We thought being in person for the Bloomington Squirt A and B games today would be the greatest excitement all day, but NOOOOOOO, the U12A Farmington Tigers pull a stunner up in Duluth this morning and beat the undefeated and #1 ranked Edina Hornets 1-0 in Overtime at the DECC. They will advance to today’s final in Duluth versus #2 Shakopee, who won 4-0 over Cottage Grove. That championship game will be played at Noon at Sill Arena.
In the U10 semifinals, feisty Edina Green outlasted Osseo Maple Grove 2-1 to advance to the finals versus Shakopee who beat giant killer Andover today 5-0 to also advance.
Chase Novak and Kyle Hemme scored 50 seconds apart in the second period to lead Andover into the finals today. Jack Gerdes added two assists for the Huskies as they beat Rosemount 4-1.
Carter Batchelder had a Texas hat trick (4 goals) this morning to lead EP Red to a 5-1 win over Minnetonka Black in the other semifinal. Johnny Czerwinski added a tally for the Black in the middle of the second period to tie the score. But the story of the game was Batchelder scoring two short handed goals in one shift (take that Grant Besse). The Eagles advance to the final later today versus Andover.
Game 1 – Prior Lake v. Eden Prairie
After a fast start by Prior Lake, Eden Prairie got on the board first when EP forward Luke Mittelstadt scored over the shoulder of Carsen Stokes. Prior Lake would answer, first a goal by tiny sparkplug Owen Neuharth at with three minutes left and then on the power play Prior Lake speedster Ben Monson scored from the point to make it 2-1 Lakers after 1. With Prior Lake up by two in the second Johnny Mittelstadt got loose for EP and Stokes was there to stop him. On the next shift it Prior Lake answered and made it 3-1 on a pretty goal by Neuharth again. Less than a minute later, Matt Beaty tallied another goal for Prior Lake to make it 4-1.
With star defenseman Kai Stansberry out with the flu and their starting goalie out due to injury, this could have been the time for EP to quit. But they didn’t. Johnny Johnny Mittelstadt made a great move and scored to make it 4-2 Prior Lake after 2. The teams tired in the third period. Prior Lake with a slight advantage in shots until the middle of the third when #14 Canyon Pergande scored for EP to make it a one goal game. EP wouldn’t quit…they fought all the way to the finish. Some would argue they fought a little too hard getting two crucial penalties late in the game (one with PL already shorthanded). Colin Tushie would add an ENG for Prior Lake to seal the victory for the Lakers and a bid into the finals versus Rosemount.
Game 2 – Rosemount v. Chaska/Chanhassen
A clash of two of the hottest teams in the state. Both teams with bonafide superstars littering their rosters. Chaska Chan with superstar Bobby Brink and defenmen Calvin Barrett and Luke Busby. And Rosemount with a who’s who of future NHL prospects: Kyle Heffron, Broten Sabo, and Luke Levondowski.
The game got started fast. CC added early pressure but had nothing to show for it. On about the third shift of the game Kyle “Moose” Heffron got loose and fired a rocket past CC Goal Zachary Hansen to make it 1-0. Minutes later Heffron gave big guys a good name by dangling from a stand still from his own corner through the entire CC team for his second goal in two minutes. Brink from CC was not to be outdone. A couple minutes later he made a great move on a Rosemount defenseman on the left hash and held the puck so long you could hear the Rosemount fans holding their breath for his next move. He let a shot go off the pads onto the stick of CC’s mighty mite Tyler Davidson for an easy goal, 2 to 1 Irish after 1.
Early in the second, with Rosemount on the powerplay, Rosemount goal scoring machine Mason Wheeler got open in front of the net alone and when that happens that spells danger for the other team. Rosemount is one of only a handful of teams at the Squirt level that can hurt you with their power play. It’s not so much a wonderfully designed power play, but more so because they have so many weapons down low and the “Moose” up high to shoot and to protect against odd man rushes that are so common in Squirt hockey special teams.
The third period was very even in scoring chances but lopsided in shots – Chaska with a 9-2 advantage. Rosemount did a nice job of keeping CC at bay during an early period power play.
Final Score, Rosemount 3, CC 1. The Irish move onto the finals versus Prior Lake.