Displaying jerseys that commemorate the 25th girls' and 75th boys' hockey state tournaments are, from left, Blake girls' hockey coach Shawn Reid, Minnesota Wild executive Jack Larson, Minnesota State High School League associate director Craig Perry and Eagan boys' hockey coach Mike Taylor.
Shawn Reid, girls’ hockey coach at Blake, had the past, present and future on his mind Monday afternoon.
Hours before he hit the ice for the start of a new season, Reid spoke in recognition of the 25th girls’ hockey state tournament next February. Two weeks later in March, the 75th boys’ hockey state tournament takes place.
To recognize these milestone events, the Minnesota State High School League on Monday announced its plans for tributes throughout the winter. Fittingly, the press conference was held at the Xcel Energy Center, which hosted its first hockey state tournament in 2001.
The league will begin a year-by-year countdown of tournament highlights on its website -- mshsl.org -- starting 75 days before the boys’ tournament and 25 days before the girls.
In addition, the top six women and men will be recognized on the ice during their respective tournaments’ championship Saturdays. All will wear commemorative jerseys.
During the tournaments, the Xcel Energy Center scoreboard will show historical highlights and tributes.
Reid, also president of the girls’ hockey coaches association, said all girls’ players throughout the state will receive helmet stickers and bag tags with the commemorative logo.
“Players will see and understand that the game is bigger than all of us,” said Reid, who has coached five Blake teams to state tournament.
Teams are encouraged to recognize their own traditions during this season, said Reid. At Blake, that includes events to honor the inaugural Bears’ team as well as standout and recent Olympic Gold medalist Dani Cameranesi.
“It’s a season of celebration,” Reid said.
Mike Taylor, vice president of the boys’ hockey coaches association, expects his side will do likewise.
“The tournament is unreal,” said Taylor, who played in one and coached in six. “It puts you in a special category. The tournament has been a tradition and one of the hottest tickets to get in Minnesota for 75 years now.”