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Edina’s Sammy Walker, jersey flapping in the breeze as he zooms in on a breakaway, is an all-to-familiar sight for Minnetonka goaltender Charlie Glockner.
Walker twice scored on breakaways during the Hornets’ 8-2 drubbing of the Skippers on Jan. 25. Given plenty of time to reflect on that game, and those Walker goals, Glockner decided to try a new approach to stop Walker should the two ever again meet in similar fashion.
“Last game he had a breakaway on me and he shot,” Glockner said about Walker, a top candidate to win this year’s Mr. Hockey award. “It was a good shot, it went bar down on me … top corner.
“This time I tried to throw a little fake poke check in there to get him thinking.”
With the score tied at 1 and just a few seconds remaining in the second period on Saturday, Glockner again found himself facing a streaking Walker one-on-one. Glockner, as planned, tried his trickery. And it worked. Walker, who had scored in the closing seconds of the first period on a wraparound play from the side of the net, was unable to beat Glockner with his deke and quick, low shot.
Glockner’s leg pad stop sent the Skippers into the locker room in feel-good fashion, and it’s no coincidence they opened the third period with three goals in the first 5:17. The scoring flurry electrified the near-capacity Pagel Activity Center crowd about about 1,600 and gave the Skippers a 2-1 edge in their three-game regular season series with the arch rival Hornets.
“That was a bit of a scary one there,” said Minnetonka junior Jack Bayless, who scored twice against the Hornets, about Walker’s breakaway. “But we have faith in (Glockner) to make that save.”
Minnetonka (19-2-2) entered Saturday’s matchup ranked No. 2 in the state in Class 2A coaches’ poll. Edina (21-2-0) was ranked No. 1. The teams have taken turns sitting atop the state rankings for most of the season and are likely to remain there until the playoffs start in a few weeks.
Glockner’s brilliant play on Saturday (he finished with 24 saves) will likely vault Minnetonka back to the into the No. 1 ranking. Glockner, a 6-foot-2 junior, benefits from facing the Skippers’ legion of sharpshooters every day in practice.
“They give me a hard time when they score, but I manage to stop a few,” Glockner said with a laugh about his practice duels with teammates. “It’s a lot of fun, growing up with your best friends playing high school hockey. We just enjoy every day of it.”
Senior Joe Molenaar and junior Jack Bayless each scored twice, and junior goaltender Charlie Glockner had several clutch stops among his 24 saves as Minnetonka beat Edina 5-3 on Saturday afternoon in a matchup of the state’s top-ranked Class 2A teams in front of a packed Pagel Activity Center crowd of about 1,600 in Minnetonka.
Bayless scored 2:57 into the third period to put Minnetonka (19-2-2), ranked No. 2 in Class 2A in the state coaches’ poll, ahead 2-1. Molenaar added a goal 11 seconds later, and senior Luke Loheit also scored during the three-goal flurry that covered a span of 2:20 and ended with the Skippers leading 4-1.
Edina (21-2-0) pulled goaltender Garrett Mackay in the final minutes and closed to within 4-3 with 13 seconds left on a goal by Jett Jungels. Molenaar ended any thoughts of a dramatic Hornets comeback by scoring into an empty net with 2 seconds remaining.
Edina's Sammy Walker, a strong candidate to win this season’s Mr. Hockey award given to the state’s best senior skater, scored a shorthanded goal with 5:09 left to pull the No. 1-2A Hornets to within 4-2. Walker also scored a power-play goal with 2 seconds left in the first period.
Walker had a prime chance to repeat his buzzer-beating theatrics at the end of the second period, but Glockner stopped the Edina speedster on a breakaway just before the clock expired and the horn sounded.
Edina played without high-scoring senior forward Demetrios Koumontzis and junior defenseman Mike Vorlicky. Both were out with what Edina coach Curt Giles described as minor injuries.
The victory over Edina was Minnetonka’s second in three games between the teams this season. The Skippers, the only team to beat the Hornets, won 5-2 during a late-December holiday tournament. Edina pounded the Minnetonka 8-2 in the Jan. 25 rematch at Braemar Ice Arena in Edina.
The MN Hockey Hub poll is for entertainment purposes only.