Edina, Mn-MyFoxHockey.com featured a double header of of live streaming coverage on Saturday as the Wayzata Trojans defeated the Hopkins Royals 9-3 and the Eden Prairie Eagles came up with an intense 5-4 win over the Edina Hornets to capture the Lake Conference title.
The Eagles (18-5-2, 5-1-2) won for the first time against the Hornets (16-7-2, 4-4-0)in three seasons at the varsity level. Senior Luc Gerdes netted the game's first and last goal to lead the Eagles to the 5-4 win. His game winner came with a little over a minute left in the third period as he was a benefactor of a lucky bounce out of the corner.
Lucky bounces tend to follow teams and players that work hard, and for Gerdes, it was a gritty hard checking effort that helped lead his team to the win. The game winner was a Hornet clearing attempt that bounced off a helmet as the Horet defenseman tried to clear it off the glass. It hit the his right wingers helmet instead and landed on Gerdes stick. The Eden Prairie sniper walked from the lower left circle, held the puck, and waited for Edina goalie Connor Girard to commit first. Girard committed, went down, and Gerdes flipped the puck into the top glove hand corner for his 23rd of the season.
A capacity crowd filled Braemar Arena that keyed an environment and it was spectacular. The Eagles grabbed the 2-0 lead with a fast start as the Hornets were forced to adjust to the absence of defenseman Max Everson. They did that admirably as the play of the Edina defensemen and effort of the forwards held the Eagles at bay much if the third period.
It was a penalty filled game that featured eight Eden Prairie power plays and 6 Edina power plays. The infractions were befitting for a bitter rivalry that is, a the time, the most intense in Minnesota High School Hockey.
After Jack McCarten scored a goal from the low slot at 11:31 of the first period for the 2-0 Eden Prairie lead by shoving a loose puck through Griard's pads, Edina began to pick up its play. Hornets captain Steven Fogarty put on a show in all three zones and was the best player on the ice. He tallied a pair of goals, manned the point on the power play and played with toughness and heart.
Mark Rath added a goal an an assist for the Eagles and Kyle Rau dazzled the Braemar crowd with a highlight reel shorthanded effort in the second period that put the Eagles up 4-3 in a game they never trailed.
Hornet wing Ben Walker notched a pair of goals as his biggest was the game tying goal late in the second period. The Eagles and Hornets tightened it up during an entertaining third period which set up the heroics by Gerdes.
Both teams ended up being seeded #1 in their respective sections, Eden Prairie in the 6AA and Edina in the 2AA. The game was fitting of a state final, and who knows, a rematch and 4th game of the year could be on the menu for the Eagles and Hornets.
Wayzata on a roll.
The Wayzata Trojans (18-5-2, 5-2-1), captured second place behind the Eden Prairie Eagles in the competitive Lake conference as they closed out the regular season in a pesky game at the Hopkins Pavilion. Led by Tony Cameranesi (1g-3a-4pts), Paul Voelker (2g-1a-3pts), and Mario Lucia (1g-2a-3pts), the Trojans built a 4-1 lead after the first period and saw it bulge to 8-3 after two periods.
The big players, Cameranesi, Lucia, DJ Jones, and Tyler Klein were too much to handle for the Royals down low, who generated plenty of chances themselves but were stopped by Trojan goalie Aaron DIngman who made 21 saves in the game.
Hopkins (11-14-0, 0-8-0) opened the scoring at 7:35 of the first period as sophomore Connor Thie rapped home his 10th goal of the season. Junior Jimmy Kortum was steady in all three zones for the Royals and had a goal and an assist. Goalie Stone Selseth came on in relief of starting freshman goalie Sam Dalton who was under siege in seeing 28 shots in two periods. Selseth made 11 saves in the third period to stem the tide for Hopkins.
The Trojans are ready to make a move in the section 6AA and given the three period effort delivered at the Pavilion have every reason to believe they can in St. Paul for the State Tournament in three weeks. They are on a three game winning streak and are 6-2-2 in their last ten games.
Wayzata nabbed the #2 seed in the section 6AA while the Royals are seeded fifth.