Edina's Lou Nanne (11) who scored two goals checks Bloomington Jefferson's Tyler Johnson (17). Photo by Helen Nelson
After missing playing time due to injury, Edina junior forward Louie Nanne was anxious to start skating with his team again.
But during his first game back in the Section 2AA semifinals against Bloomington Jefferson on Saturday, Jan. 25, Nanne found his team down by two goals early in the first period.
That didn’t sit well with the Hornets’ captain.
Nanne scored twice within a one minute, 43 seconds timeframe to tie the game and give Edina the momentum it needed to continue an offensive explosion as the Hornets defeated the Jaguars, 7-4.
“That's what you expect from a leader,” Edina coach Curt Giles said of Nanne. “He's one of our captains, he's one of the older kids on our team as a junior and we expect those things from him.
“He came through for us.”
For Nanne, the victory was extra sweet.
“It's nice to be back,” Nanne said. “I've been out for pretty much the last five games. I was just really excited all day, I couldn't sleep last night because it's my first game back in the section semifinals.”
And the junior forward’s two-goal burst seemed to be just what he – as well as his team -- needed.
“I guess I wanted to lead by example but at the same time I had to keep our team calm,” Nanne said on facing the early two-goal deficit. “We know that wasn't our best, we didn't play our best hockey and we have so much more in us. I wanted to lead by example to show there's so much more to our team.”
Despite the time away from the ice, Nanne’s performance seems to indicate the junior forward is as sharp as ever.
“Louie played very well,” Giles said. “Louie's played well for us all year; he really has. He hasn't scored a lot of goals for us this year to what he could and possibility can score but he's had great opportunities, he's played extremely well for us and tonight he played like he usually does.”
When Nanne isn’t lighting the lamp, underclassmen Connor Hurley and Dylan Malmquist have powered the Hornets’ offense but Giles says there’s more to Edina than one single top line.
“You take a look at Louie, take a look at (Miguel) Fidler, take a look at (Anthony Walsh) and (Nick) Leer -- we don't read all that stuff, we don't care about that stuff,” Giles said. “Our biggest thing is, hopefully as a team we can continue to move forward.
“If I was watching out team with the points that the guys have, I'd take a hard look at Malmquist and Hurley as well too. And I hope people concentrate on that, I really do because then we've got other kids that can play and put the puck in the net.”
While the Hornets have made a habit of getting to the Section 2AA championship game at Mariucci Arena, they know their work is far from over.
Starting with one thing Edina will work on in practice this upcoming week.
“Those four goals we gave up,” Giles said. “Burnsville's got a very good hockey team, Prior Lake's got a very good hockey team. You take a look a both those teams, they can score goals. What we have to do is really concentrate on them in the neutral zone, defensive zone and make sure we don't give either one of those two teams good looks at second shots.”
For the Hornets, the win will serve as a momentum and confidence booster.
“From this one we can infer that we're never going to be out of any game, no matter what happens,” Nanne said. “It's going to be nice knowing that even if we get down two right away that there's always going to be enough time. With the Olympic sheet (at Mariucci) we should be pretty good -- quick and fast.
“We're going to work on that this week.”
Edina players celebrate after scoring a goal against Bloomington Jefferson. Photo by Helen Nelson
Taking time to reflect privately with his team after the 7-4 loss to top-seeded Edina in the Section 2AA semifinals, Bloomington Jefferson coach Jeff Lindquist took some time to speak with the MN Hockey Hub about the game, the year and looking ahead to next season.
Question: What are your thoughts on your team's performance today?
Answer: I was proud of their effort. Right down to the buzzer we were trying to bang pucks in the net. Our kids worked really hard. Let's give (Edina) some credit on the game -- we made a few mistakes and they took advantage of every one of them and that's what good teams do.
Q: Your team started strong going up 2-0 against Edina. Talk to me about that quick start.
A: I think that's one of the things that helps in a playoff game; if you get off to a good start. You find out the measure of the other team's will. They did a nice job to keep competing. But that's always a good thing to get off to a good start. It builds confidence and I thought our kids did a nice job of that.
Q: With how the season went, I don't think anyone expected a shootout against Edina at Braemar in the section semifinals. What has this year been like for you?
A: First of all, I was thinking like 3-2, 4-2, something like that, myself. It's funny. The game opened up. It opened up because both teams move the puck really well and let's face it, in today's game, kids that move the puck and have that much skill, defense gets harder and harder to play when you have that much skill on the ice. Give them credit, they took advantage of our mistakes and we needed to take better advantage of their mistakes but we didn't capitalize. Sometimes it takes one little pass that we didn't make. They (Edina) were solid and they deserved it today. Our going down wasn't due to our lack of effort -- we had a lot of adversity this year with injuries and players quitting and this group that we have in this locker room are not quitters. They battled the whole way through it.
Q: Though it's never easy to say goodbye, Jefferson only graduates three players. How do you think that will help the Jaguars next year?
A: Having kids back is a good thing but it's only a good thing if they get in the weight room and really work at getting better. It can work against you if you got kids that aren't willing to put in the offseason training. I'm a little hesitant with that. I think we have the possibilities of having a nice squad coming back next year but only if they're willing to raise their game level.
Andy Jordahl, Miguel Fidler and Louie Nanne each scored twice leading top-seeded Edina to a 7-4 victory over No. 4-seed Bloomington Jefferson in the Section 2AA semifinals on Saturday, Feb. 25, at Braemar Ice Arena.
Anthony Walsh, Cullen Munson, Parker Reno and Connor Hurley combined for 10 assists -- Walsh and Munson with two, Reno and Hurley with three.
Dylan Malmquist also scored for the Hornets, on a goal coming with six seconds remaining in the second period. Malmquist added an assist as well.
Bloomington Jefferson got off to a quick start as Austin Hunt and Charlie Bach put the Jaguars up 2-0 early on before Nanne's pair of first period goals tied the game.
After a scoreless second period for the Jaguars, Hunt notched a power play goal in the third period and Jono Lindquist added another goal but Jefferson's late surge would prove to be too late.
Grant Martens made 37 saves for Bloomington Jefferson who finish the season with a 7-17-3 record.
With the victory, Edina (22-5-0) advances to the Section 2AA championship game at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 29, at Mariucci Arena. Edina will face the winner of the Prior Lake/Burnsville section semifinal game.
Edina's Connor Hurley (16) had three assists against Bloomington Jefferson. Photo by Helen Nelson
1. Louie Nanne, Edina
Down two goals early in the first, Edina was looking for anyone to step up and get the top-seeded Hornets back into the game. Nanne answered the call scoring two goals in a one minute, 43 second timeframe. The junior forward showed no signs of an injury that kept Nanne sidelined for five games and his play throughout the game was excellent.
2. Andy Jordahl, Edina
Sometimes forgotten about on the Hornets top line with leading point scorers Connor Hurley and Dylan Malmquist, the junior forward showed he could score goals too. Jordahl opened both the second and third period with a quick goal for Edina and his second goal proved to be the eventual game-winner.
3. Connor Hurley, Edina
Generally known for his scoring, Hurley displayed his best 'point guard' impression dishing out three assists in the victory. Hurley also had a shot ping the crossbar on a Hornets' power play and was a consistent offensive threat throughout the game.