Holy Family Burns Skippers in OT

by Pete Waggoner

Edina, MN - The Holy Family Family Catholic Fire shocked the world by defeating the Minnetonka Skippers by a score of 2-1 in overtime to advance to the Section 2AA Final at Braemar Arena Saturday night.  Ben Reddan took a pin-point feed from Garrett Pinoniemi and went to the five-hole on a partial breakaway from the slot area to beat Minnetonka goalie Charlie Glockner and stun the Minnesota High School Hockey world and the Skippers.  

"It's one of the best feelings of my life, if not the best," Reddan said. "Just to score that goal and to win this game after what happened last year is unbelievable. "

Trey Fechko gained possession of the puck near the Skipper line, got to Pinoniemi who sprung Reddan. "I have always made that move my entire life," Reddan said.  "I always go five hole and it was an unreal pass from Garrett for me and I buried it."

After losing to the Skippers in the Section 2AA finals in heart breaking fashion last year, this year's version of the game was no different.  The #5 seed Fire (16-9-1) kept the Skipper team at bay and when they needed help, goaltender Bailey Huber was a stand out in goal stopping all but one shot sent his way.  He made 32 saves and was a difference maker.  When he didn't make the saves, the posts did.  Two clean posts within in a minute benefited the Fire who took advantage in overtime. 

Head coach Noel Rahn could not help but think of  heartbreak from last year.  His team led to the closing seconds with what felt like the close out to a win and a trip to St. Paul.  It was ripped from their clutches by the Skippers with a goal in the final seconds and an eventual overtime winner. 

"I still have memories and nightmares from last year so to get that win today took a little bit of the burden off without a doubt," Fire head coach Noel Rahn said.  

After a scoreless first period, the Skippers (21-3-3) tallied at 10:20 of the second period when Teddy Lagerback scored an unassisted goal.  The Fire stuck to their game plan, remaining patient, and it was Sawyer Schugel who scored at 2:55 of the stanza from Lucas Jorgenson.  

The Fire executed a well crafted game plan, which was to take the Minnetonka transitional game way.  It was something his team had one practice and one day to work on and execute.  They did with heart and character.  "That was the game plan and we only had one day since Prior Lake and put it in place yesterday," Rahn said.  "The guys were unbelievable.  We went down 1-0 and everyone wanted to get a goal and go away from the game plan.  I said we are going to pop one here, there's going to be a turnover and we are going to tie this thing and get to overtime. I am extremely proud and that is not an easy plan to execute." 

The Fire will faceoff with the Eden Prairie Eagles on Wednesday night at 3M Arena at Mariucci for the right to advance to the State Tournament.  The game can be heard live and exclusively on the MNHockey.TV.