A week of practice followed by a season-ending trek to Medford made for a rather subdued week for the Northland Pines girls hockey team.

With the WIAA seeding meeting that took place this past Sunday, a few changes to the postseason bracket came Monday after the Lakeland-Tomahawk-Mercer co-op was forced to forfeit their first-round playoff game following a ruling from the WIAA that spanned from an incident in Saturday’s 1-0 win over the Black River Falls Co-op.

T-Birds sophomore Isabelle Boyer was whistled for a 5-minute major penalty, and due to the circumstances of the offense was also given a game misconduct. It was the third such penalty of the season for the Lakeland team which according to WIAA rule disqualifies them from postseason play.

With that fact in hand as they went to Sunday’s seeding meeting in D.C. Everest, knowing they would be unable to take part in the postseason, the Lakeland team was still awarded the No. 3 overall seed in the seven-team bracket, which earned them a home rematch with conference rival Northern Edge in the first round.

Because of the disqualification Monday, hopes were that each team would move up a seed giving Pines a home game in the first round.

Instead, the WIAA awarded the Rhinelander-Antigo squad, the No. 6 seed, an opening-round win by forfeit, pitting them in round two against the winner of No. 7-seeded Medford and Marshfield Co-Op.

Pines will hit the road to face the Black River Falls Co-op in the opening round set for Thursday, Feb. 14, with the winner of that game set to take on the No. 1-seeded Central Wisconsin Storm in the Sectional semifinals, Feb. 19.

“It’s unfortunate the way things played out in the seeding meeting,” said Pines head coach Patrick Schmidt. “We had appealed the seeding and thought that as conference champions and having beat Lakeland two of the three times we’d played them that we should have been seeded higher. It just didn’t work out that way.”

As of noon Monday the WIAA?still hadn’t ruled on the bracket, and Schmidt was hopeful with Lakeland forfeiting they would re-seed the bracket and bump all teams up one seed. 

Pines heads south over three hours to face a team they have not seen this season, with a win earning them a matchup with the Central Wisconsin Storm.

“It is what it is and we can’t really do anything about it,” Schmidt said. “We’re hoping for a home game, but if we don’t get it I guess we just deal with it.”

The Northland Pines squad still is in good spirits hoping for an important win in Medford that will secure the out-right Great Northern Conference championship for the Lady Eagles.