Holiday tourneys prove to be a good test for Eden Prairie teams

Jason Olson
Sports Editor

There isn’t much of a break in the winter break for Eden Prairie winter sports as several teams took part in annual tournaments to face some familiar and not-so-familar faces.

Boys basketball (5-3) won both games to clinch the OSR Physical Therapy Tourney Dec. 27 and 29.

The Eagles hit season-high points totals in each game starting an 80-62 win over Shakopee on Tuesday followed by a 83-66 win over Edina.

The win over the Sabers featured three guards leading the Eden Prairie scoring including 16 points from junior Kyler Kluge, 14 points from senior Owen Chose and 12 points from senior Will Paul.

Eden Prairie led 42-31 at the break and nearly equaled that total in the second half to snap a two-game losing skid.

Thursday night, the focus turned to a Section 2-4A final rematch against Edina. The Eagles led by six points at the break and continued to run at the Hornets in the second half for the 17-point victory.

Chose led the way with 28 points while Edina’s 6-3 senior guard Walt McGrory had a game-high 31 points.

Eden Prairie freshman Austin Andrews drives in the lane during an OSR Physical Therapy Tournament win over Edina Dec. 29. (Sun Current staff photo by John Sherman)
Eden Prairie freshman Austin Andrews drives in the lane during an OSR Physical Therapy Tournament win over Edina Dec. 29. (Sun Current staff photo by John Sherman)

Girls hockey
Eden Prairie girls hockey hosted its annual Mid-Winter Meltdown at the Eden Prairie Community Center Dec. 27-29.

The Eagles opened with a 4-2 win over No. 16 Eagan Dec. 27 thanks to a pair of power play goals from senior Naomi Rogge. The Eagles built a 4-0 lead with a Sydney Henrichs’ power play goal coming at 10:29 with assists from Sammie Morton and Crystalyn Hengler who also set up Rogge’s second power play goal. Junior goalie Alexa Dobchuk made 19 saves for the seventh consecutive win.

The next night Roseau got its revenge on the Eagles by way of a 4-1 win. Eden Prairie beat the Rams 6-0 on their Northwest Minnesota home ice on Dec. 2.

In the rematch, Roseau scored three times in the second period to build too much of a lead for the Eagles to come back from.

Eden Prairie’s Sydney Langseth was set up by sophomore Becca Kniss and Henrichs who scored just under three minutes into the second period before the Rams went on the offensive to pepper Dobchuk who saved 21-of-24 shots.

Eden Prairie regained its form the next night to shutout Benilde-St. Margaret’s by a 5-0 score.

The Eagles scored three times in the second period as five different players scored including Rachel DeCesare, Rogge, Emily McLaughlin, Olivia Sabin and Kassandra Bienkowski. Dobchuk added her seventh shutout of the win stopping all 16 Red Knights shots.

Boys hockey
Fourth-ranked Eden Prairie fell to 6-4-2 and winless in four straight against state-ranked opponents over winter break.

Jack Jensen and Nicky Leivermann set up Ryan Lesko for the tying goal in a 2-2 final result against No. 5 ranked St. Thomas Academy on Dec. 22. It was Leivermann’s first game back after a foot injury and he also set up Joey Graen’s second period goal to give the future Notre Dame skater his eighth assists in eight games.

The Eagles went into the Gold Division at Schwan Cup looking to get back on track but settled for a second 2-2 draw. This time it was No. 10 ranked Hill-Murray that stood in the way of a W.

Hunter Johannes and Nolan Sullivan provided the Eagles goals in the second period before the Pioneers pulled even 45 seconds into the third period.

Seventh-ranked Edina won the second meeting of the young season taking the consolation semifinal 4-2 at Ridder Arena on the University of Minnesota campus Dec. 30.

Casey Mittelstadt opened the scoring at 10:48 of the first period with assists from Jensen and Johannes before the Hornets scored twice in the final six minutes of the first period. Mittelstadt set up Johannes on a tying goal just 29 seconds into the second period. Edina’s Lewis Crosby scored the game winner shorthanded at 5:48 and assisted on Mason Nevers goal three minutes later.

Edina outshot the Eagles 37-28 after Eden Prairie won the Edina Holiday Classic final by a 6-1 two weeks earlier at the Hornets home rink, Braemar.

The scheduled didn’t get any easier the next day as No. 8-ranked Centennial picked up a 3-2 win over Eden Prairie on Dec. 31 in the seventh-place game.

Johannes and Jensen built a 2-0 lead for the Eagles 48 seconds into the second period but the Cougars came roaring back with three unanswered goals including third period tallies from Hayden Brickner and Graham Brickner.

Eden Prairie senior goaltender Nick Wiencek made 55 saves in the final two games.

Girls basketball
Eden Prairie (1-10) nearly had its second win of the season but Lakeville South escaped with a 62-60 double-overtime win on Jan. 30 at the Roseville Tournament conclusion.

Junior Kira Mosley led the Eagles with 24 points and five rebounds while senior Jordan Schinas had 15 points and eight rebounds. Eden Prairie’s defense disrupted Lakeville South with nine steals and blocked seven shots. Sophomore Abby Johnson continued to standout with four blocks while Mosley and Schinas had three and two steals, respectively. Each also blocked a shot and Mosley added three assists.

Contact Jason Olson at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @MNSunSports or @SunSportsJason.