Benilde-St. Margaret's senior Christian Horn scores with 23.9 seconds left to lift the Red Knights to a 3-2 victory over Edina. Photo by Adam Crane
Christian Horn scored a goal and added an assist for Benilde-St. Margaret's in its state Class 2A victory over Edina. Photo by Adam Crane P
Benilde-St. Margaret's coach Ken Pauly during a game against Robbinsdale Armstrong. Photo by Helen Nelson
Usually a coach is the calming influence on the bench.
The one that keeps order during chaos and emotions in check during wild momentum swings.
But this is the state Class 2A tournament, and Benilde-St. Margaret's was not playing just an ordinary opponent in the quarterfinals.
This was against Edina, a regular contender in the state tournament.
After Benilde-St. Margaret's forward Christian Horn scored with 23.9 seconds left to give the Red Knights a 3-2, the emotions from coach Ken Pauly could not be kept in any longer as the clock began to wind down.
When the buzzer sounded, an ecstatic Pauly pumped his fists, hugged his assistant coaches and went right to the ice to applaud his team.
"Emotion of a man who is relieved," Pauly said.
Pauly's passion is noticeable by his players, yet they do not let it effect them too much.
"We kind of play it off like it's whatever," Red Knights forward Grant Besse said. "But you kind of feel it from him.
"He does a good job in not letting it impact you in a negative way. He has done this before, won championships before, so he knows what he is doing."
Add to the fact that Benilde-St. Margaret's was playing the late game, in front of an announced attendance of 18,001 in one of the more anticipated quarterfinal games at the Xcel Energy Center, emotions run that much higher.
"i think having the night game at 8 o'clock and against Edina had something to do with Pauly being so emotional," Besse said. "There are a lot of people watching us, and we haven't played Edina all year, so this was a big game and he was really excited for this one."
With all of the seeded teams in the Class 2A tournament heading to Mariucci Arena for the consolation bracket, Pauly and the Red Knights can breathe a little easier knowing they still have a shot at another state title.
"Any emotion is complete relief, and I would say everyone really wants to get to this stage and there is something very crushing about losing the first game," Pauly said. "Go to Mariucci and you're forgotten, and it's the catacombs over there, and this assures us we're still in the tournament, right?"
-- Justin Magill, MN Hockey Hub Staff
Benilde-St. Margaret's sophomore Jack Jablonski, who was seriously injured in a junior varsity game this season, celebrates the Red Knights' victory over Edina. Photo by Adam Crane
This was supposed to be a rebuilding year Edina.
Edina's Andy Jordahl, middle, and Parker Reno, right, knock Alec Anderson of Benilde-St. Margaret's to the ice. Photo by Adam Crane
The season of hope for Benilde-St. Margaret’s will last another day.
The Red Knights ousted No. 4 seed Edina in the final and most anticipated Class 2A quarterfinal game on Thursday. Senior forward Christian Horn scored with 23.9 seconds remaining to give B-SM a 3-2 victory.
“I saw their defense take a step toward the middle and I knew I had them,” said Horn, who used his speed to create a chance deep in the Hornets’ zone. “Someone told me both of their guys fell and we were on a 2-on-0. I didn’t even know it. I just saw an opening and went for it.”
From inside his family’s suite, Red Knights sophomore Jack Jablonski flashed a megawatt smile. Jablonski, who attended all three Red Knights section playoffs games, sat in his motorized wheelchair above the Benilde-St. Margaret’s student section. They serenaded him with a chant of, “We love Jabby,” early in the game. Midway through the third period they clapped and chanted his name.
Jablonski suffered severe a spinal cord injury in a Dec. 30 junior varsity game. He was checked from behind into the boards and doctors have said he will not regain the use of his legs. His story garnered national attention and led to mid-season changes to the penalty structure of the high school game.
“Him being here really does mean something to us,” Horn said.
The teams traded goals twice in the game. Grant Besse scored his 45th goal of the season on the power play at 3:11 of the first period. Edina sophomore Connor Hurley answered with a power-play goal at 13:41 of the second period.
Dan Labosky gave B-SM a short-lived lead 17 seconds into the third period, streaking in alone and flipping a backhand into the net. But Edina’s Andy Jordahl put away a rebound at the 36-second mark to knot the game 2-2.
-- David La Vaque, Star Tribune staff writer
1. Christian Horn, Benilde-St. Margaret’s
He scored the game-winning goal with 23.9 seconds remaining in the third period, what else is there to say? The senior forward has been on a tear in the playoffs, scoring six points in the section playoffs and tallying a goal and an assist in Thursday’s game. Horn has 66 points on the season (26 goals, 40 assists).
2. Justin Quale, Benilde-St. Margaret’s
Quale was rock-solid in goal for the Red Knights, stopping 33 shots on the night. The junior goaltender was huge in the third period, making a couple of diving stops in the clutch. Quale has saved nearly 92 percent of the shots he's faced and only given up 1.72 goals per game this year.
3. Connor Hurley, Edina
Hurley immediately answered Dan Labosky’s goal in the third period. Labosky scored 17 seconds in to take the lead for the Red Knights, and Hurley came back within a minute to tie the game again. The sophomore forward had a goal and an assist to add to his wonderful campaign as just a tenth grader. He has 57 points on the season (25 goals, 32 assists).
-- Walker Orenstein, MN Hockey Hub staff
|Loren Nelson||Benilde-St. Margaret's|
|Tim Kolehmainen||Benilde-St. Margaret's|
|Pete Waggoner||Benilde-St. Margaret's|
|Mike Murakami||Benilde-St. Margaret's|
|Justin Magill||Benilde-St. Margaret's|
|Walker Orenstein||Benilde-St. Margaret's|
|Helen Nelson||Benilde-St. Margaret's|
|Zack Friedli||Benilde-St. Margaret's|
Section 6AA Playoffs
Section 2AA Playoffs