Backhand shots aren’t Jack Poehling’s specialty.
The high-revving Lakeville North senior scores on slap shots, snap shots, dekes and most any other method used to deposit the puck in the net, but he says he doesn’t practice the backhander often, if at all.
Not that he needs to.
Poehling scored twice on precisely placed rising backhand shots late in the second period of Lakeville North’s 4-1 victory over Hill-Murray in Thursday’s Class 2A quarterfinals.
“That’s the first couple of backhand goals I’ve had all year, I think,” said Poehling, a Mr. Hockey finalist and St. Cloud State commit who leads the Panthers with 36 goals. “Right coach?”
Lakeville North coach Trent Eigner just shook his head with a grin.
“Fine with me,” he said.
Poehling’s goals came 2 minutes, 55 seconds apart, the second with 58 seconds left in the middle period, and boosted unbeaten Lakeville North’s lead to 3-1. The No. 1-seeded and No. 1-ranked Panthers got another backhand goal in the third period, this one from sophomore Henry Enebak, to clinch the team’s 29th win in as many games.
The score was tied at 1 when what replays showed as a blown offsides call had Poehling fuming. He took out his aggression on the ensuing faceoff, controlling the puck and weaving through the defense of Hill-Murray (21-8) before whipping his backhander high into the net.
“That was a bad call, but officials make those calls,” Poehling said. “That definitely fired me up.”