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Boys hockey: Bemidji earns fourth seed in 8-2A and will host Buffalo Tuesday

BEMIDJI -- Following Tuesday’s 2-2 tie with Brainerd, Bemidji boys hockey coach Wade Chiodo thought about how he would seed the Section 8-2A teams. He had to relay his submission to BHS activities director Troy Hendricks by Wednesday morning because Dave Harris of Section 8 needed all of the coaches’ ballots by noon.

About 1:50 p.m. Wednesday Harris had compiled all of the numbers and notified the section coaches of the rankings. And Chiodo was perfect with his assessment.

The Lumberjacks earned the fourth seed and will open their postseason action 7 p.m. Tuesday at home against No. 5 Buffalo. During the regular season the teams met in the opening round of the Denfeld holiday tournament and BHS prevailed 2-1 in overtime.

Roseau was given the top seed and will open against the winner of Saturday’s play-in game between No. 8 River Lakes and No. 9 Becker.

In Tuesday’s lower-bracket quarterfinals, No. 2 Moorhead will entertain No. 7 St. Cloud Tech and No. 3 Brainerd will host No. 6 Monticello.

Tuesday’s winners will battle on Saturday, Feb. 22 at the homes of the higher seeds and the championship game will be Feb. 26 at a neutral site.

“The section seedings came out as I had envisioned,” Chiodo said. “Roseau is definitely the No. 1 seed but I think many teams can win the championship. In the playoffs everything comes down to who has the hot goalie and who has the better special teams. Obviously, you need a little puck luck to do well in the playoffs but the winning team usually is the one with the hot goalie and the successful special teams.”

The Lumberjacks (10-12-2) will close their regular season 5:15 p.m. Friday at home against Thief River Falls.

“The playoffs start on Tuesday but we have to deal with first things first and the first thing on our list is Friday’s game,” Chiodo said. “We have to play well Friday to keep our momentum going for the playoffs. On Friday we want to play with intensity and roll that intensity into the section tournament.

“During the last couple of weeks, with the exception of the 6-0 loss at Roseau, we have competed very hard,” the coach continued. “We have been in all of our games and we deserve to have a home playoff game. I’m excited to be home on Tuesday to begin the playoffs and I know the kids are excited.”

Section 8-2A Boys Hockey

Saturday’s Play-In Game

Game 1: No. 9 Becker (13-10) at No. 8 River Lakes (8-16)

Tuesday’s Quarterfinals

Game 2: Game 1 winner at No. 1 Roseau (16-7-1), 7 p.m.

Game 3: No. 5 Buffalo (14-7-2) at No. 4 Bemidji (10-12-2)

Game 4: No. 7 St. Cloud Tech (11-12) at No. 2 Moorhead (11-10-1)

Gae 5: No. 6 Monticello (14-11) at No. 3 Brainerd (14-7-2)

Semifinals, Feb. 22

Game 6: Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner, 7 p.m. at high seed

Game 7: Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7 p.m. at high seed

Championship, Feb. 26

Game 8: Game 6 winner vs. Game 7 winner, 7 p.m. at neutral site

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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