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Girls Hockey: Edina tips Warriors in 2 OT for state title

ST. PAUL--Olivia King's admirable goaltending for Brainerd/Little Falls was the talk of the tournament, but a different Olivia stole the spotlight when Olivia Swaim scored in double overtime to give top-seeded Edina a 4-3 win over the No. 3 Warri...

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The Brainerd-Little Falls Warrior Girls Class 2A State Runner- up team. Bill Johnson / Picture Day Pro!

 

ST. PAUL-Olivia King's admirable goaltending for Brainerd/Little Falls was the talk of the tournament, but a different Olivia stole the spotlight when Olivia Swaim scored in double overtime to give top-seeded Edina a 4-3 win over the No. 3 Warriors in the Class 2A state tournament Saturday, Feb. 23, at Xcel Energy Center.

King stopped 51 shots, but she didn't have a chance to stop a rebound shot by Swaim at 2:20 of the second overtime. B/LF ends its most successful season in program history with a 25-5-1 record and a state runner-up finish.

"I'm so proud of our girls," said Warrior coach Jim Ernster, whose squad was playing in its first state championship game. "It will take time, but they will eventually cherish this experience. It was a joy to watch them play all year. We're going to lose seven seniors, but the culture they helped established this year will stay with our team."

Edina finishes 27-4 after claiming its third straight title.

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"This (title) ranks No. 1," Swaim said when asked which state championship meant the most. "It was our toughest one."

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Edina 4, Warriors 3 - 2 OT

  • Key: Olivia Swaim scored the winning goal in double overtime to give Edina the Class 2A state championship
  • Overall: Warriors 25-5-1; Edina 27-4

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Edina rallied three times from a one-goal deficit. It was also challenging for the Hornets since King was thwarting most of their scoring chances.

The game did start out with offensive fireworks as the teams combined for three goals in the first 4:02. Two of the goals came when the Warriors were called for their first of three straight penalties in the period. Cheyenne Abear picked up a loose puck, raced in for a breakaway and slipped the puck past Edina goaltender Ellie Strittmater for a shorthanded, unassisted goal at 1:48.

The Hornets tied it almost a minute later on the same power play when Sophia Doll fired a shot through traffic that found the net to make it 1-1.

"Scoring first was fantastic," Ernster said, "but we always stress that after a goal the next shift is critical. We jumped out to leads, but we couldn't find an answer (for not allowing the opponent to tie it)."

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"I'm so proud of our girls." - Warrior coach Jim Ernster

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B/LF did come back 1:07 later when Gabbie Smith passed ahead to Abear and the puck deflected right to Abby Pohlkamp, who buried a shot into the net for a 2-1 Warrior lead.

Edina tied it again on the power play at 10:09 when Vivian Jungels poked in a loose puck in front of the net to make it 2-2. The Hornets dominated the shots with a 15-5 edge in the period, but the game was tied because of the stellar goaltending play of King. Two of her biggest stops came against Edina's Annie Kuehl, who was the Hornets' top state tournament scorer coming into the game.

"I didn't want to let down my teammates," said King, who had 101 saves in three tournament games. "They have my back and I need to have their back."

There was no scoring in the second period, but many great chances at both ends as Edina had 16 of the 20 shots in the session. King robbed Edina's Tella Jungels with two saves in front of the goal in the first minute. She also made a big glove save on Kuehl midway through the period. The Warriors' best chance came with 6:45 left when Smith made a centering pass to Abear, who quickly fired a close-range shot that Strittmater kicked aside.

In the closing minutes of the period, King robbed Hannah Chorske during a scramble in front of the net. Edina also missed a scoring chance with 1:20 left when Kuehl skated in and fired a shot that beat King, but deflected off the far post.

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"I didn't want to let down my teammates."  - Olivia King

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B/LF grabbed a 3-2 lead at 1:32 of the third period with a score on the power play after a scramble in front of the net. Smith moved the puck out front and took a shot, Pohlkamp's rebound shot was blocked, but the puck came to Emma Booth, who scored.

A turning point in the game, according to both head coaches, came when Smith was called for a checking-from-behind major penalty (plus a 10-minute misconduct). Edina scored to tie it 3-3 late in the five-minute power play when Tella Jungels banged in a rebound with 11:01 remaining.

"Without that goal, it's a whole different game," said Edina coach Sami Reber. "I'm glad we scored late in the penalty. It would have been a huge momentum swing for (B/LF) if they would have killed off that 5-minute penalty."

Ernster agreed, adding that he was frustrated to have 27 minutes of penalties called against the Warriors compared to just six minutes for the Hornets.

"On Thursday, (the referees) were letting teams play physical and tonight I didn't think we were more aggressive than them," Ernster said of Edina, which had three power-play goals. "You get frustrated with the refs and no doubt it made an impact. You take No. 10 (Smith) off the ice for 15 minutes and that will change the game."

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Both teams had chances at a winning goal in the final minutes of regulation. The biggest chance for Edina came when CC Bowlby fired a shot off the post with 2:35 left.

Edina had two of the three shots in the scoreless first overtime. The Hornets then won at 2:20 of the second overtime when Swaim found a loose puck in the crease and fired home the winning shot.

"A lot of people doubted us coming into the season," Reber said of Edina. "We graduated a lot of seniors and people didn't think we could (win state) again. We kept battling back tonight and our girls were not going down tonight without a fight. But also hats off to Brainerd and their goalie."

 

Tournament notes:

Four Warriors were chosen to the 12-member Class 2A all-tournament girls' team. They included: Olivia King, Cheyenne Abear, Sophie Robinson and Gabbie Smith. King had a 94.4 save percentage in the tournament while Abear and Smith each had six points. Other members were Edina's Mallory Uihlein, Annie Kuehl and Vivian Jungels; Minnetonka's Brynn Dulac, Lacey Martin and Maggie Nicholson; Andover's Peyton Hemp; and Maple Grove's Lauren Stenslie.

 

Brainerd/LF 2 0 1 0 0-3

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Edina 2 0 1 0 1-4

 

First period: Brd-Cheyenne Abear (shg) 1:48; Edina-Sophia Doll (CC Bowlby, Vivian Jungels) (ppg) 2:55; Brd-Abby Pohlkamp (Abear, Gabbie Smith) 4:02; Edina-Vivian Jungels (Bowlby, Mallory Uihlein) 10:09

Second period: No scoring.

Third period: Brd-Emma Booth (Abby Pohlkamp, Gabbie Smith) (ppg); 1:32; Edina-Tella Jungels (Hannah Chorske, Lily Hendrickson) (ppg) 5:59

First overtime: No scoring.

Second overtime: Edina-Olivia Swaim (Vivian Jungels) 2:20

Shots on goal: B/LF 55, Edina 20

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Goalies: BLF-Olivia King (51 saves); Edina-Elli Strittmater (17 saves)

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