Edina junior Connor Hurley scored a goal and added an assist in Friday's 7-2 victory over Holy Family Catholic. Photo by Katherine Matthews
All the experimentation did little to slow the No. 2-ranked Hornets, who opened their season with a 7-2 thumping of Holy Family Catholic in the semifinals of the annual Wayzata Turkey Trot tournament.
Strangely, it wasn’t Hurley or Malmquist, or any of their linemates, or any Edina forward for that matter, who emerged as the offensive lynchpin against the Fire. Hurley and Malmquist each had a goal and an assist, but it was senior defenseman Matt Nelson, who scored four goals all last season, who stole the spotlight by scoring twice in the Hornets’ season opener.
Maybe he should take a turn alongside Hurley and Malmquist.
“He can really shoot the puck,” Giles said. “The key to the whole thing for Matty is to get it on the net. The expectation for him is, he puts that thing on the net, something good is going to happen.”
Nelson’s outburst aside, it will be Hurley, a junior who spent much of the fall playing for the U.S. National Under-18 team based out of Ann Arbor, Mich., who serves as the Hornets’ catalyst. Malmquist will be right there beside him.
“We had a pretty good year last year,” said Hurley, a highly coveted college and pro prospect said about Malmquist. “I’ve been working with him in private lessons and stuff, trying to get our mojo back together. It’s going pretty good.
“High school hockey in Minnesota, I love playing it.”
Hurley said he enjoyed matching up against Holy Family Catholic’s talented young lineup, most notably sophomore center Shane Gersich. Hurley and Gersich were teammates on the Elite League’s Team Southwest this fall, and they exchanged some good-natured comments during faceoffs.
“It was really fun going against him,” Hurley said. “I’m paying attention to him whenever he is on the ice. You kind of have to. He is really good.”