Since 2001, the National Sports Center has produced the largest and most elite high school hockey tournament in Minnesota for boys and girls. Schwan Cup, as it previously had been known, will now honor legendary hockey player and coach Herb Brooks. Starting this year, the tournament will be known as the Herb Brooks Holiday Classic.
The name change aims to preserve the legacy of Herb Brooks in Minnesota hockey for future generations to come. From Dec. 26, 2019, through Jan. 1, 2020, the NSC Super Rink will become the most popular destination for ambitious high school hockey players. The Herb Brooks Holiday Classic is the largest high school hockey tournament in the state. In partnership with the Herb Brooks Foundation and M Health Fairview, all games being played will hold a special place in Minnesota hockey history.
The Herb Brooks Holiday Classic will have scheduled appearances from Herb’s son Dan Brooks and 1980s USA Olympic gold medalist Rob McClanahan, who will be on-site at the tournament Dec. 26. John Harrington, who tallied an assist on the game-winning goal against the USSR in Lake Placid, will also be available for interviews, autographs and pictures Dec. 30 at the NSC Super Rink.
“It means so much for our foundation and family members,” said Dan Brooks. “The success of the National Sports Center meant so much to him. To see the campus contribute to the development of so many kids throughout the years is simply incredible. By promoting high school hockey through this tournament, we continue to honor the game my dad loved so much.”
Fifty-five boys teams will play in four divisions Dec. 26-28 at the NSC Super Rink and TRIA Rink. In addition to Minnesota teams, four high school teams from Wisconsin will travel into town, including last year’s Boys Bronze Division Winner University School of Milwaukee. Another game to look forward to is Bloomington Kennedy versus Gentry Academy in the Silver Division.
The girls division will be played from Dec. 30, 2019, to Jan. 1, 2020, at the NSC Super Rink. Championship games will be played at TRIA Rink in St. Paul. The 51 girls teams are divided into four divisions as well. Returning division champions, the Blake Bears, Buffalo Bison and Chisago Lakes Wildcats, look to continue their success in this year’s tournament. Similarly, the undefeated Andover Huskies enter the tournament as a favorite. The Andover girls team has seven returning players from last year’s tournament that are now committed to play hockey at Division I schools.