Eden Prairie advances to 2AA Final

by Pete Waggoner

BOXSCORE                   TEAM STATS                   AUDIO REPLAY

Edina, MN - The Eden Prairie Eagles turned the tables on their heart-breaking season ending overtime loss in the sections playoffs last year to the Chaska Hawks with a well convincing 7-3 win .  The victory lifted the Eagles (16-9-2) to the Section 2AA finals against the winner of the Minnetonka and Holy Family Catholic game.  The Eagles Jack Jensen and Carter Batchelder each had two goals to lead the Eagles to their win.  

With a surge in the first period, that was fought off by the Hawks, the Eagles found themselves trailing 1-0 and 2-1 on goals by Rhett Pitlick and Blaine Warnert.  Back-to-back goals by Jensen and Batchelder captured the Eagles first lead of the game, one that they would not relinquish.  

"We had a really good game plan and the guys executed it to a T," Eagles coach Lee Smith said.  "This group of kids really has started to peak at the right time and believe in each other, it's great to see." 

With a 3-2 lead after the first period, Eden Prairie continued their game of possession and transition and scored two more goals both by Batchelder and Jensen. Batchelder also added an assist on his team's first goal by Drew Holt. 

Trailing by three goals to start the period, the Hawks (18-8-0) brought a strong effort, peppering Eagle goalie Axel Rosenlund and eventually cut the deficit to 5-3 on a power play goal by Mike Koster.  He rifled a shot past the glove of Rosenlund at 8:51 of the period to put the Eagles back on their heels.  

The Eagles called a timeout and right off the faceoff John Mittelstadt raced up the left wing and snizzed the short side shelf on Hawks goalie Justin Bach for their second three goal lead of the game at 6-3.  

"There were a lot of kids that came back to play high school hockey which we are thankful for." Smith said.  "We knew they weren't going to go out without a fight and i give Chaska all the credit in the world.  Those kids came out and battled in the third period and got us a little rattled and our kids were able to get composed.  The goal by Johnny was huge."

Luke Mittelstadt added an empty net goal for the final margin of 7-3.  The Eagles will faceoff in the Section 2AA Final Wednesday night at 3M Arena at Mariucci at 6pm and can be heard here, exclusively on the MNHockey.Tv.