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White Bear Lake holds on to defeat Hill-Murray, ends 7-year absence from state tourney

By DAVID LA VAQUE, Star Tribune, 03/01/19, 9:00PM CST


The Bears' 3-2 victory over the Pioneers gave them the Class 2A, Section 4 championship.

White Bear Lake forward Lleyton Roed (9) scored on Hill-Murray goalie Remington Keopple (1) to make it 2-0 in the first period. Photo: Shari L. Gross • shari.gross@startribune.com

On Mondays, members of the White Bear Lake boys’ hockey team wear weighted vests in practice, building their legs and lungs when no one is watching.

On Friday, the Bears showcased their stamina and mental fortitude before an overflow crowd of about 4,000 at Aldrich Arena in the Class 2A, Section 4 finals against rival Hill-Murray.

Skating hard all night, White Bear Lake outlasted the Pioneers in a 3-2 victory and earned its first state tournament appearance since 2011.

“This team is literally a team,” Bears coach Tim Sager said. “There are stars but no superstars. They needed one another to work hard and grind it out.”

Goals from senior forward Blake Meister and sophomore forward Lleyton Roed put White Bear Lake ahead 2-0 after one period.

First report

Never easy, always entertaining. White Bear Lake held off Hill-Murray for a 3-2 victory in the Class 2A, Section 4 championship game Friday at Aldrich Arena in Maplewood.

The seven-ranked Bears (21-4-1) return to state for the first time since 2011.

White Bear Lake ended the second period the same as the first period, with a two-goal lead.

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