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'Tis the Season

By Loren Nelson, 11/16/21, 11:30PM CST


Season Primer: Return of holiday tournaments brings sense of normalcy

Edina plays in two of the holiday season's highest profile tournaments. Photo by Loren Nelson,

The holidays weren’t particularly festive last year. At least not from a boys’ hockey perspective. 

The oft-delayed regular season didn’t start until mid-January because of the pandemic, too late for the Thanksgiving and Christmas tourneys that dot the state and offer dozens of high-profile matchups.

Normalcy has returned. The swallows return to each spring to San Juan Capistrano. And so too will Elk River, Grand Rapids and Eden Prairie resume their annual migration to Braemar Arena in mid-December for the Edina Holiday Classic.

In all, there will are about 30 holiday tournaments scheduled this season, starting with seven post-Thanksgiving tourneys. Perhaps the highest profile of the Thanksgiving events is the Wayzata Turkey Trot, which assembles four leading big-school state title contenders in Edina, Wayzata, Moorhead and Maple Grove.

Benilde-St. Margaret’s, Eden Prairie, Hermantown and Hill-Murray compete the following week at the St. Louis Park Rec Center in the aptly named Champions Cup (the programs have won a combined 13 state championships).

We’ve compiled schedules for all of the holiday tournaments, with exception of the still to-be-announced Rochester Kiwanis Hockey Festival. Below are the schedules for three of the higher-profile pre-Christmas tourneys. The full list of holiday tournaments can be see here.

Wayzata Turkey Trot (Nov. 26-27)

All games at Plymouth Ice Center, Plymouth
Friday, Nov. 26
Semifinals: Maple Grove vs. Edina, 5 p.m. 
Semifinals: Moorhead vs. Wayzata, 7 p.m. 
Saturday, Nov. 27
Third Place: Semifinal losers, 5 p.m.
Championship: Semifinal winners, 7 p.m.

Champions Cup (Dec. 3-4)

All games at St. Louis Park Rec Center, St. Louis Park
Friday, Dec. 3
Eden Prairie vs. Hill-Murray, 6 p.m.
Hermantown vs. Benilde-St. Margaret's, 8 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 4
Benilde-St. Margaret's vs. Eden Prairie, 12:30 p.m
Hill-Murray vs. Hermantown, 2:30 p.m.

EDINA HOLIDAY Classic (Dec. 16-18)

All games at Braemar Ice Arena, Edina
Thursday, Dec. 16
Elk River/Zimmerman vs. Eden Prairie, 6 p.m.
Grand Rapids vs. Edina, 8:30 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 17
Grand Rapids vs. Eden Prairie, 6 p.m.
Elk River/Zimmerman vs. Edina, 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 18
Grand Rapids vs. Elk River/Zimmerman, 6 p.m.
Eden Prairie vs. Edina, 8:30 p.m.

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