The Lakeville North boys hockey team needed 51 saves form goaltender Charlie Lindgren, and three overtime periods, but this year's 1AA section final result at the Rochester Recreation Center was the same as last year's—a victory over rival Lakeville South to go to the State Tournament.
Despite losing both head-to-head matchups to the cross-town Cougars this year, much like they did last year, the No. 2-seeded Panthers (13-14-1) beat the top-seeded Cougars (16-9-2) when it mattered. Junior Blake Winiecki's wraparound goal 25 seconds into the third overtime was the difference.
Winiecky was the lone goal scorer for North, who also scored the team's first goal at 13:53 of the first period, a power-play goal on an assist from Erik Ratt.
South's only goal was scored by senior Drew Brevig 9:25 into the second period. Alex Harvey collected the assist. South's Brady Frahm had 33 saves on the night.
This will be North's second consecutive trip to the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul for the state Class 2A tournament. The Panthers play top-seeded Eden Prairie (21-5-2) at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 10.