Edina Goes Back-to-Back, Beating Centennial for Class AA Girls Hockey Title

February 24, 2018 10:52 PM

No. 1 Edina (28-2-1) won back-to-back MSHSL Class AA Girls’ Hockey Tournament championships, defeating No. 2 Centennial (25-4-1) 2-1 on Saturday night at Xcel Energy Center.

Led by head coach and 2011 Edina graduate Sami Reber, the Hornets were able to take third place (2009), second place (2010 & 2011) finishes home during her playing career and are now back-to-back state championships under guidance in just two years as head coach.

Aliyah Lance (RPI) scored her second goal of the tournament and 24th of the season in the third minute of the third period to break a 1-1 tie. Harvard commit Lolita Fidler and Mallory Uihlein (Penn State) teamed up on the assist on the power play goal. Fidler registered a pair of assists in the game, giving her 44 on the season.

Edina also took the game’s first lead after a defensive struggle for the first period and a half when its defense limited Centennial to just two shots on goal in the first 27-plus minutes. While Edina’s defense stifled Centennial throughout the early parts of the game, the Hornet offense was also slow out of the gate with just eight shots through the same duration and just one shot in the first seven minutes of the second period.

It was future Golden Gopher Emily Oden who broke the scoreless tie in the ninth minute of the second period on the feed from Fidler, who nearly tipped the puck right in front of the goalie while causing enough of a distraction for the puck to sneak through unaided. 

Oden was one of four Hornets to be named to the All-Tournament Team.

Centennial evened the contest late in the second period in the 15th minute on the power play just moments after a 2-skater advantage as Gabbie Hughes scored with Hannah Backman assisting for the Cougars. 

Hughes and Backman were each All-Tournament selections for Centennial, along with goalie Mackenna Stoterau and forward Anneke Linser. After the game, Linser was announced as the Herb Brooks Award Winner, as well. She scored five points in the tournament (2g, 3a) while Hughes led Centennial with seven (5g, 2a).

Stoterau faced 79 shots on goal in three games, allowing just three total goals for the Cougars for a .963 save percentage to earn her spot on the team as the state runner-up Cougars finished the three days with a 9-3 goal margin. Stoterau registered 25 saves in the championship including 11 in the third period.

Joining Oden on the All-Tournament Team from Edina were forward CC Bowlby (2g) and defenders Brooke Tucker (1g, 3a) and Sophia Doll (2a).

In the net for the Hornets, Megan Smith finished with 13 saves in the title game including seven in the third period when the Cougar offense picked up steam, especially in the closing minutes as Centennial attempted to mount a late rally.

For the tournament, Smith registered a .923 save percentage with 36 saves, allowing just three goals for the state champions who had a 10-3 team goal margin.

The Hornets close the 2018 season on a 14-game winning streak.

Courtesy: Minnesota State High School League

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Chris Long

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