For sports fans, we're getting into one of the busiest times of the year. The final push for the NHL and NBA seasons are getting underway, the college basketball and hockey tournaments are getting ready to kick off, and state high school winter athletics tournaments are arriving.

One of the big Minnesota winter sports traditions is now arriving as the boys hockey state tournaments are coming up fast.

With the section tournaments all concluded, we now know who will be playing in the big tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul in the week ahead.

Action will get underway on Wednesday, March 6 as the field of Class A teams hit the ice in quarterfinal action. This year's Class A bracket features several teams that are no strangers to the tournament.

The first Class A game of the week will feature New Ulm and #2 seed Warroad at 11 am, followed by Northfield and #3 St. Cloud Cathedral at 1 pm Wednesday. The evening games start with #1 seed Hermantown and Alexandria at 6 pm and #4 Mahtomedi facing off against Warroad at 8 pm.

MSHSL / ThinkStock
MSHSL / ThinkStock

Class AA action gets going on Thursday, with Rochester Century/John Marshall against #2 Chanhassen at 11 am. Cretin-Derham Hall and #3 Centennial have the 1 pm timeslot, wrapping up the afternoon games. Elk River/Zimmerman and #1 Edina hit the ice at 6 pm Thursday and Grand Rapids takes on #4 White Bear Lake Area in the nightcap at 8 pm.

MSHSL / ThinkStock
MSHSL / ThinkStock

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Semifinal Friday will see The winners in Class A playing in the 11 am and 1 pm timeslots and Class AA winners in the 6 pm and 8 pm games Friday night.

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Gallery Credit: Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

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