MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – If you’re watching hockey and you see someone from Lakeville walk up to Tim Poehling and start profusely thanking him, there’s a reason for that.

He’s responsible for the entire top line on the top team in the entire state.

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“I think my wife would say maybe she’s more responsible,” Poehling says with a laugh.

Yes Tim and Kris Poehling are pretty popular people in Lakeville these days: Their three sons — senior twins, Nick and Jack, and sophomore, Ryan — leading North to an undefeated season and the top seed at state.

“I play right wing,” Jack says, “Ryan plays center, and Jack plays left wing.”

Tim and Kris might be responsible for their boys’ existence in this world, but it was North coach Trent Eigner who put them all on the same starting line starting last season.

But he’s not looking for too much credit either.

“There’s no genius in it, okay?” he says.

When you have the kind of natural chemistry the Poehling brothers possess, you don’t mess with it.

“These guys are basically on the same line 24 hours a day,” Eigner says. “They ride in the car together, they eat breakfast together, they go to school together.”

Jack points out that he and Nick have “literally spent every day of our lives together. Ryan pretty much the same too. He’s always just hanging around us with our friends and stuff.”

Tim played through high school but says he never had to push his boys to play.

They do enough of that to each other.

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“They are very difficult on each other. Their expectations of each other are very high,” Eigner says. “With that comes that good peer pressure to perform and keep up with your brothers.”

It’s one thing to let your teammates down. Another to let down your brothers.

“In a good way, they are tougher on each other than they would ever be on another teammate,” Eigner says. “They have the luxury of knowing where the boundaries lay within their relationship, and they push it to the edge, but they get the best out of each other.”

Nick says there’s a reason they’re able to do that.

“We’re best friends,” he says. “But we’re also very competitive with each other.”

And it’s each other that makes them so good.

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, I would say,” Tim says.

Their time playing together isn’t coming to an end: They’re all committed to St. Cloud State for college.

“[We] thought it’d be pretty cool if we all three could play together in college,” Ryan says.

But with Ryan two years younger than Jack and Nick, it is coming to an end for the time being, making this state tournament “super important.”

“Opportunities like this don’t come along very often,” Jack says. “We don’t know if we’ll ever have an opportunity like this again, so we’re definitely making the most of it.”

Good news for Lakeville North — there’s another Poehling boy coming up the ranks too.

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Little brother Luke is 10 and plays hockey, too. He’s currently one of the team’s managers.