PLYMOUTH, MN — Hosting their second top-tier team within a week, 11th-ranked Wayzata Trojans needed a win to right their season after coming in with hopes of competing for a high seed in sections and a shot at the Lake Conference regular season title.
Wayzata, whose style of play is one of the most smash-mouth and physical in the state, were hoping that their physicality would put Edina off kilter. Yet the Hornets know how to throw their bodies around just as well as the Trojans.
In what would initially be a back and forth affair between the teams with both goaltenders trading big time saves, Edina was finally able to draw first blood 14 minutes in when Peter Colby was able to successfully forecheck and pass the puck off to junior Mason Reiners who proceeded to pass off to Ben Brinkman at the point. Brinkman’s shot from the blue line was initially blocked, but captain Lewis Crosby was able to control it and tip it in for the goal advantage.
It wouldn’t be long after before Crosby would add to his point total on the night when he received another pass at the point and sniped it home to put Edina up 2-0 heading into the first intermission.
“We just had to get the puck deep and go to work,” Crosby said.
When asked what the plan was entering the tilt Crosby said, “Finishing hits down low and good things will happen,” which was also a sentiment he brought up when it came to a hard-hitting first period and it showed.
For when the teams headed out for the second, Edina came out swinging and were able to add the always crucial insurance goal when senior Demetrios Komountzis shot the puck from between the circles for the 3-0 lead.
Had it not been for the efforts of Wayzata junior goaltender Trevor Wong in net, the game would have easily become another blowout loss for the Trojans. Throughout the second, Edina mounted wave after wave of attack and had three straight chances on one on ones with Wong. Each time he acrobatically saved each shot much to the enjoyment of the home crowd.
The Trojans would also not go quietly as they scored 5:15 into the third when Ryan Mulernin hit to see their motivation skyrocket as they tried to muscle out a comeback.
Ultimately, it was too little too late for Wayzata which battled valiantly in another in-conference and sectional loss.
Related: Top-Ranked Edina Slip Past Centennial in The State of Hockey
Wayzata (11-8-1) will have a chance to guide their season in a more positive direction with a hopeful win over Grand Rapids who has continued to disappoint this season since winning the state championship last season.
As for the Hornets (20-1), they take on another conference foe in Hopkins, but should not have any issue putting away the Royals as they are typically the dwellers of the Lake Conference and within the entire state.
The win for Edina should provide a large confidence boost for starting goaltender Garrett Mackay, who saved 25 shots and continues to show improvements in regard to movement and tracking of the puck.
When Crosby was asked how Mackay’s play has been of late he said, “Garrett’s been playing really well lately. He’s been climbing the ladder… and I don’t think we’ve even seen his best yet.”
The motivation and trust from his teammates will help him continue to progress and grow for a team reaching for their record 13th state title in March.
1. F Lewis Crosby (Edina) – 2 G
2. G Garrett Mackay (Edina) – 25 saves
3. D Mason Reiners (Edina) – 2 A
Written by Jack Kewitsch / @JackKewitsch
Special to HockeyClan
Main Image: Edina at Wayzata stand at attention for The National Anthem at Plymouth Ice Arena in Plymouth, Minnesota on February 1, 2018. (Photo by Jack Kewitsch/HockeyClan)
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