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Jefferson AA beats Edina A 2-1 in Rumble championship

By frederick61, 12/17/12, 1:45AM CST


It is not what Minnesota Hockey had in mind. When they split the bantam and peewee levels of youth hockey into AA and A, Minnesota Hockey intended for the Bantam and Peewee regular seasons to be unchanged. They intended the split of teams into AA and A to affect only the post season.

And Nobel intended his invention of dynamite to be used for peaceful purposes. We live in a world of “good intention rules” that have unexpected consequences.

So the world of peewee AA/A stepped forward in the form of Woodbury’s AA/A Rumble Tournament, a tournament that originally was based on the idea of separate AA and A tournaments. Last weekend, that didn’t happen. Not enough teams entered, perhaps because there are not enough AA teams available.

Sunday evening, the Woodbury Rumble tourney championship game was played at Bielenberg Sports Center in Woodbury. Edina White (Peewee A) tangled with Jefferson AA team.

It was the second tournament in that past month that these two teams played in. At the first tourney, Hopkins on Thanksgiving weekend, both teams made it to the semifinals. But Jefferson was upended by Rosemount 2-1. Edina won their semifinal game and beat Rosemount 3-1 in the Championship Game.

Since then, the Edina A team has added 9 wins to bring a sparkling 23-1 record going into Sunday’s Championship game. Since playing in the Hopkins tourney, Jefferson has snarled and pawed going 6-0-1 to raise their record to a respectable 10-8-2.

This game matched a AA (Jefferson) team against an A (Edina) team. Most people would think the Edina team to be the underdog. Not so.

Most of the Jefferson kids playing Sunday played Peewee B1 last year. They lost four games to the two Edina Peewee B1 teams in District 6 play by a combined score of 22-1. A good number of the players on the Edina peewee A team played for last year’s Peewee B1 teams.

AA designation or A designation, it did not matter. As always, Edina was the favorite.

Period 1

Jefferson opened the game with some modest pressure on Edina in the Hornets’ zone. That lasted for the first minute of the period as the game became an up and down affair, each team moving the puck, but no organized attack on the nets.

Three minutes into the 12 minute period, Edina finally started to establish pressure in the Jags’ zone.

The Hornets bottled up Jefferson for over two minutes, changing lines successfully, and keeping the puck in the Jags zone and the pressure on. But Edina could never quite get the good shot. That would change as the game progressed. The Jags were forced to ice the puck to break the pressure. That would not change as the game progressed.

Jefferson took the face off from the icing in their zone and successfully established pressure in the Hornet’s zone. The Jags, like Edina, could not get that good shot on goal.

The game became transitional; both teams moving the puck.

Halfway through the first period, the Jags were starting to force the play more and more in the Edina zone. More importantly, Jefferson lines were changing often and efficiently. The Jags were successful in extending the Hornet lines’ shifts.

In the last three minutes of the first period, Jefferson played some of their best hockey. And it paid off. With a little less than a minute left in the opening period, the Jag forwards trapped the puck in the Hornet goal area and kept picking away at the Edina defense.

Finely, the puck squirted out of a melee of players to the left crease and to the Jags’ Tyler Rollwagen. Rollwagen buried the puck in the net to puck the Jags up 1-0. Princeton Oppong and Cole Jungwirth got the assists. The period ended with Jefferson leading 1-0.

Period 2

The game became sloppy in the opening minutes of the second period. Both teams looked tired. Two minutes into the period, the Hornets made a quick change after the Jags had change their lines and caught Jefferson in the Jag’s zone.

The Hornets pressured the Jags for two minutes before Jefferson could get a break in the play via icing and reset. During those two minutes, Edina started to develop tremendous pressure on the Jags. The Jags were slow to the puck, and the Hornets took every advantage to keep the puck in the Jefferson zone.

The Hornets were finally in a flow and they upped the pace of the game. The Jag forwards were no longer beating the Hornet defense in neutral ice. The Hornet defense men started to play more aggressively and the result was constant pressure in the Jag’s zone.

The Jefferson goalie, Evan Redepenning, had been playing solidly during the first half of the game. At this point, he stepped up his game and kept the Hornets out of the nets until the Jags could ice the puck and get another change.

Four the last 5 minutes of the second period, the Hornets were all over the Jag’s zone. All the Jags could do was to hang on, let Redepenning do his job and ice the puck every minute or so. They did at a rate of one icing a minute until the period ended.

It was not pretty, but the Jags still led 1-0 as the second period ended.

Period 3

The Edina pressured the Jags in the opening minutes of the third period. They continued to set up in the Jag’s zone and move the puck. The Jags continued to try and carry the puck out of their zone or make a breakout play work, but the Hornets held them at bay.

At the 7 minute mark of the third, the game started to change. Jefferson’s size over the smaller Edina forwards began to tell. The size advantage is part physical, but at the peewee age, it is mostly strength. The Jags are the stronger team, physically bigger, but not as adept in moving the puck.

But their strength start to give the Jags the advantage on the races and it resulted in better control of the puck. At the 6 minute mark, Edina really pounded the Jags net forcing Redepenning to make some big saves; but the Hornets were losing the battle along the boards. The play was beginning to move to neutral ice.

With two minutes left in the game, Edina called a timeout. The face off following the timeout would be in the Jags’ zone. The Hornets pulled their goalie and added a sixth man to their attack. The Edina defense men became offensive. All six Hornets were prepared to attack the Jags’ net.

The Hornets did attack and they scored 20 seconds after the time out.

Edina won the draw, rotated the puck left and low in the Jags zone and put a hard shot on the goalie and attacked looking for the rebound. A melee of players formed in front of Redepenning on the right, the puck came loose in the left slot where Edina’s Demetrios Koumontzis put the puck in the open net. Walter Branck and Quinn Marple got the assists.

With a little less than two minutes left in the game, Edina had tied the score 1-1.

The final minute of the third period was played more conservatively by both teams as was the 5 minute running time, 4 on 4 overtime. Edina controlled the play, mostly in the Jefferson zone, and had several good scoring chances. Redepenning shut the Hornets down.

Still tied after the overtime, a five player shootout came next. Each team scored a goal in the first 5 shooters, turning the shootout into a sudden death overtime. It took 12 shooters to decide the game. As the seventh Jag shooter, #12 Charlie Jamieson scored to keep the Jags hopes alive. If Jamieson had missed, the Jags would have lost. He also scored as the 12thshooter to give the Jags a 2-1 victory.

It was a great game between two good teams. Jefferson showed that they will be a team to be reckoned with in the future. Edina White A looks like the best peewee A team in the state and more.

It is the “and more” that may cause some Edina supporters a few restless nights. Edina (and Wayzata) may have a problem developing. In theory, the Edina Peewee AA team consists of the first 15 players in their program, the White team has the next 15 players.

But kids develop over the season and because they do, their team can improve and make great strides. At the end of this season, the White peewee team could be the best Edina peewee team. That will cause the high school coaches to pause in their thinking.

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