Owatonna Gets Fifth Seed, Will Return to Northfield
Going into Thursday's Big Nine title showdown game, coaches for Owatonna and Northfield figured the teams would likely meet in the first round of the playoffs. The belief was the winner of that game would get to host the rematch in the section tournament. However, in a close vote at the seeding meeting, the Raiders earned the fourth seed and will host the Huskies Wednesday, February 5 in the Section 1AA quarterfinals.
Owatonna won Thursday's game 2-1 in overtime to capture a share of the conference title with Northfield. The Raiders won the earlier season game 4-0 and had better success against common opponents, which might have swung the vote Northfield's way.
The Raiders lost to Lakeville South 3-1 while the Huskies lost 5-1. Northfield took Dodge County to overtime before falling 3-2 while OHS dropped a 3-0 game to the Wildcats.
Northfield also had a stronger non-conference schedule, beating ranked teams Mound-Westonka and Simley and losing close games to ranked teams Warroad, Mahtomedi, and St. Paul United. Owatonna lost to Rogers, who is ranked.
The Raiders beat the Huskies in the postseason in back-to-back seasons when the teams played in Section 1A. This Wednesday's game can be heard on AM 1390 KRFO and the free KRFO app.
Lakeville South has the top seed after splitting games with second-seed Farmington. The Cougars are on a six-game winning streak and have won seven of their last eight. The Tigers are 4-5 over their last nine games.
Dodge County is just 13-11-1 on the season, and has a lower QRF ranking than Owatonna or Northfield. The Wildcats earned the three-seed by sweeping the Huskies and Raiders, and playing an extremely challenging schedule. Dodge County had close losses to ranked teams Mound-Westonka, Duluth Marshall, and Hutchinson. They played Warroad twice and lost games to Proctor/Hermantown, and Benidle-St. Margaret's.
The Rochester teams have struggled this season and occupy the last three spots in the section rankings.
Section 1AA girls hockey schedule (all games 7 pm unless noted otherwise)
Wednesday, February 5
No. 5 Owatonna (17-6-1) at No. 4 Northfield (15-9), AM 1390 KRFO
No. 8 Century (2-20) at No. 1 Lakeville South (19-5-1)
No. 6 John Marshall (7-18) at No. 3 Dodge County (13-11-1)
No. 7 Mayo (4-17-1) at No. 2 Farmington (15-10)
Saturday, February 8, semifinals at high seed
Thursday, February 13, championship at Four Seasons, Owatonna, 5 pm