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Limited attendance state hockey tournament comes to a bittersweet end




“We lost last year,” he explained. “So we had a bit of a release, we bounced back a bit, a rematch.”

Andover won the championship over Edina last year. This time it wasn’t the result Huskies fans were hoping for, but there was still support in the stands.

“We just had fun leaving,” said Sharmayne Green of Andover. “There was definitely a lot of cheering. There weren’t too many people, but it was fun getting out.”

Boys and Girls State Hockey Tourney Central

The tournament itself went through some major pandemic changes. On Thursday, the capacity limit within the Xcel Energy Center, as imposed by the Minnesota Department of Health, was expanded from 250 to 3,000 people.

Edina’s Tom Chorske says he’s happy his daughter Hannah got the chance to play for her hockey family.

“Our daughter is a senior and a captain, so it was very important and meaningful to her, just being able to hold a tournament, you know,” said Chorske, who grew up in Minnesota and played briefly in the NHL. I opened up and allowed a few thousand people, it was good enough I guess. It wasn’t perfect, but getting a state tournament made sense and was important to the families and the players. ”

Along the way, both teams faced pandemic challenges such as security protocols and smaller groups of fans.

Sarah Sauer spoke to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS last Saturday about her daughter Nora, a freshman with the Huskies.

“Just a lot of emotion and a lot of excitement, and yes, for her to have the opportunity to be part of this team,” she said. “You know they won’t have the crowds there to encourage them, but they have a lot of support from us parents who have been there all year round.”

Fans on both sides say it was a strong competitive game, despite its limitations. They hope that next year’s hockey tournament – like so many other things – will return to normal.

“Of course it’s sad not to see all the fans there,” said Edina’s Sue Zachman. “All the students and, you know, all the fans. It must be hard to play like that, but it’s not the same. Hopefully it will come back soon.”

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