Jefferson's Cory Rickheim is sent flying into the boards by Edina's Kieffer Bellows (7) [ Class 2A Boys Hockey Section Finals - Edina Hornets vs. Bloomington Jefferson Jaguars. (MARLIN LEVISON/STARTRIBUNE(firstname.lastname@example.org) ORG XMIT: MIN14022622
Edina (No. 1, 22-4-1) vs. Stillwater (16-10-2), 6 p.m. today
Scouting the Hornets: Embarrassment sparked Edina to an eighth consecutive state tournament. Crushed 6-1 at Hill-Murray on Jan. 11, the defending champion Hornets finished with a 10-0-1 surge. “We really had to reassess ourselves and see what kind of character we had,” coach Curt Giles said. “We challenged their pride.” And their legs and lungs. Practice was held later that night back at Braemar Arena. Contrary to rumors, there were “a few” pucks on the ice, forward Dylan Malmquist said. Edina, winner of 11 state titles (including Edina East), played the state’s toughest schedule.
Scouting the Ponies: His team leading 2-1 en route to a remarkable upset of Hill-Murray in the Section 4 championship game, Stillwater forward Brandon Jungmann hustled toward the net and ended up dazed after slamming into the end boards. But the message was clear: The Ponies were willing to do whatever it took. The reward came via a first-ever trip to state. “We’re a gritty team,” standout defenseman Mitch Reinke said. “We have to be going hard, finishing checks, getting shots to the net and crashing.”
Worth knowing: Stillwater’s upset of the Pioneers was the final hockey game played at the Warner Coliseum on the State Fairground. The Ponies had reached the section final just once before.
DAVID LA VAQUE