Lakeville South has one of the top goalies in the state. Owatonna never had the chance to test Lexi Baker, a finalist for the Let's Play Hockey Senior Goalie of the Year Award. South stormed the Owatonna net early and beat the Huskies 7-0 in Saturday's Section 1AA semifinals. The Cougars advance to the finals Thursday at 5PM at Four Seasons Centre in Owatonna where they face a rematch with Farmington, who won the title last year.

South broke through with a rebound goal on a power play at 4:48 of the first period at Hasse Arena in Lakeville. The Cougars added another goal 22 seconds later, part of a five-goal outburst over a six-and-a-half-minute span. The Cougars outshot Owatonna 23-1 in the first period and 45-8 in the game.

The loss brings to an end the long varsity careers of four Owatonna seniors. Rilee Schmidt, Margo Achterkirch, Jamie Davison and Laura Ebeling spent extra time together on the ice and in the locker room after their teammates had departed for the lobby. Davison will play college hockey at Wisconsin-Superior, while Achterkirch will play soccer and run track at St. Benedict.

The Huskies had a successful 16-9 season. They stayed in Big Nine title contention for the much of the season, finishing in fourth place. OHS took third place in their division of the Schwan Cup over the holiday break. Owatonna opened the playoffs with a 3-2 victory over Rochester Mayo on Wednesday. Coach Dan Paur completed his first season as head coach. Joel Tornell is the Huskies' longtime assistant coach.

Top-seed Farmington blanked Lakeville North 6-0 Saturday. The Big Nine drought in Section 1AA continues. A conference team has not appeared in the section final since Mayo in 2009. Mayo is the last Big Nine team to win 1AA, in 2007. Owatonna's last section title came in 2003. OHS was a 1A finalist in 2016.

Big Nine champ Red Wing reached the Section 1A finals with a 10-0 trouncing of Austin. Future Golden Gopher Taylor Hiese scored seven goals and assisted on two others. First-year program Rochester Lourdes will be their opponent Thursday at 7:30PM at Four Seasons in Owatonna. The Eagles shutout Faribault 6-0 Saturday night.

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