by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
The Edina Hornets did not have to wait long for a chance to avenge their early-season loss to Elk River-Zimmerman, and avenge it they did on Friday evening.
The Hornets showed some excellent shooting skills in a 6-3 conquest of the Elks on their home ice, Braemar Arena, in the second round of Edina Holiday Classic games.
The Elks opened the season with a 3-1 upset of the defending state champions at home on Nov. 30, and came into the Edina event with a 5-0 record and No. 2 ranking, but have lost twice at Braemar. Eden Prairie, another perennial power, beat the Elks 3-1 Thursday.
Elk goalie Mac Berglove, who stopped 31 of 32 in the previous duel, was beaten high and low in the rematch as the Hornets kept rushing the net and firing acrobatic shots.
“They have some skill, guys like (Cullen) Munson, (Miguel) Fidler, (Tyler) Nanne and (Dylan) Malmquist,” Berglove told the Hockey Hub web site. “They are all fast and they can shoot the puck. You kind of have to be aware of those guys.”
The Elks had a 1-0 lead on Dylan Bouten’s power play goal in the first period, and knotted the score 2-2 in the second period on a big slap shot by Matt Kierstad from outside the circle.
However, Edina responded to that tying goal by swooping in for two goals 18 seconds apart by Casey Dornbach and Munson for a 4-2 lead. It was 5-2 in the third period when Peter Jones got the Elks on the board again. The final goal was an empty-netter.
Players with North Stars pedigree were prominent for Edina as Miguel Fidler (son of Matt) scored two goals, Kieffer Bellows (son of Brian) scored one, and Tyler Nanne (grandson of Lou) played his usual stellar game.
And of course, the two coaches — Gordie Roberts of the Elks and Curt Giles of Edina — were North Star teammates for several years in the 1980’s. Giles is coaching two sons of former teammates.
The Elks will close their three-day run at Braemer hoping to salvage one all-important victory against Grand Rapids at 6 p.m. Saturday. Grand Rapids is a section rival. The Elks have already beaten Duluth East, the section’s champion the last five years, and a win over Rapids would go a long way to clinching the top seed. Grand Rapids is 5-3 after losing to Edina 4-3 in overtime and to Eden Prairie 7-4.