After examining the eight Class AA sections, here's a look at the eight Class A sections.
This season, there's plenty of outstanding girls high school hockey in northwestern Minnesota as the top two Class A teams are in Section 8. The top ranked and top seeded Thief River Falls Prowlers have lost only one game this season and have a great shot at ending the Warroad Warriors six year section dominance. Their biggest challenge is the second seeded East Grand Forks Green Wave. The Green Wave lost to the Prowlers twice in the regular season and could set the stage for battle number three. And Warroad? The third seeded Warriors got off to a 1-3 start and went 13-6 since then. Four of their nine losses have been to Thief River Falls and East Grand Forks. Can they make it seven straight trips to St. Paul? It's a tough road ahead.
Another super section to watch is Section 5. The defending Class A champion Blake Bears are the top seed. They have played a difficult non conference schedule against teams such as Benilde-St. Margaret's, South St. Paul and Minnetonka and they have the talent to return to St. Paul. Here's a shocker. The Breck Mustangs, with a sub .500 record are seeded second. Like their Tri-Metro rivals Blake, they have also played against tough opposition and had a six game losing streak. Can they regain the momentum that's made them a section powerhouse the last few years? Looking for a section final berth are the third seeded Orono Spartans and the fourth seeded Mound-Westonka Whitehawks. Take your pick. It's a toughie.
ALSO WORTH WATCHING
Looking at the Section 4, bracket, the number one seed belongs to the news kids on the block, the Acheiver Academy Aces. The school, based in the Vadnais Heights Sports center is in their first season of varsity action and they have won 10 of their last 11 games. Do they have the right stuff to defeat the second seeded South St. Paul Packers and hang tough en route to their first trip to state?
THE REST OF THE FIELD
In Section 1, the top seeded Red Wing Wingers are led by Ms. Hockey candidate Nicole Schammel. They have lost only one game since the calendar changed to 2014 and look like a top contender. They will have to get by the second seeded New Prague Trojans.
There's only one team in Section 2 with a winning record and it's top seeded Mankato East/Loyola. Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato is seeded second. Anything can happen in this section regardless of record.
In Section 3, The New Ulm Eagles have won five consecutive section titles. But this year, they could run into a team that may end their run in the second seeded Luverne Cardinals. They have a high powered offense and won nine games in a row. Can the town at the confluence of Minnesota, South Dakota and Iowa show enough confidence to earn their first trip to the X?
As for Sections 6 & 7, the pairing have not yet been released. The team to watch for in 6 is the Alexandria Cardinals, the only section team above .500. Proctor/Hermantown and Moose Lake Area could be the top two seeds in Section 7.
The Road to St. Paul is paved with drama, excitement and possibilities. Let section play get underway.