Section 3AA girls hockey playoffs begin tonight

The Section 3AA girls hockey playoffs begin Monday with a play-in game between Rosemount and Woodbury at 7 p.m. at Rosemount Community Center.

Rosemount (7-17-1) is the eighth seed and Woodbury (6-17-2) is seeded ninth. The winner will face No. 1 seed Eagan (15-9-1) in a quarterfinal game at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Eagan Civic Arena.

In other quarterfinal games Wednesday, No. 2 seed Apple Valley (15-10) plays host to Park of Cottage Grove (8-16-1) at 7 p.m., third seed Burnsville (14-9-2) plays sixth seed Eastview (9-14-2) at 7 p.m. at Burnsville Ice Center, and fourth-seeded Hastings (12-8-5) plays host to fifth-seeded East Ridge (10-13-2) at 7:30 p.m.

The Eagan-Rosemount-Woodbury winner plays Hastings or East Ridge in the semifinals at 5 p.m. Saturday at Veterans Memorial Community Center in Inver Grove Heights. The Burnsville-Eastview winner plays the Apple Valley-Park winner in the other semifinal at 7 p.m. Saturday, also at VMCC.

The Inver Grove Heights rink also will be the site of the section championship game at 7 p.m. Feb. 13.

Eagan is defending section champion. The Wildcats defeated Apple Valley 2-1 in last year’s title game.

Eagan also leads Section 3AA teams in number of state tournament appearances with seven. Burnsville has been to state five times, most recently in 2010. Apple Valley has been to state three times and won the championship during the single-class era in 1995 and 1998. Rosemount qualified for the 2011 state tourney.

Eastview, Hastings, East Ridge and Woodbury are trying to reach the state tournament for the first time.

Mike Shaughnessy is at mike.shaughnessy@ecm-inc.com or facebook.com/sunthisweek.

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