Edina's Cullen Munson slips one past Elk's goalie MacLean Berglove late in the second period to give the Hornets a 4-2 lead. Friday, December 20th at the Edina Holiday Classic. Photo by Brian W Nelson
Standing on the Elk River bench was a former Minnesota North Star defenseman. Same goes for the Edina bench.
The reunion didn’t stop with Elks coach Gordie Roberts and Hornets coach Curt Giles, teammates with the North Stars in the 1980s.
Out on the ice for the Hornets was Kieffer Bellows, a sophomore who notched a goal in No. 5-ranked Edina’s 6-3 win over No. 2 Elk River on Friday during the Edina Holiday Classic at Braemar Ice Arena. Remember that name?
Brian Bellows, Kieffer’s dad, was a power forward with a goal-scorer’s knack who played 10 seasons for the North Stars, amassing 342 goals.
“My dad is always there for me,” said Kieffer, a top player on Edina’s Bantam AA state championship team last season. “He talks to me about mental toughness. You can be physically tough, but you have to let those guys … when they try to get under your skin, you have to keep your cool and play the game you want to play.”
Edina senior Miguel Fidler, the son of former North Star Matt Fidler, scored twice in the victory. Want more North Stars connections? Tyler Nanne, the grandson of former North Star player, coach and general manager Lou Nanne, turned in another sterling performance.
“It is fun, it’s a blast, actually,” Giles said about coaching the sons of former teammates Bellows and Fidler. “You know the characteristics of their dads, and the way they played, and they are two different players than their dads. They’re really, really good kids, and they are very good players.”
Edina sends “very good” players out in waves, and the Hornets were in full hurricane force in the second period when sophomore Casey Dornbach and Cullen Munson scored 18 seconds apart. That outburst put Edina ahead 4-2, and Bellows added his goal – his second of the season – 1:21 into the third to make it 5-2.
“Definitely it takes time for them to adjust, and they are doing a great job of adjusting to the style of play at the high school level,” Munson, a senior, said about Edina’s crop of varsity newbies. “It’s different from Bantams for sure. They are burying pucks, and that is all we can ask them to do.”
The victory was the second in as many nights for the Hornets against a top-caliber goaltender. After finally solving Grand Rapids standout Hunter Shepard in an overtime victory on Thursday, Edina avenged an early season loss to the Elks by firing a barrage of pucks at Elk River star Maclean Berglove.
“They have some skill, guys like Munson, Fidler, Nanne and (Dylan) Malmquist,” Berglove said. “They are all fast and they can shoot the puck . You kind of have to be aware of those guys."
Elk River's Jake Jaremko and Edina's Sam Fuss battle in front of the net in Edina's 6-3 victory. Photo by Brian W Nelson