Day 2, Game 1: Eden Prairie 6, Grand Rapids 0
The first game of night number two could be summed up as the Jack Jensen show for Eden Prairie. He had a very strong game as he was flying around on the ice, zipping around Grand Rapids defenders, and created many scoring opportunities. There is no doubt that Jensen is the cornerstone of this Eagles team. Jensen had a pair a goals, along with Tim Piechowski. Piechowski added an assist to Eden Prairie's second goal to lead the team on the night with three points. The margin of victory could have been much wider as the Eagles managed 51 shots on goal. Carter Clafton got the nod to start in goal for the first time this year for the Thunderhawks, and actually did okay for the amount of rubber he saw. After the tough overtime loss to the Elks the night before, Eden Prairie needed this win to get back on track. I felt bad for Grand Rapids after the beat down they took from Edina the previous night, and was hoping they could generate a little bit of offense. Outside of Nano DeGiuseppi, there is not much offensively with this team, and they rely on Michael Heitcamp on defense and goaltender Gabe Holum to keep the goals against to a minimum. Unfortunately, it is going to be a long year for Grand Rapids. To say they are a shell of their former self from last year might even be an understatement. No way to sugarcoat it.
Day 2, Game 2: Edina 10, Elk River 7
The day two night cap saw the Hornets taking on the Elks, which was the game I was anticipating. With Elk River defeating Eden Prairie the night before, this was the matchup of the two best teams in the showcase. I left this game scratching my head at what I had witnessed. This was no football game, the actual final score was 10-7. If the first game was the Jack Jensen show, this game was the Sammy Walker show. Both teams played at breakneck speed with teams trading goals like a Rocky motion picture for a period and a half. Edina turned it up a notch the later half of the 2nd per scoring four unanswered to take a 9-5 lead at the end of the 2nd period. All the scoring was a result of both teams played aggressively, leading to odd man rushes, and there were some soft goals allowed. Even with Edina pulling away, I did not feel like the game was over with all the goals. Sammy Walker gets his fifth goal and Edina's final one in the third period. He went head first into the boards hard after the goal, but returned minutes later in the third. The Elks narrow the score to within three on a pair of goals, but could not reduce the lead as the final horn sounded. The first half of the game was fun to watch, but then it got kind of bizarre and I even got a little bored with all the goals. It's not the style of hockey I prefer to watch. I know a lot of Americans like to lots of offense in sports, and the constant argument of how to generate more scoring in hockey (which does not need fixing, in my opinion). The game got to be too much like the NBA Jam video game but on ice for my liking. This is the most goals I have ever seen at a high school hockey game that I have attended in person.
Day 3, Game 2: Edina 7, Eden Prairie 1
The final game of the Edina Classic is rivalry game between Edina and Eden Prairie. Being an Eden Prairie alum, these games are usually fun to watch. Well, the end result was not so much this year. A competitive first period between the two teams transitioned to Edina opening the game up in the second period. The Hornets cashed in on the power play three times in the game. The issue with Eden Prairie all season is that they take too many bad penalties - infractions away from the puck that are completely unnecessary. Jack Jensen needs all the assistance he can get offensively for Eden Prairie and being shorthanded is of no help. The game went into running time late in the second period. The three period went from being a hockey game to dirty hits and "goon" like play as frustrations with Eden Prairie grew.
This year's Classic will probably be remembered most for the clinic Sammy Walker put on against Elk River, and the overtime thriller between Eden Prairie and Elk River. Edina sweeps the Classic going 3-0, which has been a few years since a team has won all three games. Elk River finishes 2-1, Eden Prairie was 1-2, and Grand Rapids has a very rough weekend going home winless.