skip navigation

NSC thanks the Schwan’s Company for 17 years of great high school hockey at the Schwan’s Cup hockey tournament

01/02/2019, 2:15pm CST
By Barclay Kruse, NSC Chief Communications Officer

Tournament will return in 2019 as the Herb Brooks Holiday Classic

The National Sports Center would like to recognize the Schwan’s Company for 17 years of sponsorship of the Schwan’s Cup high school hockey tournament. Schwan’s sponsorship of the tournament will end after this year’s edition, and the tournament will continue from 2019 onward with a new name, the Herb Brooks Holiday Classic, with a partnership with the Herb Brooks Foundation.

“Schwan’s is a proud supporter of youth athletics across the state of Minnesota and has deeply appreciated the opportunity to work with the National Sports Center on the Schwan’s Cup for nearly 20 years,” said Mike Smith, vice president, corporate communications, public relations, sponsorships & events for Schwan’s Company. “We are excited to pass the puck to the Herb Brooks Foundation as they take the lead on the annual holiday tradition of staging a great hockey experience for high schoolers and fans. We wish the event nothing but success in the years to come and look forward to continuing our support of thousands of youth hockey players at the Schwan’s supported Red Baron Arena & Expo in Marshall, Minnesota.”

Schwan’s Cup Facts from over the Years

  • 1,788 varsity and junior-varsity high school teams have played in Schwan’s Cup – 820 girls’ teams and 968 boys’ teams.
  • The tournament started in 2001 as the Capital City Classic, with just eight varsity teams playing at the Xcel Energy Center. Schwan’s joined as the tournament’s title sponsor the next year, 2002, and has been the title sponsor through the 2018 edition.
  • Dozens of Schwan’s Cup players have gone on to hockey greatness:

One of many famous Schwan's Cup alumni, Ryan McDonagh played for Cretin-Derham Hall in the 2008 Schwan's Cup, and then went on to play for Team USA in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, as well as in the NHL with the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning.

  • Gigi Marvin (Warroad HS) and Ryan McDonough (Cretin-Derham Hall) played on USA Olympic teams.
  • Many other Schwan’s Cup alumni played for Team USA at various World Championships, including Nick Bjugstad (Blaine), Sarah Erickson (Bemidji), Max Iverson (Edina), Gabby Hughes (Centennial), Keegan Iverson (Breck), Anders Lee (St. Thomas Academy and Edina), Brian Lee (Moorhead), Vinnie Lettieri (Minnetonka), Anneke Linser (Centennial), Milica McMillen (Breck) and Casey Mittelstadt (Eden Prairie).
  • And here are some the Schwan’s Cup alumni who went on to play in the NHL -- Jonny Brodzinski (Blaine, Kings), Michael Brodzinski (Blaine, Sharks), Stephen Fogerty (Edina, Rangers), Jake Gardiner (Minnetonka, Maple Leafs), Jake Guentzel (Hill-Murray, Penguins), Anders Lee (Islanders), Brian Lee (Senators and Lightning), Vinnie Lettieri (Rangers), Ryan McDonough (Rangers and Lightning), Casey Mittelstadt (Sabres), Tyler Pitlick (Centennial, Oilers and Stars) and Dom Toninato (Duluth East, Avalanche).
  • Schwan’s Cup games have been played at 11 different venues over the years: Aldrich Arena, Brooklyn Park Arena, Centennial Arena, Champlin Park, Charles M. Schulz-Highland Arena, Columbia Arena, Mariucci Arena, Ridder Arena, Roseville Arena, Schwan Super Rink, Xcel Energy Center.
  • A total of 3,120 games have been played, 43,584 high school players have taken the ice, and Schwan’s Cup games have been played in front of an estimated 118,000 spectators, and for several years, a live television audience on Fox Sports North.
  • A total of 214 championship banners have been raised (112 boys’ teams and 102 for the girls)
  • Over its 18 years of Schwan’s sponsorship, the tournament has generated $23.4 million in total economic impact from visitors to the communities hosting tournament games.

About Schwan’s Company

Based in Minnesota, Schwan’s Company is a leading U.S. manufacturer and marketer of quality foods offered through home-delivery, retail-grocery and food-service channels. Its many popular brands include Red Baron®, Tony’s®, Big Daddy’s®, Villa Prima™ and Freschetta® pizza, Mrs. Smith’s® and Edwards® desserts, Pagoda® Asian-style snacks, and Schwan’s® fine frozen foods. Schwan’s has a long-standing legacy of supporting exceptional efforts to promote youth educations and leadership development and provide essential services that advance healthier communities where employees live and work.To learn more about Schwan’s, visit

Tag(s): NSC Blog