Edina's Hannah Burns celebrated her goal with Suzie Lundeen in first period action. /Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune
Never underestimate the power of scoring the first goal in hockey — particularly when a team reaches the state tournament.
Edina, runner-up in Class 2A girls’ hockey a year ago, started its return visit to the Xcel Energy Center with a goal by Hannah Burns seven minutes into the first period, and Megan Armstrong followed up with a strong shot from just past the blue line six minutes later to fuel a 6-0 victory over Rosemount in the quarterfinals Thursday.
“I think getting that first goal gave us that extra boost to keep rolling,” senior Sami Reber said.
It made a big difference in a game in which both teams had opportunities aplenty. The Hornets capitalized on theirs and outpressured Rosemount, though the Irish created several legitimate scoring chances. Back-to-back shots from Taylor Sampson and Rachael Kelly clanged off posts, and a few other solid offerings took unlucky bounces or became victims of Maddie Dahl’s excellent goal-tending play early on. Clearly, the Irish went into the first intermission discouraged.
“I think that was the moment the game really changed for us,” Rosemount coach Tracy Cassano said. “I think that had we buried those opportunities, the game takes on a whole new look. We just didn’t get the breaks in the scoring and they made some good saves. … I felt like, after the first period, it was almost game-over.”
A nifty pass from Armstrong to Reber, who connected from just right of the goal, pushed the score to 3-0 in the second. In the third period, the Hornets pulled away for good, getting two goals from Sarah Nielsen and another from Ali Austin.
“We know when we have a lead already … we can’t give up,” Nielsen said. “We knew that Rosemount was still going to be going their hardest and keep challenging us, so that really kept us going.”