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Mustangs seeded second, Knights eighth in 4AA girls hockey playoffs
With the calendar changing over to February, the focus for the Bulletin-area high school girls hockey teams has also changed. The regular season wrapped up last week so now Mounds View and Irondale/St. Anthony are gearing up for the post-season.
The Section 4AA seeds were compiled last weekend and the first round is Feb. 11. Mounds View landed the No. 2 seed and Irondale is seeded eighth.
Mounds View owns the second-best overall record in the section and appears headed toward a semifinal match-up against a longtime rival.
The Mustangs lost two of their final three games of the regular season. The Mustangs fell to Forest Lake and Cretin-Derham Hall in overtime and beat Park-Cottage Grove in between..
The losses to Forest Lake and Cretin-Derham Hall weren’t that bad considering those two teams finished 1-2 in the Suburban East Conference standings.
Seventh-seeded Woodbury awaits Mounds View in the section quarterfinals. The Royals won only four games all season and captured only one victory in Suburban East Conference play.
Mounds View beat Woodbury 2-1 on Dec. 3 and 9-2 on Jan. 14 during the regular season.
The Mounds View/Woodbury winner advances to the semifinals on Feb. 14 against either sixth-seeded North/Tartan or third-seeded White Bear Lake. The Mustangs beat North/Tartan in the first round and White Bear Lake in the semifinals of last season’s section tournament.
Mounds View and White Bear Lake are longtime Suburban East Conference rivals and usually play close, high-emotion games against each other. This season, the Mustangs won 1-0 in overtime on Dec. 15 and 4-2 on Jan. 21.
The Knights finished the regular season with three more victories and six fewer losses than Woodbury but ended up seeded behind the Royals. Irondale’s schedule includes a number of games against Class A teams so some of those wins don’t carry as much weight with the section coaches when it comes time to vote on the seeds.
Irondale ended up as the No. 8 seed and faces four-time defending section champion Hill-Murray in the quarterfinals on Feb. 11. The Pioneers are one of only three Class AA teams with 20 regular-season victories this season.
The Knights closed out the regular season with a 6-0 loss to Maple Grove on Feb. 2. Their best stretch of games came in mid-January when they beat Totino-Grace, tied North Metro and beat Armstrong/Cooper.
Irondale also went 3-1 during a stretch of four games in the first half of the season. The Knights blanked Anoka 4-0, edged St. Paul 6-5 and beat North Metro 8-2. Wedged in there was also a 9-2 loss to Elk River.
The Hill-Murray/Irondale winner moves on to the semifinals on Feb. 14 against either fourth-seeded Stillwater or fifth-seeded Roseville.
The Section 4AA championship game is Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. All games in the Section 4AA playoffs take place at Aldrich Arena.