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1A wins battle of No. 1s

By David La Vaque, Star Tribune, 12/26/12, 11:58PM CST


St. Thomas Academy gets OT goal to defeat Edina in Schwan Cup Gold quarterfinals

St. Thomas Academy’s Tom Novak lifted the puck over the leg pad of Edina goaltender Willie Benjamin for the winning goal in overtime Wednesday night, giving a Class 1A power a victory over a 2A power in the Schwan Cup.

St. Thomas Academy's Tom Novak found himself with the rare luxury of time and space against Edina.

Carrying the puck in overtime, Novak cut to the middle of the Hornets' zone, shook loose a defenseman and scored the game-winning goal in a 2-1 victory.

Wednesday's Schwan Cup Gold Division quarterfinal at Ridder Arena at the University of Minnesota was a showdown of the state's two No. 1 teams. The two-time defending Class 1A champion Cadets (7-1) handed Class 2A big-school power Edina (9-1) its first loss this season.

"It was a good opportunity to show we're not just a good Class 1A team but also a good team all around that can compete with the best teams in the state," Novak said.

Edina coach Curt Giles said the loss was a teachable moments for his Hornets, who waited too long to break a sweat against the skilled Cadets.

"It was a good lesson," Giles said. "A good hockey team came in and slapped us around a little bit. That could be good for us."

The teams played to a scoreless draw through two periods. St. Thomas Academy's Alex Johnson scored 3 minutes and 19 seconds into the third period. The Cadets won a faceoff in Edina's zone, and Henry Hart slid the puck across the goal mouth for Johnson to tap in.

Edina answered as Andy Jordahl knotted the score 1-1 at 11:45 of the third period to force overtime.

"We had to keep our heads up and get back after them," Novak said.

Novak got the last word, taking a pass from Jack Dougherty and burying his chance. The moment might not have been possible without Cadets goaltender David Zevnik. St. Thomas Academy was outshot 38-20 but was kept afloat by Zevnik, who stopped Edina's first 27 shots.

"He was phenomenal," Novak said. "He keeps us in games."

Also in the Schwan Cup Gold Division quarterfinals:

Breck 2, Duluth East 0: A three-week hockey hiatus had Breck senior forward Thomas Lindstrom wondering about his timing and scoring touch.

Relief came on his second shift as Lindstrom scored the eventual game-winning goal in a 2-0 victory against Duluth East (Class 2A, No. 9).

An upper-body injury, coupled with a 15-day break between games, kept Lindstrom out of action for much of December. He gave Breck (Class 1A, No. 4) a lead just 3:22 into the first period.

"To get one on my second shift was a big confidence boost," said Lindstrom, who scored 32 goals last season.

"We knew we had to come out fast because Duluth East is such a good defensive team. That goal really got the momentum going in our favor."

Mark Sharp extended Breck's lead to 2-0 at 8:07 of the second period. The cushion was more than enough for Breck goaltender Henry Johnson, who stopped all 30 Greyhounds shots he faced.

Burnsville 3, Blaine 1: Brock Boeser, a sophomore forward, scored two goals as the Blaze topped the Class 2A, No. 5 Bengals. Junior forward Tyler Sheehy assisted on all three Burnsville goals.

Hill-Murray 2, Minnetonka 1: Senior forward Mike Rawlings scored 3 minutes, 13 seconds into the third period, breaking a 1-1 tie and lifting the Class 2A, No. 3 Pioneers over the Skippers.

Minnetonka tied it 38 seconds earlier on a goal by junior forward A.J. Klein.

Hill-Murray senior goaltender John Dugas made 36 saves.

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