The first of two goals within a 19-second span in the third period gave Edina the edge. The second killed Duluth East.
Tyler Nanne and Andy Jordahl scored back-to-back goals in the 12th minute of the third period to secure the Hornets’ spot in the Class 2A championship with in a 3-2 victory over the Greyhounds.
“We knew it was getting down the wire. And we knew from there that we had the momentum in our hands and all we had to do is play defense to get the win,” Nanne said.
After Nanne gave his team a lead on a long slapshot, he encouraged his teammates to keep peppering the net. He didn’t realize how quick the words of encouragement would be pay off, but thankful it came when it did.
Jordahl’s insurance goal proved to be significant. The Greyhounds kept their hopes alive when Meirs Moore scored with 1:46 left in the third period. Time, however, ran out on Duluth East and Edina avenged a midseason 4-1 loss to the Greyhounds.
“The last time we played them they kind of ran us out of the building,” Nanne said. Edina couldn’t forget the big hits Duluth East pounded on them Dec. 27. They had a lot to make up for on Friday.
Alex Toscano scored Duluth’s first goal 2:40 into the game and the lead held until the third period when Edina’s Miguel Fidler tied it. After the first five minutes of the game, however, Edina began to take control and eventually wore out its opponent.
Moore and Toscano said the hits from Edina became overwhelming. After every pass, the Hornets would finish a ahrd check.
“It was getting physical. … This time they were throwing the punches. It pushed us back on our heels,” Toscano said.
Moore said the Hornets’ hits were on his mind any time he would touch the puck.
The game ended in a scramble against the boards near the blue line, and pushing ensued to close out the physical night.
“We had to make sure we kept hitting them so they didn’t get out of the zone,” Fidler said.
Jordahl said the goal was to wear the Greyhounds down, and when they saw it happen, the Hornets pounced.
Edina last played in the 2A championship game in 2010.
Pioneers score late, but it's enough
Top-ranked and No. 1 seed Hill-Murray came back to defeat No. 4 seed Wayzata for a 2-1 victory in Friday’s Class 2A state boys’ hockey tournament semifinal at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Trailing 1-0 until the second half of the third period, the Pioneers got goals from Davis Zarembinksi and Ryan Black less than three minutes apart. Wayzata fired a few late shots on goal but none found their mark.
Saturday’s title game against Edina is a rematch of the 2008 championship game, a 3-0 Hill-Murray victory.
Wayzata coach Pat O’Leary considers his team one of the state’s best in the third period but Hill-Murray proved its resiliency as well.
“What did I tell them in the third period? Nothing,” Hill-Murray coach Bill Lechner said. “The seniors ran the show. These guys never quit. They believe and I’m happy for them.”
Wayzata’s Chase Haller scored on a power-play goal at 6:44 of the second period. Haller negated an earlier Trojans’ power-play goal after getting called for a goal crease violation.
Wayzata senior goaltender Aaron Dingmann set an early tone for his strong evening, stopping a puck that had been passed between three Pioneers’ players in quick succession.
He later made a save to deny a Pioneers’ 2-on-1 attempt, drawing chants of “Ding-er” from the Trojans’ student section.
“He’s the real deal but we knew if we kept getting shots we could crack him,” Black said.
Hill-Murray kept pressing and finally got on the board at 9:33 of the third period. Zarembinksi, who scored the lone goal of the Pioneers’ section final victory against White Bear Lake, shot a puck past Dingmann.
The goal was contagious. Black added one to give Hill-Murray a 2-1 lead at 12:30.
“We played well the first part of the third but we allowed them to get shots that teams don’t normally get against us,” O’Leary said.
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