Section hockey madness

Girls’ hockey playoffs begin this week, culminating in the state tournament Feb. 19-22 at Xcel Energy Center. Here are some teams and sections to track.

Class 2A

Section 2 features Eden Prairie, ranked third in the most recent Let’s Play Hockey poll, and No. 6 Minnetonka. Despite a lower ranking, the Skippers received the top seed as they defend their section crown. Minnetonka defeated the Eagles 3-1 in last season’s section final.

Section 6 once again rules as the toughest, and not only because the top three seeds — Edina, Blake and Wayzata — are rated in the top 10. This section has produced the eventual state champion the past three seasons: Edina.

Section 7 is led by No. 1 Andover, which defeated Edina in the season opener, and features No. 8 Forest Lake and No. 9 North Wright County.

Class 1A

No. 1 Breck, the class of Section 5, and No. 2 Warroad, atop Sections 8, are favored to meet for a third consecutive time in the small-school state championship game.

David La Vaque