Edina's Andy Jordahl stuff the puck into the goal from his knees during the Hornets' 9-3 state Class 2A quarterfinal win over Lakeville North. Photo by Adam Crane
The formal media season was over, but Connor Hurley was just getting started.
Four more interviews awaited the Edina junior forward, as reporters looking for that perfect sound byte or video clip were lined up like jets over LaGuardia.
Senior Andy Jordahl didn’t command quite the same attention.
“Come on, someone has got to ask Jordy a question,” Edina coach Curt Giles implored with a smile as the session deep in the underbelly of the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul was about to end.
Earlier, Giles drew some chuckles from reporters when he described Jordahl as the key to Edina’s top line, a unit that includes sophomore Dylan Malmquist and junior Connor Hurley, two players who rank among the best in their age group in the nation.
“No question about that,” Giles said, reaffirming Jordahl as top line’s catalyst. “That’s what we say all the time.”
Edina senior Andy Jordahl crashes the net in search of a rebound. Photo by Adam Crane
Hurley has committed to play at Notre Dame and is a likely high-round NHL draft pick. Malmquist has the same sort of talent and potential hockey future.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether the deadpan Giles is serious or cracking wise.
Turns out he wasn’t kidding about Jordahl.
“People think I’m joking about that,” Giles said. “I’m not.”
Hurley had three goals and an assist, and Malmquist had two goals and an assist in the Hornets’ 9-3 demolition of Lakeville North on Thursday, March 7, in the state Class 2A quarterfinals
“These two kids are extremely, extremely talented,” Giles said about Hurley and Malmquist.
Then there’s Jordahl. He had a goal and an assist against the Panthers.
“You watch Jordy, and you watch film of Jordy, and you watch Jordy play, and he just kind of moves along,” Giles said. “But then the next thing you know he makes that play.”
Edina's Dylan Malmquist (20) and Connor Hurley (16) make up the more well-known two-thirds of the Hornets' top line. Photo by Adam Crane.
Last season the trio of Hurley, Malmquist and Jordahl shouldered much of the Hornets’ scoring load -- Hurley went just three games out of 30 without a point. Edina, however, didn’t have the firepower to match Benilde-St. Margaret’s in last year’s state Class 2A quarterfinals. The Red Knights beat the Hornets 5-1 en route to the championship.
“Everybody knows if you put Hurley and Malmquist and Jordahl together, good things are going to happen,” Giles said. “But then you have one line. We’ve been down that road before. With one line you can only go so far and get so much done.”
Zach Budish, Anders Lee and Marshall Everson formed one of the most potent lines in Edina history, but as seniors they lost 5-2 to Moorhead in the 2009 state quarterfinals. Budish was injured and didn’t play in that game, but No. 1 Edina still was an overwhelming favorite to, at the very least, reach the title game.
Giles has been wary of stacking his top line ever since. He didn’t know what he had in Malmquist, Hurley and Jordahl last year until they started scoring at a steady clip. Before this season Giles figured it might be best to spread the scoring around. No more live-and-die with three players.
Jordahl had good success on a line with Cullen Munson and Bo Brauer, but the production of Edina’s top line dipped. Hurley has been held without a point seven times this season, including three straight games against top opponents during the Schwan Cup Gold Division tournament in late December.
Giles said unlike last season opposing teams have been intent on stopping Hurley and Malmquist at any cost.
Jordahl was moved back to the No. 1 line late in the season. On Thursday the good times returned with the combined six goals against Lakeville North, including a diving wraparound by Jordahl early in the third period.
“He’s just one of those guys, every pass, every shot, everything, it just seems like it’s perfect,” Hurley said about Jordahl. “He’s kind of a little quiet guy but he quietly gets the points. He’s obviously a big key for us. He makes it happen."