The Willmar boys hockey team wound up with the ninth seed in the Section 3A playoffs, but it was close.

The Cardinals are seeded one spot behind Fairmont. Both teams wound up with 53 ranking points, as determined by the section’s coaches.

Fairmont and Willmar did not play during the regular season. Head-to-head competition is the first criteria.

The second criteria is the ranking that the tied schools gave each other. Those numbers are dropped. After that, the totals are re-calculated.

Fairmont won the tiebreaker (44-45) and got the higher seed.

Willmar plays at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18 at Fairmont in the first round.

Meanwhile, Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato earned the second seed.

The seeds were: No. 1 Hutchinson (16-8-1, 7 seeding points); No. 2 Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato (10-14-1, 15); No. 3 New Ulm (17-6-1, 18); No. 4 Marshall (16-8, 26); No. 5 Luverne (15-9, 32); No. 6 Windom (8-14-1, 39); No. 7 Worthington (4-19, 46); No. 8 Fairmont (5-19, 53); No. 9 Willmar (2-22-1, 53) and No. 10 Redwood Valley (3-21, 63).

Also playing a first-round game are Worthington and Redwood Valley. Redwood Valley plays at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18 at Worthington.

The Fairmont/Willmar winner plays at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20 at Hutchinson in the quarterfinals.

The Worthington/Redwood Valley winner plays at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20 at Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato.

Also at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, No. 5 Luverne is at No. 4 Marshall and No. 6 Windom is at No. 3 New Ulm.

The semifinals are 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22 at Lund Arena in St. Peter. The section final is 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26 at Lund Arena.

The state tournament is March 4-7 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Card earns honor

Willmar’s Tayva Carruthers was named the Central Lakes Conference Performer of the Week in gymnastics.

Carruthers took first on the balance beam with a score of 9.45, eight on the floor and seventh in all-around scoring (35.7525) at the CLC championships last Saturday in Willmar.

ACGC athletes honored

Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City had two athletes named West Central Conference Performers of the Week.

Boys basketball player Braeden Pickle and wrestler Jaxon Behm each were given the weekly honor.