Teams left standing in boys' high school section playoffs

Saturday is loaded with section semifinals throughout Minnesota.
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The state championship girls' hockey games happen on Saturday at Xcel Energy Center, and after week of rolling out the mats for the wrestling tourney the best boys' hockey teams in Minnesota will converge on St. Paul for another state tournament. 

Section 1, AA

  • Semifinals: Saturday at Rochester Rec Center
  • 11:30 a.m.: #1 Hastings vs. #4 Lakeville South
  • 2 p.m.: #2 Lakeville North vs. #6 Owatonna

Hastings is the top seed with an overall record of 20-4-1, but this section is notorious for being left in the dust by the Lakeville schools, neither of whom has faced Hastings. Lakeville South and North split a pair of one-goal games during the regular season. 

Section 2, AA

  • Semifinals: Saturday at Braemar Arena
  • 3 p.m.: #2 Chaska vs. #3 Eden Prairie
  • 7 p.m.: #1 Minnetonka vs. #5 Holy Family Catholic

Minnetonka (22-2-3) is the No. 2 team in the state but is no lock to get out of this tough section. Holy Family can hang with the best, Eden Prairie took the Skippers to overtime three weeks ago, and Chaska pounded Eden Prairie 6-3 in a holiday tourney back in December and has a win over No. 1 Edina. 

Section 3, AA

  • Semifinals: Saturday St. Thomas Academy and Rosemount
  • 5 p.m.: #1 St. Thomas Academy vs. #5 Eastview
  • 7 pm.: #2 Rosemount vs. #3 Eagan

The fifth-ranked Cadets have won 16 straight and beat Eastview 3-0 early in the season. Rosemount is ranked eighth, has won 12 straight and is 23-3 on the season, with one of their losses against St. Thomas Academy. Rosemount's last loss was against Eagan on Jan. 8. 

Section 4, AA

  • Quarterfinals: Saturday at Aldrich Arena
  • 11 a.m.: #1 White Bear Lake vs. #8 Roseville
  • 1 p.m.: #2 Hill-Murray vs. #7 Tartan
  • 5 p.m.: #3 Stillwater vs. #6 Mounds View
  • 7 p.m.: #4 Irondale/St. Anthony vs. #5 Woodbury

This is wide open again this season as evidenced by top seed White Bear Lake grinding out one-goal victories over Hill-Murray, Stillwater and Woodbury during the regular season. 

Section 5, AA

  • Semifinals: Saturday at Champlin ice Forum
  • 3 p.m.: #2 Maple Grove vs. #3 Champlin Park
  • 7 p.m.: #1 Blaine vs. #4 Centennial

Third-ranked Blaine is the favorite having won 15 consecutive games, including victories over Centennial, Maple Grove and Champlin Park. But one of Blaine's two losses this season came at home in overtime against Maple Grover on Dec. 15. 

Section 6, AA

  • Semifinals: Saturday at Bloomington Ice Garden
  • 12 p.m.: #2 Benilde-St. Margaret's vs. #3 Wayzata
  • 4 p.m.: #1 Wayzata vs. #4 Blake

Top-ranked Edina has handled each team left in the section this season going a combined 4-0 against them and outscoring them by a total of 23-10. 

Section 7, AA

  • Semifinals: Saturday at Amsoil Arena in Duluth
  • 12 p.m.: #1 Andover vs. #5 Elk River/Zimmerman
  • 2 p.m.: #2 Duluth East vs. #3 Cloquet-Esko-Carlton

Fourth-ranked Andover is good enough to go very deep in this year's playoffs, but getting past an Elk River/Zimmerman team that took them to overtime once this season is the first step. Cloquet-Esko-Carlton played a metro-heavy schedule and is tested against the state's top teams, but they're 0-2 with a pair of close losses against Duluth East. 

Section 8, AA

  • Semifinals: Saturday at Moorhead and Roseau
  • 7 p.m.: #1 Moorhead vs. #4 Buffalo
  • 7 p.m.: #2 Roseau vs. #3 Brainerd

A 10-game winning streak for Moorhead includes wins over top teams like Duluth East, Roseau, Brainerd and Hill-Murray, but they did lose one of their two meetings with Roseau in the regular season. Roseau swept the regular season series against Brainerd. 

Now, let's break down the Class A section tournaments. 

Section 1, A

  • Semifinals: Saturday at Rochester Rec Center
  • 5:30 p.m.: #1 Mankato East/Loyola vs. #4 Rochester Lourdes/Dover-Eyota
  • 8 p.m.: #2 Minnesota River vs. #3 Albert Lea

Top seed Mankato East/Loyal is facing Lourdes for the first time, but they played three games against Minnesota River and Albert Lea, with all three decided by a single goal. 

Section 2, A

  • Semifinals: Saturday at St. Louis Park Rec Center
  • 6 p.m.: #1 Orono vs. #4 Breck
  • 8:15 p.m.: #2 Delano vs. #6 Minneapolis

Orono, ranked 10th in the state, pounded Breck and Minneapolis earlier in the season but lost its most recent content against Delano. 

Section 3, A

  • Semifinals: Saturday at Gustavus Adolphus
  • 6 p.m.: #1 Marshall vs. #5 Hutchinson
  • 8 p.m.: #2 Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato vs. #3 New Ulm

New Ulm lost to Litch 3-2 in the season opener but they haven't met since. Marshall doubled up Hutch 6-3 in their only regular season meeting. 

Section 4, A

  • Quarterfinals: Friday at Roseville and Aldrich Arena
  • 6 p.m.: #1 Totino-Grace vs. #8 Simley
  • 8 p.m.: #4 St. Paul Johnson vs. #5 St. Paul Academy
  • Semifinals: Tuesday at Roseville
  • 6 p.m.: TBD
  • 8 p.m.: #2 Mahtomedi vs. #6 South St. Paul

Games still to be played Friday night could pave the path for an ultimate Totino-Grace versus Mahtomedi section final. Totino toppled Mahtomedi 5-1 on Jan. 5. 

Section 5, A

  • Semifinals: Saturday at Monticello and Lindstrom
  • 7 p.m.: #1 Monticello vs. #4 Chisago Lakes Area
  • 7 p.m.: #2 North Branch vs. #3 Princeton

This is as wide open as it gets. All four remaining teams fought each other in tight games all season. 

Section 6, A

  • Semifinals: Saturday at St. Cloud MAC
  • 4 p.m.: #1 St. Cloud Cathedral vs. #5 River Lakes
  • 7 p.m.: #2 Sartell-St. Stephen vs. #3 Alexandria

If Alexandria can avenge a 1-0 loss to Sartell they could be in line for an upset opportunity against the high-powered Cathedral Crusaders, who beat Alexandria 3-2 in overtime back in December. 

Section 7, A

  • Semifinals: Saturday at Amsoil Arena in Duluth
  • 6 p.m.: #2 Duluth Denfeld vs. #3 Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin
  • 8 p.m.: #1 Hermantown vs. #4 Virginia/Mt. Iron-Buhl

It's been one whole year since Hermantown played in the state title game, but they're ranked No. 1 again this season and primed for another trip to the X. They beat No. 2 seed Denfeld 9-1 the last time they played, so the Hawks are big-time favorites here. 

Section 8, A

  • Semifinals: Saturday at East Grand Forks
  • 5 p.m.: #1 East Grand Forks vs. #5 Detroit Lakes
  • 7:15 p.m.: #2 Thief River Falls vs. #3 Warroad

East Grand Forks is the top seed but they split with Warroad during the regular season and beat Thief River Falls twice, 4-3 in overtime and most recently, 1-0 on Feb. 12. 

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