Eden Prairie's Phil Feinberg (10), with Jake Luloff (17), skated to the Eden Prairie fans to celebrate Feinberg's game winning goal in overtime to send the Eagles to the Class 2A state tournament. Photo: JEFF WHEELER • email@example.com
Eden Prairie boys’ hockey players entered the locker room after their 4-3 overtime victory Wednesday against Minnetonka saying “never a doubt” with a typical mix of teenage humor and bravado.
But doubt loomed in the second period as the underdog Skippers buried three goals in 62 seconds and built a 3-1 lead in the Class 2A, Section 2 championship game at the Eden Prairie Community Center.
“We were reeling,” said Eagles’ coach Lee Smith, who called a timeout to re-group. “I just wanted to get through the period without any more damage.”
No. 3-ranked Eden Prairie (18-1-2) had defeated Minnetonka 9-5 on Feb. 6 but the Skippers played them to a 2-2 draw in a March 5 rematch. The common thread in those games, one that extended into Wednesday’s playoff showdown, was the Skippers’ refusal to concede.
As No. 12-ranked Minnetonka (12-7-2) prepared for a second-period faceoff in the Eagles’ zone trailing 1-0, fans clad in blue and white rose to their feet, imploring their boys to pounce. Graham Harris answered with the equalizer.
Ten seconds later, after Minnetonka attacked off the center-ice faceoff, Hunter Newhouse pushed home the puck for a 2-1 lead.
Then Harris put away a rebound and Minnetonka’s 3-1 lead forced Smith’s request for a breather.
Eden Prairie fought back from a two-goal deficit to edge Minnetonka 4-3 in overtime Wednesday in the Class 2A, Section 2 championship game.
Phil Feinberg tipped a Kam Langefels shot into the back of the net at 2:01 of the first overtime period. Feinberg, a junior forward, tallied just his second goal of the season.
No. 3-ranked Eden Prairie (18-1-2), runner up in the past two state tournaments, saw its early 1-0 lead disappear in a three-goal barrage by No. 12 Minnetonka (12-7-2) in the second period.
The Eagles regrouped with two power-play goals to force overtime at the Eden Prairie Community Center.
The Eagles had defeated Minnetonka 9-5 on Feb. 6 but the Skippers played them to a 2-2 draw in the March 5 rematch.
Check back later for more on the game.