won three State champions with the first coming in 1984, with the second coming in 1986 followed by another in 1989. This season, the Eagles earned their berth in the tourney with a 4-3 win over Mosinee in the sectional final played at Mosinee. The Somerset/St. Croix Falls/Osceola Valley Christian co-op is seeded third. It the first time the Spartans have qualified for the tournament field. They earned their first trip to the State Tournament after edging Menomonie 3-2 in the sectional final held in Somerset. Fourth-seeded Rice Lake makes its third State appearance and the first since 2009 when the Warriors advanced to the semifinals. The only other experience for the Warriors came in 1980 and resulted in a loss in the semifinals as well. They qualify this year as representatives from the Superior Sectional, taking down Hayward 7-2 in the final.
THE GIRLS FIELD: The Middleton/Dodgeville/ Edgewood/Madison Memorial/Madison West/Mount Horeb/Verona co-op has been awarded the top seed in the tournament. The Lynx will be making their first-ever appearance at State. The opportunity became reality following a 3-0 shut out over the Sun Prairie Co-op in the sectional final played at Sun Prairie. Defending champion and second-seeded Xavier/Appleton East/North/West/Fox Valley Lutheran/Freedom/Hortonville/Kaukauna/ Kimberly/Little Chute/Menasha/Neenah/New London/ St. Mary Catholic/Two Rivers/Wrightstown will embark on its defense of the title. The Fox Cities Stars won the title in their first-ever appearance in the tournament last year. Their quest to repeat as champions this season comes by virtue of a 6-2 victory over the D.C. Everest Co-op in the final of the Mosinee Sectional final. Last year’s runner-up Hudson is the third seed. The Raiders return to Madison for the second season in a row and for the fifth time overall. Their first two appearances resulted in State titles in 2002 and 2003. They advance to the final field of four this season by defeating the Eau Claire North Co-op 2-1 in the Somerset Sectional final. Fourth-seeded Beloit Memorial, Albany/Brodhead/Clinton/Janesville Craig/Janesville Parker/Milton/Monroe/Turner qualifies with this co-op arrangement of schools for the first time. Another variation of the Beloit co-op qualified in 2016 and lost in the semifinals. This season, the Rock County Fury qualifies with a 4-2 triumph over Fond du Lac in the sectional final played in Fond du Lac.
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