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Rebound specialist leads Minnetonka over Eden Prairie, into state tournament

By MATT STEICHEN, Special to the Star Tribune, 02/15/19, 10:15PM CST


Kate Hoelscher was in the right place at the right time -- twice -- in the Skippers' 3-1 victory in the Class 2A, Section 2 championship.

From left, Minnetonka defenseman Maggie Nicholson (14), forward Molly McHugh (25) and forward Kate Hoelscher (3) celebrated a goal by Hoelscher 21 seconds into the second period Friday against Eden Prairie. Photo: Aaron Lavinsky ¥ aaron.lavinsky@startribu

Minnetonka’s Kate Hoelscher prides herself on being in the right place at the right time.

The right place is right on the edge of the crease. The right time is whenever one of her teammates sends a shot toward the goal.

“Normally I’m the person in front, trying to get a tip or a rebound or screen the goalie,” the senior said. “That’s my strongest hockey skill.”

Hoelscher’s signature skill came in handy in Friday’s Class 2A, Section 2 championship game with Eden Prairie. She turned two rebounds into goals that vaulted the Skippers into the lead and ultimately lifted them to a 3-1 victory at Braemar Arena in Edina.

Minnetonka coach Eric Johnson said Hoelscher’s first goal was the most important one. It came only 21 seconds into the second period with Eden Prairie leading 1-0.

“That one was the turning point. It really got the bench fired up and got us going,” he said. “Our senior line really got going after that and that ended up being the difference. … It’s not over until it’s over, especially in sections.”

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