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White Bear Lake's Nick Truen, left, races past Maple Grove's Jordan Adams. Photo by Helen Nelson

Their record is impeccable. Some of their defensive stats are mind boggling. 
 
Beyond the numbers, this is a team with an amply supply of speed, scoring and grit.
 
If there is a knock on White Bear Lake, it is their strength of schedule. To say the undefeated Bears have beaten everyone but haven’t played anyone wasn’t altogether fair, but wasn’t completely wrong, either. 
 
Now, however, after beating No. 8-ranked Maple Grove 9-5 on Friday, May 5, No. 9 White Bear Lake (8-0) has a signature victory to highlight in bold, ALL CAPS on its resume.  
 
“It was a great win,” said junior midfielder Nick Truen, who scored a clutch goal in the fourth quarter and seemingly was involved in every collision and scrum for a loose ball. “They were ranked higher than us in the state. You know, we needed this win to see how good our team was.
 
“I think it proved how good White Bear lacrosse is this year.”
 
Bears goaltender Doug Ptacek, among the state leaders in goals-against average and save percentage, made a series of stops on point-blank shots in the first and second quarters.

Maple Grove's Spencer Bell, left, leans into White Bear Lake's David Trudeau. Photo by Helen Nelson

Nick Timmons, a force of a defenseman who ranks among the state’s best in ground balls, was one of group of Bears who constantly poked, prodded and harassed Maple Grove scoring phenom David Corazalla. A junior who entered the game with 35 goals (second most in the state) Corazalla was held scoreless against the Bears.

Meanwhile, White Bear Lake’s showpiece scorer Ted Ramert, also a junior, notched four goals before an array of teammates, Truen among them on a long run down the middle, stepped in to help shoulder the load.
 
Now, back to that defense. This is where the Bears have been nothing short of phenomenal. They are allowing an average of 2.17 goals per game, one of the lowest totals in the national according to the national website LaxPower.com.
 
“They have some phenomenal defensemen,” Maple Grove coach Gig Willson said after the Crimson fell to 7-2 after starting the season with seven straight wins. “They are a very balanced team. They are very fast, very athletic, very well coached.”
 
After losing several standouts to graduation after a surprising run to the state semifinals last season, White Bear Lake was supposed to be retooling, not razor sharp.  
 
“I guess we proved them wrong,” Truen said about the doubters.
 
Truen said White Bear Lakes’s game relies heavily on speed and conditioning. But on a rainy evening that turned White Bear Lake’s Price Field into a mud bog, the conditions called for more gruntwork than artwork.
 
“When it gets wet like this, and so sloppy, it’s really who is going to die for that GB, and if you don’t get that ground ball you don’t have possession and you don’t dictate the game,” White Bear Lake coach Brandon Husak said. “With the wet weather, we just tried to grunt it out with ground balls. That’s what you kind of have to do. 
 
“Finesse kind of goes out the window.”

White Bear Lake coach Brandon Husak. Photo by Helen Nelson

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Ted Ramert

Ted Ramert scored four goals, state save percentage leader Doug Ptacek was rock solid in goal and White Bear Lake’s rugged, ball-hawking defense held Maple Grove star attackman David Corazalla scoreless in the No. 9-ranked Bears’ 9-5 victory over No. 8 Maple Grove on Friday, May 4, at rain-drenched Price Field in White Bear Lake.
 
Ramert, a slippery junior attackman, and Maple Grove senior Nathan Otterson exchanged the first four goals, and the score was tied at 2 just 28 seconds into the third quarter when Otterson found the back of the net. 
 
Otterson tied it again at 4 with 3:26 left in the third quarter.
 
White Bear Lake (8-0) scored five of the final six goals, and the Bears displayed their depth with Ramert, David Costello, Jared Bartz, Nick Truen and Tom Arko all finding the back of the net. 
 
Truen’s goal 4:22 into the final quarter put the Bears ahead 8-5, and Arko, a defenseman, whipped his teammates and the White Bear Lake fans into a frenzy with his first goal of the season to complete the scoring.
 
Corazalla, a junior attackman, entered the game with 35 goals, more than twice the total of the team’s next best goal scorer. But he was hounded by two and often three White Bear Lake defenders when he touched the ball and missed the net on most of the occasions when he did create room to unload a shot.
 
The loss was the second straight for Maple Grove (7-2), which started the season with a seven-game win streak.

1. Ted Ramert, White Bear Lake
The Bears’ go-to scorer notched four goals, carrying his team in the first half and into the third quarter. The elusive and sneaky fast junior capped the victory in cherry-on-the-sundae fashion by setting up defenseman Tom Arko for his first goal of the season.

2. Nick Truen, White Bear Lake
The junior midfielder was solid on faceoffs and always seemed to be in the center of the action. Most of the scrums Truen entered ended with him scooping the ball and running away from traffic. Truen’s goal late in the fourth quarter after winning a battle for a ground ball put the Bears ahead 8-5, their first three-goal lead.

3. Nathan Otterson, Maple Grove
If Otterson were a horse he would be classified as a mudder, as he had a breakout performance in sloppy, downpour conditions. He scored four goals to keep the Crimson within striking distance through three quarters. 

 

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