I think most agree that there are a few flaws in the current system. but for the most part, it is not broke.
But IF something was done, and just to have fun with it all, I like the idea of crossing sections or something similar to football after the 1st or 2nd round of sections.
Say you played current sections until you reach the section finals, you'd have 16 teams in both A & AA. At that point, seed both AA & A 1 though 16 for the section finals, whether it be through some computer model like PageStat or a coaches vote among the remaining 16 teams. Say you did PageStat, you'd have the following:
1-Edina (6AA) vs. 16-Lakeville North (1AA)
2-Minnetonka (2AA) vs. 15-Brainerd (8AA)
3-Blaine (5AA) vs. 14-White Bear Lake (4AA)
4-Andover (7AA) vs. 13-Lakeville South (1AA)
5-Eden Prairie (2AA) vs. 12-Rosemount (3AA)
6-Maple Grove (5AA) vs. 11-Hill Murray (4AA)
7-Wayzata (6AA) vs.10-Duluth East (7AA)
8-St Thomas Academy (3AA) vs. 9-Moorhead (8AA)
1-Hermantown (7A) vs. 16-Litchfield (3A)
2-St Cloud Cathedral (6A) vs. North Branch (5A)
3-Mahtomedi (4A) vs. Minnesota River (1A)
4-East Grand Forks (8A) vs. Albert Lea (1A)
5-Totino Grace (4A) vs. 12-Marshall (3A)
6-Alexandria (6A) vs. Delano (2A)
7-Orono (2A) vs. Monticello (5A)
8-Greenway (7A) vs. Warroad (8A)
Put them in pods of 4 teams, consisting of a AA matchup & an A matchups. Double headers at Mariucci-Amsoil-Mankato-St. Cloud State over a two-day period, but a higher seed is not penalized (i.e.: the Wayzata-Duluth East game could not be at Amsoil...it would have to be somewhere else).
2nd game of the double header is the one that you'd guess would have more people at it. So, under the above team scenario, something like this:
Amsoil: Wednesday Night
Andover vs. Lakeville South
Hermantown vs. Litchfield
Amsoil: Thursday Night
Maple Grove vs. Hill Murray
Greenway vs. Warroad
Mariucci: Wednesday Night
Mahtomedi vs. Minnesota River
Edina vs. Lakeville North
Mariucci: Thursday Night
Totino Grace vs. Marshall
Minnetonka vs. Brainerd
Mankato: Friday Night
Orono vs. Monticello
Eden Prairie vs. Rosemount
Mankato: Saturday Night
Alexandria vs. Delano
Wayzata vs. Duluth East
St. Cloud State: Friday Night
East Grand Forks vs. Albert Lea
Blaine vs. White Bear Lake
St. Cloud State: Saturday Night
St. Cloud Cathedral vs. North Branch
St. Thomas Academy vs. Moorhead
I'd put two of the sites as Wednesday/Thursday & the other two Friday/Saturday, with it all worked around the home schedules of the college teams at hand. I'd keep Maruicci as a Wednesday/Thursday pretty much permanent though because Mariucci is also being used the next weekend for the consolation rounds. Even if they're during the day & college games are at night, just avoid any issues all together.
Reasons I like this:
-Keeps AA & A format, so smaller schools still have that chance to play on a tournament stage. Although it's being moved from the X to one of the college sites.....
-Gives loaded sections a chance to see someone else: Greenway, or whoever else from 7A, knows that if they can get past the semis, there's a high probability that they'll see someone other than Hermantown.
-These games are kind of what are already seen on Thursday at the X, just moving them to a college site. Edina vs. Lakeville North...Hermantown vs. Litchfield...
After this Sweet 16 round, then re-seed the final 8 for the Wednesday through Saturday at the X. But if you get to the round of 16, you get credited with a state tournament appearance. This should appease the everyone gets a trophy crowd....
If travel money is an issue, bump up the ticket prices for the games at the X by $1. I don't think anyone would care if prices went up by a dollar since most feel they're already a pretty good deal in the first place.
Like I said, I don't think it's super broke, so I don't see it changing, but always fun to tinker with what you would do if you were immediately made the czar of high school hockey and what you would do.....