ST. CLOUD/MANKATO -- This Thursday the St. Cloud State University men's hockey team will face Minnesota State-Mankato in the Division I national semi-finals known as the Frozen Four out in Pittsburgh.

Here's a side-by-side comparison of how the two Minnesota communities stack up against each other.

St. Cloud was founded back in 1856, but Mankato is even older being founded in 1852.

St. Cloud has an estimated population of about 68,000 (2019) while Mankato is a bit smaller with an estimated population of about 43,000 (2019).

St. Cloud's largest employer is CentraCare with over 6,200 employees and Mankato's largest employer is Mayo Health with just over 2,300 employees.

St. Cloud has Munsinger Clemens Gardens and Quarry Park & Nature Preserve (I know it's technically in Waite Park but I'm taking liberties).  Mankato has Minneopa State Park and Mount Kato.

St. Cloud has music events like Summertime By George and the soon to open Ledge Amphitheater (again, I know it's actually in Waite Park).  Mankato has the Riverfront Park concert series and the Vetter Stone Amphitheater.

St. Cloud State University is Minnesota's third-largest university. Minnesota State Mankato is the state's second-largest.

We have the Mississippi River and they have the Minnesota River.

St. Cloud has two breweries (Beaver Island and Pantown) and Mankato has two breweries (Mankato Brewery and LocAle).

As for the game itself, this is the Huskies second ever appearance in the Frozen Four and it's the Maverick's first ever trip to the Frozen Four.

St. Cloud State is one of MSU-Mankato's oldest, most-played opponents.  Their overall record is 63 wins for MSU-Mankato, 56 wins for SCSU, and they've tied 13 times.

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