THE TOURNAMENTS: The 49th Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Boys Hockey State Tournament and the 18th Girls Hockey State Tournament will take place Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 28-March 2, at Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis. Ticket prices for the tourney are $8 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 eight teams. The girls tournament features four teams. There were 87 boys teams and 29 girls teams at the beginning of the championship tournament series this year.
BOYS SCHEDULE: (* approximate times)
Thursday, Feb. 28
Game-1: #1 University School of Milwaukee (25-2) vs. #8 Onalaska Co-op (24-3) - 10 a.m.
Game-2: #4 Verona (20-5-2) vs. #5 Eau Claire North (17-9-1) - 1:15 p.m.*
Game-3: #2 Wausau West (23-3-1) vs. #7 Waukesha North Co-op (16-8-3) - 4 p.m.
Game-4: #3 Neenah Co-op (22-3-2) vs. #6 Hudson (16-10-1) - 6:15 p.m.*
Friday, March 1
Game-5: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 - 4 p.m.
Game-6: Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4 - 6:15 p.m.*
Saturday, March 2
Game-7: Championship Game - 2:15 p.m.*
Friday, March 1
Game-1: #1 Xavier Co-op (22-4) vs. #4 Sun Prairie Co-op (14-7-3) - 10 a.m.
Game-2: #2 D.C. Everest Co-op (20-6) vs. #3 Hudson (15-9-2) - 12:15 p.m.*
Saturday, March 2
Game-3: Championship Game - 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 $9.95 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: Hudson won its second consecutive championship and the program’s fourth championship by cruising past Eau Claire Memorial 7-1 in the championship game. In the girls final, Eau Claire North/Altoona/Eau Claire Memorial/Fall Creek won its first championship by defeating Sun Prairie/DeForest/Madison East/La Follette/Waunakee 3-1 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 FIELD: The top seed in the bracket was afforded to University School of Milwaukee. The Wildcats return to State for the 12th time overall and for the first time since 2016. The Wildcats have won two State titles. The program’s first championship came in 2006 with the most recent coming in 2010. They are the champions of the Fond du Lac Sectional after skating past St, Mary's Springs/Campbellsport/Kewaskum/Lomira/North Fond du Lac/Oakfield 6-1 in the final. Wausau West, the #2 seed in the bracket, will be appearing in the State Tournament for the 17th time overall and for the eighth time in the last 10 seasons. The Warriors have won one State title and have finished runner-up on four occasions, most recently in 2015. They played in three consecutive tournament finals from 2010-12, winning the championship in 2011 and finishing runners-up in 2010 and 2012. The first of their four runner-up finishes came in 2000. Last week they defeated Stevens Point in a high-scoring affair, 8-6, to advance from the Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln Sectional final. It will be the first-ever State experience for third-seeded Neenah/ Hortonville/Menasha/Shiocton. The Rockets celebrate their advance to the State semifinals following a 4-0 shutout over Notre Dame in the sectional final hosted by the Tritons. Fourth-seeded Verona returns to State for the second consecutive season and for the eighth time overall. The Wildcats advanced to the title game two years in a row, finishing runner-up in 2013 and winning the title in 2014. They advance to the quarterfinals this season following a 5-3 triumph over Sun Prairie in the Edgewood Sectional final. Eau Claire North, the fifth seed, qualifies for State for the fifth time and the first time since 2006. The Huskies furthest advance in the tournament was to the semifinals in 1995. They are the representatives out of the Eau Claire Memorial Sectional following their 3-2 double-overtime victory over Hayward. Two-time defending champion and sixth seed Hudson qualifies for the tournament for the 11th time and for the fourth straight season. They have now won four State titles. The first came in 2001, the second in 2004. They also advanced to the championship final in 2016 and finished runner-up. This season, they defeated Superior 2-1 in double overtime in the sectional final held in Amery to continue their quest for a third straight championship. The Waukesha North/Catholic Memorial/Pewaukee/ Waukesha South/West Co-op will be making its first appearance and has been issued the seventh seed. The former co-op, which included St. John’s NW Military Academy, had qualified the past three seasons, finishing runner-up in 2017 and falling in the semifinals in both 2016 and last season. The Wings edged Marquette 5-2 in the Kettle Moraine Sectional final to advance to the State quarterfinals. The Onalaska/La Crosse Central/Logan Co-op is the eighth seed. The Hilltoppers are making their first State Tournament appearance as a co-op program. Formerly a stand-alone program, Onalaska had four experiences including a runner-up finish in 2014. Their advance to the State quarterfinals comes following a 6-0 blanking of Reedsburg/Mauston/Wisconsin Dells in the Onalaska Sectional final.
THE GIRLS FIELD: Top-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 first State experience. The Fox Cities Stars’ appearance this season comes by virtue of a 5-2 victory over the Fond du Lac Co-op in the final of the Fond du Lac Sectional final. The D.C. Everest/Marathon/Merrill/ Mosinee/Wausau East/Wausau West Co-op, the #2 seed, makes its second straight State appearance with this configuration of schools and its second overall after falling in the semifinals in their first appearance last season. The co-op, without Marathon and Merrill, won three titles and made 10 State appearances. The three championships came in 2008, 2012 and 2017. They also advanced to the championship game in 2011 and finished runner-up. The Storm defeated the Marshfield Co-op 2-1 in the sectional final held at D.C. Everest to advance to the semifinals. Third-seeded Hudson returns to Madison for the first time since 2006 and for the third time overall. The Raiders’ first two appearances resulted in State titles in 2002 and 2003 followed by a loss in the semifinals in 2006, which accounts for their three prior appearances. They advance to the final field of four by defeating former defending champion Eau Claire North Co-op 3-1 in the Chippewa Falls Sectional final. The fourth seed and last year’s runner-up Sun Prairie/DeForest/ Madison East/Madison La Follette/Waunakee will make its third straight State appearance and its fourth overall. The Cap City Cougars lost in the semifinals in each of their first two experiences in 2011 and 2017. This season, they squeezed past the Onalaska Co-op 5-4 in overtime to advance out of the Middleton Sectional and earn its return to the tournament field.
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