ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Early in the third period of Saturday night’s Class 2A championship game at the Xcel Energy Center, the Edina student section started chanting, “This is our house.”
That’ll hold true for at least another year.
Miquel Fidler and Kieffer Bellows both scored twice and Edina earned its second straight Class 2A boys hockey title with an 8-2 win over Lakeville North.
Casey Dornbach, Ben Foley, Parker Mismash and Cullen Munson also scored for the Hornets, the first school to win consecutive big-school titles since Bloomington Jefferson won three straight from 1992-94.
“It’s a difficult tournament to win, it’s a difficult journey to get here, and to do it back-to-back is a credit to our kids,” said coach Curt Giles. “This team here is a true group of kids that were really dedicated to the team and making this thing happen.”
“It was 20 brothers pitching in with a goal of winning a state championship and that’s what we did,” added forward Tyler Nanne, who had three assists. “All we had to do is play.”
Max Johnson scored twice for Lakeville North (25-5-1).
“That’s a good hockey team that soundly beat us tonight,” said Panthers coach Trent Eigner.
The Hornets (26-4-1) scored three times in a 4-minute, 17-second span midway through the second period to take a commanding 6-2 lead.
Fidler converted a behind-the-net pass from Dylan Malmquist, Mismash ripped a shot past Jake Oettinger after intercepting a clearing attempt and Bellows tipped in a pass from Alec Oesterreich.
Lakeville North had a 5-minute power-play spanning the second and third periods, but managed just two shots. They only had 14 in the game.
“Against a team like Lakeville North you’ve got to play consistently defensively well,” Giles said. “The kids committed to it.”
They also did it against a tired team. The Panthers needed overtime to beat Roseau in the Thursday’s quarterfinal and double-overtime in Friday night’s semifinal win over Eden Prairie.
“We were having trouble creating offense and getting puck possession and getting those things going,” Eigner said. “Whether or not they were fresher, they’re just a good hockey team.”
Edina led 3-2 after a chippy first period that seemed to be a battle of the Hornets’ speed against the physicality of the Panthers (25-5-1).
The Hornets fired the game’s first five shots and took a 1-0 lead when Dornbach scored in front barely 2 minutes in.
Lakeville North didn’t record a shot until the midway point of the period, but scored on their second when Johnson put home a rebound of a shot by Tristan Hazlett. But the tie was short-lived because Foley scored on a wrist shot from the right circle 33 seconds later.
Fidler made it 3-1 Edina with a redirect of a pass from Malmquist for a power-play goal at 13:16, but Johnson countered for the Panthers with a power-play goal 80 seconds later.
“You’re going to see peaks and valleys in these things and you’ve got to be mentally tough, mentally strong to handle these things,” Giles said. “Our kids just changed gears and away they went.”
Eagan beat Eden Prairie 6-4 for third place; Roseau beat Duluth East 3-2 for the consolation crown.
Lakeville North had a 5-minute power-play spanning the second and third periods, but managed just two shots.
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