Girls hockey: Willmar Cardinals open state against Orono

Feb. 17—ST. PAUL — The Willmar Cardinals kick off the state girls hockey festivities this week.

Fresh off a

5-1 victory in the Section 2A championship

over River Lakes, Willmar faces Orono in the first game of the Class A state tourament. The unseeded Cardinals face off with the second-seeded Spartans at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Willmar enters the state tournament with a 20-7-0 record and a No. 10 ranking in the final Class A state rankings. Orono is ranked second and sports a 20-6-1 record.

Other first-round matchups include:

* Unseeded Fergus Falls (15-11-1) vs. No. 3 Dodge County (21-4-0), 1 p.m.

* Unseeded Luverne (17-10-0) vs. No. 1 Holy Angels (21-3-3), 6 p.m.

* No. 5 Proctor/Hermantown (18-8-2) vs. No. 4 Warroad (19-8-0), 8 p.m.

The state semifinals are at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Friday. The Class A championship is at 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24. Both days take place at the Xcel Energy Center.

The third-place game is at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 24 between the championship semifinal losers at the Xcel Energy Center.

The consolation championship takes place at TRIA Rink in St. Paul. Semifinal games are at noon and 2 p.m. Thursday. The consolation championship is at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 24.