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Why were the Northstars not in the parity tournament at the 03 level?
Rule #1 for the event was that "No teams will automatically qualify for the top grouping."
2003 Nortstars were scheduled to play. Were originally on the schedule. Manchester Flames dropped out of the Tournament at the last minute. With only 17 teams they could not redo the schedule and make it work. Northsatrs get the bye. Maybe Northstars and Flames had a deal? Just saying.