Six local skaters named to Great 8 festival rosters

The 32nd edition of the Ted Brill Great 8 Senior Festival is set for March 22-24 at Wakota Arena in South St. Paul.

The annual seniors-only event has gone from a two-team all-star event with 21 players to 136 players across eight teams.

Class A and AA sections combine to form one of eight teams, organized by section number.

Section 5 includes Blaine defenseman Tyler Maki and forward Jesse Norling. Anoka defenseman Kristian Manthey and Coon Rapids defenseman Sam Naegele round out the gray line up, which is coached by Centennial’s Ritch Menne.

Section 7 includes St. Francis forward Zach Foesch and Andover forward Nick Manney on the team coached by Andover’s Mark Manney.

Section 5 is scheduled to open the tournament against Section 6 at 8:30 p.m. on Rink 1. Section 7 faces Section 1 on Rink 2 at 9 p.m.

The tournament continues Saturday afternoon and concludes Sunday with the championship game scheduled for 3 p.m. on Rink 1, preceded by the third-place game at 12:30 on the same rink.

The event is designated as a national developmental program by USA Hockey and is therefore sanctioned by the Minnesota State High School League to allow participants to maintain eligibility for the spring sports season.

The winning team will then move on to the Minnesota High School Senior Showcase held in Plymouth April 25-28. The winning Great 8 team will compete with seven other teams including the Minnesota Advanced 18s along with all other D-1 commitments to participate.

Jason Olson is at [email protected]