“It’s exciting, and means big things for the program, but there is still a lot more work to do, and the guys know that,” said Chanhassen coach Sean Bloomfield.
A wonky goal ended it less than three minutes into the extra period when Chanhassen’s leading scorer Gavin Uhlenkamp threw a centering pass towards the net that was redirected off at least one defenseman’s skate or stick and into the net for the junior forward’s 16th goal and 30th point of the season.
“I was just trying to deflect it off (linemate) Jack Christ’s stick, and they poked it into the five hole,” Uhlenkamp said. “I don’t know how it happened.”
Goaltender Kam Hendrickson, the state’s leader in goals-against-average at 1.08, kept a lid on Eden Prairie’s spirited effort, and stood through long bouts of heavy pressure from the Eagles’ talented top line to make 35 saves and earn his 17th win of the season.
Hendrickson says as a kid, he’d come to watch sectional semifinal Saturdays at Braemar. Now taking part of it, and succeeding, he says the experience exceeds anything he could have dreamt of as a PeeWee.
“It’s way better,” he said with a smile. “The student section and the atmosphere of it all. Those are the things you don’t notice as a kid. I’m really enjoying it. It’s much better than I would have thought.”
Chanhassen (24-3-0) advanced to the program’s first section final in the program’s 13-year history, and will face No. 2-seed Minnetonka Thursday at Braemar. Having beaten Minnetonka earlier 4-1 on Dec. 10 (also a program first), the Storm expect the Skippers to come out with something to prove, especially as the lower seed.
“We’re playing a familiar opponent,” Bloomfield said. “They know all those guys on that team, and we know they are going to come ready for us.”
Chanhassen will revel in this one, then get back to work on unfinished business.
“It’s a section game and this is Chan history for us,” Hendrickson said. “It’s a lot of nerves and adrenaline. The boys are having some fun tonight, and we’re going to start working towards Thursday.”
Gavin Uhlenkamp’s goal less than three minutes into overtime lifted Chanhassen to a 2-1 win over Eden Prairie in the Class 2A, Section 2 semifinal Saturday at Braemar Arena.
Top-seed Chanhassen, ranked No. 3 in the final Class 2A coaches’ poll, reaches its first section final in the program’s 13-year history, and will face No. 2-seed Minnetonka Thursday at Braemar.
Chanhassen first took the lead when Caden Lee opened the scoring with a power-play goal off a behind-the-net feed from linemate Jack Christ late in the second period.
Later, Eden Prairie netted the equalizer five seconds into a power play after winning the faceoff and quick centering a pass which set up a successful shot from the point from Dylan Vornwald with 6:11 left in regulation.
In the overtime session, a centering pass from the corner banged around the slot and made contact with legs and sticks before redirecting into the Eden Prairie net less than three minutes in.
Chanhassen goaltender Kam Hendrickson weathered long periods of pressure from Eden Prairie (13-13-1) to make 33 saves.
The MN Hockey Hub poll is for entertainment purposes only.