The stage is set for Manitoba's top high school hockey teams to battle for the province's biggest bragging rights.
Today, the Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association formally unveiled the schedule for the upcoming Milk AAAA Provincial High School Hockey Championship tournament, which kicks off on Friday at St. James Civic Centre.
With the usual powerhouse St. Paul's Crusaders -- who won the championship in 2011-12 -- knocked out of contention, the new favourites to take the top trophy are the John Taylor Pipers, who won the Winnipeg High School Hockey League. Vying to beat them are the Stonewall Rams, the Crocus Plains Plainsmen from Brandon, the Oak Park Raiders, the Morden Thunder and the host team, the River East Kodiaks.
"This year, it's wide open," MHSAA executive director Morris Glimcher said. "We're looking for some great action, great games."
Round-robin play begins on Friday, where all teams will play two games to determine seeding for the Saturday semi-final matches. The championship final is slated for Monday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m.