The Skippers defeated Edina 2-1 Friday and will play top ranked Andover for the state Class AA title. Photo by Tim Kolehmainen, Breakdown Sports
St. Paul, MN - The Minnetonka Skippers defeated their crosstown rival Edina Hornets by a score of 2-1 to advance to the Minnesota State High School League Class 2AA Championship game Saturday evening at 7pm. After chipping away to a 2-0 lead, the Skippers would be tasked with defending three straight penalties late in the third period along with a pulled goaltender.
Minnetonka’s Lindzi Avar opened the scoring at 11:04 of the first period with a terrific short side goal to the shelf beating Edina goalie Uma Corniea for the 1-0 lead. There were only 13 shots combined in the first period between the two teams, seven for the Skippers and six for the Hornets. Ms. Hockey finalist Vivian Jungels rang one off the crossbar with 2:21 left in the first period.
Through two periods, the game was cautious with the scoring chances limited. The two goaltenders, Corniea and Sophia Johnson of the Skippers had stand-out efforts for their teams. Jenja Leeper scored a goal 13:16 of the second period off the post of the net as she jammed one past Corniea. A whistle blew as the puck was partially covered, or the referee lost sight of it, and before the whistle blew, the puck was in the back of the net. After review, it was determined the puck was in the back of the net for the eventual game-winning goal.
A penalty shot pitted the talented Grace Sadura, a 24-goal scorer and UMD recruit, and Corniea at 9:01 of the third period. Corniea delivered a pin-point poke-check to thwart Sadura’s bit in what would have been a back breaking goal. The Hornets scored just :36 later as Tori Anderson scored a rebound goal off a shot by Jane Kuehl that was stopped by Anderson and her right pad.
The frantic close to the game carried out over the last 6 minutes of the game as the Hornets pushed and were aided by a trio of power plays that the Skippers, owners of an 89% penalty kill, were able to fight off. The Hornets had several scoring chances from point-blank range that followed up with scrambles that Johnson was a difference maker in the game.
The win puts the Skippers (24-6-0) in the state final for the first time since 2015 where they fell to Hill-Murray by a score of 2-1. Minnetonka will play Andover for the Class AA championship.
The Hornets (26-3-0) will not be playing in a state final for the first time in five years. They will face Gentry Academy for third place.
Tag(s): State Of Hockey