The 2015 playoff and tournament season is here, as the boys hockey section playoffs start this week. Several Twin Ports area teams find themselves in the top of the latest state rankings, with hopes to make it to the Xcel Energy Center the first week of March. Here is how things look for each of the area teams in their respective section brackets.

Section 5A

Among the 10 teams from Section 5A competing for a chance to head to State, Proctor and Moose Lake Area are the nearby teams of which to be aware.

Proctor is seeded 7th in the section, and will play 10 seed North Branch Tuesday night at 7:00 pm at the Proctor Arena in Proctor. The winner of this game will go on to face 2 seed Chisago Lakes on Thursday night (2/19) in Lindstrom.

Moose Lake Area plays this year as the 9 seed in the section playoffs, facing 8 seed Pine City/Rush City tonight at 7:00 pm at the Pine City Civic Center in Pine City. The winner of tonight's match will head to Blaine on Thursday night (2/19) to take on section top seed Spring Lake Park.

Section 7A

Home to multiple state-ranked heavyweights, the winner of this section will look to make a lot of noise at the Xcel Energy Center at the beginning of March. The latest rankings from the MN Hockey Hub have Hermantown ranked first overall in Class A, with Duluth Marshall following at 6 and Duluth Denfeld close behind at 8.

Holding the top seeding in the section playoffs, Hermantown awaits the winner of tonight's (2/17) game between #8 Virginia/Mountain Iron-Buhl and #9 International Falls. The winner of that match will come to Hermantown to take on the Hawks Thursday night (2/19) at 7:30 pm at Hermantown Arena.

Duluth Marshall holds the #2 section seed, and will host the winner of tonight's (2/17) game between #7 North Shore and #10 Ely on Thursday night (2/19) at MARS Lakeview Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 in this game.

Duluth Denfeld rounds out the top three in the section, and will host #6 Eveleth on Thursday night (2/19) at 7:30 at the Heritage Sports Center in Duluth.

Section 7AA

Three area teams will be contending to represent Section 7AA in St. Paul. Grand Rapids, Duluth East, and Cloquet-Esko-Carlton are all seeded in the top half of the section playoff bracket.

#2 seed Grand Rapids will host #7 Forest Lake tonight (2/17) at 7:00 pm at the IRA Civic Center in Grand Rapids. The winner of this match will be heading to Amsoil Arena in Duluth to take on the winner of the next game.

Duluth East, holding the #3 section seed, will host #6 Andover at the Heritage Sports Center in Duluth tonight (2/17) at 7:00 pm. The Hounds will look to rally after a soft end to the regular season to attempt to make a 7th straight appearance at the state tournament.

Cloquet-Esko-Carlton heads to Albertville tonight (2/17) to take on #4 seeded St. Michael-Albertville. The winner of this game will face either top seeded Elk River or St. Francis on Saturday (2/21) at noon at Amsoil Arena in Duluth.

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