The Lakeville South girls' hockey program is picking up steam.

The Cougars, the top seed in the Class 2A, Section 1 tournament, are looking to advance to their third consecutive state tournament. It also just happens to coincide with their third straight South Suburban Conference championship.

"They have taken great pride in keeping this streak going," Lakeville South coach Mark Johnson said. "They all get along great, push each other to get better and take great pride in winning the conference."

Johnson's squad also is young, with only three seniors on the roster. They are forwards Maddy Fox and Halle Gill and defenseman Ellie Lauderdale. Gill is the Cougars' leading scorer while Lauderdale is third.

"Our three seniors are and have been awesome leaders," Johnson said. "When we have a shortfall or setback, it's these three ladies we lean on to get the train back on track."

The Cougars' success is largely based on their defense. They have allowed fewer than two goals per game each of the past three years.

"Our girls take great pride in keeping our defensive mistakes to a minimum," Johnson said. "Our defensive coach [Sierra] Moulton has worked very hard to keep the girls pushing up and getting the play going back the other way."

Top performances

• Red Wing junior Taylor Heise, a Gophers women's hockey recruit, finished the regular season with 45 goals and 24 assists, with 15 goals and six assists in the last five games.

• Senior Mason Carpenter made a school-record 10 three-pointers en route to a career-high 34 points, leading Eastview to a 77-52 boys' basketball victory over Farmington. He made eight three-pointers in the first half. Carpenter also grabbed nine rebounds.

Ron Haggstrom