The opening game of the Section 6 & 2AA championship doubleheader at Mariucci Arena turned out to be a classic as Jack Keeley's short handed goal 2:36 into the second overtime led the Eden Prairie Eagles to a 3-2 win over the Benilde-St. Margaret's Red Knights in the Section 6AA final.
The Eagles will be returning to the state tournament for the first time since they won the 2011 Class AA championship over Duluth East.
Eden Prairie got on the board in the first period after Steve Spinner got a pass from Luc Snuggerud and he spun down the ice, went through a couple of BSM defenders and scored.
The Red Knights came back in the second period with a pair of goals. Ben Newhouse fed Spencer Naas and he went to the right of Eagle goalie Jake Gerdes, found and opening and delivered the puck to the net. Will Duda went top shelf to wrap up the second period scoring.
In the third period, Eden Prairie evened the score as Spinner made a backhanded pass to Colton Schmidt in the center slot and he connected. Neither team scored to break the time. End of regulation. On to overtime.
There was no scoring in the first overtime though Spinner had a chance to spin a winner. His shot struck the goal post and bounced out of the net. The Eagles would clinch a state tournament berth while the Red Knights Newhouse was serving a hooking minor. BSM went on the power play. Jack Sims' shot was blocked by Keeley and he sped down the ice like a light rail train performing a test run on the new Green Line and put the puck past Red Knight goalie Jalen Long to send Eden Prairie to St. Paul next Thursday.
The Eagles improved their record to 17-8-3 and will play in the Class AA quarterfinals on Thursday, March 6 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The Red Knights wrapped up their season with a record of 15-9-3.
The two teams met for the first time since December 28, in the Sports Authority Classic at The Rec Center in St. Louis Park with the Eagles victorious 5-3.