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Edina AA’s sweep the doubleheader

By frederick61, 03/18/13, 6:00AM CDT


Edina’s Peewee AA celebrates being 58-0 State Champions

Sunday afternoon at Braemar Arena in Edina, the Edina Association’s two AA teams won the first ever played State AA Championships.  The unbeaten and NOW ranked #1 (out of 46 Minnesota peewee AA teams) Edina Peewee AA team beat Wayzata AA 7-0 in the first game; the NOW ranked #2 (out of 45 Minnesota bantam AA teams) Edina Bantam AA team beat Duluth East AA 4-3 in double overtime in the second championship game to complete the Edina sweep.  The Edina Peewee AA’s finished the season with an unblemished record of 58-0. 

Minnesota Peewee AA State Championship

The Wayzata peewee’s came into the tourney with a good defense and struggling offense.  They are a good team are ranked #4 by NOW.  The Trojans proved the deserved the high ranking by beating #8 ranked Grand Rapids 2-1 in the quarterfinal game and #5 ranked St. Michael/Albertville 3-2 in the semifinals to get to the championship.

The Edina peewees blitzed St. Cloud (YHH favorite) 10-2 in the quarterfinals and hung on to beat #9 ranked Duluth East AA 4-3 in the semifinals.  The tight game with a hard closing Greyhound team made the seemingly invincible Hornets look vulnerable before the championship game.

Wayzata and Duluth East were the same type of team, bigger and stronger then the speedy smaller Hornets.  The thinking was if the Hounds came close, Wayzata should hang close with Edina in the championship game.

The Trojans did for the first period.  The Trojans played the first few minutes of the opening period holding the Hornets in the Edina zone.  They were successful in blocking the breakout and the Trojan forwards, led by Rhett Pitlick and Tyler Dingmann, worked hard in to keep the Hornets bottled up.

But three minutes into the first period, Edina’s Clayton Phillips beat the Wayzata defense on right side rush down the boards, cut into the faceoff circle and scored on a hard shot that beat the goalie on the left side (glove) and hit the upper left corner.  The Hornets led 1-0 and they came alive.

Over the next three minutes the Hornets attacked the Wayzata net constantly getting good scoring opportunities.  They continued to beat the Wayzata defensemen and get the good shot or the opportunity to move the puck behind the Wayzata defense and in front of the Trojans goal.  It was just a matter of time before the Hornets would score again.

At the 9 minute mark, the Hornets’ Grant Silianoff caught the Trojan defense playing high in the Wayzata zone again, but this time made Wayzata pay.  He moved toward the Wayzata net drawing the goalie to him and instead of sliding the puck to the weak side, he flipped the puck in the air making it look like a shot.  It caused the goalie to hesitate.  Jett Jungles on the weak side kept his eyes on the bounding puck and his stick on the ice.  He did not swing at the puck, but focused on letting the stick do the work.  Jungles’ stick deflected the puck high into the net in anticipation of the goalie trying to make a leg save, but there was no need.  The Wayzata goalie was late being fooled by Silianoff’s pass.  Edina led 2-0.

Edina’s pressure continued until the end of the first period.  They led 2-0 at the start of the second period and had outshot the Trojans 14-3.  Most of those 14 shots were good scoring opportunities.

The second period opened with the same Edina pressure.  Less than two minutes into the period, the Hornets Clayton Phillips ended up with the puck at the top of the Wayzata crease.  He put the puck on the Wayzata goalie, Danny Welshons.  Welshons stopped the initial three foot shot and held position trying to control the loose puck.  It bounded slightly left and Phillips put his stick on the puck and pushed the puck through Welshons to score.  Edina led 3-0 and the game was over.

The Hornets added three more goals in the second period to put the game on running time at the start of the third period.  Edina added a third period goal to end the scoring; the Hornets won 7-0 and are the Peewee AA State Champions.  They are a great team, 58-0 great.

Minnesota Bantam AA State Championship

Duluth East peewee and bantam AA teams came to play.  Both teams were well prepared.  YHH saw signs that the Hounds peewee’s were ready for state by how well they played in the North Regionals.  The Hound bantam AA’s showed similiar signs.  They took a tough 6-2 loss to Grand Rapids, but came back strong to beat Hermantown 7-0 in the North Regional game for the #2 seed to the state. 

The Edina bantams had their own problems in the East Regional.  They could not get past Prior Lake and barely made state, beating a Woodbury team that was coming on strong late in the season 6-5 in the North Regional game for the #2 seed to the state.

