Edina's Dylan Malmquist (right) and Lakeville South's Jake Rahbain (left) collide during the Saturday, Dec. 3, matchup. Photo by Helen Nelson
Some underclassmen can only dream what it’s like to play varsity hockey.
For a pair of Edina forwards -- freshman Dylan Malmquist and sophomore Connor Hurley -- dreams have quickly become reality.
Only dressing two seniors this season, Edina has relied heavily on its youth and received an excellent effort from the young Hornets during a 5-1 victory over Lakeville South on Saturday, Dec. 3.
“We knew they were going to be a good team,” Edina coach Curt Giles said of Lakeville South. “They've got some very good players -- mostly juniors and seniors -- so it's a good test for our young kids. We were looking forward to this and the kids did well.”
Showcasing the Hornets’ younger talent was Malmquist who scored both of Edina’s second period goals as well as Hurley who had a goal and an assist.
With similar styles of play, Giles has put Malmquist and Hurley on a line together junior Andy Jordahl -- a line that seems to be clicking so far this season.
“Coach (Giles) thought we were all small, fast, crafty players so he thought he'd put us together and it's been working really well,” Hurley said.
Edina freshman forward Dylan Malmquist. Photo by Helen Nelson
“That Malmquist, oh my God, he's a snipe.”
Along with the praise from his linemates, Giles added he is well pleased with the way Malmquist and the younger Edina players have competed.
“Dylan's a good player,” Giles said. “He plays both ends of the rink. He scores some goals for us. He plays well defensively. He's a good all-around player. As a ninth grade kid coming into a situation like this, he's done extremely well, Jack Walker has done extremely well.
“Our young kids have done very well.”
Despite scoring not only his first two goals of the season as well as his varsity career, Malmquist was quick to shift credit to his linemates for his successful game.
“It wasn't really me it was more my team that did it,” Malmquist said. “On my first goal, it was (Andy) Jordahl's hard work to get it out of the zone and then (Connor) Hurley's pass over.
“So it was a team effort in our win today.”
A message mirrored from the atmosphere in the Edina locker room.
“I think it's a team effort from everyone,” Giles said. “I think there's nothing better than having some young kids on your team too. It brings a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of excitement, a little bit of nervousness and we've got kids that are juniors and seniors who can calm things down.
“It's an exciting locker room, it's a lot of fun and we have some very good leadership from (Nick) Leer, and from Beaupre, and from (Louie) Nanne, and you've got Parker Reno and Matt Nelson to settle things down. So we've got good leadership at all levels.”
With one week and four games in the books, Edina owns a 3-1-0 record and the Hornets continue to grow closer to each other and hungry for more wins.
“It gives us a lot of confidence for upcoming games,” Malmquist said. “I think our team came together more and that's what is helping us win.”
Edina coach Curt Giles providing in-game poiinters during his team's game against Lakeville South on Saturday, Dec. 3. Photo by Helen Nelson
Most people would not be able to hold the entire attention of a packed arena during an action-packed hockey game.
That said, it’s clear that Lakeville South’s Justin Kloos is not just ‘most people’.
The Cougars’ captain is a preseason favorite to be among the list at the end of the season of those nominated for Mr. Hockey and captivated the attention of fans and Edina defenseman, alike.
Scoring 90 points (41 goals, 49 assists) last season, Kloos is certainly going to have opposing coaches drawing up specialized game plans when playing Lakeville South.
“Well you have to,” Giles said. “He's a gifted player, he's a good player but the thing about him though he's not just a shooter. He's a very unselfish player. I talked to (Lakeville South coach Kurt Weber) before the game (about Kloos), he's a very intelligent kid. He knows the game, he studies the game and he knows that if we're crowding him he dishes off to his teammates and he's got teammates who can play as well.”
Edina made sure to have at least one body on the high-scoring senior and attempted to block any of his shots.
“He's a smart player, he's a good player and someone you gotta be aware of all the time when he's on the ice,” Giles said.
Not even the extra attention could keep Kloos off the score sheet as the forward punched in a loose puck on the power play for his first goal of what could be many during the 2011-2012 season.
Lakeville South senior forward and co-captain Justin Kloos (left) battles with Edina's Connor Hurley during the Saturday, Dec. 3, game. Photo by Helen Nelson
Following the 5-1 loss to Edina on Saturday, Dec. 3, Lakeville South coach Kurt Weber took some time to talk about the game, where the Cougars will go from here and super-star senior Justin Kloos.
Question: It was a tough start to the 2011-2012 season but there’s plenty of hockey to play. What do you think were the key points to the game?
Answer: We started slow -- not how you expected. Goaltending was a little shaky, that doesn't help things. You get down and you have to play from behind and so for us that's not where you want to go. This is their fourth game and they look better. Bottom line is they executed a little better. Third period we came around and started playing finally and kind of settled down. Second and third period were obviously much better but you go down, that third goal on the power play late in the first was kind of the killer. I knew we'd be a little shaky but if we could have gotten out of the first down 2-1 or 2-0 at the time it would have been a little bit different. We got better as the game went on and that's what we expected.
