Edina's Miguel Fidler (12) gets credited with a goal in the third period to tie the score against Bloomington Jefferson. The Hornets went on to win 5-4 and advance to the Section 2AA championship. Photo by Adam Crane
Jaguars' goalie Grant Martens saw plenty of bodies in front of Bloomington Jefferson's net. Photo by Adam Crane
Edina has always had the aura of being the state's elite program.
Night in and night out the Hornets get their opponents' best shot -- and maybe more.
"There is always pressure here, and every team is going to come after you with everything they got," Hornets' sophomore forward Dylan Malmquist said. "We just have to make sure we are at the top of our game."
As the No. 1-seed in Section 2AA the Hornets got all they could handle from No. 4-seeded Bloomington Jefferson in Edina's 5-4 victory in the Section 2AA semifinals on Saturday, Feb. 23 at Braemar Ice Arena.
The Hornets' victory didn't come without some controversy.
Bloomington Jefferson built a 4-3 lead with two goals early in the third period.
Junior Jono Lindquist tied the score at 3 with a wrist shot that beat Willie Benjamin and Tyler Johnson was credited with a goal 36 seconds later when he attempted a pass to Lindquist breaking to the net, but the puck deflected off a Hornet and past Benjamin.
"We had the lead going into the third and with a blink of the eye, all of the sudden we are down one," Hornets senior captain Matt Nelson said.
It was Bloomington Jefferson's first lead. Edina coach Curt Giles immediately called a timeout.
"There are going to be a lot of emotions running through, and we have to remember these are mostly 16- or 17-year-old kids," he said. "We talked and settled down, and I thought we played really well after that.
Edina pushed and pressured the Jaguars as the tension grew with every rush.
Finally, with 4 minutes, 34 seconds left Miguel Fidler tied the score when his wrist shot hit Jaguars' goalie Grant Martens and crossed the line.
Or did it?
The referees quickly got together for a conference and went to the goal judge for some further consultation.
After deliberation they ruled that Fidler did indeed score.
"I would have liked to know if that fourth goal went in to be honest with you," Jaguars' coach Jeff Lindquist said. "My kids are telling me that it didn't, and the guys behind the glass are telling me it didn't."
To make matters worse for the Jaguars, Johnny Panvica was called with interference with 67 seconds left in the third.
Nelson made them pay with a power-play goal with 49 seconds left.
"This was the last game at Braemar for our seniors, so it was great to see our captain get the game-winner," said Hornets forward Andy Jordahl, who had two goals. "He is our captain, and he came up huge."
Nelson entered the playoffs with three goals. He was determined to notch his first of the postseason against the Jaguars.
"I knew I was going to shoot. I've been shooting the whole game," he said. "I didn't know it went in until the light went off. It was amazing."
Edina's Cullen Munson gets a shot on Bloomington Jefferson goalie Grant Martens. Photo by Adam Crane
It was a little over a month ago when Edina coach Curt Giles decided it was time to put one of his more prolific lines back together.
Dylan Malmquist, Andy Jordahl and Connor Hurley were on separate lines before the switch. The trio had played together with much success last season.
The reunion paid off big in the Section 2AA semifinals.
The three combined for six points. Jordahl scored twice, and both Malmquist and Hurley chipped in with two assists.
"We got them back together and they have been playing really well," Giles said. "In these games you need your big players to step up and we got that from them."
Passing was crisp, breakouts were a breeze and scoring chances were abundant when they stepped on the ice.
Malmquist was automatic when it came to getting odd man rushes or even a few close-range breakaways.
"It's great to play with two talented players everyday," Jordahl said. "When we got back on the same line, everything seemed to just click right away."
Jordahl's second goal on the power play in the second period was more evidence of how dangerous this line can be.
After getting the puck to Malmquist in the corner, Malmquist skated behind the net. Instead of bring the puck with him the whole way, he passed it back to Jordahl, who was crashing to the left pipe from the boards, and one-timed a shot by Martens.
"We feel like we have played really well together since we have been together," Malmquist said. "I get the opportunity to play with two great players like Andy said, and we're just happy that we are helping out."
Matt Nelson scored the game-winning goal on the power play with 49 seconds left in the third period to give top seed Edina a 5-4 victory against No. 4-seeded Bloomington Jefferson in the Section 2AA semifinals on Saturday, Feb. 23 at Braemar Ice Arena.
Edina held a 3-2 lead going into the third period, but the Jaguars scored two goals in the first 85 seconds of the third to take a 4-3 lead.
Jono Lindquist scored 49 seconds into the third on a wrist shot that beat Hornets' goalie Willie Benjamin stick side, and Tyler Johnson was credited with a goal shortly after when his pass to the front of the net deflected off a Hornet and past Benjamin.
Miguel Fidler tied the score with 4:34 seconds left in the third when his wrist shot was first blocked by Jaguars' goalie Grant Martens and was ruled to have crossed the line.
The referees had a conference and consulted with the goal judge before ruling that Fidler's attempt would count.
Bloomington Jefferson's Johnny Panvica was called for interference with 1 minute, 7 seconds left in the third and on the ensuing power play Nelson scored on a wrist shot along the ice that got through traffic and past Martens.
Lindquist led Bloomington Jefferson with two goals. Johnson and Charlie Bach had the other Jaguars goals.
Andy Jordahl scored twice for the Hornets, and Anthony Walsh chipped in with a goal.
Martens finished with 33 saves on 38 shots, and Benjamin made 20 saves.
Edina advances to the Section 2AA championship game on Wednesday, March 6 at Mariucci Arena.
1. Andy Jordahl, Edina
Jordahl notched two goals for the Hornets and was a force all night. If he didn't score, he was creating havoc by either dishing passes to spark an odd-man rush or firing shots on goal at will.
2. Jono Lindquist, Bloomington Jefferson
Lindquist found the back of the net twice and showed he could score in a variety of ways. His first was a muscle goal, driving to the net and chipping a puck by Edina goalie Willie Benjamin. In the third, he ripped a wrist shot by Benjamin's blocker to tie the score.
3. Matt Nelson, Edina
The senior captain made his last game at Braemar Ice Arena count. Nelson scored the game-winning goal with just 49 seconds left on the power play and added an assist.