Girls hockey season coming to a close

The Roseville Area High School girls hockey team has two games left to use to prepare for the post-season, where the Raiders will attempt to defend their state championship.

Roseville closes out the regular season with a pair of games this week, starting Wednesday with a home game against Mounds View. The Raiders' final game is Saturday against Suburban East Conference-leading White Bear Lake.

It appears fifth-ranked Roseville is battling with ninth-ranked Stillwater for the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Section 4AA playoffs. Fourth-ranked White Bear Lake is in position to secure the No. 1 seed by virtue of regular-season wins over both Roseville and Stillwater.

Roseville trails White Bear by three points in the conference standings and needs help in order to repeat at Suburban East champs. The Raiders must beat Mounds View on Wednesday and have Stillwater beat White Bear Lake on Tuesday to have a shot at catching the Bears on Saturday.

White Bear Lake needs one point in its final two games to assure itself of at least a tie for the conference title and two points would give the Bears the championship outright.

Roseville saw its seven-game win streak snapped last Saturday in a 1-0 loss to Stillwater, which split the season series with the Raiders. If Roseville can hold off the Ponies in the conference standings, it should get the nod as the higher seed.

After White Bear Lake, Roseville and Stillwater, the only other team in the section that appears capable of contending is Hill-Murray. The 10th-ranked Pioneers have a similar overall record as Stillwater and will probably be the fourth seed.

The rest of Section 4AA consists of Cretin-Derham Hall, Tartan, the St. Paul Blades, North St. Paul and the Minneapolis Novas. Cretin has been known to spring an upset in the past but it went 0-6 against White Bear Lake, Roseville and Stillwater this season and lost those six games by a combined score of 26-6.

The Section 4AA playoffs begin Feb. 9 with the play-in game between the eight and nine seeds. The quarterfinals are Feb. 11-12 at Roseville Arena and St. Croix Valley Arena. The semifinals and finals, both held at Aldrich Arena, are Feb. 15 and 18, respectively.

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com.

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