Owatonna had been disposing of its southern Minnesota neighbors with ease to start the season, winning its first four games by outscoring opponents 30-3 before running into nemesis Dodge County last Saturday. The Huskies lost that matchup 3-0, similar to their 2-0 setback to the Wildcats in last season’s Class 1A, Section 1 quarterfinals.
Still, Owatonna (4-1-0, 4-0-0), has the look of a section contender this season as the Huskies feature balanced scoring (senior Chloe Schmidt and freshman Ezra Oien are the leaders with eight points each) and stellar goaltending (senior Asia Buryska has a 1.00 goals-against average and .931 save percentage).
Lakeville South has made five state tournament appearances, the most recent coming in 2018, and, other than a season-opening loss to Shakopee (2-1 on Nov. 14) has flashed that section champion pedigree again this season. The Cougars (5-1-0, 4-1-0) have scored five or more goals in all but two of their games and are led by sophomore Ryann Wright and Taylor Otremba with 14 and 12 points, respectively.