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Posted by Guest (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/8/2013 8:18:20 PM

By Luke Sleeper
John’s Journal Correspondent

After a quarterfinal victory in which Edina scored nine goals, it took the Hornets well into the third period of Friday’s semifinal matchup with Duluth East to find the scoreboard. Two timely goals in the third period allowed Edina to advance to Saturday’s Class 2A title game with a 3-2 win.

The contest was physical from start to finish and scoring chances were hard to come by. After the game, the Edina players said they felt that their physical play had worn their opponents down, allowing them to take advantage of the Greyhounds’ fatigue.

Duluth East took a first-period lead when Alex Toscano capitalized on a Jack Forbort pass and beat Edina goalie Willie Benjamin. The score would remain 1-0 until the decisive third period.

“We didn’t play good hockey in the third,” Duluth East coach Mike Randolph said. “They really pounded us and wore us down there at the end.”

The equalizing goal came from Edina junior forward Miguel Fidler, who rifled in a rebound from a shot by defenseman Parker Reno.

Junior forward Tyler Nanne, who whiffed on his initial shot, found the back of the net after getting a second whack at it to give the Hornets the lead. Just 19 seconds later, senior Andy Jordahl extended Edina’s lead to 3-1 with a goal that Randolph said “really, really hurt us.”

Randolph’s team did respond, but it was too little, too late. Senior defenseman Meirs Moore swiped in a shot from the top of the circle with just under two minutes left in the game. By the time the Greyhounds could pull their goalie and create some scoring chances, the clock ran out.

Edina is hoping to win the seventh state championship in school history on Saturday. The Hornets will face Hill-Murray.

HILL-MURRAY RALLIES TO BEAT WAYZATA

On January 5 Edina defeated Hill-Murray 2-1 in overtime. On Saturday night those two teams will play again, this time with a lot more at stake. After trailing 1-0 heading into the final period, Hill-Murray rallied with two late third-period goals to beat Wayzata 2-1 and advance to the 2A championship game.

The Pioneers had to fight off a streaking goalie in Wayzata’s Aaron Dingman, who was hot off a stellar performance in Thursday’s quarterfinals against Centennial. The senior goaltender had already stopped nearly 30 Hill-Murray shots before the game-winner flew past him.

The goal that punched the Pioneers’ ticket to the championship game belonged to Ryan Black, who flung the puck over the shoulder of Dingman. Hill-Murray had been leading the shots and possession battle all game long before finally breaking through with a tying goal from sophomore Davis Zarembinski.

Senior forward Chase Haller gave the Trojans an initial lead, scoring with assists from Jalen Wahl and Alex Stevens. Wayzata will play for third-place Saturday against Duluth East.

Hill-Murray returns to the state championship game for the second consecutive year; last season the Pioneers fell to Benilde-St. Margaret’s and the Grant Besse scoring machine. In 2008, the private school from Maplewood won its last state championship by beating Edina 3-0.

CLASS 1A: CADETS ADVANCE

St. Thomas Academy has outscored its opponents 23-0 through two games of the Class 1A boys state hockey tournament. In their last season competing in 1A, the Cadets are making it glaringly obvious that the jump to 2A could have been made years ago.

Nevertheless, the hockey powerhouse is exiting 1A the only way St. Thomas could: by trying to capture its fifth state title since 2006 and looking like quite possibly the best team in the state, regardless of class.

East Grand Forks entered its Friday matchup against the Cadets with high spirits and expectations; the Green Wave kicked off its first trip to the state tournament since 2002 by winning one of the more exciting games of the weekend, a 3-2 victory over Rochester Lourdes. Unfortunately for the Green Wave, a goal-scoring buzz saw was waiting.

East Grand Forks played St. Thomas Academy hard for a period; the Cadets had just a 1-0 lead through the first 15 minutes before talented sophomore Tommy Novak deked his way to an unassisted score, a goal that co-coach Greg Vanelli admitted was big.

“Novak’s individual play at the end of the first was huge for us,” he said. “It gave us a little breathing room and allowed us to come out strong in the second.”

“Strong” may have been an understatement. Senior forward Matt Perry scored twice in the opening three minutes of the second period to extend the St. Thomas lead to four. Danny McManus’ second goal soon followed, and senior defenseman Wyatt Schmidt took over from there. Schmidt had four goals in the game, most of which came from blue-line range. Also scoring for the Cadets was senior Gunnar Regan, who netted two goals.

St. Thomas advances to play Hermantown in the Class 1A state championship game Saturday. The teams have met in the last two title games, with St. Thomas winning both.



 


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