Opening words in Tim Bouvine's sports blog at the

"It’s been said that Minnesotans are a very provincial bunch and identifying oneself as the capital of hockey in this state is surely asking for trouble from many areas of the state, but any lawyer would proudly state his case in defense of Duluth in recent history.

It’s March and it is tournament time here in Minnesota. Nationwide March Madness might refer to NCAA basketball, but in this part of the woods it’s all about hockey.

Duluth East, Duluth Marshall and Hermantown will once again be represented at the state tournament as they have more than once in recent times. Sectional championship games are almost always hard fought battles, but the perception here is that these programs have come to expect to advance to St. Paul and this year was no exception." Read more.

Photo: Hermantown defenseman Jared Kolquist skated with the puck through the neutral zone in a 4-0 Section 5A championship game victory over Rogers on Friday night in Duluth. Howie Hanson / For

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