Plymouth Set to Host 36-team National Hockey Tournament
The city of Plymouth will be a hockey hub later this week. The USA Hockey National High School Tournament begins at the Plymouth Ice Center (PIC) on Thursday. A total of 36 prep teams from around the nation will flock to the city to play 68 games in a five-day span.
The tournament also should be an economic windfall for area businesses.
“A lot of hotels will be used,” said Erik Halverson, manager of the PIC. “They are taking up all the hotels around the area, expanding out to St. Louis Park out to Maple Grove, obviously the city of Plymouth. A lot of restaurants will see a lot of business. I know that the Stoneman Douglas High School team after their game on Friday is heading over to the Sunshine Factory.”
Stoneman Douglas players survived the tragic shooting in Parkland, Fla., that killed 13 of their classmates and four staff members.
“They went through a tragic time and they’ve battled a lot of adversity to get where they are now today,” Halverson said. “They won their state high school tournament and the Florida Panthers are flying them in their private jet to this tournament and it’s created a lot of buzz and they’re to be celebrated to battle through adversity. Sports does that. It brings people together.”
$2.2 Million Renovation
The PIC underwent a $2.2 million renovation last year to get ready for the tournament. The main rink that used to be Olympic-sized, now has NHL ice dimensions and the freon refrigeration system is also gone, replaced with an energy-efficient, ammonia-based coolant.
The city of Plymouth and the Wayzata Youth Hockey Association are the official hosts of the tournament, which runs Thursday through Monday. Organizers have been working for a year prepping and planning for the logistics of the event.