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Boys Hockey Class AA Semifinal: Edina 4, Cretin-Derham Hall 1

Posted: Friday, March 10, 2023 - 8:15 PM


Edina opened the season with three consecutive losses and then lost two of three games to end the regular season. The Hornets have since put those mini-skids into the rearview mirror in the wake of winning when it matters most: in the postseason.

The Hornets, the No. 3 seed to open the Class AA Boys Hockey State Tournament, won its fifth consecutive game of the postseason with a 4-1 victory over unseeded Cretin-Derham Hall in the big-school semifinals on Friday, March 10 at the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul. Junior forward Ryan Flaherty scored two goals to power the Hornets (22-6-1) and help turn away an upset bid by the Raiders (19-10-1) and earn a spot in the Class AA championship game on Saturday night opposite either top-seeded Minnetonka or No. 4 Andover, the defending big-school champion.

Since 2010, Edina, one of the most successful boys hockey programs in Minnesota State High School League history, has won four championships, the most recent in 2019.

Edina found the elusive two-goal cushion remaining in regulation time off a long rebound goal from Flaherty. After an initial shot ricocheted hard off the board, it caromed to Flaherty, who was camped near the end of the far circle. He quickly directed the puck to the far corner opening past Cretin-Derham Hall junior goalie Leo Miller. It was Flaherty’s 10th goal of the season. Flaherty then added an empty-net goal to push the advantage to three goals.  

Edina claimed its second lead, this time at 2-1, just more than three minutes into the second period on the ninth goal of the season from freshman forward Mason West. He began the play from just inside the blue line on the left side. After throwing the puck on goal amid heavy traffic, he converged looking for any rebounds. He was in luck moments later when he slammed an unattended puck past Miller.

Cretin-Derham Hall, which opened the tournament with an upset victory over No. 2 Maple Grove in Thursday’s quarterfinals, climbed into a 1-all tie with 3:11 remaining in the first period on a power-play goal from senior forward Attila Lippai. He scored from in front when he blasted a one-timer past Edina senior goalie Robb Clarkowski. Freshman forward Max Anderson engineered the play from alongside the net, sliding a backhand pass to an awaiting Lippai, who scored his 17th goal of the season.

Edina, which opened with an overtime victory over Moorhead in the quarterfinals, scored first when junior forward Bobby Cowan notched his 15th goal of the season and fourth of the tournament. After taking a pass from senior defenseman Charlie Sandven, Cowan raced along the left boards and then angled toward the Cretin-Derham Hall goal. As he converged, he flipped a shot in the upper left corner past Miller.

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Boys Hockey Class AA Semifinal: Minnetonka 4, Andover 1