Holy Family Catholic celebrates Patrick Reddan's goal in the final minute of the second period to push them ahead 2-0. The Fire defeated Minnetonka 5-1 to advance to next week's Class 2A, Section 2 final. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine
There’s no delicate way to say it. Not that Patrick Reddan was worried about his wording.
“We were getting our butts handed to us there in the second period,” the Holy Family Catholic senior forward said.
Indeed, after dominating first period, the Fire were manhandled by Minnetonka in the second. More accurately, for all but the final 20 seconds of the period. That’s when Reddan stepped in and said, in so many words, enough is enough.
“It’s nice to have a guy like that who you know you can put out there and change the game in a matter of seconds,” Holy Family Catholic coach Noel Rahn said after Reddan scored three goals as the Fire beat Minnetonka 5-1 on Saturday afternoon in a Class 2A, Section 2 semifinal at the Bloomington Ice Garden.
Reddan’s goal with 20 seconds left in the second period put the Fire ahead 2-0, the lone goal in a period in which the Fire were outshot 18-5 and struggled mightily just to get the puck out of their zone.
“Devastating” is how Minnetonka coach Brian Urick described the period’s unexpected ending.
“To give up one there in the last 20 seconds after pounding them for that amount of time,” Urick said. “That was hard. And then the start of the third was a disaster.”
Reddan, in his fifth season playing on the Fire’s varsity, was in the middle of that, too. He scored 37 seconds into the third to put the Fire ahead 3-0. Sufficiently energized, Jack Michel added a goal 25 seconds later to put Holy Family Catholic ahead by four and all but assure the Fire’s first trip to a section final in the program’s history.
“It feels really good . . . really, really good,” Reddan said about advancing further in the playoffs than any other Fire team. “There’s been a lot of heartbreak, but this is great.”
Much of that playoff heartbreak has been dispensed by Eden Prairie, the Fire’s section final opponent at 6 p.m. on Wednesday at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis. The teams don’t play each other in the regular season, but this one of the state’s best budding young rivalries. Eden Prairie beat Holy Family Catholic 4-2 in the section semifinals last year. In 2014, the Eagles routed the Fire 6-2, also in the section semifinals.
Reddan, for his part, isn’t thinking much about the playoffs of seasons past. He’s all about the here and now.
“This whole year has been a big high, we’ve done some great things for the program, beating Edina to start the year, our first 20-win season, and now we’re going to a section final,” Reddan said. “Hopefully we can keep riding this one out – a year of firsts.”
Reddan and Matt Anderson, a fellow fifth-year senior, have seen the Fire gradually build from a one- or two-star team focused on scoring goals but struggling to prevent them to what they are now – three solid lines loaded with speed and grit, four defenseman who will likely play at the Division I level and a 6-foot-3 goaltender also a lock to play college hockey.
“This is why I came back, you know,” said Anderson, who has committed to play at Minnesota-Duluth and turned down offers to play junior hockey this season and last. “We’ve been working on this since my eighth-grade year. We’ve been kind of putting the steps higher every time, and we expect more, and this is where we expected to be.
“We’ve just got to keep going.”
Reddan, who added an empty net goal in the closing minutes (his 19th goal of the season), will no doubt have a role in any section final Fire success.
“Speed, leadership, dependable, consistency, he’s got all the things you love to have in players, especially your seniors,” Rahn said.
Minnetonka freshman Bobby Brink moves in on net while Holy Family Catholic goalie Jared Moe mans the crease during the second period. Holy Family Catholic defeated Minnetonka 5-1. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine
Senior Patrick Reddan scored three goals to boost Holy Family Catholic past Minnetonka 5-1 and into a section championship game for the first time in the Fire’s history on Saturday in the semifinals of the Class 2A, Section 2 playoffs at the Bloomington Ice Garden.
The Fire (22-4-1) advance to play Eden Prairie (20-4-2) at 6 p.m. on Wednesday in the section championship game at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis. Eden Prairie beat Prior Lake 2-1 at Braemar Arena in Edina in Saturday’s other section semifinal.
Holy Family Catholic was clinging to a 1-0 lead when Reddan, in his fifth season playing for the Fire’s varsity squad, scored with 20 seconds left in the second period. The goal ended a long stretch of heavy forechecking by Minnetonka, which kept Holy Family Catholic pinned in its end for most of the second period as the Skippers outshot the Fire 18-5.
Reddan scored again just 37 seconds into the third to put the Fire ahead 3-0, and Jack Michel added a goal just 25 seconds after Reddan’s as Holy Family Catholic surged to a 4-0 lead.
Minnetonka (15-12) pulled to within 4-1 with 8:20 left in the third on a goal by Jack Bayless.
Reddan scored his third of the day and 19th of the season into an empty net with 2:01 remaining.
Minnetonka had a 35-19 advantage in shots on goal, but Jared Moe, a 6-foot-3 junior, doubled as stone wall in goal for the Fire, making 34 stops. Senior Matt Muller made 14 saves for the Skippers.
Holy Family Catholic improved to 6-0 against Minnetonka.
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