The crosstown rivalry between the Edina Hornets and the Benilde-St. Margaret's Red Knights renewed acquaintances at the St. Louis Park Rec Center Tuesday night. The MyFoxHockey.com crowd was on hand to witness the #1 Hornets and Red Knights play for the first time since their memorable State Semi-Final game.
The teams are markedly different in their makeup as they both graduated a number of high impact player. The Hornets bring a bevy of impact players from last year's State runner up team an they relied on them one again to put the game away by a score of 6-2.
The Hornets (13-1-0) received impressive goaltending in the outset of the game as John Ankeny stood tall between the pipes. He was on angle, controlled his rebounds, and didn't panic as Brett Patterson and the Red Knights generated some quality chances early in the first period.
The line of Marshall Everson, Connor Gaarder, and Anders Lee entered the game with 21 goals and 30 assists in their past five contests. They added to that number Tuesday night combining for 4 goals and 6 assists. Marshall Everson deposited a pass off the left side of the goal after Anders Lee took advantage of a turnover high at the blue line. Lee walked to the slot, held the puck, and feathered a pass to Everson for the put back and the 1-0 lead at 9:32 of the first period.
Anders Lee put the Hornets ahead 2-0 as he converted a pass from Connor Gaarder. Red Knights goalie Jacob Myers was camped off the left post. The pass from Gaarder was a bullet launched from off the right post as Lee picked up the past and finished to the open net as Meyers could not get over in time.
As the period ground to a close, it was John Eppel notching his 4th of th season as he fired a puck in deep. Suddenly, it deflected off a Red Knight and worked its way to the goal. Meyers had already vacated the net and hurried back to try to make the save. It snuck under his pads for the 3-0 Edina lead.
The Hornets stung the shocked Red Knights for two more in the second as Charlie Taft grabbed a high rebound in the slot off a shot from Matt VanVooris and fired a quick shot past Meyers for the 4-0 lead at 2:25 of the second period. The Red Knights appeared to be in shock and were not moving in the defensive zone. The Hornets struck again as it was Everson with his 2nd of the game and 19th of the season at 4:24.
Red Knight coach Ken Pauly called timeout and rallied his team. They finished with passion and responded to the call. Although it was a bit late down 5-0. Pat Cron backhanded his 8th of the season off a John Duda shot into the net as Ankeny looked on at 10:40.
Brett Patterson was rewarded for his hard work and punched home his 10th of the season at :22 of the third period. Sam Anderson walked the puck low and fed Patterson to the low slot who buried the puck on a one time effort past Ankeny.
Lee scored the game's final goal at 5:10 of the third period as Everson and Gaarder worked a spectacular three way passing play to the waiting Lee. Late in the game Red Knight back up goalie Rob Ankeny was inserted in the lineup and he got the opportunity to face his brother John in goal. Rob Ankeny as perfect on four shots and kept the game at 6-2. The Red Knights (10-3-0) face off with The Marshall School Duluth Saturday while the Hornets take on the Eden Prairie Eagles Friday night. That game can be seen on MyFoxHockey.com
The Hornets had contributions from all three lines and the defencemen were steady. Ankeny was solid in goal making the Hornets look the part at number one. For the Red Knights, they responded when challenged and will be heard from down the stretch. Patterson, Will Nelson, Brian Glynn, Pat Borer and Patrick Duda played like seniors and give coach Ken Pauly reason to believe his team is as good as advertised.
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