This is Our House: Hornets Set to Defend Their State Title in the Championship
March 8, 2014
The Hornets are going back to the State Championship game for the second consecutive year, following a three to one victory over the Eagan Wildcats in front of a sellout Xcel Energy crowd of almost 19,000 Friday night. Junior forward Dylan Malmquist kicked off the scoring in the first period, driving the net hard and making the Notre Dame Hockey organization clench their fists and grit their teeth in anticipation for when he’ll don the blue and gold. The score remained one to zero until there were eleven seconds left in the second period when sophomore Garrett Wait exploited a small window above the Wildcat goalie’s shoulder and let loose on a snipe that found the back of the net. All seemed lost for Eagan in the third period, but with forty-six seconds left in the game, the Wildcats finally got one passed goalie Andrew Rohkohl and ended his strong shutout. But Malmquist’s empty net goal with fifteen seconds left wrapped the game up and put the Hornets one step closer to becoming back-to-back State Champions.
Edina fans were treated to a little double overtime showdown before their game started, and they watched as, finally, Lakeville North’s shot flew into the net ahead of the frantic Eden Prairie goalie, to send Lakeville North to their first ever class 2A championship game.
It seems like the tale of two cities, with Edina’s legacy and state championship appearances heavily outweighing the newcomer Lakeville North’s, who have never been in, nor won the state title game. Add that to the stigma Minnesota has about Edina sports, especially Hockey, and you will be hard-pressed to find anyone outside of Edina rooting for the “Cake-Eating” Hornets tonight at 7:00 p.m.
But Lakeville North is far from a dark horse underdog, with a 20-4-1 regular season record and impressive victories over Burnsville, Hill-Murray, and Eagan. If anyone can dethrone the all-powerful Edina, it will be them. But given the Hornets’ talent, determination, and recent streak of furious play, they may be in for more than they can handle.