Andover hoists the Class 2A state championship trophy after defeating Edina 5-3 on Saturday night at the Xcel Energy Center.
Gabby Krause scored two goals, including what turned out to be the game-winner, as the Huskies knocked off top-seeded Edina on Saturday night.
It may sound odd, but having to battle it out in overtime to defeat Minnetonka on Friday night may have been the blessing Andover never knew it needed.
The Huskies had essentially walked through the postseason up to the Class 2A State Tournament semifinals against the Skippers, outscoring three Section 7-2A opponents and quarterfinal opponent Farmington by a combined score of 37-0.
But facing a deficit in the final minute of the semifinal win, being forced to rally to tie the game and then win it, gave the Huskies that extra edge they required to upset three-time defending state champion Edina (28-2) on Saturday night.
“I think it’s good to go through some adversity,” senior captain Jamie Nelson said after the Huskies downed the Hornets 5-3. “Because not every game is going to come easy.”
Saturday’s battle against the No. 1 seed Hornets certainly didn’t start easily for the second-seeded Huskies, as Edina’s Emma Conner and Katie Davis spotted the Hornets a 2-0 lead with power-play goals 25 seconds apart in the first period.
From then on, the Huskies dominated play, swarming the Hornets in the offensive zone and denying Edina any chance of setting up inside the Huskies’ blue line.
“I think they just laid it all on the line,” Edina coach Sami Reber said. “We couldn’t get our momentum going. We couldn’t really make plays coming through the neutral zone, and our (offensive zone) entries weren’t working either,” Reber added.
Andover (28-2) also made a habit of crowding the Edina crease and letting standout freshman goaltender Uma Corniea know that they were hovering.
“We knew Uma’s one of the best goalies in the state,” Andover’s Peyton Hemp said. “We obviously had to be hard on her.”
Hemp and Gabby Krause, both juniors, scored 23 seconds apart late in the first to send the game into the second tied at 2-2. Edina would capitalize on another Andover penalty less than a minute into the second, an advantage that was wiped away by a goal from Huskies’ forward Tyra Turner.
Into the third period, the teams raged, neither side giving an inch before Krause tallied her second goal of the night at the 12:58 mark of the third period.
“We just knew it was our game,” senior defender and captain Kennedy Little said with a laugh.
An empty-net goal cemented the win and the title for the Huskies, assisted by Little.
The barn-burning tilt not only served as an entertaining game but a quality advertisement for women’s hockey.
“(I) was really happy with the back-and-forth game,” Reber said. “I think that’s exactly the type of game people wanted to see.”
Andover coach Melissa Volk echoed Reber’s comments.
“To have that number-one versus number-two matchup, you couldn’t get anything better than that,” Volk said.
Katie Davis scored the second goal of the game for Edina during Saturday's loss.