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Eden Prairie goalie Alexa Dobchuk stops a penalty shot by Hopkins' Jilliane DeYoung. Photo by Jon Laqua

Eden Prairie's Charly Dahlquist (9) skates up the ice against No. 1-ranked Hopkins. Photo by Jon Laqua

On Senior Day for eighth-ranked Eden Prairie, the Eagles pulled off perhaps their biggest win of the season, defeating No. 1 Hopkins 4-3 on Saturday at the Eden Prairie Community Center.

The Eagles scored the first three goals, but then took a series of penalties. Hopkins began to claw back into the game.

“Today we fought through a bunch of different stuff, injuries, illness, and a bunch of penalties” Eden Prairie coach Jamie Grossman said.

An early goal by Eden Prairie junior Charly Dahlquist gave the Eagles some momentum.

“It got us really pumped up and made us feel like we had a chance to win that game,” Dahlquist said of her goal.

The tide seemed to have turned, however, when sophomore Carly Molenaar was called for a double minor penalty, two minutes each for tripping and roughing. Eden Prairie’s penalty kill stood tall, though, limiting the scoring chances for Hopkins, and the Royals came out of the extended power play still without a goal.

Eden Prairie scored again with eight seconds remaining in the first period, and Grossman said that the late goal, coupled with the four-minute penalty kill, was huge for his Eagles.

“I thought that four minute kill really energized our bench, and led to that second goal that period,” he said. “The kids were really flying after that.”

After Hopkins’ leading scorers Nina Rodgers and Corbin Boyd put two goals on the board for the Royals, Grossman said the key was to not try to do too much to win.

“Play smart hockey,” was his message to his team.

That message appeared to hit home, as the Eagles did not take a penalty the entire third period.

A goal by Boyd midway through the third period pulled the Royals to within one, but that was as close as they would get, and Eden Prairie hung on for the victory.

The win, especially on Senior Day, is huge for Eden Prairie going forward, Dahlquist said.

“Having to go into our section, it helps the whole team play well,” she said.

As for Grossman, he says that this is the time of the season he expects his team to play its best hockey, regardless of the opponent.

“We feel that, by this time of the year, we’re going to be the stronger, better, faster team, and whenever we go into a game, we don’t really focus on that we focus on doing our job,” he said.

The win boosts Eden Prairie to 14-6-0 for the season, while Hopkins’ loss drops it to 20-2-0.

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