Loud words from senior leaders snapped the Edina boys’ hockey team into focus after two flat periods of play in the Class 2A state championship game.
Senior wing Peter Colby also heard from team manager Jack Goetzman, quiet encouragement that Colby would be the one to come through.
Two Colby goals, including the game-winner in overtime, fueled Edina’s 3-2 victory over Eden Prairie on Saturday night at Xcel Energy Center. The Hornets won their 13th state championship; no program in 75 years of state tournament play comes close.
Colby scored his eighth and ninth goals of the season, the second coming 2 minutes, 31 seconds into the fourth period.
His efforts capped a night when none of the three Mr. Hockey Award finalists on the ice were trophy goal scorers and unlikely stars took turns lifting their teams.
Goals for top-seeded Edina (27-2-1) came not off the sticks of seniors Jett Jungels and Mason Nevers but from its second and third lines. No. 3 seed Eden Prairie (19-10-2) got offense courtesy of a sophomore and a member of its third defenseman pair rather than senior Jack Jensen.
Snow, worry of tougher driving conditions and even some apathy perhaps toward a fourth meeting of two familiar high school athletics superpowers left large chunks of arena seats vacated. The hustling and hard-hitting hockey on the ice was worthy of a full house.
Saturday provided a solid fourth chapter considering the scores of Edina’s victories in the Lake Conference rivals’ previous three meetings this season: 6-1, 5-2 and 7-2.
“During the first three games we were kind of scared of them,” Eden Prairie senior defenseman Clayton Shultz said. “Tonight, we realized we can do it.”
Sophomore Drew Holt’s power-play goal put the Eagles up 1-0 a little more than five minutes in. From there, Eden Prairie’s aggressive-yet-disciplined style gave Edina forwards little time or space to get free.
Eden Prairie pushed at both ends, outshooting Edina 26-7 through two periods. But goaltender Louden Hogg kept the Hornets close.
“We played two pretty much flawless periods,” Eden Prairie coach Lee Smith said. “The only thing that didn’t happen for us was to put that second one home when we had all those chances.”
Hogg, who made 33 saves, got help in the third period. First, Kevin Delaney tied the score with his 20th goal of the season. Then Colby put Edina ahead 2-1 only 22 seconds later.
Shultz, part of Eden Prairie’s third defensive pairing, tied the score with 7:17 left in regulation. But Colby scored in OT on a great pass from Jungels. Then Colby emulated his NHL hero Patrick Kane’s “heartbreaker” celebration, busting his arms wide from his chest as he slid on his knees.
“We got in the locker room after the second period and said, ‘We’re not going to let this slip away,’ ” Colby said. “I was in the right place at the right time.”