It’s just different.
“They might play a heavier style of hockey,” said Eden Prairie coach Lee Smith, of playing a northern Minnesota team, “but it’s more of a mentality, small town vs. big suburban school.
“If they come down here,” he added. “they’re going to want to put on a show. If we go up there, they’re going to want to play well in front of their fans.”
On Friday, and as part of the third annual North/South Classic, No. 1-ranked Eden Prairie would play No. 2- ranked (Class A) Hermantown. The two teams would meet at the St. Louis Park Rec Center.
“I really like their team,” said Smith. “That Biondi (Blake Biondi) kid is going to be a high NHL draft pick. He’s big and he’s powerful.
“They’re a program with a strong tradition,” he added. “On Saturday, they brought it.”
Eden Prairie beat Hermantown 4-2.
Eden Prairie led 1-0 after one on Ben Steeve's fourth goal of the season. The Eagles led 3-2 after two and 4-2 after three.
Mason Langenbrunner, Drew Holt and Kam Langfels scored the Eagles‘ second, third and fourth goals.
“It could have been 6-5 as easily as 4-2,” said Smith. “Both goalies were really good.”
Eden Prairie goalie Axel Rosenlund was credited with the win.
Eden Prairie opened Saturday’s game against Brainerd by outshooting the Warriors 13-4 in the first period.
The scoreboard read 0-0.
“The guys were pretty disappointed,” said Smith. “We weren’t getting second shots and we weren’t taking advantage of our opportunities.”
That would change.
Holt scored on a 5-3 power play early in the second period. Seven more goals, six in the second period, would follow.
Final score: Eden Prairie 8, Brainerd 0.
The Eden Prairie onslaught included first-ever varsity goals by Oliver Jorgensen and Reagan Shepard.
Eli Andrews counted his first win and his first shutout.
“I don’t know if we’ve ever scored seven goals in a period before,” said Smith, “and eight goals in game, we haven’t done that very often either.”
The two victories lifted Eden Prairie to a 3-0 overall record.
The Eagles return to action on Friday, with a home game against Stillwater (7:30 p.m.). Next week (Thursday, Friday and Saturday), Eden Prairie plays in the Edina Holiday Classic.