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Thursday, March 12, 2009
Hockey (B)
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Blaine
Eden Prairie

Class 2A Semifinals: EP vs Blaine

By Kyle Stevens
Xcel Energy Center - St. Paul, Minn

The Minnesota Army National Guard selects our Two Stars:
 
Kyle Rau
Eden Prairie
2 G, A
 
Nick Bjugstad
Blaine
G
 
For more information on The Guards go to http://www.1800goguard.com/
 
Eden Prairie 4
Taylor Wolfe: G, A
Nick Leddy: G
Andrew Ford: 17 saves
SOG: 30
PP: 1-3
PIM: 4
 
Blaine 2
Clayton Wagamon: G
Danny Harper: 26 saves
Team stats
 
The Story Line
GAME PHOTOS
The Blaine Bengals took control of this state semifinal match early, but were unable to hold on.  Eden Prairie struggled to get things going in the first period, but came on strong half way through period two.  The Eagles buried an empty-netter late in the game to edge the Bengals 4-2.
The Blaine crowd seemed to be confident in their squad, but that confidence quickly turned to nervous tension when Eden Prairie tied the game in the third.  At that point, the momentum had definitely switched from Blaine to the Eagles bench. Eden Prairie continued to skate hard and throw pucks at the net outshooting Blaine 30 to 19 in the game.   As the game wore on it seemed that Blaine ran low on energy while the Eagles continued to outwork Blaine getting to more loose pucks and taking advantage of Blaine's fatigue.  Blaine goalie Danny Harper played tough, and gave his team a chance to win, as he continued to turn pucks away saving 26 of 29 shots.
Led by the tenacity of Kyle Rau and his two third period goals, the Eden Prairie Eagles skated their way past Blaine to tomorrow night's Class AA State Championship Game.

The Quote
On Kyle Rau, Eden Prairie coach Lee Smith said after the game, "He's not the biggest kid out there, but he plays with a big heart."
 
The Highlights
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The Game
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