For the third consecutive season, the Eden Prairie boys’ hockey team is headed back to the Xcel Energy Center for the state tournament.
On Wednesday, the Eagles’ faced off against Lake Conference rival Minnetonka in the Section 2AA final. Despite trailing by two goals in the second period, top-seeded Eden Prairie eked out an overtime victory and captured the section championship and moved on to next week’s state tournament.
The Eagles had an easy trek to the section final as they defeated New Prague in the quarterfinals 9-1 and then besting Holy Family 6-0 this past Saturday in the section semifinals. Eden Prairie hosted the section final due to COVID-19. The final is usually held at Mariucci Arena on the University of Minnesota campus.
The Eagles did take late in the first period when Jackson Blake scored to make it 1-0. The University of North Dakota commit now has 47 points on the season, including 17 goals.
Eden Prairie’s lead did not last, as the Skippers came out firing in the second period. After scoring two goals just 10 seconds apart to go ahead 2-1, Minnetonka doubled its lead less than three minutes later as Graham Harris scored for the Skippers to make it 3-1.
Facing a two-goal deficit, the Eagles relied on their power play to erase the margin. Just two minutes after Harris’ goal, Carter Batchelder scored to make it 3-2.
In the third period, Eden Prairie finally got the equalizer. This time, it was Drew Holt who scored with the man advantage to tie the game at 3.
Once the extra session started, the Eagles got rolling. Just two minutes into the extra session, defenseman Kam Langefels fired a shot from the blue line. Junior Phil Feinberg was there to push the shot into the net and send Eden Prairie to the state tournament.
Wednesday’s win is the second triumph over Minnetonka this season for the Eagles. They defeated the Skippers 9-5 in their first meeting before a 2-2 tie in the teams’ second meeting. The Class 2A boys’ state tournament begins March 31 at Xcel Energy Center. Eden Prairie’s opponent will be determined this weekend but will likely be one of the top five seeds in this year’s eight-team field.