ST. CLOUD -- St. Cloud has one of the best amateur hockey teams in the country, and they start their playoff run at home this weekend.

The St. Cloud Norsemen set a new franchise single-season record with 41 wins this season. They are tied for the most wins in the entire North American Hockey League along with the New Jersey Titans.

Team spokeswoman Ashley Chase says the league is expansive.

It ranges from Maine to Alaska all the way down to Texas, New Mexico and Louisiana and everywhere in between.  It's pretty cool to see sho is staying alive and we're starting to look at those teams in other parts of the country.

Chase says this weekend marks the beginning of the run for the Robertson Cup playoffs.

It starts out with the division rounds, this weekend is the division semi-finals. Best of five series. The second round is a division championship, also a best of five.  And then that gives you four winners from four divisions that will all go to Blaine, Minnesota to compete. Semi-finals there are the best of three series, and then a one-game championship for the whole thing.

Norsemen forward and University of St. Thomas commit Ryan O'Neil is this year's NAHL scoring champion with 80 points.

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The Norsemen have home-ice advantage for the division rounds starting this weekend with games at the Municipal Athletic Complex starting at 7:00 p.m. both Friday and Saturday against Bismarck. Playoff tickets are just $5 and they'll be selling $2 beers. The first and second rounds of the playoffs are best-of-five series.

The Norsemen have eight NCAA Division I commits on their active roster, including the recently named Mr. Hockey for Minnesota Max Strand who will be playing for Vermont next season. Future St. Cloud State University Husky John Opilka also plays for the Norsemen.


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