No. 2-ranked Lakeville North, which had 19-game unbeaten streak snapped in a 1-0 loss to Prior Lake in its regular season finale, is the top seed and overwhelming favorite to reach the state Class 1A tournament for a second straight year. Farmington, in the midst of one of the best seasons in the program's history, finished the regular season witha 21-3-1 record and nabbed the No. 2 seed. Lakeville South is the No. 3 seed and Rochester Mayo is the No. 4. Lakeville South and Lakeville North have met in each of the last four section title games.
No. 6-ranked New Prague, by virtue of its regular season victory over Mankato West, is the section's top seed ahead of the No. 2-seeded Scarlets (23-2-0), ranked No. 7. New Prague (18-4-3) beat Mankato West 2-1 on Jan. 4 in Mankato. Rochester Lourdes, the section's five-team defending champion is the No. 3 seed, and Albert Lea rounds out the top four.
Totino-Grace, ranked No. 8 in Class 1A, is the top seed, just ahead of No. 9 Mahtomedi in what figures to be a highly competitive section. Mahtomedi beat Totino-Grace 4-3 on Dec. 10 in the teams' lone regular season meeting. No. 3 seed St. Paul Academy also lurks as a possible state tournament qualifier. South St. Paul got the No. 4 seed.
No. 5-ranked Blaine, hoping to exorcise ghosts of section tournaments past (the last two, anyway), earned the top seed in a vote of the section coaches. The Bengals (20-4-1) enter the playoffs having won their last four games by a combined score of 22-4. After ruling Section 5AA for years, Blaine suffered stunning losses to Maple Grove and Champlin Park in the last two section tournaments. Maple Grove is the No. 2 seed, defending section champion Centennial is the No. 3 and Anoka the No. 4
Hill-Murray and White Bear Lake -- mostly Hill-Murray in recent history -- have ruled this section for years, and the Pioneers and Bears received the No. 1 and 2 seeds again in a vote of the section's eight coaches. Hill-Murray (22-3-0) is ranked No. 3 in the state and squeaked past Suburban East Conference champion White Bear Lake 5-4 in the teams' lone regular season meeting. Stillwater is the No. 3 seed, and Roseville rounds out the top four.
Cretin-Derham Hall received the top seed in, based on regular season results, one of the state's most evenly matched and upredictable sections. The Raiders, who finished second in the Suburban East Conference, edged No. 2 seed Eastview and No. 3 St. Thomas Academy in a vote of the section's coaches. St. Thomas Academy is playing in Class 2A for the first time this season. The Cadets won the state Class 1A title each of the last three seasons. Eagan rounds out the top four seeds and has a tough quarterfinal draw in No. 5 East Ridge.
Breck has reached the state Class 1A tournament in each of coach Les Larson's first five seasons as the Mustangs' coach (winning titles in 2009 and 2010) and are the favorites to make it six straight in a vote of the section's coaches. The No. 4-ranked Mustangs were selected as the top seed, with Orono getting the No. 2 seed, section newcomer Bloomington Kennedy getting the No. 3 seed and Delano rounding out the top four.
No surprises here, or rewriting of history required, as defending state champion Edina earned the No. 1 seed while Burnsville, longtime challenger to the Hornets in the section championship game, is the No. 2 seed in a vote of the section's coaches. Edina and Burnsville have met in the section title game each of the last three years (all Hornets victories). Edina is ranked No. 1 and Burnsville No. 6 in the latest state rankings. The teams split their regular season series, with Burnsville earning a rare victory over the Hornets on Jan. 2 at the Burnsville Ice Center.
Defending section champion Wayzata, which own's a No. 4 state ranking and one of the state's most airtight defenses, was selected as the top seed in a vote of the section's eight coaches. Eden Prairie got the No. 2 seed, and the rest of the lineup had a different look than in previous years with Holy Family Catholic coming in at No. 3, its highest seed ever, while longtime section power Minnetonka getting the No. 6 seed, the lowest it has been seeded in recent history. Benilde-St. Margaret's got the No. 4 seed and Hopkins, having one of its best seasons in several years, was seeded No. 5.
Hermantown, runner-up at the state Class 1A tournament each of the past four years, was selected as the top seed in Section 7A on Saturday morning in a vote of the section's coaches. It's no surprise the Hawks (19-4-2), coming off yet another strong regular season, garnered the top seed. Duluth Marshall got the No. 2 seed, Virginia the No. 3 seed and Duluth Denfeld the No. 4 seed in a group of tightly packed teams that seemingly could have been seeded in any order based on regular season results.
Luverne, the only remaining unbeaten team in Minnesota, is the No. 1 seed in Section 3A. Marshall, the defending section champion, is the No. 5 seed and will play No. 4 Hutchinson in the quarterfinal round. New Ulm sits at No. 3 and Willmar, a newcomer to the section, comes in at No. 2.
Section 5A has a new look this year, as four-time defending section champion Hermantown moved out, as did perennial contenders St. Cloud Cathedral and Rogers. That leaves a new batch of programs fighting for the top seed — and it was Chisago Lakes Area that made the most of it. The Wildcats claimed the top seed by beating its rivals head-to-head, including No. 2 Princeton and No. 3 Spring Lake Park. Chisago Lakes is looking for its first state tournament berth since 1995.
St. Cloud Cathedral was excited to be moved into a more geographically appropriate section this year and the Crusaders celebrated by earning the No. 1 seed in the St. Cloud area-based Section 6A. Coach Eric Johnson's team had been matched up in 5A with Hermantown and Rogers the past few years, but joined its neighborhood rivals in 6A this winter. Alexandria captured the No. 2 seed and defending section champion St. Cloud Apollo took the No. 3 seed.
In the first of the boys' hockey section seeds announced Wednesday, the top-ranked team in Class 1A (East Grand Forks) picked up the top seed in the Section 8A tournament. The Green Wave are riding a 13-game winning streak and have one of the stingiest defenses in the state (1.15 goals per game). East Grand Forks is the defending section champion, but should receive a test from offensive powerhouse Warroad with the state's three leading scorers (Kobe Roth, Kyle Sylvester and Jared Bethune) and perennially strong Thief River Falls, the Nos. 2 and 3 seeds, respectively.
In one of the more jumbled section seedings this year, defending Section 7AA champion Duluth East earned the top seed over a host of qualified programs. The Greyhounds hope to defend their title on the strength of a tough defensive team, anchored by Mr. Hockey finalist Phil Beaulieu. In a tight decision, Elk River earned the No. 2 seed in spite of a late-season stumble and Andover was awarded the No. 3 seed. Grand Rapids, with Mr. Hockey finalist Avery Peterson and Brimsek Award finalist Hunter Shepard in goal, is seeded No. 4
Powered by an impressive top line that includes recent North Dakota commit Zach Yon and playmaker Alex Strand, Roseau garnered the top seed in Section 8AA, while Aaron Herdt and rival Moorhead is the No. 2. Those two programs have represented 8AA at state every year since 1996 and it looks like the title will again run through them. Brainerd, which beat Moorhead just a few weeks back, is the No. 3 and Bemidji the No. 4.