Q: You have a week until your next game. What will you be working on with your team in practice?
A: We gotta be better -- our execution especially. We tried to run a two-man forecheck initially which was real sloppy so we switched out of that. Once we did, it's a little easier to play that than the two man. That opportunity for us has got to be better, we have to execute better. We have some juniors who are playing their first full stint at varsity though they may have played a little last year and I think we have to get more out of them. Our first line can play and our second line came on later and they're capable of doing that and that's just that expectation to play. Our defensive zone has to be a little bit better. You can't give up 18 shots in the first period especially against a good team and expect to play. For us, the intensity got better, we controlled the puck a little better but we gotta hit the net. We probably attempted 80 shots and against a team like this if you don't put them on the net you're not going to (score goals). That's always something early in the year you gotta get under control -- controlling the opportunities. We got Eagan coming next so that'll be a good test for us as well.
Q: After a cluster in front of the net, one of your players punched home a loose puck for a power play goal. Was there any doubt it would senior captain Justin Kloos coming out celebrating?
A: The thing about him is he finds the puck. He knows where it is. It looks like -- to everybody else -- on the ice there's 15 guys in the way, he reaches in and is able to get it. When you watch him, he doesn't lose sight of the puck very often. He's able to get his stick in there in a way that very few kids can and then he knows where the net is. He's extremely smart. When he picks up the puck he knows where everybody is at. So for him to finish is kind of an expectation for us, we've seen it enough. You wonder how he's able to get in there and find the puck with all that chaos. He's the difference maker for us and we'll go as he goes. We got some kids that can play with him but he set some guys up today that had some chances to bury some nice pucks and we didn't do it.
Q: There was some speculation early on whether or not you’d have Kloos this season. What has it been like to have him back and what does his presence bring to the locker room and your team?
A: It's huge. He's a game changer. He's a kid that will carry everybody on his back. The nice thing about him is he's the real deal, not only on the ice but around his teammates. He makes everybody better. He works harder than anybody on the ice, he's always here, he's always thinking, on the bench he's talking with players. We're fortunate that he stayed home but that's the type of kid he is. He's a very humble young man and he wants to be with his friends and he wants to be in a state tournament which is something that we haven't got to yet. With this group of kids and with as much depth as we have, if we can get a goalie to settle in that has been our issue. For him to return is huge and I think it sends a great message. Kyle Rau staying home (last season for Eden Prairie) sent a great message about high school hockey and the fact that he's doing so well at the collegiate level is huge. I think this is a good thing for high school hockey in general and obviously for our program it sends a message that he has confidence in staying here and playing with us even though there's a lot of pressure for him to go someplace else. But he went down and played juniors and he's a smart kid. He came back and said they're physically stronger but they're not really that much smarter. So I think he didn't see the jump that everybody claims. For him that jump is physical only. He sees the ice so well. When you watch him out there, he can get a lot done even by himself if he has to.
Edina freshman forward Dylan Malmquist scored twice and Willy Benjamin made 25 saves as the Hornets defeated Lakeville South 5-1 on Saturday, Dec. 3.
Showing their in-season experience in the Cougars' home opener, Edina got off to a quick start registering a whopping 18 shots on goal and scoring three goals in the first period -- including a power play goal by Connor Hurley with six seconds left.
Malmquist scored at the 1:22 mark to kick things off in the second period but Lakeville South's Justin Kloos answered just over four minutes later with a power play goal.
Scoring a power play goal of his own, Malmquist's second of the game sealed the victory for Edina and ended the night early for Cougars' starting goaltender Tyler Schumacher.
With the victory Edina improves its record to 3-1-0 and will take to the road again on Tuesday, Dec. 6, for a 7 p.m. game against Anoka.
Lakeville South (0-1-0) will have time to work out the early season kinks as the Cougars will pursue their first victory of the season when they host Eagan at Dakotah Ice Center on Saturday, Dec. 10, at 2 p.m.
1. Dylan Malmquist, Edina
This game may be one Malmquist never forgets. The freshmen scored his first and second goals of the season and his varsity career -- both coming in the second period. Not showing signs of intimidation, Malmquist was a presence at both ends of the ice adding physicality to his excellent offensive play.
2. Connor Hurley, Edina
Technically, Hurley's power play goal with six seconds remaining in the first period was not the official game-winning goal; but it sure set the tone for the rest game. Playing his first season with the Hornets (after playing for Holy Angels during the 2010-2011 season), Hurley is already showing offensive influence as the sophomore forward also assisted on a power play goal by linemate Malmquist.
3. Hunter Ziniel, Lakeville South
His team may have lost and he didn't even start the game but the senior goaltender was ready after being called upon to replace Tyler Schumacher in the second period. Ziniel did his job recording 11 saves, keeping Edina off the scoresheet and giving his team an opportunity for a comeback, though it would be unsuccessful. Ziniel looked good during his short time between the pipes for the Cougars and several of his saves came at key moments when things could have gotten even uglier.