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Class 2A boys' hockey state quarterfinal preview: Lakeville North vs. Hill-Murray

03/04/2015, 11:47pm CST
By Star Tribune

Lakeville North (No. 1, 28-0) vs. Hill-Murray (21-7), 6 p.m. Thursday

QUARTERFINALS Lakeville North (No. 1, 28-0) vs. Hill-Murray (21-7), 6 p.m. Thursday

Scouting Lakeville North: So far it has been the Panthers’ year. Six future Division  I players, led by linemates and brothers Nick, Jack and Ryan Poehling, have played to their potential. Jack broke the school record for goals (34) and points (69) in a season, just ahead of Nick (32-63). Nick Poehling tallied a hat trick when the Panthers won 4-3 at Hill-Murray on Dec. 23. Goaltender Ryan Edquist has a .940 save percentage. A pair of Jacks on the blue line, McNeely and Sadek, have anchored the defense. “The kids have created a résumé they are comfortable with,” coach Trent Eigner said. “They found a formula that works for them.”

Scouting Hill-Murray: Tyler Nowak’s rebound goal against Stillwater in the Section 4 final was a sign of the Pioneers’ growth this season. Instructed to follow his shot and capitalize on second chances, Nowak proved his coaches might just know what they are talking about. Traditionally loaded with scorers, Hill-Murray ranks sixth among teams in the field in goals (111). But the Pioneers are a proud, tradition-rich program — and a bit surly after drawing Lakeville North in the quarterfinals. “We’ve already heard, ‘Hill-Murray is done,’ ” Hill-Murray coach Bill Lechner said. “OK, then we are.”

Worth knowing: Lakeville North is aiming for the first perfect season by a big-class team since Bloomington Jefferson went 28-0 in 1993.

DAVID LA VAQUE

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