FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
1. Olympic connections
At the 2016 and 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Women’s World Championships, Red Wing’s Taylor Heise skated with defenseman Cayla Barnes, a current Olympic team member.
Team USA features five players who played in the state tournament: Hannah Brandt (Hill-Murray), Dani Cameranesi (Blake), Sydney Morin (Minnetonka), Kelly Pannek (Benilde-St. Margaret’s) and Lee Stecklein (Roseville). In addition, Marissa Brandt plays for her native Korea.
2. Two pioneers return
Eagan bench boss Dan Wilson returns to coach in his first state tournament since directing Henry Sibley to third place in the inaugural event in 1995. Breck coach Ronda (Curtin) Engelhardt was last involved in a state tournament in 1999 when she won her second state title as a player with Roseville.
3. Proud grandfathers
Centennial senior defender Alana Bordeaux will play in the state tournament 56 years after her grandfather, John, played wing for St. Paul Monroe in 1962. He will be in the Xcel Energy Center crowd along with former NHL and Division I coach Dean Blais, who played in the 1968 state tournament with International Falls and coached Roseau to the 1990 title. His granddaughter, Taylor Otremba, plays for Lakeville South.
New Ulm senior forward Ali Beltz, tops in the state with 106 points (68 goals, 38 assists), surpassed 100 career goals and broke her program’s single-season scoring record with her 62nd goal.
Eagan senior forward Taylor Anderson went over 100 goals and 200 points for her career.
Proctor/Hermantown held its 20th anniversary banquet earlier this season and about 175 current and former players, coaches and parents attended.
Warroad’s victory Dec. 27 was No. 400 in program history.
5. Tourney at a glance
When, where: Wednesday through Saturday, Xcel Energy Center
Tickets: Championship session: $17 adults, $11 students; Consolation session: $12 adults, $8 students.
TV/web: Championship semifinals and championship games in both classes will be televised live by 45TV. Live webcast on Prep45.com costs $10.95 per day; four-day pass $30.96.