Hockey: Eden Prairie hands Elks first loss 3-1; shorthanded goal is key

Alex Zerban's shot on a breakaway was thwarted by Eden Prairie goalie Jake Zerban. (Photo by Bob Burley).

Andrew  Zerban’s shot on a breakaway was thwarted by Eden Prairie goalie Jake Zerban. (Photo by Bob Burley).

 

A shorthanded goal in the third period helped Eden Prairie knock off Elk River-Zimmerman 3-1 in a duel of unbeaten hockey teams Thursday evening.

Steven Spinner notched the shorthanded goal at 3:33 of the third period to give Eden Prairie a 2-1 lead in the first round game of the Edina Holiday Classic. The Eagles wrapped it up with a empty-netter by Jack Sullivan at 15:44.

“I think we just made one great play to get over them,” Eden Prairie coach Lee Smith told the Star News. “It was an even-steven game. I really like Elk River. They have a tremendous team. It was a great win for us. Spinner made a wonderful play. Nobody was at fault. Just a great effort.”

It was busy in front of the Elks net with Jake Jaremko (5), Matt Kierstad (19) and Alex Schwab (25) of the Elks back on defense against Andy Aguilar (6) and Steven Spinner (25). (Photo by Bob Burley).

It was busy in front of the Elks net with Jake Jaremko (5), Matt Kierstad (19) and Alex Schwab (25) of the Elks back on defense against Andy Aguilar (6) and Steven Spinner (25). (Photo by Bob Burley).

 

Spinner told Minnesota Hockey Hub he was thinking “deke” when he neared Elk goalie MacLean Berglove on the breakaway but felt the pressure of an Elks backchecker and decided instead to shoot.  The Nebraska-Omaha recruit whipped the puck over Berglove’s catching glove and inside the left post, his fourth goal of the year.

The No. 3 ranked Eagles improved to 6-0 and dropped the No. 2 ranked Elks to 5-1. The Elks will return to Braemar Arena to duel No. 5 Edina on Friday at 8:30 p.m.

Reggie Lutz (21) and Elk teammates skate to the bench after Lutz tied the score in the second period. (Photo by Bob Burley).

Reggie Lutz (21) and Elk teammates skate to the bench after Lutz tied the score in the second period. (Photo by Bob Burley).

Luc Snuggerud punched in the first goal of the game for Eden Prairie at 2:07 of the second period. Reggie Lutz delivered the tying goal for the Elks at 14:08, assisted by Jack Geissler and Peter Jones.

The Elks had a 31-29 edge in shots on goal.  Berglove was 26-for-28 for the Elks and Jack Gerdes 30-for-31 for the Eagles.

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