Lakeville North Blanks Owatonna in Hockey Semifinals
Lakeville North eliminated Owatonna from the Section 1AA boys' hockey playoffs for the second straight year, winning 6-0 Tuesday at the Rec Center in Rochester. The Panthers scored twice in each period to advance to the section finals for the 13th consecutive season. They will play Lakeville South in Thursday's finals. Owatonna ends their season with a 13-12-2 record.
North scored twice in less than one minute midway through the first period. Dominating in the face off circle all night, the Panthers won a draw in the OHS zone and scored at 7:22 of the opening period. A short time later North's Spencer Schneider intercepted a pass high in the Pathers' zone and took it the length of the ice, broke in hard from the left side and slipped it past Zach Wiese for a 2-0 lead at 8:12.
Another turnover resulted in North's next goal. Early in the second period, an Owatonna player lost the puck in the high slot. Schneider, a 20-goal scorer, found it and scored on a spinning backhand shot for a 3-0 lead. The Panthers went up 4-0 on a power play goal at 6:49 of the second. North added a pair of goals late in the third period. One was on the power play. The Panthers out shot Owatonna 36-15. The Huskies were 0-for-4 on the power play.
Seniors on the Owatonna roster include Ryan Johnson, Nate Smith, Tyler Wencl, Nick Smith, Mitch Wiese, Landon Thurnau, Breck Henderson, Braeden Meier, Walker Nelson, Jacob Dub and Kenny Johnson. Owatonna finished third in the Big Nine Conference standings. Their victory over Farmington last week was their first home quarterfinal game in the section playoffs in several years.
Lakeville North will get a section finals' re-match with Lakeville South, who beat Big Nine champ Rochester Century 3-1 Tuesday. The Section 1A final is Wednesday night with Rochester Lourdes against Mankato East.