The Detroit Lakes boys' hockey team made their presence known in Section 6-1A, despite a 4-3 loss to Sartell on Saturday inside Kent Freeman Arena.
Playing out of a 3-0 deficit, the Lakers were able to control much of the second and third periods to pull DL to within one.
But the Sabres (13-5-2) rattled out their insurance goal 6:14 into the third period, after Sean Mann's shot deflected off a Laker defenseman's skate and past goalie Andrew Friesen to put the visitors up 4-2.
It was needed, as DL forward and state-leading scorer Tanner Lane converted a power play goal with 2:39 left in regulation to pull the Lakers to within one goal.
A strong flurry by DL at the end of the game wasn't enough, as the Sabres fended off the Lakers' attack.
"We started off slow, but I felt we controlled the second and third periods for the most part," said DL head coach Chris Denardo. "If we could have buried a few of those backdoors opportunities, we could have won by two or three goals."
Sartell gained goals from three different players, as Austin Plaine netted the first one 5:52 into the first, while Andrew Worzala and Trevor Mace added to the Sabres' lead.
But the Lakers were advantageous with their power plays, going 2-3 in Sartell's man-short situations, the first coming off of Andy Schupp's goal 2:54 into the second.
Lane added a power play score 6:39 into the second, off of an assist by Joe Hanson, to cut into the Sartell's lead 3-2.
DL goaltender Andrew Friesen had a solid game with 28 saves, including several stops which looked to fire up the rest of the team midway through the second period.
"That's the way we need Andrew to play," Denardo said. "I'm pretty optimistic if we get that kind of play from Andrew, along with the high intensity the guys have been playing with, we should be sitting pretty good for the playoffs."
The Lakers' power play also has been a huge advantage, with a 35 percent success rate.
DL was 4-6 on power plays in a 9-2 win over Prairie Centre (4-16-1) Friday inside Kent Freeman Arena.
Sophomore forward Alex Mason filled in well on the first line by recording his first career hat trick.
Lane added two goals, while Chad Maristuen, Brett Provo and Ethan Brekke each found the net as well.
"Alex (Mason) was burying the puck," Denardo said. "Tanner (Lane) set Alex up pretty well three times and he put them away."
Friesen finished with 21 saves on the night.
The Lakers will play at Little Falls (5-15-1) Saturday for another section game, as DL fights for a top three or four seed for the upcoming playoffs.
Sartell at Detroit Lakes, Saturday, Jan. 30.
Sabres 2 1 1 - 4
Lakers 0 2 1 - 3
First period -- 1. Sart, Austin Plaine (Ryan Nahan, Andrew Deters) 5:52; 2. Sart, Andrew Worzala (Matthew Husmann, Blake Guggenburger) 11:53.
Second period -- 3. Sart, Trevor Mace (Nick Zierden, Deters) 1:10; 4. DL, PP Andy Schupp (Brett Provo, Nate Ginnaty) 2:54; 5. DL, PP Tanner Lane (Joe Hanson) 6:39.
Third period -- 6. Sart, Sean Mann (UA) 6:14; 7. DL, Lane (Ethan Brekke) 15:19.
Saves -- DL (Andrew Friesen) 10 13 5 - 28...Sart (Alex Halupczok) 6 9 6 - 21.
Prairie Centre at Detroit Lakes, Friday, Jan. 29.
North Stars 1 1 0 - 2
Lakers 4 3 2 - 9
First period -- 1. DL, PP Alex Mason (Nate Baker, Tanner Lane) :49; 2. DL, Chad Maristuen (Schupp, Kirby Inderrieden) 2:21; 3. PC, Nate Mettenburg (Cody Bartkowicz) 7:33; 4. DL, PP Ethan Brekke (Lane, Davis Johnson) 10:57; 5. DL, SH Brett Provo (UA) 12:23.
Second period -- 6. DL, Lane (Mason, Brekke) :28; 7. DL, Mason (Lane, Johnson) 9:19; 8. PC, Bartkowicz (UA) 14:24; 9. DL, Mason (Lane, Joe Hanson) 14:51.
Third period -- 10. DL, PP Lane (Mason, Baker) 5:39; 11. DL, PP Hanson (Alex Deconcini, Provo) 9:16.
Saves -- DL (Friesen) 10 9 2 - 21...PC (Aaron Olson) 7 9 9 - 25.