PLATTSBURGH — The battle for the Section VII Division II boys’ hockey championship begins tonight.
Third-seeded Plattsburgh High (10-10-0, 5-5-0), who solidified home-ice advantage with a 3-2 overtime defeat of Lake Placid Saturday, plays host to No. 6 Saranac (3-13-1, 0-9-1) at 7 p.m. The Hornets won each of the two regular-season matchups 8-2 Jan. 8 and 4-1 Thursday.
Northeastern Clinton (8-7-1, 4-5-1), seeded fourth in the six-team playoff, will welcome No. 5 Saranac Lake (6-11-1, 3-7) to the Rouses Point Civic Center for the second consecutive day at 6:30 p.m.
The two teams split during the regular season. The Red Storm won 3-1 Jan. 15 before the Cougars upended Saranac Lake in overtime 2-1 Monday.
By virtue of winning nine of 10 Champlain Valley Athletic Conference contests, Lake Placid (17-3-0, 9-1-0) received a No. 1 seed, a first-round bye and a home game in the semifinal round.
The Blue Bombers, who are ranked No. 6 in the most recent New York State Sportswriters Association poll, won’t play the lowest remaining seed until 6 p.m. Thursday.
Beekmantown (15-4-1, 8-2-0) finished on Lake Placid’s tail, just two points back in the final CVAC standings, to grab the second seed. The Eagles, ranked No. 9 in the state, will wait until 7 p.m. Thursday to begin its second season against the highest remaining seed at their home rink.
This year’s sectional final will be held at the Stafford Ice Arena at 8 p.m. Feb. 25.
Beekmantown claimed the 2013 Section VII Division II crown in a 4-3 defeat of Plattsburgh High at the Stafford Ice Arena Feb. 27, 2013.
The Eagles reached the state semifinals at the Utica Memorial Auditorium where they fell to Christian Brothers Academy/Jamesville-DeWitt in overtime, 4-3.
The Section VII representative will face the Section I representative in the regional round at the Brewster Ice Arena in Brewster at 3:15 p.m. March 1.
The victor will challenge the Section III or Section VI representative in the state semifinals at the Utica Memorial Auditorium at 3:15 p.m. March 8. The state championship is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. March 9.
Section VII Hockey Tournament Quarterfinals
Tuesday, February, 18
(5) Saranac Lake at (4) Northeastern Clinton, 6:30 p.m.
(6) Saranac at (3) Plattsburgh High, 7 p.m.
Thursday, February 20
Lowest Remaining Seed at (1) Lake Placid, 6 p.m.
Highest Remaining Seed at (2) Beekmantown, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, February 25
Semifinal winners at Stafford Ice Arena, 8 p.m.