Benilde-St. Margaret's season of hope will last another day.
The Red Knights ousted No. 4 seed Edina in the final and most anticipated Class 2A quarterfinal game Thursday. Senior forward Christian Horn scored with 23.9 seconds remaining to give B-SM a 3-2 victory.
"I saw their defense take a step toward the middle and I knew I had them," said Horn, who used his speed to create a chance deep in the Hornets' zone. "Someone told me both of their guys fell and we were on a 2-on-0. I didn't even know it. I just saw an opening and went for it."
From inside his family's suite, Red Knights sophomore Jack Jablonski flashed a megawatt smile. Jablonski, who attended all three Red Knights section playoffs games, sat in his motorized wheelchair above the Benilde-St. Margaret's student section. They serenaded him with a chant of "We love Jabby" early in the game. Midway through the third period they clapped and chanted his name.
Jablonski suffered severe a spinal cord injury in a Dec. 30 junior varsity game. He was checked from behind into the boards and doctors have said he will not regain the use of his legs. His story garnered national attention and led to mid-season changes to the penalty structure of the high school game.
"Him being here really does mean something to us," Horn said.
The teams traded goals twice in the game. Grant Besse scored his 45th goal of the season on the power play at 3:11 of the first period. Edina sophomore Connor Hurley answered with a power-play goal at 13:41 of the second period.
Dan Labosky gave B-SM a short-lived lead 17 seconds into the third period, streaking in alone and flipping a backhand into the net. But Edina's Andy Jordahl put away a rebound at the 36-second mark to tie the game 2-2.
DAVID LA VAQUE