Eden Prairie senior forward Mark Rath (No. 5) scores the game-tying goal against Burnsville during the Eagles 4-2 victory on Tuesday, Jan. 11. Photo by Adam Crane
Eden Prairie's Kyle Rau (No. 7) takes aim on net as Burnsville's Daniel Ames (No. 4) puts his body in front of the shot and goaltender Bodhi Engum (No. 35) tries to find the puck during the Tuesday, Jan. 11, game. Photo by Adam Crane
Eden Prairie knew the Tuesday, Jan. 11, game at Burnsville Ice Arena would be a tough game.
"We knew they were a good team coming in," Eden Prairie senior forward Mark Rath said. "They had some big wins and obviously a great atmosphere here. We knew they were going to be pumped up and that they have a great goalie (Burnsville's Bodhi Engum).
"We got down in the third but we pulled it out."
The Eagles 'pulled it out' with three unanswered goals in that third period to give Eden Prairie the 4-2 victory. Although every victory is crucial, Eden Prairie's Kyle Rau knew how important it was for the Eagles to win the game.
"They're a good team with some good wins," Rau said. "It was a must-win for us. We have a couple games that we haven't won this year against teams that we normally have tough games against. This was our first win against a tough team in what has been tough game, historically."
Eden Prairie and Burnsville were conference rivals last year and tied the regular season series. Although the gravity of the matchup has changed with Eden Prairie in the new Lake Conference and Burnsville in the South Suburban Conference, the rivalry remains.
"They (Burnsville) have a great, tradition-rich program and we've created a great tradition (at Eden Prairie) in the last 10 years," Eden Prairie coach Lee Smith said. "It's fun. Janne (Kivihalme - Burnsville coach) does a great job coaching his program, their kids play hard and our kids come ready to go against them.
"These kids have played against each other throughout the years. It's a fun rivalry."
The rivalry set the stage for a hard-fought, physical game.
"Two really good teams going at it tonight," Smith said. "We have a huge amount of respect for Burnsville. They play a great schedule just like we do. We're two teams that have gone toe-to-toe for a long time. They got the lead and we showed a lot of character coming back."
Although the Jan. 11, game was the only time the two teams will meet during the regular season, the results and memories are sure to carry over to the next time the Eagles and Blaze faceoff.
Burnsville's Cory Chapman (No. 16) fires a shot towards Eden Prairie goaltender Andrew Ford (No. 29). Photo by Adam Crane
Besides a tough opponent and a tough rivalry, Eden Prairie knew there would be another factor in the Tuesday, Jan. 11, game.
The Burnsville Ice Arena crowd.
"It's great. It's so much fun," Eden Prairie coach Lee Smith said. "You tell the kids about it on the way out here. You tell them 'the atmosphere is so great' and then you get here and it lives up to its reputation."
The atmosphere included a student section that spanned two sections in the arena and a massive pep band that played right above the Eden Prairie locker room. The student section is also directly above the visiting team's bench.
"The nice thing now is that you have the glass (the new and higher glass at Burnsville Ice Arena) that provides a little safety," Smith said.
"It's fun," Eden Prairie senior forward Kyle Rau said. "I dunno, you just try to block it out and just play hockey. After the first and second periods, it gets easier."
"It's really fun," Eden Prairie's David Rath added. "They have a huge crowd going. They get their team in the game but they also get in the game. It's fun with the fans chirping you - it gets you going."
Eden Prairie's Des Shavlik (No. 12) brings the puck around net and scores his power play goal against Burnsville's Bodhi Engum (No. 35) and Nick Senta (No. 12). Photo by Adam Crane
For a while in December, Eden Prairie battled Wayzata without playing them on the ice.
The Eagles and Trojans were constantly ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in the Class 2A rankings and at one point shared the top-ranked spot on the MN Hockey Hub Top Ten.
That was until Eden Prairie lost back-to-back games to Edina (on Dec. 18) and Eagan (on Dec. 22) which solidified Wayzata as the No. 1 Class 2A team in the state.
However, Wayzata's own two-game skid matched with Eden Prairie's resurgeance has led the Eagles back to their preseason top ranking.
"We put together five in a row since those two losses but the best thing about it was our guys played really well defensively and Burnsville made us work for everything we could get," Eden Prairie coach Lee Smith said. "It was great to come out tonight (Jan. 11, against Burnsville) and get a win a game like this."
The Eden Prairie skaters, themselves, have also enjoyed their recent success.
