Opponents know it's not easy slowing the top-ranked Edina girls' hockey team.
Entering the Class 2A, Section 6 championship game Friday against No. 8 Cretin-Derham Hall, the Hornets averaged 4.8 goals per game and boasted nine players with seven or more goals. Oh, and five of their eight players committed to Division I programs are forwards.
Yet defense and goaltending shined throughout a 2-0 victory that put Edina (25-1-1) in the state tournament. Senior Anna Goldstein made just 12 saves, but teammates lauded her for holding Cretin-Derham Hall's power play scoreless on three tries in the second period.
"With all those penalties, we needed her and she was amazing," junior forward Emily Oden said.
Oden scored with 39.3 seconds left in the first period and the Hornets led 1-0 at intermission.
No. 8 Cretin-Derham Hall (18-8-2) got its power-play tries in the second period. But Goldstein, who will play at Middlebury next season, reaffirmed her value on a team loaded with high-scoring forwards.
"We can't win a game without her," said junior forward Lolita Fidler, who verbally committed to Penn State. "She gives us a lot of confidence."
Raiders coach Brooke White-Lancette said her players, who "gave their all and kept with them speed-wise," missed a chance to gain momentum against favored Edina.
Still, Friday's game proved much tighter than a 5-1 Edina victory over the Raiders on Nov. 18. So when Vermont-bound Olivia Kilberg batted in the puck at 9:21 of the third, Oden felt comfortable with the cushion.
"They say a two-goal lead is the scariest ... but midway through the third, we knew if they scored we still had the lead," Oden said.
Eden Prairie 2, Minnetonka 1 (2 OT): Eden Prairie senior Naomi Rogge plays forward in both hockey and soccer. She broke her wrist on the pitch this fall but her foot skills came in handy on the ice.
The No. 5 Eagles (19-6-2) won as Rogge kicked a loose puck to her forehand and buried the game-winner just 1 minute, 20 seconds into the second overtime.
"It was instinct, I guess," said Rogge, recently named one of five finalists for Ms. Hockey. "You practice getting pucks from your feet to your stick as fast as you can."
The defending state champion Eagles played No. 7 Minnetonka (14-10-4) to a pair of ties earlier this season.
The Skippers struck first as senior Sarah McDonell scored on the power play with 4:17 to play in the second.
But Eden Prairie eighth-grader Grace Kuipers forced overtime. Her tip-in with 2:23 left in regulation tied the game 1-1.
Skippers senior goalie Elizabeth Kubicek held her team close despite Eden Prairie's 38-18 advantage in shots on goal.
"She was phenomenal tonight," Minnetonka coach Eric Johnson said.