State Boys Hockey: A year later, Edina finishes the job with 2-1 win over Chanhassen for 2A title

In this same spot a year ago, Edina had its heart broken by conference rival Minnetonka 2-1 in the Class 2A title game.

Facing a similar fate in the third period Saturday night, the Hornets determined they were not to be denied.

Edina flipped the switch in the final stanza, out-playing Chanhassen for the first two-thirds of the final frame to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 victory in the championship bout at Xcel Energy Center.

The title is Edina’s 14th.

“Just going from how we ended our season last year and, obviously, the pain that we felt, I’ve thought about it every single day,” Hornets senior forward Jackson Nevers said. “It’s so surreal.”

Edina’s Bobby Cowan delivered the game winner on the power play with seven minutes to play, walking the puck to the top of the circles before sniping the top left corner to beat Kam Hendrickson – likely the state’s top goaltender – glove side.

“The shot he made, there’s not many kids that can make that shot he shot,” Edina coach Curt Giles said. “I’m telling you, that shot there from that spot to beat a quality goaltender like that, it’s hard to find a kid who can do that.”

“Best shot in the state,” Nevers added.

At that point, Chanhassen was down, but not out. The Storm put on a furious push over the game’s final few minutes. At some point in the rally, seemingly every fan in the stands rose to their feet to applaud.

That was a pretty cool moment … What better way to finish your high school career than that?” Chanhassen coach Sean Bloomfield said. “It almost worked.”

The Storm created a number of chances around the net, but couldn’t slip a puck past Edina goalie Joe Bertram, who tallied 33 saves.

“I was feeling some tension, but in those moments, you’ve got to just talk to yourself and say, ‘You’ve been here before,’” Bertram said.

Seemingly every time the camera flashed toward the goaltender down the stretch, he was smiling. Bertram suggested those closing minutes flew by. His coach did not share the same experience.

“Are you kidding? I had colored hair before tonight. It seems like a month,” Giles said of the last two minutes. “The trick is not to watch the clock. Because if you watch that clock, you swear they’re adding time on there. … There’s a barrage after a barrage, there’s faceoffs, and there’s small things that you see – loose pucks laying there and you’re just going, ‘Nobody is getting to it. … They’re not getting to it, we’re not getting to it.’ It’s just laying there, and it just drives you nuts as a coach because I’ll tell you what, that’s a long, long period of time against a team like that.”

That team was Chanhassen, who was Minnesota hockey’s David a week ago, slaying giant Minnetonka in the section final to reach its first ever state tournament. But, as the tournament wore on, it became clear the Storm were anything but an underdog. They were every bit as good as their No. 5 rank in the state and No. 2 seed in the tournament suggested, and perhaps even better.

Both top-seeded Edina (26-4-1) and Chanhassen breezed through the first two rounds of the tournament, setting up a titanic matchup in Saturday’s final. For two periods Saturday, it looked as though the tournament debutant was going to attain the ultimate glory in its first bite at the apple.

Chanhassen looked like the better team, even in a first period that saw both teams generate high-quality scoring chances neither would finish. The Storm finally broke through in the second, as Tyler Smith generated a beautiful tip off the shot of Ben Curtis from the point to sneak the puck inside the far pipe.

The Storm (25-5) carried the 1-0 advantage into the final frame. Chanhassen out-shot the Hornets 14-5 in the second period. Frankly, Edina was fortunate to only be trailing by one at that point in the contest, which was a credit to Bertram.

“(We’re thinking) if we can get through this period and just be down one after a push like that, then we can kind of regroup and get the kids together, get them rested, get them out there and get some things going, then you can kind of move the game along,” Giles said. “The cool thing about these guys is nobody panicked. You get down 1-0 against a very, very good team that’s kind of smothering you most of the night to get started, and they just hung in there. The message was it’s one shot – it’s only one shot to get back into it.”

That shot came off the stick of Robby Hoch, who’d scored just two goals all season leading up to that moment. Hoch simply tossed a puck on net from the point that seemed harmless enough as it flew toward the net

But then the puck appeared to bounce off a Chanhassen skater in front of the net to deflect past Hendrickson – who finished with 21 saves – and into the net.

“It found its way through. That’s hockey, right?” Bloomfield said. “Obviously there’s things we could’ve done better to prevent that, but those (goals), the puck finds its way in sometimes.”

Sometimes, those are the types of bounces required to win state titles. That goal ignited Edina, who generated a pair of power plays over the next few minutes, cashing in on the second one to secure the game-winner.

“You look at the history of this tournament a little bit and some of the guys who score big goals and do different types of things and sometimes it’s in your second set of D, can be in your third line, your fourth line, I mean, there’s a lot of things that can happen,” Giles said. “And that’s the excitement about this tournament.”


Moments prior to delivering his final state tournament broadcast for Channel 45, Minnesota hockey icon Lou Nanne was honored on the ice with a commemorative state tournament jersey and numerous loud “LOOOUUUUU” chants from the fans in the stands.

Nanne was again honored on the jumbotron late in the third period of the Class 2A title game, and received a standing ovation from those in attendance as he was shown on the video board.


The announced attendance of Saturday’s Class 2A final was 20,356 – a state final record.


Cretin-Derham Hall downed Grand Rapids 6-3 in the third-place game.

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