The intensity tends to pick up a notch or two at the state tournament. Eden Prairie and Elk River combined for nine penalties in the Class 2A Quarterfinals Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center. The Eagles used their advantage wisely, notching two power play goals en route to a 5-2 win over the Elks.
“We knew this was going to be a physical game,” said Eden Prairie head coach Tim Morris. “Elk River has traditionally played a very physical style game when we’ve scrimmaged them in the past. We haven’t played them in a game in a couple years, but historically it’s always been a physical get together.”
Eden Prairie’s Katie Osberg found the penalty box first, but it was the Elks first penalty that got the Eagles on the board. After Elk River’s Alyssa Johnson took a tripping penalty at 14:29 of the first period, Kelsey Ketcher netted the first goal of the game just 0:04 seconds into the man-advantage.
Melissa Feste and Hannah Riggs added consecutive goals in the second period and it looked like the Eagles were flying.
“You know that line with Hannah Riggs, Kelsey Ketchum, Melissa Feste has just been doing a great job for us,” said Morris. “They’ve been putting the puck in the net for us. And you can’t ask [for more] than to have your top line do that.”
Elk River’s top line still had a few tricks up their sleeve. Monique Weber scored the Elks’ first goal of the game at 14:55 of the second and added another with just 0:44 second remaining in the second to make it a one-goal game. It was time for the Eagles’ to turn it up the heat.
“We knew we could step up our game and play better,” said Riggs. “We talked in the locker room and came back and scored two goals.”
Riggs added her second of the game, a power play goal at 8:54 of the third. Kelly Seeler scored the fifth and final goal at 11:00.
Eden Prairie entered the game as the #1 team in Class 2A and one of the favorites to win the tourney. If the power play continues to improve, they’ll be tough to beat.
“Early on in the year our power play was kind of sputtering a little bit,” admitted Morris. “The last couple of weeks we’ve focused on getting good quality shots and trying and getting the puck to the net on a little more frequent basis and kind of keep the intensity up on the power play instead of slowing the play down.”
The intensity was there in the first round, and if previous tournaments are any indication, they’ll have plenty of opportunities as they make their way to the championship.
14:33 - EP - Kelsey Ketcher PPG from Rachel Blader, 1-0
4:38 - EP - Melissa Feste from Ketcher and Andrea Peterson, 2-0
14:23 - EP - Hannah Riggs from Ketcher, 3-0
14:55 - ER - Monique Weber from Rebecca Kent, 3-1
16:16 - ER - Weber from Jonna Curtis, 3-2
8:54 - EP - Riggs from Kelly Seeler and Christina LaCombe, 4-2
11:00 - EP - Seeler from Riggs, 5-2
EP - Maddie Burke - 7, 2, 9 = 18 saves, 2 goals
ER - Samantha Geissler - 3, 10, 7 = 20 saves, 5 goals