Edina celebrates its Section 5 championship victory over Blake. Photo by Helen Nelson
Edina senior Brian Baker scored the winning goal with 2.4 seconds left in the Hornets' Section 5 championship victory over Blake. Photo by Helen Nelson
Brian Baker has four goals in four playoff games, including the winner in the section championship against Blake. Photo by Helen Nelson
Senior Brian Baker scored with 2.4 seconds remaining to lift Edina to a 5-4 victory over Blake on Thursday, May 31 in the Section 5 championship game at the Edina Community Center, sending the Hornets to the state tournament for the first time in program history.
Baker, who had been frustrated repeatedly on close-range shots by standout Bears senior goaltender Calder Sutton, took a feed from Danny Burke and unloaded a rising shot from 12 yards out that found the upper right corner.
Edina’s state tournament berth is one of the most unlikely in the history of the even, given that the Hornets entered the section playoffs with a 3-9-1 record and were the fifth seed.
Baker’s winning goal came with the No. 6-seeded Bears (8-8-0) a man up. Blake senior Al Barnhart had been whistled for an illegal bodycheck with 51.5 second remaining after he leveled Edina goaltender Austin Dover.
Blake got three goals from Max Harrington and held leads of 3-1 and 4-2, but Edina got two goals from Derek Todd – one late in the third quarter and another with 1:53 remaining to tie the score at 4.
Sutton, one of two Mr. Goalie finalists, finished with 15 saves while Dover had nine.