"We take every game as a learning experience," senior forward Kyle Rau said. "We see what we do well, as well as what we do bad then learn from that and continue to do the good things. We learn from every game and that's what every team has to do to get better."
"This team has a lot of heart," fellow senior forward Mark Rath said. "We hate losing. We've been together forever and we hate losing.
"Even when we get down we still play our hardest and we never give up."
Eden Prairie's Mark Rath (No. 5) looks to move the puck against Burnsville as he is guarded by Blaze forward Jake Senta (No. 15). Photo by Adam Crane
There are three pairs of brothers on the 2010-2011 Eden Prairie varsity squad: Ben & Brad Boldenow, David & Mark Rath and Curt & Kyle Rau.
The Eagles' Tuesday, Jan. 11, game against Burnsville featured the Rath brothers. More specifically the third period of the game featured the Rath brothers.
Mark Rath changed things quickly after Burnsville took a 2-1 lead when junior forward Cory Chapman scored a go-ahead goal for the Blaze early in the third period.
Mark tied the game with a quick wrist shot past Burnsville senior goaltender Bodhi Engum only 59 seconds after Chapman's goal.
"We were down, 2-1, and I knew if we just kept pushing we would get that goal," Mark said. "There was 15 minutes left in the period and I knew if we worked hard our team could score.
"I just went in there and tried my hardest."
Seven and a half minutes later, Mark would assist on his brother David's game-winning goal.
"They (Mark Rath and Kyle Rau) made a great play," David Rau said. "Kyle and Mark broke it out. Mark dropped it back to Kyle and Kyle found me in the slot and I was lucky enough to put it away."
David's goal sent Eden Prairie to its fifth straight victory and gives the Eagles some momentum for their road game at the new Amsoil Arena in Duluth when they face Duluth East on Saturday, Jan. 15, at 2 p.m.
Despite David one-upping Mark's game-tying goal by scoring the game-winning goal, David insists there's no competition between the brothers on the ice.
"No there's nothing like that," David said. "We just try to put as many shots on net as possible."
There was one thing the Rath brothers did agree on after the game: who the best set of Eagles' brothers are.
"The Raths," David laughed.
"Obviously me and David," Mark quickly added.
Question: Despite the loss, it was a great game against Eden Prairie. What are your thoughts on the game and what did you tell your players?
Answer: I thought (Eden Prairie) took it to us quite a bit in the first period. We were able to adjust in the second period, we played better. I thought we played pretty well in the third period as well. We competed. I was happy that we didn't give up when they got the lead and we were still working hard. We got some opportunities but we just didn't score to tie it up. I was happy overall with the effort even though we lost. We need to be able to turn that around in our favor in the future. The mistakes that we made are correctable, from what I saw. I'm looking forward to Apple Valley now.
Q: What are you going to work on as you prepare for Apple Valley on Thursday, Jan. 13, as well as the remainder of the season?
A: We're going to get back to work and work on the things (Eden Prairie) exposed us on. We need to keep working on those areas and keep getting better with the things that we're doing well. All of those mistakes are correctable. We just need to be a little bit sharper and smarter on certain parts of the game.
Q: Although they were on a line together during the Saturday, Nov. 27, game against Hill-Murray, Jace Childs, Mike Dockry and Cory Chapman were not on a line together during the Tuesday, Jan. 11, game against Eden Prairie. Why was the decision made to split those three up?
A: I know those three can play together, we can always put them back together at any time if needed. Cory played with some of the other guys before in Bantams and I know he's got some chemistry with the other players. That was one reason as well as being able to compete with other team's top lines.
|F - David Rath||F - Jake Senta|
|F - Kyle Rau||F - Jace Childs|
|F - Mark Rath||F - Mike Dockry|
|D - Curt Rau||D - Nick Senta|
|D - Nick Seeler||D - Sean Madigan|
|G - Andrew Ford||G - Bodhi Engum|
We experienced technical problems during the game so the actually comment stream was not up and running. Comments were posted here during the third period.
At the end of the second period, the score is: Eden Prairie - 1, Burnsville - 1.
Goals tonight have come on the special teams.
Eden Prairie struck first with a power play goal by Des Shavlik (assisted by Nick Seeler). Shavlik carried the puck around the net and snapped a quick wrist shot that Burnsville goaltender Bodhi Engum couldn't get to.l
Burnsville answered with a shorthanded goal by Mike Dockry (assisted by Jace Childs). The puck was fired on-net and Eden Prairie goaltender Andrew Ford made the first save on Childs' shot but Dockry buried the rebound.
