Scoggins: Edina sets the gold standard in boys' hockey

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 9, 2014 - 12:25 AM

Edina closed out the boys’ hockey state tournament with a statement game in the Class 2A final.

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Edina's Cullen Munson (9) and Miquel Fidler celebrated the Hornets final goal of the game beating Panthers goalie Will DuPont in 3rd period action.

Photo: Marlin Levison, DML - Star Tribune

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Gary Thorne’s broadcasting résumé includes stints as play-by-play announcer for the Stanley Cup finals, the Winter Olympics and the World Series.

Ordinarily, Thorne would’ve been in Florida this weekend in his regular job announcing Baltimore Orioles spring training games. Instead, he brought his smooth baritone voice to downtown St. Paul and crossed an item off his career bucket list.

Now, he’s sort of an honorary Minnesotan — judging by the reaction of local puck fans — after announcing his first boys’ hockey state tournament, though Thorne did manage to avoid our polar vortex initiation.

“The event is so spectacular,” Thorne said Saturday night before calling the Class 2A championship game at Xcel Energy Center. “The intensity of it for the fans and for the players is even more than what I thought it would be. It’s a big deal.”

Thorne had heard of the tournament’s reputation as an “event” through acquaintances and began kicking around the idea of serving as TV play-by-play announcer alongside Mr. Minnesota Hockey, Lou Nanne.

The schedule worked out this year so Thorne made his tournament debut, sharing the booth with Nanne, who provided color commentary for the 50th year with the last of his grandsons, Tyler, in uniform for Edina.

“For me, it’s an opportunity to broadcast a really good sporting event,” Thorne said.

Too bad the two championship games failed to capture that drama. For purely entertainment value, championship Saturday in St. Paul usually delivers the goods, but anyone hoping for tense, down-to-the-wire finales probably felt a little empty this time.

East Grand Forks scored five goals in the second period to steamroll Hermantown 7-3 in the Class 1A championship game. And a compelling matchup on paper in the 2A championship turned into a stroll in the park as Edina added another title to its collection with an 8-2 victory against Lakeville North in the 70th edition of the tournament.

It’s never a good sign when the state championship game ends with a running clock.

Both teams arrived at the same junction from different directions. Edina remains the gold standard in high school hockey with a record 12 state titles (including Edina East). The Hornets became the first back-to-back big school champions since Bloomington Jefferson won three in a row from 1992-94.

Lakeville North never had made it out of the quarterfinals before this tournament, but the upstart blazed an important trail for its program this weekend. Regardless of how things ended, the Panthers believe that they belong now, and that shouldn’t be diminished.

The opposing coaches — Edina’s Curt Giles and Lakeville North’s Trent Eigner — sat together on a dais 45 minutes before faceoff and lobbed bouquets at each other. Asked to describe the toughest challenge in defending the title with 12 new players this season, Giles replied bluntly, “Lakeville North.”

“We don’t have any trick plays,” Giles noted.

Nope, just talented players. Edina unleashed its balanced attack while Lakeville North looked out of steam after surviving a two-overtime marathon against Eden Prairie on Friday night.

Ultimately, Edina had too much speed and firepower. The Hornets played like a group determined to keep their title for another season.

As their student section chanted “just like last year,” Lou Nanne put the finishing touches on his 50th broadcast by watching his grandson play his final high school game and earn a spot on the all-tournament team.

Nanne’s friends flooded his cell phone with text messages after the game. The hockey icon kept his composure on air, but he described the moment as a “dream come true.”

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Cleveland 45 3rd Qtr
Indiana 51
Washington 42 3rd Qtr
Philadelphia 47
Golden State 27 2nd Qtr 11:00
Toronto 13
New York 23 2nd Qtr 10:06
Detroit 32
Orlando 21 2nd Qtr 8:58
Atlanta 34
Charlotte 34 2nd Qtr 6:10
Boston 39
LA Clippers 2 1st Qtr 9:19
Memphis 3
Brooklyn 3 1st Qtr 10:50
Houston 2
Miami 5 1st Qtr 9:33
New Orleans 6
Minnesota 4 1st Qtr 10:04
Chicago 4
Utah 8:00 PM
Denver
San Antonio 9:00 PM
Sacramento
Milwaukee 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
Portland
Boston 1 2nd Prd 8:57
New Jersey 0
Calgary 0 2nd Prd 11:29
NY Islanders 1
Washington 0 2nd Prd 13:51
Carolina 1
Chicago 0 1st Prd :33
Tampa Bay 0
Colorado 7:30 PM
Dallas
Los Angeles 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Siena 63 FINAL
Quinnipiac 73
Harvard 39 2nd Half 5:00
Cornell 42
Penn 30 2nd Half 16:52
Brown 49
Fairfield 34 2nd Half 20:00
Canisius 34
Manhattan 35 2nd Half 20:00
Iona 41
Saint Peters 27 2nd Half 18:35
Marist 45
Princeton 43 2nd Half 14:36
Yale 39
Ohio 0 1st Half 20:00
Akron 0
Dartmouth 6 1st Half 17:46
Columbia 0
Valparaiso 9:00 PM
Cleveland State
Louisiana Tech 75 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 88
Seton Hall 56 2nd Half 12:57
Xavier 34
Cornell 27 2nd Half 20:00
Harvard 23
Yale 19 2nd Half 14:30
(14) Princeton 45
Elon 30 2nd Half 12:17
Drexel 37
Northeastern 30 2nd Half 15:52
James Madison 43
St Johns 33 2nd Half 14:52
Butler 28
Creighton 50 2nd Half 12:35
Georgetown 42
Brown 35 2nd Half 13:57
Penn 54
Columbia 29 2nd Half 13:30
Dartmouth 39
Canisius 31 2nd Half 13:30
Siena 36
St Josephs Brooklyn 17 2nd Half
NJIT 32
Western Carolina 45 2nd Half 20:00
UNC Greensboro 33
Colorado 9 1st Half 13:49
Arizona 9
Southern Ill 7:00 PM
Bradley
Drake 9 1st Half 16:47
Wichita State 4
Indiana State 7 1st Half 13:20
Evansville 12
Illinois State 7:05 PM
Loyola-Chicago
Northern Iowa 7:05 PM
Missouri State
Utah 7:30 PM
(10) Arizona State
Providence 7:30 PM
Villanova

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