It was a good game and should have been a great game, but marred in the first period by an incident that the refs let happen.  Duluth East came out flying in the opening minutes and they were attacking the Hornets fiercely.  A Duluth East forward was cutting in front of the Edina net when he was crossed checked from behind with such force that it sent him vertically to the ice landing on his right knee.  The incident happened in front of at least one ref who made no call.  Play continued on as the player, unable to get up, crawled half the ice to his bench with kids and pucks flying around him.  It took him 30 seconds or more to get there and be hauled on the bench by his teammates with Edina attacking the Hounds net.  The refs should hang their heads in shame.  The kid never returned to the game.  No whistle was ever blown.

The Edina team was brutal in the opening period.  YHH does not know the penalties handed out, but can report the four more first period incidents with photos and have done so at the end this article.  The first period ended in a 0-0 tie.

The refs had marginal control of the game mostly because they were letting or not seeing Edina’s battering the Hounds behind the play.  At the opening of the second period, a Hound player on the puck was brutally slashed in the corner of the Hornet zone from behind.  The Hound got mad and followed the Edina forward the length of the ice and boarded him behind East’s net.  The Edina player retaliated with a high stick and punches.  This time coincidental penalties were called, but it was a late call.  The refs should not have missed the initial slash, it was that obvious.

At the 7 minute mark of the second period, Edina scored.  A minute late they scored a weak side goal to go up 2-0.  The momentum was swinging towards Edina when an East forward beat the Edina defense at the Hornets’ blue line and soloed in on the goalie only to be tripped by an Edina forward in the slot.  He fell forward with the puck in front of him and lying flat on his stomach pushed the puck past the Edina goalie Charlie DeGrood to cut the Hornets’ lead to 2-1.

A minute later, East’s Alex Spencer came up with the puck in the right crease area and scored beating the goalie on the right side despite being hooked down and checked to the ice by the Edina defense.  That tied the game 2-2.

The game was still tied at the start of the third period 2-2.  The ice had been cleaned and the teams in their locker room before the start of the period.  The third period opened with Edina on a power play for the first minute.  The Hounds killed the power play and the game became transitional with Edina getting better shots.

The Hounds were having trouble in establishing puck control in the Edina defense because Calvin Pugh just cleared the pucks evertime the Hounds tried to attack the right side of the Hornet’s zone.

Halfway through the period, the game slowed.  Then Edina started to pinch their defensemen at the East blue line to keep control of the puck in the Hounds’ zone.  As a result, East was starting to get the 2-on-1 rush, but the Hornet forwards were just managing to break the rush attempts up in neutral ice.

Duluth East got the break with three minutes to go in the game.  East’s Ryan Peterson ended up with the puck in the Edina zone on the left end.  His shot found a crack in the Edina goalie and bounced into the net to put the Hounds up 3-2.

Edina attacked furiously after falling behind.  The Hounds were turning the puck out of their zone, but failed to clear it into the Hornets’ zone.  At one point, an Edina player attacked the East goalie after a missed shot attempting to push him out of the net.  He drove the goalie to the side of the net, before a ref whistled.  The ref called no penalty, just a face off outside the Hounds zone. 

With less than 30 seconds on the clock, Edina scored to tie the game 3-3.  Edina’s Garrett Wait took a loose puck behind the East goal skated to the right side of the net, drew the East goalie slightly to him as if to shoot and passed the puck to the deep slot.  The Edina forward’s shot beat the goalie and the screen to tie the game 3-3.

The first overtime was sort of anticlimactic.  Edina tried to blast the puck past the East goaltender with no luck and East was hanging their best forwards high in the zone looking for a breakout that they never could convert.

The game breaker came with 5 minutes left on the clock in the second period.  East got called for a hooking penalty and Edina scored on the power play to win the game.

It was an exciting hockey game, given the finish.  Both teams came to win.  East has a fine line in Ash Altmann, Shay Donovan and Luke Dow.  Dow was the best player on the ice in the last two games that East played.  Edina relied on strength and savvy, the little things to give themselves the edge.

But the refs have to hang their heads.  As you look at the following sequence of pictures, you can see the pain inflicted by some of the early Edina play.  Some will argue that it is part of the game, but at YHH if it is part of the game, then it is a new part because it almost seems taught.  Maybe it has always been there and we are just naïve.

All these pictures were taken in the first period.  This is the first sequence up close and personal.

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