The Field Is Finalized for the 2004-Birth Year National Tournament
A season that began with more than 110 teams eligible for the 2020-21 national tournament has been reduced to the top 16 teams at the 16U age group. USA Hockey Nationals are slated to begin on April 28th in Maryland Heights, Missouri. The field includes all 10 teams ranked in WHH’s most recent world rankings, plus six others just outside our Top 25, looking to play spoiler at the Nationals later this month.
The tournament format, according to USA Hockey, for a 16-team seeded Tier-I youth event involves breaking down the field into four pools of teams based on MyHockeyRankings. That means the four pools should be:
|Shattuck-St. Mary’s||North Jersey Avalanche||Pittsburgh Penguins Elite||Bishop Kearney|
|New Jersey Rockets||Fox Motors||Anaheim Jr. Ducks||Mount St. Charles|
|Seacoast Performance Academy||Colorado Thunderbirds||HoneyBaked||Oakland Jr. Grizzlies|
|Sioux Falls Power||Nashville Jr. Predators||Northeast Wisconsin Jr. Gamblers||Dallas Stars Elite|
Each team will play three games in-pool and after that process is completed, the top two teams from each pool will advance to an eight-team single-elimination bracket. That bracket will also be seeded based on standings at nationals: USA #1 vs. OLY #2, LIB #1 vs. NHL #2, OLY #1 vs. USA #2 and NHL #1 vs. LIB #2. The home team for the subsequent semifinals and championship games will also be determined based on this criteria.
The six-day USA Hockey Nationals tournament is slated to begin at 10:15 a.m. CT, on Wednesday, April 28th, at the Centene Community Ice Center, as well as the nearby Ice Zone in Hazelwood, Missouri. All the action will be live-streamed on HockeyTV.com and we will have wall-to-wall coverage of the tournament throughout the week. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube for more USA Hockey Nationals news.