Top-ranked Edina has arrived where many saw the Hornets ending their season — the Class 2A girls' hockey state tournament championship game.
Edina squeezed defending champion Eden Prairie in a vise for a 4-0 semifinal victory at Xcel Energy Center. Second-period goals from Lolita Fidler and Sophie Slattery and third-period goals from Emily Oden and Anna Klein all sprang from high intensity.
"Tonight's message was, 'Shoot to score,' " first-year Hornets coach Sami Reber said. "We came out hungry and ready to bury pucks."
Determined to not drop a semifinal to Eden Prairie for a second consecutive year, No. 1 seed Edina (27-1-1) got relentless. The style paid off in the second period as Fidler slammed home a rebound and Slattery scored less than three minutes later.
Outshot 17-1 in the second period, No. 4 seed Eden Prairie wasn't talking surrender.
"There was a never-say-die attitude on the bench," Eagles senior forward Naomi Rogge said.
Eden Prairie started the third period on the power play but couldn't convert.
"We needed to keep up our speed and smother them," Edina senior defenseman Grace Bowlby said. "We'd been successful with that in the first two periods."
Oden scored an empty-net goal after Eden Prairie pulled goaltender Alexa Dobchuk with about three minutes remaining.
Edina's Anna Goldstein stopped all 14 Eagles shots she faced. Eden Prairie (20-7-2) fell for a third time to Edina this season. Now the Hornets seek their first state title after taking second in 2010 and '11.
"I had a lot of confidence that the girls were going to come out fired up," Reber said. "There's nothing like sweet revenge in the state tournament."
DAVID La VAQUE