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Edina Bantam AA hands Prior Lake first D6 loss

By frederick61, 01/16/13, 2:00PM CST


Prior Lake’s Kevin Fellows tries to beat Edina’s Colin Dunn as he sweeps across the Hornet’s goal in Edina’s 6-2 win last night

Tuesday night at the Dakotah Arena in Prior Lake, the Prior Lake Bantam AA team played Edina in a key game for both teams.  A win would virtually lock-up the D6 Bantam AA regular season title for Prior Lake and give them the #1 seed to the D6 playoffs.  It would keep the Lakers unbeaten in D6 with four games to play. 

A loss would blemish that record and allow the second place Hornets to close the gap in the chase for the regular season title.  With another game scheduled at Braemar two weeks from now, the Hornets could cut the Prior Lake lead in D6 to a single game by sweeping both games.

And it was a matchup between YHH ranked #2 Prior Lake and YHH ranked #3 Edina in the NOW Bantam AA poll.

The two teams played in the semifinals of the Edina Invitational Bantam AA tourney held on New Year’s Day two weeks ago.  Edina won 6-3.  Since then the Hornets have won four games beating Jeffersn 4-1 in a league game and beating Centennial 10-2, Hermantown 8-2, and Duluth East 4-3 in non-league games on northern swing last weekend.

The Hornets have more experience then Prior Lake, 9 of the Hornets played for the 2011 Edina Peewee A state champions.

Prior Lake has beaten Burnsville AA 2-1 in a D6 game and Anoka AA 5-1 since taking third place at Edina beating Elk River AA 7-2.  The #2 ranked Lakers has 8 players from Prior Lake’s 2012 Peewee A state champions on their team.

So last night’s game was a battle for the D6 title, a battle between the #2 and #3 ranked teams, and a battle of Peewee A state champions, one year apart.  Edina won last night’s game 6-2.

Prior Lake outshot the Hornets in the first period.  The Hornets outscored the Lakers 4-1.

Prior Lake came out on the attack and for the first two minutes of the opening period, dominated play in the Hornets zone peppering the Edina net.  The Laker forwards were too fast for the Hornets.

Finally, two minutes into the period, Edina got their first shot on the Lakers goal off a rush on the left side.  The Prior Lake defense gave the Hornet forward room to maneuver at the Laker blue line.  The forward turned into center ice and fired at the net.  Kyle Nelson, the Prior Lake goalie, made the stop but the puck fell to his skates in the crease and Edina’s Auggie Moore rapped the puck into the net.  Ben Tucker and Jack Stanchfield got the assists.
Edina led 1-0.

Prior Lake resumed their attack.  They were successful in bottling the Hornets in the Edina zone again and getting the puck low, but Colin Dunn played exceptional well.  He kept the Lakers out of the net making tough save after tough save.

A Prior Lake cross checking penalty at the 11 minute mark resulted in an Edina power play goal a minute later.  This time the Hornets excuted the power play to perfection, setting up in the Laker zone and scoring on two quick passes, one from the left point to right faceoff and a quick pass to the left weak side crease to a waiting Auggie Moore.  He rapped the puck into the net for his second goal of the game.  Edina led 2-0.  Casey Dornbach and Garrett Wait got the assists.

Prior Lake returned to their pressure game, setting up in the Edina zone.  At the 8 minute mark, Edina drew a hooking penalty.  The Lakers held the puck in the Edina zone after the faceoff, but the Hornets cleared the zone.  When the Lakers retrieved the puck from their end and returned to attack, they were faced with a 4 player box packed between the Prior Lake blue line and the center line.

It worked, frustrating the Lakers attempts to gain the neutral ice.  Worst, it resulted in a Laker holding penalty creating a 4-on-4 for a minute of play.  The Lakers used the open ice to attack the Edina net, but were caught up ice when Edina’s hooking penalty ended.

The Hornets quickly returned to the attack against a scrambling Laker penalty kill.  The Hornets Kieffer Bellows scored on an angled shot from the right side deep in the Lakers zone.  It was an unassisted goal and gave the Hornets a 3-0 lead.

Up three goals, Edina finally got a sustained attack going in the Laker zone late in the first period.  They worked the puck down low and at the 4 minute mark scored again off a melee around the Laker net.  Casey Dornbach got the goal and Calvin Pugh got the assist.  Edina led 4-0.

The Lakers returned to the attack in the Hornets zone and finally scored.  It came off a sequence of shots that Dunn, the Edina goalie, saved that pulled him to his left.  Dunn ended up prone on the last save as the puck rebounded dead to the open right crease.  The Laker’s Matt Denman rapped the puck into the net to cut the Hornets lead to 4-1.  The period ended with Edina leading 4-1.

The second period opened with the Lakers on the power play as a result of a late first period Hornet holding penalty.  Edina dumped the puck into the Lakers zone and went into their box in neutral ice.  This time the Lakers were prepared.  They pulled the defense to one side, attacked the weakside defender who challenged the Laker forward.  But instead of trying to cut to the center or pass to the center, the Laker forwards would angle the puck off the near board and skate through the Edina defense.

Prior Lake established the power play in the Hornets’ zone.

They scored a power play goal when an Edina forward gambled on a breakout and lost.  The Prior Lake defender got the puck into Kevin Fellows who scored from the left faceoff beating Dunn on a high shot right.  Edina led 4-2 and it looked to be a game turning into a barnburner.

Prior Lake turned the pressure up and again attacked the Hornet net, gaining control of the puck in the Hornet zone.  But at the 10 minute mark, Edina broke the pressure and turned it into a three man rush.  Garrett Wait tipped the puck in the net off a pass from the left side to put Edina up 5-2.  Dornbach and Bellows got the assists.

After that, Dunn took over.  The game pace slowed in part due to stoppages.  The Edina forwards were content to play more defensive, not forcing the action low, and using a 5 player box in neutral ice to turn the Laker attacks.  They avoided an up and down open style of game.

It worked to slow the Laker attack, and the Edina defense down low tied the Laker forwards up.  Dunn did the rest.

It didn’t stop the Laker attack totally.  But it kept the Lakers from getting good shots.  The second period ended with the Hornets leading 5-2.

The third period was scoreless until the last two minutes.  Edina drew three penalties, but saved their “fair play” point.  The Lakers had numerous chances to close the score, but Dunn always had the right position to make the save.  At one point, the Lakers Kevin Fellows broke free on the right side of the Edina net carrying the puck on his power side.  He skated right to left looking for the Dunn to slow or break his defensive pose.  Dunn did neither and forced Fellows to take a weak shot for the left end line.

Garrett Wait scored off another Edina rush late in the third period to end the scoring 6-2.  Dornbach got the assist.

Casey Dornbach and Kieffer Bellows were the players on the 2011 Peewee A state champs that drove the Hornets in the state tournament.  The two Hornets ended up with 7 points last night.  Kevin Fellows was a key player for the Lakers in winning their 2012 State Title.  He got 2 points last night.  Both Dunn and Nelson were goalies on their state champion teams.  The Lakers outshot the Hornets 37-25 last night.

The win keeps Edina’s D6 title hopes alive.  The Hornets have a hectic schedule planned for the next two weeks.  Before playing Prior Lake again, Edina plays Minnetonka, Hermantown, Wayzata, White Bear Lake and Duluth East.  Two days after playing the Lakers, the Hornets open play in White Bear Lake’s Moose Goheen tourney against Rosemount.

Prior Lake plays STMA and Jefferson and the Lakers play in the Woodbury tournament in the next two weeks before playing Edina at Braemar on January 29th.  The season is beginning to heat up.

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