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The Minnesota State High School League Boys Hockey Tournament is arguably one of the biggest sporting events in Minnesota. I remember being in high school and having classmates take days off of school for it, and our team wasn't even playing!!

Personally, my favorite part is watching the initial line up introductions where the kids skate up to the camera, smile and say "hi" to their parents or grandparents. I don't think they realize just how important that is. I watched my mom be a "hockey mom" for my sister and its a lot of work! Countless hours driving to games, long nights of volunteering at the rink, and not to mention always freezing her butt off cheering on the team. And its not just moms! Dad's are out there too, driving the Zamboni, helping keep up with maintenance at the rinks, and hauling around hockey gear!

Even though the players in the tournament are only smiling at the camera for a moment, I am sure that it must be so rewarding for the parents. Seeing all the hard work and long hours of the season paying off, also realizing that there are going to be a few "free" weeks until the spring and summer sports start up!

Best of luck to St. Cloud Cathedral who play their first game against St. Paul Academy tonight at 8:00 at the Xcel Energy Center!