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Edina puts away Eden Prairie to win third straight

By Heather Rule, SportsEngine, 12/30/16, 7:15AM CST

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The Hornets defeated the Eagles 4-2 to advance to the Schwan Cup Gold Division championship.




Jett Jungels (22) scored Edina's second goal over the leg pads of Eden Prairie goaltender Nick Wiencek. The Hornets defeated the Eagles 4-2 to advance to the championship of the Schwan's Cup Gold Division on Saturday. Photo by Cheryl Myers, SportsEngine



In their first meeting of the season between Lake Conference foes Edina, ranked No. 7 in the state coaches’ poll, and No. 4-2A Eden Prairie, it was the visiting Eagles that beat Edina 6-1.

So, the Hornets (7-3) returned the favor with a 4-2 victory over the Eagles (6-3-2) Friday night in the Gold Division semifinals of the Schwan Cup at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis.

Junior forward Lewis Crosby scored a pair of goals, including a shorty, plus an assist for the Hornets for his sixth and seventh tallies of the season. He also had a three-point game this season earlier this month against Elk River.

“Lewis played really, really well tonight,” said Edina coach Curt Giles. “He’s played really well for us all year.”

The scoring started with Eden Prairie’s Casey Mittelstadt getting his team-leading ninth goal of the season with 6:12 left in the first period to put his team in front 1-0. He skated into the zone and through defenders before snapping a quick shot from the circle.

The Hornets responded exactly a minute later with Crosby’s first goal of the night to tie the game.

“The key after that first goal is to get one as quick as you possibly can so that once Eden Prairie gets rolling and once they get comfortable… they’re hard to stop,” Giles said. “A nice response by our kids to get that goal.”

The Hornets took a 2-1 lead into the break when sophomore forward Jett Jungels, with 59.2 ticks on the clock, put away an easy shot with the goaltender already down on the ice. That was a helpful goal for the Hornets, Giles said.

“Because then the momentum changes, and in high school hockey, it changes quickly,” Giles said.

Indeed, the momentum did change yet again.

Senior forward Hunter Johannes tied the game at 2-2 just 29 seconds into the second period, getting the Eagles right back into the game. Then a few minutes later, the Eagles had a chance to take the lead on the power play.

Instead, it was the Hornets who generated a couple of scoring chances, capped with Crosby’s shorthanded, unassisted goal with 15 seconds remaining on the penalty. He drove the zone and went in with some speed to bury the puck.

Crosby said he got the puck in the defensive zone and had a teammate behind him to help him see where the defenders were on the play.

“I could see it, just used my speed to get around the guy, and just take it to the net,” Crosby said.

The emotions on the bench can get pretty high with the back-and-forth game, but Crosby said he thought they did a good job of staying calm.

“Not have the highs be too high, not have the lows be too low,” Crosby said.

The Hornets opened up a two-goal lead just three minutes later with a goal from sophomore forward Mason Nevers.

Junior goaltender Garrett Mackay made 26 saves for the Hornets, while senior Eagles goalie Nicky Wiencek stopped 33.

“I was pretty happy with how I played, and the team in front of me, too,” Mackay said.

 


Eden Prairie goaltender Nick Wiencek (center) faced 37 shots from Lake Conference rival Edina. Photo by Cheryl Myers, SportsEngine

First Report

The Hornets, ranked No. 7 in Class 2A via the Minnesota coaches’ poll, responded exactly a minute later with Crosby’s first goal of the night to tie the game. They took a 2-1 lead into the break when Jett Jungels, with 59.2 ticks on the clock, put away an easy shot with the goaltender already down on the ice.

Senior forward Hunter Johannes tied the game at 2-2 just 29 seconds into the second period, getting the No. 4-2A Eagles right back into the game. Then a few minutes later, the Eagles had a chance to take the lead on the power play.

Instead, it was the Hornets who generated a couple of scoring chances, capped with Crosby’s shorthanded, unassisted goal with 15 seconds remaining on the penalty. He drove the zone and went in with some speed to bury the puck.

The Hornets opened up a two-goal lead just three minutes later with a goal from sophomore forward Mason Nevers.

Junior goaltender Garrett Mackay made 26 saves for the Hornets, while senior Eagles goalie Nicky Wiencek stopped 33.

The Hornets will face St. Thomas Academy in the Gold Division Championship at 6 p.m. Saturday at Ridder Arena.

These conference opponents will face each other again on Jan. 19 at Eden Prairie's home rink.


Lewis Crosby tallied two goals and an assists in Friday night's win. Photo by Cheryl Myers, SportsEngine

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