Farmington, Burnsville to hold girls hockey tourneys

Once the holiday dinner dishes are washed and put away there will be a full plate of high school tournaments, including girls hockey tourneys in Farmington and Burnsville and a boys basketball event in Lakeville.

Here’s a look at what’s coming up later this week:

Louis Schmitz Holiday Classic

Three South Suburban Conference teams will play in the 15th annual Louis Schmitz Holiday Classic girls hockey tournament at Schmitz-Maki Arena in Farmington.

Host team Farmington takes a 6-5 record into this year’s tourney and plays Owatonna in the opening round at 6 p.m. Thursday. The Tigers face Northfield on Friday and New Prague on Saturday, with both of those games also starting at 6 p.m.

Eastview (8-4-1) plays New Prague at 1:15 p.m. Thursday, Hudson, Wisconsin, at 1:15 p.m. Friday and Simley at 11 a.m. Saturday. Simley is ranked ninth in Class A by Let’s Play Hockey.

Lakeville North (3-8-2) faces Hudson on Thursday, Simley on Friday and Northfield on Saturday, all at 3:30 p.m.

Burnsville girls hockey

Burnsville welcomes Apple Valley, Park of Cottage Grove and Hastings to its holiday girls hockey tournament, with one twist – the Blaze’s game against Apple Valley on Friday will count in the South Suburban Conference race.

That’s significant because both teams still have ambitions of winning the league. Apple Valley (10-2 overall, 7-1 conference) went into the holiday break in first place, while Burnsville (8-3-1, 4-3-1) could make up ground with a victory. Friday’s game between the South Suburban rivals starts at 7 p.m. at Burnsville Ice Center.

The Burnsville tourney opens Thursday with Apple Valley playing Park at 5 p.m. and Burnsville taking on Hastings at 7. Park and Hastings are the 5 p.m. game Friday. On Saturday, Apple Valley plays Hastings and 10 a.m. and Burnsville closes the event with a game against Park at noon.

Lakeville North boys basketball

Apple Valley plays in Lakeville North’s holiday boys basketball tournament for the first time. Austin and New Prague also are in the four-team, two-day event that begins Friday night.

Lakeville North (4-2), ranked 15th in Class 4A by Minnesota Basketball News, plays Austin at 7:45 p.m. Friday. Austin is ranked ninth in Class 3A. The 6 p.m. game matches Apple Valley (2-4) against New Prague.

On Saturday, Apple Valley plays Austin at 6 p.m. with Lakeville North and New Prague tipping off at 7:45.

Others to watch

Two of the top 10 teams in the Class 4A boys basketball rankings will meet at East Ridge High School on Friday when fourth-ranked East Ridge plays host to eighth-ranked Eastview. The game is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. Eastview (5-1) plays Centennial in the second round of the East Ridge tournament Saturday.

The Tradition at the Park boys hockey tourney in St. Louis Park boasts one of the strongest fields of any holiday event, in any sport. Five of the top eight teams in Class AA are scheduled to play.

On Thursday, fifth-ranked Rosemount (8-1) takes on sixth-ranked Andover at 2:30 p.m. at St. Louis Park Rec Center. Friday, the Irish play second-ranked Maple Grove at 5 p.m.

Eighth-ranked Lakeville South (6-1) plays Elk River at noon Thursday and seventh-ranked Benilde-St. Margaret’s at noon Friday before closing against Maple Grove at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Lakeville North (5-2-1), ranked 10th in Class AA, goes to Prior Lake’s tournament at Dakotah Ice Arena, starting with a game against Totino-Grace at noon Thursday. The Panthers play Moorhead at 2:30 p.m. Friday before closing against Prior Lake at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in a game that counts in the South Suburban Conference standings.

Eagan’s boys hockey team makes its annual trip to the Premier Tournament in South St. Paul beginning with a quarterfinal game against St. Paul Johnson at 2 p.m. Saturday. The final two rounds of the tourney are Monday, Dec. 30, and Tuesday, Dec. 31.

The annual St. Olaf Holiday Hoops Classic girls basketball tournament takes place in essentially two shifts. Eastview, ranked 20th in Class 4A, is one of six teams playing Thursday and Friday. The Lightning face Simley at 4:30 p.m. Friday and Mankato West at 4:15 p.m. Saturday.

A separate group of four teams plays at St. Olaf on Dec. 30-31. That group includes Farmington, ranked third in Class 4A. The Tigers take on Grand Rapids at 3:45 p.m. Monday, Dec. 30, before facing Beaver Dam, Wisconsin at 1 p.m. the next day.

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