Plymouth Ready to Host USA Hockey High School National Championships
Plymouth Ice Center is the primary venue for the USA Hockey High School National Championships, the premier tournament for high school age hockey players from around the country.
“We expanded to four rinks, we’re using Parade (Ice Garden in Minneapolis) and the three rinks at Plymouth, there’s 94 games in total and four championships that will be decided on Monday,” says Greg Gibson with Wayzata Youth Hockey Association which is hosting the tournament in partnership with USA Hockey.
Economic Impact For Local Businesses
The Plymouth Ice Center hosted this same tournament in 2018 and the process to host it again started about 15 months ago. The 2023 tournament has expanded to 48 teams and city officials estimate an economic impact of $1.3 million. Joining teams from around the U.S. will be four Minnesota teams including the Wayzata Junior Gold ‘A’ boys team. It’s a special opportunity for young hockey players to face off against top competition.
“They’ll remember this for the rest of their lives, win or lose they qualified for the national tournament,” says Plymouth Ice Center Manager Erik Halverson.
Wayzata Youth Hockey Association created a tournament planning committee that met with USA Hockey once a month to work out planning and logistics for the tournament, which included arranging a place for all those tired hockey players to lay their heads at night.
“There’s 26 different hotels were using because you have to provide lodging for all the teams,” says Gibson, who also credits all the volunteers who have helped get the rinks ready and will fill a variety of roles during the games such as timekeepers and locker room attendants.
Admission to all games throughout the tournament is free and hockey fans can expect to see really good players on the ice.
At the 2018 tournament NHL first round pick and current Gopher Ryan Johnson led Santa Margarita Catholic High School (CA) to the championship.