Andover tops Edina 2-1 to reach Class AA title game
Andover is on the threshold of a successful defense of its Class AA crown in girls hockey.
The No. 2-seeded Huskies took that next step with a 2-1 victory over No. 3 Edina in the big-school semifinals of the Minnesota State High School League’s Girls Hockey State Tournament on Friday, Feb. 24 at the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul. To do so, however, the Huskies (23-4-2) had to perform the Herculean effort of defeating one of Minnesota’s best programs for the third time in a single season.
Andover needed two goals in the third period to rally past Edina (22-5-2) in posting a third victory this season over the Hornets. Maya Engler completed the Huskies’ comeback from a one-goal deficit on a goal with 3:54 remaining in regulation time. She engineered the play by securing the puck just outside the blue line in Edina’s zone. As she motored along the left boards to gain steam, she quickly darted toward the slot where she whistled a wrist shot over the right shoulder of Uma Corniea, Edina’s all-state goalie that surrenders less than a goal per game.
Ella Thoresen put Andover in a position to rally by scoring a power-play goal with 12:10 remaining in regulation. She re-directed a shot from in front that was initially taken by Mackenzie Jones. The Huskies, though, couldn’t breathe easy until the final horn as Edina put on an intense final surge.
Andover, which began the season top-ranked, opened with a 3-0 victory over Edina on Nov. 12. About six weeks later, the Huskies prevailed again for a 2-1 win over the Hornets during the holiday break.
Edina, looking to earn a berth in the Class AA championship game for the first time since going undefeated winning in it all in 2021, had a spring in its play for the majority of the second period. That territorial dominance resulted in the game’s first goal with 6:01 remaining in the middle period.
During a surge and ensuing scramble in front, Edina senior Ellie Chapman fired a one-time shot off an unsecured rebound between the legs of Andover goalie Courtney Stagman. Edina’s Tori Anderson initiated the play with a blast from between the circles. With Chapman and teammate Lorelai Nelson nearly shoulder to shoulder in front of Stagman, it was Chapman who got to the rebound first and to slid it past Stagman for the game’s elusive first goal.
Moments later, Andover retaliated in a surge of its own to finish the second period. But quality shots were turned away by Corniea to maintain the Hornets’ advantage after two periods.
A scoreless first period had plenty of action-filled moments. While Andover outshot Edina 11-4, Corniea stonewalled the Huskies, including a handful of chances from close range.