What does Minnesota girl’s high school hockey and the clay target league have in common?

20 years ago the Minnesota State High School League was the first state high school athletic association in the country to sanction a girl’s high school hockey tournament. On June 14, 2014 at the Minneapolis Gun Club in Prior Lake, the Minnesota State High School League will become the first to sanction a high school trap shooting tournament with Minnesota State High School Clay Target League participants!!!!

High school girls hockey: 20th state tournament begins Wednesday

Sarah Bobrowsky leads a balanced Hill_Murray attack with 19 goals and 21 assists. (Pioneer Press: Richard Marshall)

Twenty years ago, in front of a standing-room-only crowd at Aldrich Arena in Maplewood, the girls state hockey tournament was born. The Minnesota State High School League was the first organization in the country to govern the sport, and hopes were high for a long and prosperous life.

“Taking those first steps as a sport were very memorable, days I will never forget,” South St. Paul coach Dave Palmquist said. “Who would have ever thought back then that someday we would be playing in a beautiful arena where our NHL team plays?”

Palmquist is the only girls hockey coach from that first season in 1994-95 who is still on the job.

Apple Valley defeated South St. Paul 2-0 in the first championship game in 1995. The Packers went on to win four state championships, finish runner-up twice and third three times.

“We’re still learning and growing,” Palmquist said of girls hockey in Minnesota.

“There has been remarkable progress. While we’ve seen great individual players come and go, we are now seeing that championships are won by team accomplishments. The next part of our journey is to continue growing the sport.”

Fifty-eight schools played in the Class A field this season, 65 in Class 2A.

By Tim Leighton
Pioneer Press
POSTED:   02/18/2014 12:01:00 AM CST