Minnetonka's Sam Rothstein (23) took a break from scoring goals to take the body on an Edina player. Photo by Helen Nelson
The hat trick was the first of Rothstein’s varsity career. A surprising fact, given that he has been a main cog in the Skippers’ offense for each of the past two seasons.
“He doesn’t shoot enough,” Minnetonka coach Brian Urick said with a grin. “That’s why he doesn’t have hat tricks.”
Unselfish to a fault, Rothstein, the son of former Grand Rapids and University of Minnesota star Tom Rothstein, usually accumulates his points by feeding the puck to longtime linemate and scoring star Erik Baskin.
The uncanny chemistry between the two seniors has led to dozens of highlight-reel goals, including one in the second period with the teams each playing a man short. Baskin and Rothstein played an extended game of catch with the puck in the Hornets’ end, exchanging it enough times that Minnetonka fans in the bleachers were on their feet screaming, “Shoot!”
Finally, Rothstein did exactly that, whipping a shot past Edina goalie Willie Benjamin to tie the score at 2.
“It was four on four, so we know there is a lot of ice out there,” Baskin said. “We look to make a play. Somebody is usually going to be open.
“He made a great drop pass, and I just tried to get it to him.”
In a reversal of roles, Baskin has of late been playing the setup man for Rothstein, who has six goals in his last three games.
“He was really hot tonight, and we were just trying to get it to him,” said Baskin, who scored a goal and assisted on all three of Rothstein’s goals. “When a guy is shooting well like he is we are just trying to get it to him any way we can.”
In overtime Rothstein found an opening in the slot and wasted little time in finding another one behind Benjamin. His goal avenged a 3-2 loss to the Hornets earlier in the season at the Pagel Activity Center.
“They controlled it down low, and we thought we had our guys back and in good position,” Edina coach Curt Giles said. “But obviously not, because (Rothstein) was pretty open.
“He made a good shot. And he got in a good position to make the shot.”