ST. PAUL — Edina coach Curt Giles was so far out of his comfort zone Thursday he might as well have barking orders from Mars.
The defense-obsessed coach found himself squarely in a run-and-gun, goal-a-minute scorefest against Moorhead. And didn’t enjoy it one bit.
Well, except for that finish.
Defenseman Charlie Sandven’s shot from the right point navigated a traffic jam in front and sailed past Spuds goaltender Kai Weigel to give No. 2 seed Edina a 7-6 double overtime victory over unseeded Moorhead in a state Class 2A quarterfinal at the Xcel Energy Center.
“After you are up 6-3 and they tie it up at 6-6, you are kind of going, what the heck?” said Giles, in his 24th season leading the Hornets. “Maybe I’m too old for this.
“But Charlie pulled us out.”
Sandven was asked if he was aiming for a particular spot in the net — not that he could see an inch of it what with all the bodies piled up in front — before unleashing his shot.
“This will be a lie,” Giles chimed in before Sandven answered.
Actually, Sandven had no specific plan other than getting the puck on net. And let the hockey gods take over from there.
“It’s double overtime, so nothing too fancy,” Sandven said. “If you get pucks on net, something good will happen.”
A double-overtime finish seemed so unlikely midway through the third period thousands of fans, the large percentage of which had been cheering against Edina, starting streaming for the exits.
Bobby Cowan’s third goal of the game put No. 3-2A Edina (21-6-1) ahead 6-3 with 8:40 remaining and fueled the fan exodus.
“They had reason to leave,” Moorhead coach Jon Ammerman. “Momentum was definitely against us. But our guys had no quit. And that was a pretty exciting two-and-half minutes there at the end.”
Abe Carlson started the comeback by scoring 30 seconds after Cowan to make it 6-4. Caleb Alderson scored with 2:49 remaining in regulation to pull Moorhead to within 6-5. And Colby Krier blasted home a close-range shot with 58.4 seconds left to tie it.
Krier raced to the opposite end of the rink after scoring to celebrate with the Moorhead student section. Big mistake.
“I wasted a lot of energy getting there,” Krier said. “That skate seemed like a mile long.”
Added Ammerman: “We had just tied it up and our senior captain comes over and says, ‘Coach, I think I need (a breather).’ I said, ‘No you don’t, get back out there.’ ”
Ammerman was asked about one of the many spectacular saves made by Moorhead goaltender Kai Weigel (he finished with 23 stops). The Spuds coach just shrugged and said, “We’re in the entertainment business, and people got their money’s worth.”
ST. PAUL — Charlie Sandven scored 2:02 into double overtime to lift No. 2 Edina seed past unseeded Moorhead 7-6 on Thursday in a state Class 2A quarterfinal at the Xcel Energy Center.
Sandven, a senior defenseman, fired a shot from the right point that sailed through heavy traffic in front of Moorhead goaltender Kai Weigel.
Defenseman Colby Krier scored with 58.4 seconds left to tie it at 6-6. He fished a loose puck from an Edina defender’s skate and whipped the puck through heavy traffic and past Edina goaltender Robbie Clarkowski.
Krier’s goal completed a furious third-period comeback for No. 14-2A Moorhead (19-10-0), which trailed throughout regulation and by three goals midway through the final period.
No. 3-2A Edina (21-6-1) built a 5-2 lead 43 seconds into the third period on the second of junior forward Bobby Cowan’s three goals. Mooohead’s Abe Carlson and Caleb Alderson scored to ignite the comeback, with Alderson’s goal coming with 2:49 remaining and pulling Moorhead to within 6-5.
The high-scoring game was out of character for both teams as both feature standouts on defense and in goal. Edina’s Clarkowski is one of three finalists for the Frank Brimsek Award that goes to the state’s top senior goaltender. Moorhead junior Kai Weigel ranks among the top goalies in his age group.
Clarkowski finished with 24 saves. Weigel had 23.
The teams split their two regular season games. Moorhead defeated Edina 2-0 on Nov. 26 at the Wayzata Thanksgiving tournament and Edina won 3-2 on Dec. 27 at a holiday tournament in Prior Lake.