What started as a close contest between Edina and Lakeville North in the opening round of the Minnesota state hockey tournament got out of hand pretty quickly.
The Hornets opened up what had been a close 2-1 game only 1:27 into the second period, courtesy of a Bo Brauer goal. From there, it was off to the races for Edina, as the Hornets scored four more unanswered goals to make it 7-1 with 6:05 left in the second.
The Panthers regrouped to a 7-2 score at the end of the second period, but the deficit was simply too much to overcome. The Hornets clocked two more goals before the final horn, while Lakeville North managed one more for a 9-3 finish.
Junior forward Connor Hurley led the Hornets in scoring, with a hat trick in the books before the end of the second period. He also had one assist.
Hurley was named player of the game, saying he felt like the turning point for Edina came during the second period.
"We came out pretty strong, got our feet moving and kept making plays," Hurley said in a post-game interview.
Sophomore Dylan Malmquist also had a strong game for the Hornets, scoring a pair of goals and clocking one assist against Lakeville North. Anthony Walsh, Andy Jordahl, Matt Masterman and Bo Brauer also scored goals for Edina.
The Hornets will face No. 2 seed Duluth East in the Class 2AA state tournament semifinals at 6 p.m. Friday, Mar. 8, at the Xcel Energy Center. Edina played the Greyhounds earlier this season, falling 4-1 on Dec. 27.
Hurley said Edina is prepared for the physical play of the Greyhounds, as the Hornets fully expect their opponents to "bring some hits into the game."
"We just have got to chip it past them, make plays and get the win," Hurley said.