The Minnesota State High School League annouced yesterday that the Minnesota Girls State Hockey Tournament will be making a move back to St. Paul.

The championship portion of the bracket will remain at the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul, but the consolation series of games will be played at TRIA Rink at Treasure Island Center in downtown St. Paul. This brings the tournament to a centralized location for the first time since 2005.

“This is incredible news,” said Tim Morris, executive director of the Minnesota Girls Hockey Coaches Association. “This move will keep the girls’ hockey state tournament in the same community, and it will bring a level of excitement that these teams, these participants and these communities deserve.”

The MGHCA asked the MSHSL almost a year ago to explore moving the consolation series from Ridder Arena in Minneapolis to TRIA Rink in St. Paul, which is the home to the Minnesota Whitecaps, the professional National Women's Hockey League team in the state. TRIA Rink is also the practice arena for the Minnesota Wild. The arena is a 10-minute walk from the Xcel Energy Center.

The move also correlates with the 25th birthday of the girl's hockey state tournament, which started during the 1994-1995 season.

"We, at the League, are excited to bring the entire girl's hockey community together in Saint Paul and celebrate the historic 25th girl's state tournament!” said Erich Martens, Executive Director of the Minnesota State High School League. “The vision and excitement of the girls’ hockey coaches association and the great relationship we have with the Xcel Energy Center, and now with the staff at TRIA Rink, made this move possible."

The TRIA Rink at Treasure Island Center also serves as the home facility for the Hamline University women’s hockey team, an emerging Division III power.

“The addition of the MSHSL girls’ hockey state tournament consolation games are a natural fit for the TRIA Rink,” said Jack Larson, Xcel Energy Center Vice President and General Manager.

The TRIA Rink at Treasure Island Center is located at 400 Wabasha Street in Saint Paul, on the site of the former Dayton’s and Macy’s department store.

“This is a win-win for everyone,” Morris said. “What a great facility that these teams will be able to experience. It just makes things more convenient. The girls’ hockey coaches association and the girls’ hockey communities are really excited that it was able to happen for this year. We really think this is going to generate a lot of excitement for the game. We are staying in downtown Saint Paul and that is awesome news.”

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