Lakeville South's Cade Ahrenholz (center) celebrated his game-winning overtime goal in the Class 2A, Section 1 championship. Jack Novak (14) assisted on the goal. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
Hastings took the punches for almost three periods, but in the end the attack from top-seeded Lakeville South was simply too much for the third-seeded Raiders in the Class 2A, Section 1 boys' hockey championship Thursday night at the Rochester Recreation Center.
Cade Ahrenholz's goal just over two minutes into overtime capped a 3-2 Lakeville South victory, ending the Raiders' quest for their first state tournament berth since 2001, and sending the Cougars to the state tournament for the third time in four seasons.
"We knew (the goals) would come," Ahrenholz said. "We just had to get that first one, and then they would come."
Lakeville South (21-7-0) averaged 4.5 goals per game this season and scored 14 in its first two section tournament games. But the Cougars didn't score for the game's first 44 minutes despite outshooting Hastings 43-17 and having four power play opportunities in that time.
Tanner Ludtke (4) and the Cougars found the going tough around the net for most of the game. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
Cade Ahrenholz's power-play goal two minutes, 13 seconds into overtime lifted Lakeville South to a 3-2 victory over Hastings and to its second consecutive Class 2A, Section 1 boys' hockey championship.
Hastings had kept the high-scoring Cougars off the board until mid-way through the third-period despite being outshot 43-17.
Lakeville South scored on 50 percent of its power play opportunities during the season but the Raiders shut the Cougars down on the first four attempts in building a 2-0 lead.
South finally broke through Hastings' defensive wall at 6:23 of the third period. After failing to score on its first four power-play attempts, Lakeville South got on the board on its fifth try. Jack Malinsky scored with 78 seconds left on an interference penalty on the Raiders' Leo Otto.
The Cougars tied the game seven minutes later when Cam Boche scored.
South dominated the puck for the game's first three minutes, keeping it in Hastings' end and outshooting the Raiders 5-0. But when Hastings finally got its chances, the Raiders made Lakeville South pay.
Sophomore forward Jake Harris came up with a puck in the Hastings zone and took off a step ahead of the Cougars' defense. His shot bounced off goalie Cody Ticen's stick but Wise was free on the right side to collect the rebound and poke the puck over Ticen's outstretched leg for a 1-0 Raiders lead at 6:21. That goal equaled the number of goals Lakeville South had allowed in each of the first two tournament games and it was the first time South trailed in the postseason.
With just under two minutes to play in the opening period, Jack Klimek took advantage of another Lakeville South turnover in the Hastings zone and pushed the puck up the ice. His pass to the left sailed past Freiermuth, but the Hastings senior caught up with the puck, carried it behind the Cougars’ goal and tapped it past Ticen from the right side. It was Freiermuth's fourth postseason goal.
The Cougars regained control in the second period, outshooting Hastings 20-2, but failed to score. Hastings killed off three penalties, including 19 seconds of five-on-three, to keep Lakeville South off the board.
Hastings senior Chase Freiermuth (11) went high to celebrate his first-period goal that gave the Raiders a 2-0 lead. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
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