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It is Lakeville South in D8!

By frederick61, 01/07/13, 2:30AM CST


Lakeville South’s Ty Black (#3) beats Eastview’s Ben Beatie’s diving save attempt to give the Cougars a 3-0 lead in their key D8 win over Eastview Sunday

Sunday evening at Lakeville’s Ames Arena, Lakeville South AA beat Eastview 3-1 AA to open a 7 point gap over Lakeville North AA and Eastview AA in the battle for the District 8 title and the #1 seed to the East Regional with six games remaining on the Cougar’s D8 schedule.

The Eastview team played shorthanded and had to move players for that game.

Lakeville South scored first in the opening period.  The game started slowly.  Both teams struggled to do things that earlier in the season they had done with ease.  The first half of the opening period, neither team could control the puck in the opponent’s zone.  Both teams could carry or dump the puck into the other’s zone, but once there, the puck would dance around one corner or the other like a pinball bouncing around a pinball machine and eventually be cleared.  And like the pinball dropping into the slot on the bottom of the machine, one team would re-load and start all over again.

At the 7 minute mark of the first period, with the Cougars on the attack, a Lakeville South player put a hard shot on Eastview’s goalie, Ben Beatie (YHH top 50 pick last year), from the right slot.  The puck took a huge rebound back to the right slot where the Cougar’s Zack Zemlak one timed the puck back into the net.  It was a good play by all three players.  Lakeville South led 1-0.  Ty Black and Aaron Grounds got the assists.

For the remainder of the opening period, most of the play was a “pinball style”.  Even when Lakeville South trapped the puck for a minute inside the Lightning’s zone, there were few shots.  The Cougar’s defenseman Jack Olsen provided some excitement with a full length rush.

Eastview’s defenseman Joey Stillings was not there rushing the puck for the Lightning.  He did not play.

The first period ended with Eastview having made one shot on goal; Lakeville South had four shots on goal.

The game was played in Ames’ Rink 1, a big sheet of ice.  The first half of the second period was all skating and halfway through the second period, there were few shots on goal added to the first period total of 5 SOG’s.  Both teams continued to skate and move the puck, but create no offense.

At the 7 minute mark, things changed.  The Cougars trapped the puck in the Lakeville zone and “hammered” on the Lightning net for more than two minutes.  They couldn’t beat Beatie.  The only way the Lightning cleared the zone during that time was when the Cougar’s defense made a mistake at the blue line and coughed the puck up.

The Cougar attack increased the overall game pace and opened the game up.  Olsen continued to rush but was stymied by Beatie down low.  The second period ended with Lakeville South ahead 1-0; but now the Cougars had a 13-4 advantage in shots on goal.

The game pace remained up in the opening minutes of the third period.  Lakeville South gradually started to get the upper hand and maintain pressure in the Lightning zone until the 8 minute mark.

Trapped in their own zone, a Lightning player picked up a loose puck near the Lightning blue line and “set sail” for the Cougars net.  The Lightning player was tripped skating into the slot area; still the Cougar’s goalie, Isaiah Dilaura, had to make a tough rolling save.

The Lightning had the power play opportunity, trailing 1-0.  They set up in the Cougar zone, but the Lightning defense gambled and got caught low in the Lakeville South zone as the Cougar’s rotated the puck to the left center faceoff area.  Jack Olsen picked up the puck and set his sail for the Lightning goal.  He scored from the slot area by going left and shooting the puck into the upper right corner off Beatie’s shoulder. Lakeville South led 2-0 with 8 minutes left in the game.

It was the play of the game.

The Cougars killed the penalty and killed another tripping penalty two minutes later.  With three minutes left in the game, the Cougar’s Ty Black picked up a puck off the left side boards low in the Lightning’s zone, beat the defense on a move to the slot and scored to put the Cougars up 3-0.

In the last few minutes of the game, Eastview moved Chris Fan down low on the attack.  He scored a nice tip in goal to end the scoring.  Lenny Nunn and Noah Desroscher got the assists.  Fan has improved this season.

The Cougars play Lakeville North AA on Saturday in a rivalry game between the Lakeville association’s top peewee teams.  Lakeville North needs to win that game.  South plays at Hastings AA next week before leaving to play in the Roseau tourney Jan 17-20.

Eastview plays three of the four D8 peewee A teams next week (Cottage Grove A, Apple Valley A, and Inver Grove Heights/South St. Paul A) before playing Lakeville North AA in a game that now looks to decide the second place in regular season.

The D8 playoff draw in out.  There will be an 8 team double elimination Peewee AA tourney (modified) that will produce 5 seeds (three to the East Regional, one to the South Regional, and one to the West Regional).

D8 decided, in a good decision, to award the team placing third in the playoffs D8’s #4 seed.  That seed gives the winner a trip to the weaker South Regional with teams from District 9 (Rochester Red AA), three District 5 AA teams, District 2′s #3 seed, and the #4 seeds from District 6 and District 10.

The winner of D8′s #3 seed will play D5′s #1 seed (most likely St. Michael/Albertville, MAML, or St. Cloud Red AA) in the first game of an eight team double elimination tourney.

The loser of the third place game will get D8’s #3 seed to the East Regional to play against D8’s #1 and #2 seeds and to play against the top seeds from District 6 and District 2.

D8′s #3 seed will play D6′s #2 seed in the first game at the East Regional.  Chaska Gold AA, Minnetonka Black AA, and Eden Prairie Black AA are all chasing Edina for the #2 spot in regular season play.

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