The Minnetonka girls' hockey team scored two shorthanded goals this season. One game, and the tally is up to four.
The Skippers scored a pair of shorthanded goals, plus one on the power play, in a penalty-filled game to defeat Eden Prairie 6-2 on Friday in the Class 2A, Section 2 championship at Braemar Arena in Edina. First-year Minnetonka coach Tracy Cassano focused on special teams this week, since the Skippers were facing Eden Prairie for a fourth time.
"We figured if it was a back-and-forth trading penalties that we needed to do our job on special teams," Cassano said. "The girls did a phenomenal job tonight."
One of those shorthanded goals came when Maggie Nicholson made a play in the second period, creating a turnover and passing the puck to Lacey Martin, who scored to give the Skippers a 3-2 lead.
"I kind of saw a pattern of them [Eden Prairie] trying to move it to the far side," said Nicholson, who finished with three assists. "I saw the pass coming, and I, fortunately enough, picked it off."
Top-seeded and fifth-ranked Minnetonka (21-6-1) got goals from six players to successfully defend its section crown. Defenseman Rory Guilday finished the scoring with the Skippers' second shorthanded goal. That depth is something that sets Minnetonka apart from other teams across the state, according to Cassano.
Sydney Langseth tied the score twice for third-ranked Eden Prairie (20-7-1), but the Eagles couldn't overcome the three-goal third period from Minnetonka.
"It's disappointing to have 17 penalties in a championship game," Eagles coach Jaime Grossman said. "I thought 5-on-5 we absolutely controlled play, and I wish we could have had more 5-on-5 time."