Tourney Time: Stories from the Minnesota Boys’ State Hockey Tournament


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Seventy-five years of big names and memorable games—chronicling the highs and lows, the memories, and the legends from the Minnesota boys’ state high school tournament.

Every spring, the state of Minnesota— from urban metropolises to remote Canadian borderlands—is riveted by the spectacle of the boys’ high school hockey tournament. Going back to the inaugural competition in 1945, the state tournament has produced incredible drama on and off the ice, featured legendary players, invigorated communities—and showcased some of the best hockey hair the world has ever seen. The tournament draws thousands to St. Paul, and countless more tune in on television screens around the state. In Tourney Time, longtime sports journalists David La Vaque and L. R. Nelson take readers year by year through the tournament, highlighting the key games, the backstories, and the players that made each one shine. Interviews with players, coaches, and fans bring firsthand perspectives and insights to the games and tournaments, while in-depth statistics and results reveal the numbers behind the memories. In addition, the authors share their rankings of the most memorable moments, performances, characters, nicknames, upsets, and more from seventy five years of tournament play. Combining archival research, personal recollections, and vivid imagery, Tourney Time offers a detailed and insightful history of the nation’s greatest high school sports event and one of Minnesota’s most cherished institutions.

David La Vaque is a reporter for the Star Tribune and the newspaper’s point person for high school hockey since 2010.

L. R. Nelson is founder of, Minnesota’s number-one resource for high school hockey’s past, present, and future.

  • Paperback, 288 pages, 200 b&w illustrations, 8.5 x 11 inches
  • Category: Sports, Recreation, Leisure
  • Minnesota Historical Society Press: March 1, 2020
  • ISBN: 9781681341491

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