It took until the third period but No. 1 seed Eden Prairie showed the offensive firepower it is known for as the Eagles scored five third-period goals and defeated St. Thomas Academy 6-2 Wednesday evening at the Xcel Energy Center.
Carter Batchelder netted both of his goals in the final 17 minutes for Eden Prairie, now 19-1-2. Luke Mittelstadt had three assists while Drew Holt and Jackson Blake each were credited with a goal and two assists.
Holt got the Eagles on the board with a power-play goal in the first period only to see St. Thomas Academy tie the game 1:37 into the second period on a goal by Jared Wright. St. Thomas Academy falls to 13-5-3 by suffering its third loss of the season to Eden Prairie.
Batchelder opened the third period with a rebound goal at 3:27. Riku Brown gave Eden Prairie a 3-1 lead 73 seconds later and the Eagles never looked back.
Eden Prairie has now won nine-straight state tournament opening-round games.
Batchelder’s goal to open the third-period scoring.
Eden Prairie, unbeaten in its last 19 games, will play No. 4 seed Maple Grove (21-1) in Friday’s 8 p.m. semifinal.