Girls hockey playoffs have arrived

The high school girls hockey regular season has reached it conclusion. For Hill-Murray and North/Tartan, the next step is the Section 4AA quarterfinals.

Hill-Murray, the two-time defending state champion, is gunning for its fourth consecutive trip to the state tournament. The Pioneers, who entered the final two games of the regular season without a loss, have been ranked No. 1 the entire season and is the overwhelming favorite to capture Section 4AA once again.

The Pioneers wrapped up the Metro East Conference championship with a 4-0 victory over North/Tartan on Jan. 26. Kate Smith scored the only goal Hill-Murray would need 4:51 into the second period and later added an assist for a two-point game. Jac Kaasa, Lindsey Featherstone and Kenzie Prater also scored for the Pioneers, who fired 58 shots on goal.

Mari Johnson made 10 saves to record the victory and the shut out.

North/Tartan, which is in its first year as a new co-op, could enter the post-season with the third-most wins of any team in the section but is likely to fall to fifth or sixth in the seedings.

Following a victory over South St. Paul on Jan. 12, North/Tartan was 14-5 but struggled down the stretch. North/Tartan was 0-4-1 in its five games prior to the season finale against Henry Sibley on Jan. 29. Results of the Sibley game were not available for this edition of the Review.

The Section 4AA playoffs begin Feb. 5 with two quarterfinals at Roseville Arena and continue Feb. 6 with the other two quarterfinals at the St. Croix Valley Rec Center. The section semifinals are Feb. 9 at Aldrich Arena and the section title will be decided Feb. 11 at Roseville Arena.

The seeds for the Section 4AA were released on Jan. 31, past the deadline for this edition of the Review.

Brian Meyers can be reached at or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

Metro East Conference girls hockey standings (Through Jan. 28)
  Conf. Overall Points
Hill-Murray 9-0 22-0-1 18
North/Tartan 6-2-1 14-9-1 13
Hastings 5-2-1 14-6-3 11
Mahtomedi 4-7 12-12 8
South St. Paul 3-5-1 9-12-2 7
Simley 2-6-1 5-16-1 5
Henry Sibley 0-7 5-18 0



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