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Panthers open hockey playoffs at Detroit Lakes

As expected, the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley girls hockey team received the No. 5 seed and will open the Section 8A playoffs at No. 4 Detroit Lakes Thursday night (Feb. 8) at 7 p.m.

Detroit Lakes, which defeated the Panthers 2-1 at Park Rapids on Nov. 28 and 4-1 at Detroit Lakes on Dec. 12, will carry a 4-5 record in section play and an 8-17 overall record into this quarterfinal game. Park Rapids is 2-7 against section teams and 3-21 overall. The winner of that game plays No. 1 Warroad (6-0-1 in the section and 19-3-2 overall) in a semifinal game on Feb. 12 at 6 p.m. at Warroad.

In Thursday night's other quarterfinal game, No. 3 East Grand Forks (6-3-1 in the section and 16-8-1 overall) hosts No. 6 Crookston (0-8 in the section and 5-20 overall). The winner of that game plays No. 2 Thief River Falls (7-2 in the section and 17-6-2 overall) Feb. 12 at 8:15 p.m. at Warroad in the other semifinal game.

Warroad will host the section championship game Feb. 15 at 7 p.m.

Section 8A has three teams rated in the top-10 spots in the latest state Class A poll. Warroad is rated No. 1, Thief River Falls is rated No. 5 and East Grand Forks is rated No. 8.

Warroad defeated East Grand Forks 3-2 in last year's section championship game and went on to place third at the state Class A tournament.