Boys' lacrosse championship
No. 2 Prior Lake (16-2) vs. No. 1 Benilde-St. Margaret's (17-0)
6 p.m. Saturday, Chanhassen High School
Why Prior Lake will win: Coach Chris Fleck, who coached the Lakers to the 2016 state championship, prepares his players to be successful on hot June evenings on turf fields. In other words, typical state tournament conditions. In addition, players use various verbal and physical cues to maintain a positive mind-set.
Why Benilde-St. Margaret's will win: Undefeated this season, the Red Knights earned the swagger that comes with taking every team's best shot. But they haven't been totally satisfied with their playoff performances and are working to peak at the optimal time. Coach Rob Horn said the 9-6 semifinal victory over Mahtomedi "wasn't a complete game for us. We gave up some goals because we weren't helping on defense the way we need to."
Key to watch: Both teams try to shorten the game by grinding out patient offensive possessions. Benilde-St. Margaret's freshman Matthew Dowden spoke for both teams when he said, "When we slow the game down and we score, the other team might get impatient."
Did you know? Horn and Fleck are close friends going back to their days at Minnesota Duluth. Horn was an assistant men's lacrosse coach when Fleck stood out as a midfielder in the mid-2000s.
David La Vaque