Edina 3, Blaine 2
Jake Sampson and Andy Jordahl scored goals just 2:13 apart in the second period to help defending big-school state champions Edina rally to beat Blaine in the opening game of the big-school Minnesota boys’ state hockey tournament Thursday.
The Bengals carried a 2-1 lead into the first intermission, thanks to goals by brothers Michael and Jonny Brodzinski late in the opening period. Michael’s 14th of the year came on a power play, while Jonny’s came shorthanded.
But after Blaine was able to crack Edina netminder Connor Girard twice on only five shots in the first period, the senior goalie and the Hornets’ defense limited the Bengals to 12 shots and limited zonetime in the final 34 minutes (Minnesota high school hockey plays 17 minute periods.)
Girard, who was promoted to the starting job late last season, is now a perfect 10-0 in playoff games, including an All-Tounament performance last year in St. Paul to carry Edina to the title.
Mr. Hockey finalists Max Everson and Steven Fogarty, who will be playing for Harvard and Notre Dame, respectively, each tallied single assists. Lou Nanne was the only Hornet to register multiple points, collecting two assists.
Edina plays Duluth East in the first Class AA semifinal on Friday night.
Duluth East 4, White Bear Lake 3 (2 OT)
With just 10 seconds left to play in regulation, White Bear Lake thought they had scored the go-ahead-goal in their quarterfinal matchup with Duluth East. Instead, the referees ruled a Bears’ player had knocked the puck out of the air with a high stick, the game went to overtime, and the Hounds’ Zac Schendel scored one minute, 19 seconds into the second stanza of free hockey to sink White Bear Lake’s hopes of advancing to the semifinals.
The Bears are now 0-18 in quarterfinal games at the state tournament.
White Bear Lake battled back after being down 2-0 and 3-2, thanks largely to star-forward Brandon Wahlin, who had the first two goals for the Bears.
Hunter Bergerson and Dom Toninato scored before the midway point of the second period to give Duluth East a 2-0 lead before White Bear Lake stormed back to tie the game.
JoJo Jeanetta stopped 24 shots for the Hounds, many of which were in spectacular fashion in the third period and the first overtime, to help carry Duluth East to their first semifinal since 2005. Trevor Olson scored the third goal for the Hounds; Mitch Morrisette tallied White Bear Lake’s third marker.
Duluth East advances to play Edina in the semifinals Friday night at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Eden Prairie 5, Lakeville North 0
Top-seed Eden Prairie sent a message to the rest of the tournament field with a dominating 5-0 victory over Lakeville North Thursday night.
Mr. Hockey finalist and University of Minnesota recruit Kyle Rau led the Eagles, who won the championship two years ago. Rau had two goals–one shorthanded and one on the power play–disrupted the Panthers’ attack and was all over the offensive zone.
Maybe the lone bright spot for Lakeville North was goalie Charlie Lindgren, who stopped 32 shots, many of which were point-blank or tic-tac-toe plays.
Eden Prairie was a perfect three-for-three on the power play, registering ten shots, while holding Lakeville North to only five shots on five man-up chances.
Senior Andrew Ford, playing in his fourth state tournament game, stopped all 20 Lakeville North shots. Ford, along with current-NHLer Nick Leddy, were the main factors in Eden Prairie’s championship run in 2009.
Andrew Knudsen, Mark Rath and Nick Seeler also scored for the Eagles. Seeler had a stellar game, adding two assists and ten shots to his statline.
Eden Prairie will play fourth-seeded Eagan tomorrow night in the second Class AA semifinal.
Eagan 4, Moorhead 0
In the Thursday nightcap, fourth-seeded Eagan held an early 1-0 lead for the majority of the game, and then added three late tallies to send Moorhead to the consolation bracket.
Goalie Tommy Bodeker was great for the Wildcats, stopped all 27 Moorhead shots. Through five playoff games, Bodeker has four shutouts and only two goals against. Not to be outdone was Moorhead’s goalie, Michael Blitzer, who made 30 saves of his own in a losing effort (the final two Eagan goals were empty netters).
The only two blunders on Blitzer’s résumé were off the sticks of Nick Kuchera and Will Merchant. Kuchera gave the Wildcats the lead just 3:35 into the first period after he beat Blitzer to the blocker-side. Merchant scored a huge goal late in the final period on a great individual effort that ended with him turning and finding the twine over Blitzer’s glove. Eagan’s final two goals were scored by Cody Mason and Brady Loew, both into a yawning cage.
There was only one power play in the game, and the Spuds only managed to get two shots on net and no quality scoring chances during their two minutes with the man advantage.
With the win, Eagan advances to take on star-studded Eden Prairie Friday night in St. Paul.
Three Stars of the Day:
1. Bodeker – The senior netminder stopped all 27 shots he faced to get Eagan to the semifinals.
2. Rau – Future Gopher Rau scored twice, had six shots on goal and was all over the ice in the Eagles’ Thursday victory.
3. Jeanetta – Jeanetta made some ridiculous saves in the third period and overtime to keep his Hounds alive against White Bear Lake.
- The attendance for the day was just over 32,000, a modest total for the Class AA quarterfinals.
- For the first time in recent memory, no private schools punched their ticket to St. Paul for the State tournament.
- Friday morning is the Class A semis, with Hermantown playing Hibbing and St. Thomas Academy against Thief River Falls. All championship bracket games in both classes are played at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, while the consolation games are played at Mariucci Arena on the campus of the University of Minnesota.