Rochester Lourdes Eagles vs. Hermantown Hawks
Start Time - 6:00 PM
The Eagles are going to have to find a way to elevate just about every aspect of their game. The Hawks going undefeated wasn't some fluke. Rochester Lourdes is going to have to play a complete game in all three zones if they want to pull of the upset against the #1 seed in Hermantown. They will have to be keeping an eye on Jared Thomas when he's on the ice. He's been the offensive force for the Hawks all season, so keeping him in check is a must for the Eagles.
For Hermantown, they have to remain focused. The Hawks have real title aspirations, but they can't be looking towards Saturday. They need to be in the here and the now. They've done a good job all season, as the perfect record illustrates, but the stakes are much higher now. The Hawks could also use some more secondary scoring. This is a good game for guys like Andrew Mattson, Chris Benson, Jared Kolquist, and Brian LeBlanc to get the State Tournament started on the right foot.
New Ulm Eagles vs. Thief River Falls Prowlers
Start Time - 8:00 PM
The New Ulm Eagles are going to have to get pucks to the net from many different players. Relying on Brody Peterson has gotten the Eagles this far, but depth wins State Championships. It doesn't help that they're going up against one of the better Class A goalies in Jon Narverud. The Prowlers don't score a whole lot, so if New Ulm can hang 4 goals on the board, they have a real shot at winning this game.
On the flip side, the Prowlers need to control the neutral zone. New Ulm isn't a strong defensive team, so if the Prowlers can control the middle of the ice and frustrate the Eagles in the neutral zone, the Prowlers can capitalize on their chances. New Ulm and Peterson can get the offense going, so being sound in the neutral zone and creating turnovers is the big key for the Prowlers and their limited offense.
Class A bracket found here.