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It's South to St. Paul

By Ryan Brodd, MN Hockey Hub staff, 03/01/12, 8:20AM CST

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Senior Justin Kloos helps write new ending for Section 1AA's 'Battle of Lakeville'

Two teams from Lakeville were once again playing in Rochester for the right to reach the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
 
If that sounds confusing, the outcome of the third consecutive Section 1AA championship game between Lakeville South and Lakeville North was never in doubt.
 
This time the matchup went south, as in Lakeville South's 7-1 victory over two-time defending champion Lakeville North in title game on Thursday, March 1, at the Rochester Recreation Center. 
 
"I know how it feels to be on the other side," said Lakeville South senior forward Justin Kloos, who watched in agony as intracity rival North celebrated winning the section title each of the previous two years.
 
Kloos and the Cougars were determined that this year was going to have a different outcome, and they jumped out to a 2-0 after the first period and never looked back.  
 
"This is why you play competitive sports," said Kloos who led the Cougars with a goal and three assists. 
 
Lakeville South showed its strength in both the offensive and defensive zones with quick and accurate puck movement. 
 
The power-play unit will undoubtedly catch the eye of fans during the state Class 2A tournament next week. 
 
Playing its intracity rival in a section title game always heightens the intensity, but Lakeville South was able to focus and "separate emotions from the job at hand," Cougars coach Kurt Weber said. “My senior captains have been in the position three times before, and it was great to see them lead this team tonight.”

Statistics, Summary

1. Justin Kloos, Lakeville South
The senior Mr. Hockey finalist and state scoring leader with 99 points notched a goal and added three assists. He was dominant at both ends of the rink, showcasing his ability to make precise passes and utilize open space. 

Kloos' longtime linemate, Harvey also scored a goal and notched three assists. Harvey's speed entering the offensive zone was outstanding, allowing for his teammates to take advantage of the open ice he created by attracting opposing defenders.  
 
A senior defenseman, Heller registered three assists and was dominant in his own zone thanks to his gap control and near-perfect positioning.

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Micah Miller leaps to the fans after scoring the game winner.

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Moorhead's Jack Stetz (21) throws his arms up as he and his teammates celebrated the win. ] ANTHONY SOUFFLE • anthony.souffle@startribune.com