Jett Jungels’ Overtime Game-Winner Lifts Edina Over White Bear Lake, 4-3

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EDINA, MN — Approximately 1,300 were on hand Thursday evening at Braemar Arena to witness a clash between two top-ranked teams, the Edina Hornets, No. 3 in The Minnesota High School State of Hockey Rankings, and the No. 5 White Bear Lake Bears.

Sammy Walker celebrates scoring his first of two goals in Edina’s 4-3 triumph over White Bear Lake. (Photo courtesy of Bob Peck)

As I prefaced earlier this week, this game was to be a match-up between the high-flying Edina offense versus the stifling defense of White Bear Lake. Not only did the game live up to the hype, but it became an instant classic after Edina (12-1) prevailed in sudden-death overtime, 4-3.

Entering the game, many were unsure what to expect and some, including myself, believed White Bear Lake (8-1-2) had yet to truly be tested. Looking to live up to their previously unbeaten record behind their 1.20 goals-against average, expectations for White Bear Lake were palpable, while others were beginning to see Edina as an overrated squad after struggling to completely dominate some of the opponents on their schedule.

This game would be a proving ground for both squads as well as a statement game for the rest of high school hockey in Minnesota as to their identity moving forward.

The first period was one to completely repress for the Hornets after White Bear Lake’s calling card defense came hungry for the win. Edina was only able to muster five shots on goal against the Bear’s hot goaltender, Evan Foss (Jr.), who had been an All-Star for the team entering the game with a 4-0-0 record, a 0.50 GAA and .969 save percentage.

Demetrios Komontzis looks for a passing lane against a stout White Bear Lake defense. Edina won 4-3 in overtime. (Photo courtesy of Bob Peck)

The Bears were able to use his skills to their advantage by taking the lead late after a strange ricochet landed right at the skate of forward Chase Hamstad, who passed it quickly to Austin Carroll and Connor McMurtry for the goal at the 13:11 mark of the first.

The early struggles for Edina led to some murmurs among the crowd about a potential upset and frustration over bad passing and turnovers in their own end paired with a couple of chances where forward Jett Jungels (Jr.) had the puck alone in the offensive zone and appeared hesitant to shoot raised questions on what appeared to be a lack of confidence from the otherwise productive shooter.

The script completely flipped, however, and the second period would be all Edina beginning with the game-tying goals early in the second period from defenseman Mason Reiner’s (Jr.), who picked a great spot for his first-career varsity goal.

Edina would seize the momentum after a pair of beautiful goals from Lewis Crosby made it 3-1. The senior gave his team its first lead of the game when he took one from the far boards in the corner up and back in off the near-side post for a power-play goal before connecting again by splitting the White Bear defense right down the middle and netting the goal on a tremendous backhand on a fade away. A look at the goals:

Overall, the period was business as usual for the Hornets as they were able to pass consistently and set up plays in the offensive zone behind a steady stream of defensive forechecks leading the way. Yet the Bears would not be put away so easily with Austin Carroll netting his second point of the evening on a rebound as White Bear Lake headed into the second intermission down, 3-2.

Edina senior forward Lewis Crosby (11) squares off against Owen Gallatin (3) of White Bear Lake. Crosby scored twice in the game. (Photo courtesy of Bob Peck)

The third period began fairly uninteresting in regard to the box score, but excellent saves by Foss throughout the period was the reason the Bears were able to keep the score the same until striking late at the 11:29 mark to tie it up after an inexplicable shot from the goal line at the far boards by Blake Meister (Jr.) made it 3-3.

Edina had several chances to take the lead in regulation but Foss would not yield the last six and half minutes of the game. No matter what Edina tried, the White Bear Lake junior goaltender stopped it. Sammy Walker breakaway? Stopped. Lewis Crosby backdoor try? Pushed aside. Foss played up to his stat line by making some stellar saves that other goalies would have envied and allowed his team to stay alive and push the game an extra period.

Few people, if any, left before overtime wanting to see if one Edina could add to their win total and hang White Bear with their first loss.

Looking to redeem himself from earlier hesitations to fire away, Jungels took the puck all alone along the far boards, down past the goal line, then up and around Foss’s left pad for a tap-in game-winner 5:10 into overtime to send Edina climbing over the bench in jubilation to celebrate in front of a raucous home crowd.

Three Stars:

1. F Sammy Walker (Edina) – 2 G, 1 A
2. F Jett Jungels (Edina) – GWG, 1 A
3. Austin Carroll (WBL) – 1 G, 1 A

Edina’s bench swarms Jett Jungels after netting the game-winning goal in overtime. (Photo courtesy of Bob Peck)

Next Game Outlook:

Both Edina and White Bear Lake should secure wins in their next match-ups with Edina going up against a familiar section opponent in Academy of Holy Angels (4-6-2) on January 6th. White Bear Lake will host Rochester Century (9-3-0) on the same date.

White Bear should not have too much of an issue with Century due to their lack of competitiveness against any higher-skilled teams, yet stranger things have happened. Edina should not have much trouble either as you would have to go all the way back to the 2009-10 season to find the last time they tied and even beyond that to find the last date they lost to Holy Angels. Yet that is not to say the Hornets should take the Stars lightly. They have played Edina tough in the past and forward Freddie Macciocchi (Sr.) has the ability to sneak a couple past you if you are not keeping him in check.

Key Players for Holy Angels:

F Freddie Macciocchi (Sr.) – 13 G, 4 A, 17 Pts
F Owen Neuharth (So.) – 4 G, 9 A, 13 Pts
G Brendan Pasdo (Sr.) – 2-1-2, 1.32 GAA, .952 SV%

*All statistics, names, and schedules provided by MN Boy’s Hockey Hub


Main Image: Mason Reiner gets the Edina Hornets on the board. (Photo courtesy of Bob Peck)


Written by Jack Kewitsch / @JackKewitsch 

Special to HockeyClan


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