Senior Nick Edling returned in the "nick" of time, scoring a pair of pins in the Section 7-3A tournament to help lead the St. Michael-Albertville Knights to another team championship.
STMA defeated Forest Lake 34-19 in the semifinals, then won the championship dual over Cambridge-Isanti by the exact same score to advance to the State AAA Team Tournament, set for Thursday, March 1 and Friday, March 2 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Tommy Thorn also had two pins in those duals, including a first-minute jaw-dropper that saw him recover from an early mistake, score two quick takedowns and find the win over his Cambridge opponent, young Monty Fredrickson.
"I think this section, top to bottom, was as strong as we've seen in our three years as a member," said head coach Dan Lefebvre. "It's really great for our guys to get this done, and I'm so happy for Nick, who has worked so hard for this and gets to enjoy it this year."
Edling suffered a broken ankle last year, and missed the tournament runs. This year, he broke his hand back in December, but has healed enough to make it back for the postseason.
"I'm not all the way there, but I think I wrestled well enough," Edling said. "It's been a good team, but it's hard without leadership and that senior experience. I've just tried to provide some of that."
The victory of the night went to Wayne Voss, who got the STMA crowd on its feet at the home gym with a takedown in the final two seconds in his match vs. Ty Torgerson. Tied 6-6 Voss took one final shot and got the score.
"I got him up with about six seconds, and I knew I just had to trip him and make him fall," Voss said. "I'm still pumped. That was just awesome."
Voss' reaction, with a huge roar and a point to the crowd, put some life into the Knights' fans, who were watching the home team stretch out a 22-0 lead at the time.
"They're a good opponent," Lefebvre said of the BlueJackets, then he turned his attention to the Section 7 individual tourney. "But we have some good matchups there, and we've been able to handle them. Now, it turns into an individual game. We want to push as many guys through as we can. We can be selfish now."
The individual tournament begins Friday at Elk River.