Boys hockey playoffs kick off Saturday

At one point this season, the Mounds View High School boys hockey team appeared poised to get the No. 2 seed in the Section 4AA playoffs. A second-half swoon changed that, however, and the Mustangs ended up as the No. 5 seed.

Mounds View opens the post-season Saturday at 7 p.m. at Aldrich Arena against fourth-seeded Stillwater. This is the second consecutive year the Mustangs and Ponies have squared off in the section quarterfinals. Stillwater won last year's match-up 1-0.

Mounds View split its two regular-season games with Stillwater this year. The Ponies blitzed the Mustangs 9-1 on Jan. 3 and the two teams played to a 2-2 tie on Feb. 2.

Following the loss to Stillwater in early January, Mounds View won its next three games to reach a high water mark of eight games above .500 (10-2-2). A loss to third-ranked Benilde-St. Margaret's on Jan. 15 started Mounds View down a path would lead to only three victories the rest of the season.

Mounds View closed out the regular season last Saturday with a 4-1 victory over North St. Paul.

The Mounds View/Stillwater winner advances to the section semifinals on Feb. 26 at the State Fair Coliseum against either eighth-seeded St. Paul Como Park or top-seeded and No. 1-ranked Hill-Murray.

The quarterfinals on the other side of the bracket pit second-seeded White Bear Lake against seventh-seeded North St. Paul and third-seeded Tartan against sixth-seeded Roseville.

Irondale/St. Anthony Village

At the beginning of the season, Irondale/St. Anthony Village head coach Adam Schmidt said the goal for his team was to get the chance to play at the State Fair Coliseum in the post-season. For that to happen, the Knights need to win their Section 5AA playoff opener this Saturday.

Irondale drew the sixth seed and takes on third-seeded Maple Grove in the final game of the day (8 p.m.) at the Champlin Ice Forum. The Knights enter the game in search of their first post-season victory since 2008 and first section quarterfinal win since 2000.

The Knights closed out the regular season with just one loss in their final four games. Included in that stretch were victories over Park-Cottage Grove and St. Louis Park and a tie against Robbinsdale Armstrong. Their 10 wins are the most for an Irondale team since winning 12 in 2008.

Maple Grove (14-11) doesn't have the gaudiest of records but enters the post-season with all kinds of confidence after knocking off top-seeded and seventh-ranked Blaine 7-5 last Thursday. The Crimson won their final four regular-season games.

The Irondale/Maple Grove winner advances to the section semifinals on Feb. 27 at the Coliseum against either seventh-seeded Coon Rapids or No. 2 Centennial.

The other two quarterfinals on Saturday pit Blaine against eighth-seeded Osseo and fourth-seeded Champlin Park against fifth-seeded Anoka.

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com.
 


Section 4AA boys hockey playoffs
Seeds, records in parentheses
Quarterfinals, Saturday at Aldrich Arena

Game 1 - St. Paul Como Park (8, 10-14) vs. Hill-Murray (1, 22-2-1), 11 a.m.
Game 2 - North St. Paul (7, 10-14-1) vs. White Bear Lake (2, 15-9-1), 1 p.m.
Game 3 - Roseville (6, 11-12-2) vs. Tartan (3, 20-4-1), 5 p.m.
Game 4 - Mounds View (5, 13-9-3) vs. Stillwater (4, 9-14-2), 7 p.m.

Semifinals, Feb. 26 at State Fair Coliseum
Game 5 - Game 1 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 6 p.m.
Game 6 - Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner, 8 p.m.

Championship game, March 1, 8:30 p.m. at State Fair Coliseum
Game 7 - Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner

Section 5AA boys hockey playoffs
Seeds, records in parentheses
Quarterfinals, Saturday at Champlin Ice Forum

Game 1 - Osseo (8, 3-18-3) vs. Blaine (1, 19-5-1), 12 p.m.
Game 2 - Anoka (5, 5-19-1) vs. Champlin Park (4, 8-13-4), 2 p.m.
Game 3 - Coon Rapids (7, 4-17-4) vs. Centennial (2, 19-4-2), 6 p.m.
Game 4 - Irondale (6, 10-4-1) vs. Maple Grove (3, 14-11), 8 p.m.

Semifinals, Feb. 27 at State Fair Coliseum
Game 5 - Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 6 p.m.
Game 6 - Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 8 p.m.

Championship game, March 1, 6 p.m. at State Fair Coliseum
Game 7 - Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner

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