MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The boys' state hockey tournament always provides a memorable game or two, and they often come in the later rounds as the pressure builds.
But the best matchup of this year's tournament, which runs Wednesday through Saturday at Target Center and Mariucci Arena, might come in the first game of the Class 2A field, when defending champion Roseau takes on Duluth East, which won the title in 1998.
Roseau (19-4-2), ranked ninth in the AP poll, is making its record 29th tournament appearance. Roseau, which has one of the more storied programs in Minnesota, has fewer than 350 students, far smaller than most 2A teams.
Duluth East is making its sixth appearance in the last seven years. At No. 3, East is the highest-ranked team left after Elk River and Eden Prairie were upset in sectionals.
Here is a look at the other first-round matchups in the state hockey tournament:
Sauk Rapids (19-5-1) vs. No. 7 Rochester Lourdes (21-3-1): Both teams are making their first state tournament appearance. In keeping with the Storms' inexperience, ninth-grader Nathan Raduns is the dominant force on offense. Senior goalie Michael Wichman allows less than 2.50 goals per game, and had four shutouts during the regular season.
Fergus Falls (13-11-0) vs. No. 2 Breck (20-3-0): Fergus has qualified for the tournament in each of the last four years and is the only Class A team that was in the tournament last season. Fergus coach Brad Bergstrom said the experience is helpful, but ''every time you go down there you have to be prepared.''
No. 5 Farmington (20-4-1) vs. No. 1 Warroad (19-5-2): Warroad, a traditional hockey power, is making its 14th appearance in the tournament, but none of the Warriors have experience in the state tournament. Coach Cary Eades said his team, which averages just four penalties per game, thrives under pressure.
No. 4 International Falls (18-7) vs. Hutchinson (12-14): International Falls is making its 18th tournament appearance. Senior center Brady Fougner, heading to the USHL's Fargo-Moorhead Ice Sharks next season, leads the team in scoring.
Edina (18-7-0) vs. Hill-Murray (17-7-1): Hill-Murray earned a trip to the state tournament in convincing fashion, shutting out archrival White Bear Lake 2-0 in the section 3 final. The Pioneers, winners of eight straight games, are in their second straight tournament appearance and have beaten Edina once already this season, 6-2 at the Edina Holiday Tournament. Senior forward Andy Nolan scored nine goals and had 29 assists. Edina is making its 17th appearance and this year's Hornets knocked off No. 2 Eden Prairie 4-3 in four overtimes in the section 6 finals. Edina scored 104 goals and limited opponents to 60. Senior forward Scott Strand and junior forward Beau Kretzman are the top scorers. In goal, Edina alternates between juniors Tim McCarthy and Chris Kapsen.
Hastings (20-4-1) vs. No. 7 Bloomington Jefferson (18-6-1): Hastings, making its third straight appearance in the tournament, lost in the title game last year. The Raiders' top line of Matt VanDerBosch, Casey Welch and Adam Gerlach dominates opponents. Hastings has scored 123 goals and held opponents to 50 goals; the top line contributed 52 of those goals. Bloomington Jefferson, in its 14th appearance, is led by junior winger Matt Duncan. Junior Tim Lorenz and sophomore Jeremy Earl share the goaltending duties.
No. 6 Blaine (18-5-2) vs. No. 8 Rochester Mayo (23-2-0): Blaine, consolation champion last year, didn't beat the top team in the state to get to the tournament; they beat Osseo, which had beaten No. 1 Elk River in the section 4 semifinals. The Tigers got 23 goals this season from Matt Moore, the center on the top line. Center Matt Hendricks, who plays on the second line, is a Mr. Hockey finalist who has committed to play for St. Cloud State next year. The Bengals scored 134 goals and allowed 60 this season. Rochester Mayo, which lost to eventual champion Roseau in last year's quarterfinals, is led by senior wingers Brian Fisher and Sage Swanson. Senior defenseman Andy Canzanello provides scoring punch and junior goalie Jeff Jakaitis handles goaltending duties.
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