It was a good night for the Lake Conference in the section hockey championship doubleheader Feb. 27 at Mariucci Arena.
In the first game, the Section 2AA final, Edina goalie Willy Benjamin made two spectuacular saves in the final minute to preserve a 3-2 victory over Burnsville. There were anxious moments as the Hornets killed off a Blaze power play, but Benjamin was equal to the task.
In the nightcap, the Section 6AA final, Wayzata upset Benilde-St. Margaret’s 5-2 in another game that could have gone either way. Wayzata’s depth and balance and the outstanding goaltending of Aaron Dingmann negated Benilde’s explosive attack. The Trojans kept BSM’s big line of T.J. Moore, Dan Labosky and Grant Besse out of the scoring column.
“Our kids believe in each other,” said Wayzata head coach Pat O’Leary. “Aaron made some nice saves, and obviously, we scored some timely goals. I’ve said all along that we’re the best third-period team in the state.”
Wayzata split with Benilde during the regular season, so Wednesday night’s game was the rubber game.
“We won tonight when it mattered,” said O’Leary. “Our penalty kill was phenomenal.”
Wayzata makes the third state tournament trip in school history with a 21-7-0 record. The other two appearances were in 1954 and 2004.
Wayzata’s goals against BSM were scored by Chad Olson, Jalen Wahl, Chandler Lindstrand, Chase Haller and Matthew Freytag. Dingmann had 26 saves in goal.
Both of BSM’s goals were scored by Chase Jungels.
In the Edina game, goals by Andy Jordahl and Dan Hinueber gave the Hornets a 2-1 lead at the first intermission.
Edina moved ahead 3-1 when Cullen Munson scored in the second period. Tyler Sheehy’s second goal of the game late in the second period pulled the Blaze closer at 3-2, but from that point forward Benjamin put a lock on the Edina goal.
The victory gave Edina a 22-6-0 mark and its seventh consecutive trip to the state Class AA tournament. Burnsville finished 17-9-1 overall.
Contact John Sherman at [email protected]