On its home ice, in front of a packed student section, Edina did not disappoint right from the drop of the puck.
Going against one of the top goalies in the state, the Hornets had to come out like it did against Elk River to try and solve Elks goalie Anders Franke.
At least in the first period, they did scoring three goals en route to an impressive 4-1 win.
"I was extremely satisfied with the way we played," Edina coach Curt Giles said. "That is how you have to play against a team like Elk River, who had a good game last night with Eden Prairie."
Just one minute, 23 seconds in, Dylan Malmquist got Edina started when he put in a rebound that was sitting right by the crease.
The pressure stayed steady the rest of the night and the Hornets took advantage of a tough period for Elk River, capitalizing on chances while putting up 18 shots on goal for the period.
"We came out flying with every line doing its part,"Edina forward Connor Hurley said. "We had to because we know Elk River has a goalie that can keep them in games, so we had to throw a lot of pucks at the net."
"It was a tough first period," Franke said. "We might have came out a little flat, but that is a great team over there and they did just about everything right to start a game."
Even when Edina made mistakes such a taking penalties, it would bounce back nicely with a great penalty kill and take that momentum and ride it.
Hurley scored two goals on Franke, one coming in the first right after he was called for boarding.
He received a pass from Andy Jordahl and was off on a 1-on-1 with an Elks defenseman.
A simple cut to the left once he got to the blue line, Hurley did as instructed and just threw the puck at the net and it got by Franke.
"We came out so strong and fast that you just want to continue to do what was working," Hurley said. "I was on a 1-on-1 so I wanted to just get the puck on net and it went in."
To make matters worse for Elk River, Bo Brauer scored with just 13 seconds left in the period to extend the Hornets lead to 3-0.
"I thought the first period for us was horrible," Elks coach Tony Sarsland said. "I didn't know what to expect after that, but we were able to hang in."
Even though Edina did not score in the second, it sustained pressure on Elk River by putting up 17 more shots, totaling 35 through two periods.
"I like that we were so consistent throughout the game," Giles said. "We had some points where they had momentum, but that happens in every game, but if you can limit that time, you are doing a your job and I thought we did that."
After two periods, the Hornets, despite their dominance was only leading 3-1 and Elk River was producing some chances as the game went along.
In similar fashion to how they started the game, they did so again in the third period by applying tons of pressure on the Elks.
"They were still in the game and we didn't want to give them a chance to get a goal early and make it even closer," Brauer said. "It was big for us to keep up the intensity in the third and end it like we did."
It was Hurley again who answered the bell late in a period, this time with 19 seconds left, scoring on a backdoor feed to give Edina a 4-1 lead.
"Going to the bench and just knowing that we had it wrapped up after that was a relief," Hurley said. "For a while, you start to wonder if there's a chance that they might get one and make it a game, so I was very happy after I scored to end it."
In the night cap of the Edina Holiday Classic, No. 9 (Class AA) Edina defeated Elk River 4-1 on Friday, Dec. 16 at Braemar Ice Arena.
Edina unloaded 45 shots on net only to see Elks goalie Anders Franke turn 41 of them away.
Connor Hurley scored twice for the Hornets and was the only player to recorded multiple points for the game.
His first goal came in the opening period, shortly after he came out of the penalty box.
He took a pass from Andy Jordahl, skated up the middle, cut to his left and got off a wrist shot that beat Franke along the ice.
Hurley's second came with 13 seconds left in the game when he one-timed a pass from Ryan Hatch.
Dylan Mamquist and Bo Brauer also scored for the Hornets.
In the second period, Blake Hillman scored for Elk River to cut the lead to 3-1.
As the game progressed, Elk River was able to mount some offense, but it was not able to sustain the pressure that Edina did for a majority of the game.
Willy Benjamin was not as busy as Franke, but he did have a decent workload, stopping 25 of 26 shots.
With the win the Hornets improve to 6-1-0 and will play rival Eden Prairie in the final game of the Edina Holiday Classic on Saturday, Dec. 17 at Braemar Ice Arena.
Elk River drops to 4-2-0 and will take on section rival Grand Rapids on Saturday, Dec. 17 at Braemar Ice Arena.
1. Connor Hurley, Edina
His two goals were one of the few to get by Elks goalie, Anders Franke. They were also late in the first and third periods, which tend to be momentum changing plays. His first came in the opening period right after he took a boarding penalty and the Elks were trying to get back in the mix. In the third, with 19 seconds to go, he ended any slim hope of the Elks making one last run.
2. Anders Franke, Elk River
Franke faced double-digit shot totals in each period, totaling 45 on the night and stopped 41 of them. They were not simple shots from the point with no traffic to navigate through either. He had to be sharp in order to give his team a chance to win, which he did, limiting a high powered Hornets team to only four goals, where if Franke was not his normal self, it could have been a blowout.
3. Bo Brauer, Edina
With just 13 seconds to go in the first period, Brauer showed patience in tallying his lone goal of the game, when he grabbed the puck in front of the Elks net, waited for Elk River goalie Anders Franke to make a move and was able to slip it by him for a goal. It capped off an impressive first period for the Hornets.