Lakeville South forward Cade Ahrenholz (19) scored one of his third-period goals on Wayzata goaltender Will Ingemann. Photo: LEILA NAVIDI • email@example.com
For a good 10 seconds Friday, Cade Ahrenholz stopped playing hockey and instead tried his hand at whack-a-mole.
With an open net in front of him and the puck at his skates, the Lakeville South senior took dead aim with his stick. Whack. Whack. Whack.
Ahrenholz finally smacked the puck on that third try, only to have Wayzata goaltender Will Ingemann stretch his left leg in front of the shot. But the rebound popped straight back to Ahrenholz, who with one more mighty swipe lifted the puck into an open net.
The goal ignited the No. 3-seeded Cougars and their previously dormant top line to a four-goal third period explosion. The outburst triggerd a 5-3 come-from-behind triumph over unseeded Wayzata (14-6-2) on Friday in a Class 2A semifinal at Xcel Energy Center.
“I did take a couple of whacks at it, before I finally got it over the goalie,” Ahrenholz said. “Once that one went in you saw our bench, it erupted. We knew that was our game to win.”
Senior forward Cade Ahrenholz scored twice in the third period as No. 3 seed Lakeville South rallied to defeat unseeded Wayzata 5-3 in a Class 2A semifinal Friday at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Ahrenholz tied it at 2-2 with 10:36 left in the third period before putting the Cougars (20-0-2) ahead 3-2 with 5:16 left when he calmly scored from the high slot. The lead was Lakeville South’s first of the game.
Lakeville South is trying to become the first undefeated state champion since Lakeville North went 31-0 in 2015.
On his first goal, Ahrenholz, who has committed to Colorado College, took three whacks at a loose puck in the crease before finally connecting with it, only to have Wayzata goaltender Will Ingemann block the shot with his left leg pad. Ahrenholz, on try No. 4, then popped the puck high over Ingemann.
Cam Boche scored with 4:29 left to put the Cougars ahead 4-2.
Wayzata pulled Ingemann in favor of an extra skater in the closing minutes, and Dylan Lewis’ second goal of the game pulled the Trojans to within 4-3 with 1:21 left.
Boche’s empty-net goal with 24.4 remaining clinched the victory.
Near the end of the second period the Trojans (14-6-2) appeared to be headed to the locker room with a 2-0 lead after an errant breakout pass by the Cougars led to a goal by Lewis with 1:42 left. Lewis was alone in front of the the Lakeville South goal when the puck deflected to him. He had plenty of time to find an opening past Cougars goaltender Cody Ticen’s blocking glove.
But with 8.7 seconds left in the period, sophomore Ashton Dahms energized Lakeville South with a rebound goal to make it 2-1.
Lakeville South’s top line of seniors Boche and Ahrenholz and sophomore Tanner Ludtke had a flurry of chances late in the second, with Ingemann stopping a point-blank try by Ludtke and a close-range shot by Ahrenholz.
Wayzata senior Hayden Davison’s spin-o-rama shot off a Lakeville South defender’s skate opened the scoring just 25 seconds into the first period.
The play was mostly even for the rest of the first, as indicated by Wayzata’s 11-10 advantage in shots on goal.
Ingemann finished with 28 saves while Ticen had 25.
Check back later for more on the game.