If the Wild's recent beeline toward mediocrity or worse has you depressed and losing faith in Minnesota hockey, fear not! For high-quality, competitive, North Star State-bred hockey is available and bountiful throughout the Twin Cities this week. The Schwan Cup has risen in the past seven years to be one of the top-tier hockey tournaments of the many the state hosts. It returns to area arenas again this winter to pit the state's best 160 boys and girls youth and high school hockey teams against each other for glory on the ice. The tourney has a reputation for bringing out intense competition from young skaters, and this year has a scheduling conflict that is sure to pump up the drama more than ever. Because of a Wild home game on New Year's Eve when the tournament traditionally ends, the boys high school divisions' championship games will be played on the Xcel Energy Center's ice on New Year's Day. Nobody wants to start out the new year with a loss, which, given the Wild's poor play of late, all but ensures that the Schwan Cup will bring some of the best hockey seen at the... More >>>