Videos by OutKick
The Minnesota High School Hockey Tournament is one of the rowdiest events in sports. A packed house of 20,000 fans jam into the Xcel Center in St. Paul to root their local high schools to victory.
Minnesota is the hockey mecca of the United States and ‘The Tournament’ is a huge deal. Everybody comes out to support their local high school. Everybody! We’re talking brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents, friends, neighbors— all of the way down to Sandra, the bagger at the grocery store.
Men’s or women’s, it doesn’t matter. If your team is playing in ‘The Tourney,’ you’re there.
In addition to the energetic atmosphere and high-level hockey, The Tournament is a showcase for some of the best (loose definition) haircuts in the game. Players go all-out with mullets, dye jobs, racing stripes, afros, and free-hanging lettuce out of the back of their buckets.
Mahtomedi High School, with a student population of around 1,200, is no exception. The Zephyrs had some of the best normal hair at this year’s tournament. They didn’t go crazy with the ‘cuts, but there isn’t a player on the team with short hair. The flow was raging and Wyatt Tarnowski stole the show!
As their fairly well-kept hair may have indicated, Mahtomedi was all-business as the No. 3-seed and reached the state championship on Saturday. What happened next was downright bananas.
The Zephyrs rallied back from 3-1, 4-2 and 5-3 deficits, the latter two-goal deficits in the third period, and sent the game to overtime. Mahtomedi’s Charlie Drage took over and completed a hat trick to force overtime with less than a minute left.
Neither side scored in the first overtime period, which sent the game to a second. With 12:08 in the second overtime period, it was Johnny Grove who scored a backhanded goal to win the state title for Mahtomedia on a fantastic rebound.
As soon as the goal sounded, the celebration was on. The Zephyrs skated over to their student section and the mayhem ensued.
Students climbed over the glass to join in on the party!
An incredible shot from Brianna Burnham captured the moment in which the cutoff shirt, shorts and gold bucket-wearing fan got in on the action. It’s glorious.
There is nothing else in sports, especially on the high school level, quite like The Tournament. The entire state championship week is electric and Mahtomedi’s glass-jump is the perfect example.