Balanced scoring leads Edina to three wins
The Hornets buzzed through three opponents at their annual Edina Holiday Classic at Braemar Arena. Elk River/Zimmerman, Grand Rapids and Eden Prairie were the visiting teams, each playing three games in three days.
The Hornets, ranked No. 4 in our latest Let’s Play Hockey Coaches Poll, won all three, allowing just three goals in the three games and getting production from a large contingent of forwards in the scoring column.
They started on Thursday night with a 6-2 win over Grand Rapids. They scored three first-period goals and added two more quick snipes in the first two minutes of the second period for a 5-0 cushion.
The first three goals came in a flurry. Bobby Cowan, Freddie Schneider and Barret Dexheimer all scored within 1:11 of eachother. In the second Ryan Flaherty scored 38 seconds in and Caleb Pittsley scored at the 2:04 mark for the 5-0 lead.
Grand Rapids pumped in a pair to finish out the second. Bauer Murphy and Jameson Duell got them back in it somewhat, but Mason West added an insurance goal for the Hornets in the third to seal the win. Edina outshot the Thunderhawks 43-24. Edina’s Joe Bertram made 22 saves and Grand Rapids netminder Ryan Kerr turned away 37 shots.
Pittsley, West, Flaherty and Cowan each finished with a goal and an assist. Jackson Nevers had a pair of helpers in the win.
The Hornets followed up their convincing win over Grand Rapids with a 4-0 shutout of Elk River/Zimmerman. Once again there were four different goal scorers as the Hornets outshot their opponent 43-5. Michael Risteau, Schneider, Cowan and Sam Peckham all scored. John Halverson had three assists. Risteau finished with a goal and two assists.
Elk River/Zimmerman goalie Gavin Greniuk made 39 saves.
Edina then took on No. 18AA Eden Prairie Saturday and held on for a 3-1 win over the Eagles. Cowan got his third goal in three games to get the scoring started in a penalty-filled second period.
Casey Vandertop scored for the Hornets in the third for a 2-0 lead, but Eden Prairie’s Chase Klute pulled them within a goal at the 6:34 mark. It stayed that way until 24 seconds left when Mason West notched an empty netter for the 3-1 win.
Edina improved to 6-1-0 with the three wins.
In other games Eden Prairie defeated Elk River/Zimmerman 5-1 on Thursday night. Alex Hall had a pair of goals and Mason Moe had a goal and an assist. Klute and Cole Saterdalen also scored and Isaiah Paulnock made 15 saves. Jake Christian scored the lone goal for Elk River/Zimmerman. Greniuk turned away 29 shots.
On Friday, Grand Rapids outlasted Eden Prairie with two goals late in the third to overcome a one-goal deficit for a 4-3 win. Trailing 3-2, Jacob Garski tied it at the 8:38 mark, assisted by Caleb Gunderson and William Shermoen. Duell scored the game winner at the 14:20 mark with Gus Drennen assisting. Thunderhawk goalie Carter Casey stopped 32 shots to earn the win. Garski finished with two goals and an assist. Eden Prairie’s John Kleis and Dylan Vornwald had a goal and an assist. Hall also scored and Tate Bloch had two assists for the Eagles.
Grand Rapids turned around on Saturday and earned another close victory with a 2-1 overtime win over Elk River/Zimmerman. Nathan Garski neted the game winner just 38 seconds into the extra frame. It was his second goal of the night. Jacob Garski and Luka Rohloff assisted on his tallies. Elk River/Zimmerman’s Cooper Anderson scored their lone goal. Grand Rapids outshot the Elks 34-23. Greniuk, who had a stellar tournament, stopped 32 shots. Grand Rapids’ Ryder Miskovich stopped 22 shots to earn the win.
Grand Rapids enters this week with a 6-4-0 record. Elk River/Zimmerman stands at 3-4-0 and Eden Prairie is 3-3-0.