Edina's Aliyah Lance (22) and Emily Oden (16) celebrated after scoring against Blake School.
After winning its first girls’ hockey state championship last season, Edina is back as the No. 1 seed in Class 2A. The Hornets feature eight players with Division I college commitments, including Ms. Hockey candidates Lolita Fidler and Emily Oden.
No. 2 Centennial defeated Edina 3-2 earlier this season. Forwards Gabbie Hughes and Anneke Linser, Ms. Hockey finalists, are the top-scoring duo in Class 2A with 137 points.
Hill-Murray, the No. 3 seed, reached its sixth consecutive state tournament. Forward Abigail Boreen, who has signed with the Gophers, and defender Mariah Keopple (Princeton) helped the Pioneers beat Centennial 2-1 earlier this season.
No. 4 seed Andover attacks with the line of Claire Butorac, Jamie Nelson and Peyton Hemp. They’ll face No. 5 Eden Prairie goalie Alexa Dobchuk, a state champion with the Eagles in 2016. Eden Prairie beat Edina 4-3 earlier this season.
Both of Edina’s losses came against potential tournament opponents, a reminder that once the puck is dropped, anything is possible. Beating No. 2 Blake in the Section 6 final was an important step, Oden said, but she acknowledged the need for improvement.
“The other seven teams in the 2A bracket all have a shot to win,” said Shawn Reid, who coached Blake to victories against four tournament teams. “Whoever is going to win it is going to have three very hard games.”
David La Vaque