White Bear Lake rolled through the regular season with only one loss.
That lone defeat was to its biggest rival Mahtomedi, the same team it would face in the Section 4 championship on Tuesday, June 4 at Mustang Stadium in Mounds View.
The Zephyrs shut down the Bears offense in their earlier meeting this season, which included only giving up one goal to leading scorer Ted Ramert.
This was not the case the second go around.
Ramert shredded the No. 1-seeded Zephyrs for five goals in the No. 2 seed Bears 11-8 victory, which gives White bear Lake its third trip to the state tournament.
"He was awesome," Bears' coach Bradon Husak said. "In big games like this you need your big players to step up and he did that tonight."
It wasn't just that Ramert scored, it was how he did it.
Aggressive would be a light term to describe his attack to the net.
When he had the ball there was nobody that was going to stop him.
He would bull rush his way to the net, juke his way out from a double team or use his teammates for give-and-goes to spring open for shots.
"I told him it was night and day how he played us the first time," Mahtomedi coach Brian Strauss said. "He was tough tonight."
Mahtomedi struck first when Matt Schwartz's shot found the back of the net and appeared to be on the verge of opening up a nice lead to start.
Ramert put a stop to that with two goals less than two minutes apart to give the Bears the lead.
He completed the hat trick with a great move to the front of the net to slide a shot by Zephyrs goalie Joe Rutkiewicz.
Early in the third quarter he tallied his final two goals and stretched what was a one-goal lead at halftime to a 8-4 advantage.
"It's just unbelievable," Ramert said. "I don't think I have any other words to describe how it feels to do this in a big game like this against our biggest rivals."
If trying to stop Ramert wasn't hard enough, the Zephyrs had an equally difficult time in their attempts to put shots by Bears' goalie Douglas Ptacek.
White Bear Lake runs a system where Ptacek and William Ramert split time each game.
It has been that way the whole year and has worked to near perfection.
Why change it now?
Ptacek said William Ramert came up to him with an idea for the second half.
"He thought I was doing really well in the first half, he wanted to keep me in," Ptacek said if a conversation he had with William Ramert during halftime.
A section championship game might not be the best time for new tricks, but the way Ptacek was playing, why not?
"We have a system that both of them play each game and they have been so sharp all season," Husak said. "He was given the nod for the second half and was a huge difference for us."
"I know they play both of their goalies and I think the way he (Ptacek) played in the first, they had to go with him in the second," Strauss said. "He was really good against us tonight."
White Bear Lake will be the first to say its biggest rival in lacrosse is Mahtomedi.
Both have met in the regular season since lacrosse has been a sanctioned sport by the Minnesota State High School League, but no matchup was bigger for the Bears than its victory on Tuesday night.
"This has been three years in the making, " Husak said. "I think a lot of us thought that we were going to play each other in the section finals last year and we both lost in the semifinals and the years before that were similar. I am just proud of the heart we had tonight and just proud of my boys."
White Bear Lake's Ted Ramert scored five goals to push the No. 2 seed Bears to a 11-8 victory against top-seeded Mahtomedi in the Section 4 championship at Mustang Stadium in Mounds View.
Ramert scored the first two goals in the opening quarter and his final two came early in the third, which game the Bears an important 8-4 lead.
At the half the Zephyrs only trailed 5-4, but White Bear Lake exploded in the third quarter with five goals to take a 10-5 lead to the fourth.
Please stay tuned for more coverage of the Bears win later tonight.
Mahtomedi made a final push in the final 12 minutes, but goalie Douglas Ptacek came up with key saves to send the Bears to the state tournament.
In his final game in a Zephyr uniform, senior Sam Koenig scored three goals and recorded an assist.
Earlier this season Mahtomedi defeated White Bear Lake 7-5, which was the only loss for the Bears.
1. Ted Ramert, White Bear Lake
Five goals not only landed Ramert as the top star, it propelled his team to the state tournament for the third time in school history. There was no player on the field that could match his intensity and passion. Ramert also eclipsed the 50-goal mark on the year.
2. Douglas Ptacek, White Bear Lake
The Bears usually split time with their goalies each playing a half. This was not going to happen the way Ptacek was playing. He stopped shots early and often against a potent Zephyrs attack.
3. Sam Koenig, Mahtomedi
The senior scored three goals and was one that was able to crack Ptacek. In his final game in a Zephyrs uniform, he can leave with his head held high with an impressive performance.