Boys’ Hockey: #3 in State

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Haley Davis

The hockey team celebrating in the Xcel center.

David Goldman, Sports Writer

The boys’ hockey team definitely got hot at the right time. They flew through their 3AA section contests, defeating East Ridge (5-1), Cretin Durham Hall (2-1 in overtime), and finally the defending class A champions Saint Thomas Academy (4-2).

This earned the team its first appearance in the state tournament since the 2011-2012 season. Senior Captain Kyle Stebbing said about the state tournament, “It’s unreal. The bright lights, the noise, playing in front of all those fans, knowing you’ve got your whole school cheering you on, there’s nothing like it.”

The boys weren’t satisfied just to make the tournament and take to the ice at the Xcel Energy Center‒they came in with the goal to win. The boys continued their hot streak in the first game of the tournament, blanking Duluth East (3-0). Senior captain Max Elsenheimer scored 2 goals and Kyle Stebbing added an empty netter in the third. About winning a game in the state tournament Elsenheimer said, “It’s awesome, we came in knowing it was going to be a battle and Duluth East gave us a strong game, I’m glad we played well and came out on top.”

Unfortunately for Eagan, the clock struck midnight when they faced a very strong, top seeded Edina team. The team fought very hard but was unable to get over the hump and fell to the eventual state champions 3-1.

The team was resilient though, and came back to defeat Eden Prairie and take third in the tournament with a win of 6-4. Seniors Nicky Wolff, Ian Entzion, and Max Elsenheimer scored two goals apiece. About his two goals, Entzion said “It was the best thing I’ve ever experienced. Playing in front of 19,000 fans is so surreal. Hearing the crowd erupt after I scored is a feeling I’ll never experience again.” The win was an exciting end to a great season for the Wildcats, finishing with a record of 20-10-1 and the Coaches Association AA State Coach of the Year in Mike Taylor.