Eau Claire (WQOW) -- The third-annual Red Flint Meltdown boys hockey tournament is set for Friday & Saturday at Eau Claire's Hobbs Ice Center.
All four teams taking part are ranked in the Wisconsin Prep Hockey preseason top ten: #1 Eau Claire Memorial, #2 Green Bay Notre Dame, #3 Superior, and #6 Wausau West.
Old Abes head coach Mike Schwengler says this tourney will be a good test for his team, especially since these will be Memorial's first two games of the season.
"Two of the four teams haven't really had an opportunity to get going," says Schwengler, "but it'll be fun, it'll be a good atmosphere, and every time Memorial and Wausau play each other it's usually a close game and we expect nothing less."
Schwengler says all four teams benefit from playing tough competition early in the season. It's also a holiday treat for everyone in the stands.
"You know, we're fortunate that three teams want to keep coming back, and they're high-profile teams with a lot of history, and we've been a pretty decent team as well the last few years. It's a fun atmosphere, it's great, you know the first year I think we had 1,000 people there on Friday night, last year a little bit more, so you know, we're expecting a big crowd again."
The crowd is sure to include more than just friends and family, however.
"I know that just because of the dynamics of some of the players and the talents," Schwengler says, "there's a lot of interest from the USHL scouts will be in town, the North American League scouts, and even some NHL scouts, because there are some kids on those watch lists."
Here's the varsity schedule:
Green Bay Notre Dame
vs. Superior, 5:00 P.M.
vs. Eau Claire Memorial, 7:30 P.M.
Consolation: 11:30 A.M.
Championship: 2:00 P.M.
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