When the #2 team in the state comes to town to play the top teams in the metro, it’s an event. Especially if the game is played outside. This is not just your every day #2 team. This is the undefeated Brainerd Warriors with a who’s who of players that have outscored their opponents by a large margin.
Aunts and uncles (some legends in their day), moms, dads…this game was a big deal for the kids and the fans. And the players did not disappoint. These girls played hard despite some very cold winds.
The Warriors controlled the game from the opening face off. They skated well and were much bigger and more mature than their Edina counterparts. Late in the first period, Brainerd superstar Gabbie Smith got a pass from Shaylee Stroot and scored on a wrist shot past the Edina goalie Sarah Swann. They outshot Edina 7-1 in the first and lead 1-0.
In the second period, another Brainerd star, Lindsay Booth, got loose from the Edina defense and put a low shot past Swann to make it 2-0 Warriors. Late in the second, Edina began to get use to the Brainerd speed and size and slowly began to get more shots and more opportunities. In what was a big sequence in the game, Edina put two good shots on Brainerd goalie, Grace Rivard, but had nothing to show for it. In the same shift, Brainerd’s Smith got loose again and scored her goal to make it 3-0 in favor of Brainerd. A big turn of events.The score after 2, 3-0 in favor of Brainerd.
In the third, Edina played evenly with Brainerd and began to sustain real pressure on the blue and white. Shots that were contested or blocked in the first two periods were now hitting the net. Potential scoring chances were turning into real scoring chances. One of those chances was converted by Tella Jungles, the Edina sparkplug who scored from the right slot past Rivard on a nice pass from Kelly Collins (editor’s note: the photo taken of the goal is of a pretty piece of MN Made screen, oops…sorry Tella). For a few minutes after the Jungles goal, the game got interesting. The Brainerd players started to press and Edina began to play more and more aggressively.
Both teams in the late stages had a few chances each, but none were spectacular. Edina recovered well and showed why they did so well in Duluth evening out the shots to a respectable 18-11. Final score, Brainerd 3..Edina 1.
Next up for Brainerd…#4 Stillwater and #1 Forest Lake. Good luck girls.
Sidebar: Number 11 for Brainerd, super star Emma Smith played in front of uncles Mike, Danny (UMD), and Chris May (UM) – Emma played great today. Her dad, Sandy (and assistant coach), also starrred for UMD.
Brendan mentions 10 players in this NTDP camp report including five from MN: Phillips (BSM), Lindberg (Moorhead),… https://t.co/U8eck01CoD