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Eden Prairie averts upset

By Loren Nelson, Editor, 06/07/11, 11:45PM CDT


Woodring scores with 10.8 seconds remaining as Eagles outlast White Bear Lake

White Bear Lake goaltender Jack Ramert lunges a fraction of a second late as a shot by Eden Prairie's Jake Woodring sails into the net for the winning goal with 10.8 seconds remaining. Photo by Adam Crane

Jake Woodring is listed as a sophomore on the Eden Prairie roster.

The designation is as correct as it is misleading.

“He’s been playing on the varsity last year, this year,” Eagles coach Ryan Ward said about Woodring, who led Eden Prairie with 27 regular-season goals. “Sophomore is just a title and an age. He’s ready for this spot.”

This spot is the state tournament. This spot is a semifinal game against White Bear Lake. This spot is a tie game with time running out in regulation … 13, 12, 11 …

Eden Prairie's Jake Woodring scored with 10.8 seconds left to lift the Eagles past White Bear Lake. Photo by Helen Nelson

“He’s clutch, he has always been clutch,” Eden Prairie senior Mitch Hugdahl said. “So I wasn’t surprised at all when he put that in the back of the net.”

Sprinting with the ball and racing against the clock, Woodring zigged left, veered right, found just enough space to shoot and launched a bazooka into the upper right corner.

There was 10.8 seconds left when he scored, but the Eagles rushed the field and mobbed Woodring anyway. Heavily favored Eden Prairie, seeded second and No. 3 in the Lax Hub’s final state rankings, eventually killed the clock on its way to a 5-4 triumph over No. 3-seeded and unranked White Bear Lake on Tuesday, June 7, at Chanhassen High School.

Eden Prairie (15-2) advances to play No. 1-ranked and top-seeded Benilde-St. Margaret’s (17-0) at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 9, at Chanhassen High School. White Bear Lake (12-5) plays fourth-seeded Burnsville (11-7) at 6 p.m. on Thursday in the third-place game.

Much like Tuesday’s first semifinal, when heavily favored Benilde-St. Margaret’s slipped past Burnsville 11-10, the possibility of a massive upset was inching closer and closer to reality.

“It was tough being tied,” Woodring said about the tension-filled closing seconds. “What was going through my head was that we have got to win this game, give the seniors one last shot at their state title.”

White Bear Lake goaltender Jack Ramert made 20 saves against Eden Prairie. Photo by Helen Nelson

Woodring could be forgiven if also spent a moment or two thinking about Jack Ramert, the White Bear Lake goaltender who was every bit of phenomenal. Ramert made save after save after save ---- 20 of them in all, a good portion of those on shots from within 5 feet --- in a performance loaded with so many spectacular stops the extraordinary became routine.

Ramert’s brilliance only supported what Bears coach Brandon Husak has been preaching for months: there is no better goaltender in the state.

“He made countless saves in the crease that would have been goals against any other team,” Husak said. “I know that their bench’s reaction wasn’t happy when he made those saves.

“I knew before that he was the best goalie in the state.”

Eden Prairie coach Ryan Ward said Ramert’s reputation didn’t do the senior headed to Minnesota-Duluth justice.

“I heard he was good,” Ward said. “But he was better than I thought.”

Ward, however, wasn’t surprised at all about Woodring’s clutch goal.

“Woody made a phenomenal play,” Ward said about Woodring, who scored three goals in the Eagles’ 9-7 Section 6 championship victory over Minnetonka. “Woody practices his shot, and he’s a gamer, and that’s why he is scoring a lot of goals, and big goals.”

-- Loren Nelson, MN Lax Hub editor

Oh what a relief for Eagles' Mitch Hugdahl

Mitch Hugdahl is used to feeling a sense of accomplishment after Eden Prairie victories. After Tuesday’s semifinal victory over White Bear Lake, he primarily felt relief.

Eden Prairie senior Mitch Hugdahl (10) was penalized for having an illegal stick during the closing minutes of the Eagles' victory over White Bear Lake. Photo by Helen Nelson

Hugdahl, a senior who teams with twin brother Matt to give the Eagles a dynamic duo, appeared to have given Eden Prairie a 4-1 lead midway through the third quarter before his goal was disallowed — and he was sent off with a penalty — for using an illegal stick. White Bear Lake scored twice with the ensuing advantage, and suddenly the game was 3-3 heading into the final quarter.

“I was just praying,” Hugdahl said. “I was hoping I didn’t just ruin the season.”

His teammates had his back. After the teams traded goals, sophomore Jake Woodring scored with 10.8 seconds remaining in regulation.

“When things go wrong, you have to rise to the occasion,” said Hugdahl, who added that he had his stick checked before the game and was told it was legal.

The abrupt finish ended a dream run for third-seeded White Bear Lake, which advanced to the state tournament after being seeded sixth in Section 4.

“They have nothing to hang their heads about,” White Bear Lake coach Brandon Husak said. “They had a heck of a game."

-- Michael Rand, Star Tribune

Statistics, Summary

1. Jake Woodring, Eden Prairie
Woodring scored two goals -- including the game-winning goal with 10.8 seconds left in the fourth quarter -- during the state semifinal game against White Bear Lake. The sophomore midfielder continued to make a strong statement in the 2011 postseason with his solid performance against the Bears as well as scoring three goals in last week's Section 6 championship game against Minnetonka on Thursday, June 2.

2. Jack Ramert, White Bear Lake

Though a losing goaltender rarely makes an appearance in the three stars area, Ramert is quite the exception. The senior goaltender made 20 saves to post an incredible .800 save percentage and also gobbled up nine ground balls.

3. Brady Haider, White Bear Lake
In the low-scoring game, Haider was a bright point for White Bear Lake scoring three goals including the two game-tying goals for the Bears. The senior attackman played an outstanding second half and was managed to find the back of the net against a tough Eden Prairie defense.

-- Michael Murakami, MN Lax Hub staff

Game Recap

Eden Prairie sophomore midfielder Jake Woodring scored his second goal of the game with 10.8 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to give No. 2 seed Eagles a 5-4 victory over No. 3 seed White Bear Lake in the boys state tournament semifinal game on Tuesday, June 7, at Chanhassen High School.

Senior goaltender Jared Klapperich made 10 saves for Eden Prairie.

Riley Boehm, Matt Hugdahl and Mitch Hugdahl each contributed a goal during Eagles' winning effort.

The upset specialist White Bear Lake kept Eden Prairie on its heels throughout the tense semifinal match-up and tied the game twice in the second half but couldn't quite find the finalizer late in the fourth quarter.

Senior attackman Brady Haider had three goals and senior goaltender Jack Ramert made 20 saves for White Bear Lake. The Bears will play Burnsville on Thursday, June 9, at 6 p.m. during the third-place game at Chanhassen High School.

Eden Prairie advances to the state championship, also on Thursday, June 9, at Chanhassen High School with a gametime tentatively scheduled for 8 p.m.

The 2011 state championship game will be a rematch of the 2007 championship which was the inaugural boys state tournament as a sanctioned varsity sport in Minnesota. The 2007 Red Knights won that match-up 9-7 to become the first-ever varsity boys high school lacrosse state champions.

-- Michael Murakami, MN Lax Hub staff

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