Cade Ahrenholz and Cam Boche both scored twice, and Cody Ticen made 25 saves as No. 3 Lakeville South scored five times in the final 17:09 to knock off unseeded Wayzata 5-3 in a Class 2A semifinal Friday night at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul
The Cougars (20-0-2), who advance to the Class 2A title game for the first time in school history, will play the winner of No. 1 Eden Prairie and No. 4 Maple Grove at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Much like Wednesday’s quarterfinal victory over Moorhead, Lakeville South started slowly, fell behind early and was forced to pull itself out of a hole.
Down 2-0 with just 8.7 seconds remaining in the middle period, Ashton Dahms forced a turnover on the half wall, worked his way to the slot and knocked home a rebound to cut the Wayzata lead in half.
Ahrenholz tied the game at the 6:24 mark of the third with a chip shot from the edge of the crease over sprawling Wayzata goaltender Will Ingemann, then put Lakeville South in front for good when he sent a laser from the slot off the post and in 5:20 later.
Boche scored the eventual game-winner on a redirect at 12:31 and added an empty-netter for insurance in the final minute.
As the seconds ticked down in the middle period, the “Wayzata Way” was on full display. The Trojans held a 2-0 lead, were suffocating the high-powered Lakeville South attack and Ingemann was turning aside any legitimate chances - which were few and far between.
The sophomore forward made a great play to force a turnover on the wall, moved himself to the slot and batted home a rebound to give the Cougars a much-needed spark with just 8.7 seconds left in the second period.
Lakeville South scored the next three goals to blow the game open and held on for the biggest win in program history.
1. Cade Ahrenholz, Lakeville South - Big. Strong. Fast. Versatile. Ahrenholz showed why he’s one of the most talented players in the state during Friday’s third period. His game-tying goal was a relentless effort in front of the net. His second was more of the highlight reel variety.
2. Cam Boche, Lakeville South - The Mr. Hockey finalist scored the eventual game-winner on a pretty tip from the slot and iced it with an empty-netter.
3. Will Ingemann, Wayzata - The sophomore goaltender probably deserved better, as he was spectacular in the first two periods. The Cougars eventually broke the Wayzata wall, but the game would have been lopsided with the efforts of Ingemann. A 2005 birth year, expect him to get an NTDP camp invite very soon.
No. 3 Lakeville South will try to become the first undefeated big school state champion since... Lakeville North went a stunning 31-0 in 2015.