State Hockey: Edina wins thrilling double overtime game over Moorhead
In a game that saw Moorhead (19-10) battle back from a three goal deficit in the third period to force overtime, Edina (21-6-1) survived to advanced to the semifinals of the 2023 MSHSL Class AA Boys Hockey Championship with a thrilling 7-6 double overtime win over the Spuds on Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
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The Spuds kicked off the game in dramatic fashion with a breakaway goal by junior forward Parker Gast at 5:24 of the first period to give Moorhead a 1-0 lead. On the unassisted goal, Gast stole the puck at the Moorhead blue line and then outraced the Edina defenders to score on the breakaway goal high on the stick side.
The Hornets knotted the score at 1-1 at 12:27 of the first period on an even-strength goal by junior forward Ryan Flaherty. The goal came courtesy of junior forward Bobby Cowan, who broke through the Moorhead defense and hit Flaherty with a textbook cross ice pass for the goal. The second assist on the play was credited to junior defenseman Eddie Revenig.
Edina wasted little time in the second period to take the lead as Flaherty and Cowan teamed up again to make it 2-1. This time, Flaherty found a wide open Cowan on the left side of the net, who scored at :55 of the second period. The second assist on the goal was added by junior forward Jackson Nevers.
The Horners then padded their lead to 3-1 with an unassisted goal by senior forward Lucas Cole at 4:28 of the second. Cole picked up the loose puck at the Moorhead blue line and then found an opening in the Moorhead for the breakaway goal.
Moorhead closed the gap at 6:09 of the second with an unassisted marker by sophomore defenseman Garrett Lindberg, who gain possession at center ice and then beat the Edina goalie with a backhand-forehand combination that made the tally 3-2.
To end the scoring in the second period, Edina’s connected on a tic-tac-toe play that started with a pass from Flaherty to Nevers. The play continued with a dish from Nevers to Cowan, who returned the puck to an open Nevers for the tap in goal at 8:37 of the second.
The start of the third period started with a bang as Edina exited its lead to 5-2 at :43 with a goal by Cowan. He connected on a wrist shot from the top of the left circle that found the top of the net on the stick side. Flaherty and senior defenseman Charlie Sandven carded assists on the play.
Moorhead returned the favor at 1:04 with a goal by junior forward Aaron Reierson that made it 5-3. He was set up on the play by sophomore forward Mason Kraft, who gained the first assist with a cross ice pass to Reierson, who beat the Edina goalie on the glove side. The second assist was credited to senior defenseman Colin Baumgartner.
Cowan recorded the first hat trick of the Class AA tournament with his highlight reel unassisted goal at 8:20 of the third. After a check by Nevers knocked the puck loose from a Moorhead attacker, Cowan took the puck at the blue line and beat three Spud defenders to score on the breakaway.
Not ready to call it a day, Moorhead charged back 30 seconds later with a call by senior forward Abe Carlson at 8:50. He was assisted on the play, which made it 6-4, by sophomore forward Brooks Cullen and junior forward Joey Simonich.
The Spuds continued its late push in the contest at 14:11 with a power play goal by junior forward Caleb Alderson. He took a pass from sophomore defenseman Garrett Lindberg at the top of the circle and went five hole to beat the Edina goalie. Junior Colby Krier had the second assist on the play.
Moorhead’s epic comeback continued in the closing minutes of regulation as it tied the game at 6-6 with a goal by Krier at 16:02 of the third. With an empty net and an extra attacker on ice, Moorhead managed to even the tally after a scramble in front of the Edina net that resulted in the goal. Assists on the play were provided by Kraft and Alderson.
Both squads battled through a scoreless first overtime session before Edina sealed the deal at 2:02 of the second overtime period with a goal by senior defenseman Charlie Sandven. He connected on a shot from the blue line with assists from senior forward Matt Vander Vort and senior defenseman Mikey Mason to make it 7-6.
As reflect by the overtime score, Edina and Moorhead posted 30 shots apiece on goal in the game as senior goalie Robbie Clarkowski earned the victory in the nets for Edina with 24 saves. Sophomore goalie Kai Weigel had 23 saves in the loss for Moorhead. On the power play, Moorhead was 1-of-1 and Edina did not have any power play opportunities in the game.
Edina will advance in tournament play to match up with Cretin-Derham Hall in the semifinals of the MSHSL Class AA Boys Hockey Championship on Friday, March 10 at 6:00 p.m. The game will be played at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Moorhead enters the consolation bracket and it will play Maple Grove at 10:00 a.m. on Friday at 3M Arena at Mariucci.