Day two of the Edina Holiday Classic provided two entertaining games that presented a clash of styles. The opener featured the high flying #8 Eden Prairie Eagles and the defensively sound Grand Rapids Thunderhawks. Game two was the same type match-up between the high flying #4 Edina Hornets and the defensively steady Elk River Elks.
Both games were streamed on MyFoxHockey.com and did not disappoint. The replays of each game are available on the archive section of MyFoxHockey.com
Eden Praire 4 Grand Rapids 1
The Grand Rapids Thunderhawks stifled the Eden Prairie Eagles who eventually worked their way to a hard fought 4-1 victory at Braemar Arena. Tom Hammann scored at 9:22 from Sam Rendle to give the Hawks the 1-0 lead. The Thuderhawks held the explosive Eagles in check until Kyle Rau scored his 5th goal of the season on the power play to tie the game at one.
It was the Rau goal that acted as the catalyst for the Eagles who continued to move the puck and were impressive off the rush and also forechecked with ferocity. Yet the Thunderhawks received quality goaltending from AJ Underwood who made 42 saves and was stellar for the second straight evening.
The Eagles went to work later in the first period as Mike Erickson tallied another power play goal for the 2-1 lead. For the third straight game, the Eagles allowed the first goal and rebounded with a steady finish as David Rath and Rau scored in the second period to pull away with the 4-1 win.
The Eagles improved to 6-0 overall and have a test the undoubtedly will be ready for in the Edina Hornets. With 9 sophomores on the roster, the Eagles resemble the talented Hornets of two seasons ago who are now seniors.
The Thunderhawks played a game that they can hang their hats on. For the second straight day the Hawks (2-5-1) displayed why they will be force to reckon with in the Iron Range Conference an Section 7AA. A clash with Elk River is before the Thunderhawks that will feature two disciplined teams who deliver with outstanding goaltending.
Resembling a heavyweight fight, the Edina Hornets with-stood a well rounded game by the Elk River Elks to win by a score of 3-1. The game was the night cap of day two of the Edina Holiday Classic at Braemar Arena.
Elk River scored on a goal off the end boards as they won a battle and worked one past Edina goalie John Ankeny as Nick Filipovich hooked up with Tony Nelson. They held the 1-0 lead over the Hornets and frustrated the physically strong Edina team.
Through two periods goalie Anders Franke shut out the Hornets and stopped all comers. Whether it was odd man rushes, deflections, traffic, or chances from the fore-check, Franke had an answer. Edina continued to work and stormed out in the third period and it was the big three of Anders Lee, Connor Gaarder, and Marshall Everson that delivered for the Hornets.
Everson scored two goals with his first coming off a deflection from a David Jarrett shot. As Jarrett fired one from the right point, Everson got enough to send the puck past Franke. It energized the Hornets as Everson scored the eventual game winner 2:51 later as he tapped in a beautiful pass from Anders Lee.
Connor Gaarder and Charlie Taft were whistled for penalties :36 seconds apart. They shut down the Elks and when Gaarder jumped on the ice, he hustled back in the defensive zone. An errant puck traveled out of the zone and Gaarder accelerated through the neutral zone to race in and blast the puck past Franke as Everson escorted him to the net as a decoy on the 2-0.
The goal gave the Hornets a 3-1 lead and they went on to win as they set up the anticipated final game of the Classic with the Eden Prairie Eagles Saturday night on MyFoxHockey.com. Edina improved to 6-1 while the Elks fell to 5-3. Edina outshot the Elks 33-17 for the game with Ankeny picking up the win in goal.
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