It was a pretty exciting weekend all the way around for Chanhassen’s Erik Anderson and his family.
The senior goaltender played his most assured game of the season Friday, stopping 56 of 58 shots to help the Storm to a 2-2 tie with Class 1A’s fifth-ranked New Prague.
The next evening his sister Emilee, a freshman on the girls’ hockey team, scored the biggest goal of her career, an overtime tally to lift the team to a 2-1 victory over Holy Family/Waconia.
“I was a little jealous that she was taking all of the attention,” Erik said with a laugh. “Seriously, she deserves it. She doesn’t see a whole lot of ice time so it was nice she got to finish the game with a bang.”
Staff writer Jim Paulsen talked with Erik about his big night in net and bouncing back from a midseason slump.
Q: Making 56 saves is a pretty full game. When did you realize it was going to be a busy night?
A: In the first period I made about 15 saves. I knew right away that I was going to see a lot of shots. [New Prague] kept crashing the net hard and I knew I had to hang in there.
Q: Was there a particular save or sequence that stood out to you?
A: Usually with about five minutes left in a game, I have a tendency to pucker up. They came down in a 2-on-1 with five minutes left, but I made a huge glove save to keep the score 2-2 and bring it to overtime.
Q: How did that feel?
A: It wasn’t until after the game on the bus that one of the JV players showed me the video he took on his cellphone. I’m still not sure how I stopped it.
Q: Earlier in the year, you were struggling. What does a game like that do for your confidence?
A: It helps a lot. I had gotten a little shaky after a couple of games seeing more than 50 shots. In this game, I felt like I had the confidence back in the crease and controlling rebounds.
Q: When you were slumping, how did you pull out of it?
A: It took me awhile to actually get it all the way back. In a game against Chaska, I didn’t feel right and we gave [up] a huge lead. The next game against Minnetonka, I still wasn’t 100 percent and I got pulled after giving up two goals on 12 shots. That made me mad. I went back into the game in the third period and played out of my head.
Q: Were you surprised to get yanked?
A: I was shocked. I knew then I had to change something. The next game we played Farmington, I had something like 60 saves. We lost but [I] felt better after that.
Q: It was a pretty big hockey weekend for the Anderson kids.
A: It was. And my grandparents were here to see it, too.
Q: Is that the first time they’d seen you play?
A: No, but it’s the first time my grandma has come to a game we didn’t lose. We’ve always said she is cursed because when she comes to a game, we lose. A tie is not a win, but I’ll take it.
Q: Are goalies as crazy as their reputation suggests?
A: I think you need to be a little bit crazy to want to get pucks shot at you at 80 miles an hour.
Q: What’s your biggest quirk?
A: I have a strict pregame routine. I try to keep to the same schedule. I eat the same thing: Jimmy John’s No. 17, ham and bacon. I park in the same spot before home games. I walk to the arena the same way.