Boys State Hockey: Vandertop’s hat trick leads No. 1 Edina past Elk River/Zimmerman

Boys State Hockey – Class 2A quarterfinal – Edina vs. Elk River/Zimmerman

Edina looked the part of a top seed with a 6-2 victory over Elk River/Zimmerman in the Class AA quarterfinals of the Minnesota State High School League’s Boys Hockey State Tournament on Thursday, March 7 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The Hornets (24-4-1) scored three goals in less than three minutes in the second period to turn what had been a one-goal advantage into plenty of breathing room.

Edina, playing in the state tournament for the 37th time since 1967, advances to Friday’s semifinals and awaits the winner from Thursday’s final quarterfinal matchup between No. 5 Grand Rapids and No. 4 White Bear Lake. In advancing, Edina defeated Elk River/Zimmerman (18-10-1) for the second time this season. The first came with a 4-0 victory on Dec. 15.

Sophomore center Casey Vandertop scored three goals, including two in the game-defining three minutes in the second period. He later completed his hat trick on a goal that gave the Hornets a 6-0 advantage. Just more than a minute later, Elk River spoiled the shutout bid on an even-strength goal by senior wing Daniel Babcock. Senior wing Kole Mears added another in the third period for the Elks to set the scoring.

Edina, which outshot Elk River/Zimmerman 26-14, has won 13 boys hockey state championships, its last coming in 2019.