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Hornets hold on

By Walker Orenstein, MN Hockey Hub staff, 12/22/12, 1:15PM CST


Tyler Nanne provides late-game heroics as No. 1-ranked Edina escapes Eden Prairie

Tyler Nanne (23) tips in the game winner in overtime as Eden Prairie goalie Jake Kielly and defenseman Hunter Warner (6) watch. Photo by Brian Nelson

Last season Edina forward Tyler Nanne spent time as a defenseman and a winger on the second and third lines. He was pegged more as an offensive defenseman but not necessarily a forward.

This year he received a promotion. Talk about a smart management decision. 

Now playing alongside sophomore Dylan Malmquist and junior Connor Hurley, Nanne is making people remember his name instead of his highly touted linemates’.

In No. 1-ranked Edina’s 4-3 win over Eden Prairie on Saturday, Dec. 22, at Braemar Arena in Edina, Nanne kept the Hornets' unbeaten streak alive with two goals, including the game winner with 1 minute and 22 seconds left to play.

“Tyler played great, he’s just getting open, getting to the net, in the right place at the right time and he finished when he had to,” Malmquist said. “He was big for us tonight.”

It was late January of last season when Edina coach Curt Giles switched Nanne to forward where he played next to his brother Louie. He quickly fit the mold Giles was looking for, and from there Nanne was stuck at the position.

Edina's Tyler Nanne, (23) Matt Nelson, (6) and Eden Prairie's Riley Argetsinger stare intently at the passing play. Photo by Brian Nelson.

A year older and a year better, Nanne has made strides as a forward on the top line, netting 12 points so far this year (five goals, seven assists) when he only had 15 in his entire sophomore campaign. His improvements were on display Saturday, using his size and skill to win the game for the Hornets.

“He’s grown a lot,” Giles said. “He’s gotten stronger and gotten bigger and he’s gotten quicker. If you think about it, there’s a big difference in a kid between a sophomore and his junior year -- physically and mentally. He’s matured a lot, too, so he’s come a long ways.”

Nanne is enjoying his new role on the squad. Being third in scoring on the top-ranked team in the state does have its perks, after all.

“Once they told me I was playing with Malmquist and Hurley, it’s a great honor to be with those guys,” Nanne said. “It’s fun, we’re having a lot of fun.”

Despite the high scoring numbers and the flashy goals spurting from the line, the transition from a defenseman to a forward has had its learning curve. Coming into the season, he even figured he’d be moved back on the blue line.

“It’s a lot different, it’s a lot more tiring, a lot more positioning.” he said. “I feel like I got good speed and see the ice well but there’s a lot of things I need to work on -- balance, getting the shot off quicker, positioning.”

Another in the historic hockey bloodline of Nannes, Tyler’s name is now at the forefront of the Edina squad. He insists the pressure of his family name isn’t really an issue.

“It’s pretty hard to live up to,” he said. “My grandpa [Lou Nanne] just tells me to play my own game ... I have a little grit in me."

Cullen Raasch of Edina takes a spill as Eden Prairie's Kyle Thielmann pleads not guilty in the first period of No. 1-ranked Edina's 4-3 win. Photo by Brian Nelson.

Statistics, Summary

Game Recap

Tyler Nanne scored with under two minutes to play to lead the No. 1-ranked Hornets to a 4-3 victory over rival Eden Prairie on Saturday, Dec. 22, at Braemar Arena in Edina.

With the win, the Hornets stay undefeated with a sparkling 9-0-0 record. Nanne’s goal was his second of the game, his first being an upper-shelf shot. He found the puck in the slot and worked around a defender to get the opportunity. 

Although they lost, Eden Prairie provided the biggest test for the Hornets in this three day tournament and probably Edina’s hardest challenge of the season. It was only the second time the Hornets have allowed three goals all year.

Eden Prairie opened up the scoring in the first when scored Mason Bergh caught Willie Benjamin napping, firing a goal right away off a face off. The momentum kept Eden Prairie going when sophomore Dylan Malmquist scored a shorthanded goal. Connor Hurley raced down a puck in the Eagles’ zone and caught Malmquist trailing.

In a back-and-forth affair, Edina led 3-2 after two frames. Edina had the speed advantage but Eden Prairie spent lots of time and had great puck movement in the Hornets zone. Mason Bergh and Steven Spinner fought hard to keep things even in the third and came close to taking the lead often.

Benjamin finished a surprisingly shaky night with 25 saves on 28 shots. Jake Kielly played fantastic in net for the Eagles stopping 41 of 45 shots. He has allowed 3.17 goals per game as a sophomore

1. Tyler Nanne, Edina
The junior forward had a night to remember, scoring the game winner and finishing with two tallies. Nanne has 12 points this year (five goals, seven assists) which is third on the team behind linemates Connor Hurley and Dylan Malmquist. He had only 15 points all of last season.

2. Dylan Malmquist, Edina
Malmquist’s line combined for eight points Saturday. But, since there are only three stars he gets the nod over Hurley for his shorthanded goal that tied the game at one and halted some early Eden Prairie momentum. The sophomore has 16 points this season (seven goals, nine assists).

3. Jake Kielly, Eden Prairie
Letting up four goals isn’t great but stopping 41 shots in a packed barn against the No. 1-ranked team in the State definitely is. Kielly was solid on Saturday and throughout the tournament, picking up a win over No. 10-ranked Elk River. Just a sophomore, he’s get plenty of room to grow.

Midway through the 3rd period, Steven Spinner(#25) scores a clutch goal to tie the game 3-3. Photo - Brian Nelson

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