Good showing at the Burnsville Ice Arena. The Burnsville student section is loud and vocal as expected and the Burnsville Pep Band is here providing some great tunes.
So far, a very physical and chippy game between the two teams. Several coincidental roughing minors. Burnsville's Quinn Johnson and Eden Prairie's Seeler had coincidental minors. The two players exchanged some choice words in the penalty box right underneath me - mostly about the weather.
The third period is coming up next.
Special thanks to Ayrlahn Johnson for helping out with live scoring and information! Much appreciated!!
Third period now underway.
What a goal! Burnsville's Cory Chapman with a pretty toe-drag and quick wrist shot. He buried it past Ford. The goal was unassisted.
A quick answer by Eden Prairie. Mark Rath answers with a wrist shot of his own past Engum. Assisted by Kyle Rau.
Burnsville's Eddie Witchow is listed at 6'3'' and he is definitely one of the taller guys on the ice but the senior defenseman can move. He's playing a great game on both ends of the ice. Making big checks and providing an offensive threat too.
Burnsville now on the power play as Jack McCartan will sit two minutes for tripping.
Both teams at full-strength. Still tied 2-2 with 9:10 remaining in the third period.
Burnsville's Dockry loses an edge and a handle on the puck as he misses a wide open wrap-around opportunity.
Eden Prairie is a team that will capitalize on mistakes. This time it's David Rath who puts home the go-ahead goal. Assisted by Kyle Rau and brother Mark Rath. 3-2 Eden Prairie.
Burnsville's Nick Senta called for tripping as he hauled down Kyle Rau. Eden Priaire power play with just over four minutes left.
Both teams at full strength. Burnsville calls a timeout with 2:06 left in the third.
Eden Prairie's Luc Gerdes puts home an empty net goal with 45 seconds remaining. 4-2 Eden Prairie.
Burnsville's Sean Madigan shows his frustration as he is called for boarding with 22 seconds left.
FINAL FROM BURNSVILLE ICE ARENA
Eden Prairie - 4
Burnsville - 2
SHOTS ON GOAL
Eden Prairie - 38
Burnsville - 25
Eden Prairie scored three unanswered goals - including one empty net goal - to beat Burnsville 4-2 on Tuesday, Jan. 11, at Burnsville Ice Arena.
Two special teams goals highlighted the first period. Eden Prairie's Des Shavlik opened up the scoring with a power play goal that beat Burnsville goaltender Bodhi Engum.
The Blaze would tie the game on a Mike Dockry shorthanded goal seven and a half minutes later.
After a scoreless second period, Burnsville would begin the third period with some fireworks as Cory Chapman netted an unassisted goal 90 seconds in.
The Eagles took the game over from there as Mark Rath tied the game at 2-2 a minute after Chapman's goal.
Mark's brother David Rath scored the game winner with seven minutes left and Luc Gerdes put the game away with an empty net goal.
Eden Prairie goaltender Andrew Ford made 23 saves for the win.
Burnsville's Bodhi Engum made 35 saves for the Blaze.
The Blaze travel to Apple Valley on Thursday, Jan. 13, as they look to bounce back from the loss.
Eden Prairie heads north this weekend and will take on Duluth East at the new Amsoil Arena in Duluth on Saturday, Jan. 15, at 2 p.m.
Both games will be MN Hockey Hub Spotlight Games - be sure to follow the action here.
Eden Prairie's Kyle Rau (No. 7) handles the puck followed by teammate Dan Molenaar (No. 17). Photo by Adam Crane
1. Mark Rath, Eden Prairie
The senior forward scored the game-tying goal and assisted on his brother's (David Rath) game-winning goal in the third period. Mark's game-tying goal came 59 seconds after Burnsville's Cory Chapman had scored a go-ahead goal.
2. Kyle Rau, Eden Prairie
Rau (pictured above) picked a good time to find the score sheet as he assisted on the game-tying and game-winning goals by the Rath brothers. The senior forward and co-captain was a noticeable presence on the ice throughout the game.
3. Bodhi Engum, Burnsville
Despite giving up three goals, Engum (pictured below) made 35 saves - stopping 23 of Eden Prairie's 24 shots in the first two periods. Although the senior goaltender surrendered two third period goals, Engum allowed Burnsville to keep it close and the chance to get back into the game but the Blaze could not provide more scoring for their co-captain netminder.
Burnsville's goaltender Bodhi Engum facing one of the 38 shots from Eden Prairie. Photo by Adam Crane