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Wayzata prevails in overtime against Edina, earns likely top seed in Section 6AA tourney

By Drew Herron, Legacy Hockey, 02/17/24, 10:15PM CST


Max Luedtke lifts the Trojans to 4-3 victory

Wayzata celebrates an overtime goal by Max Luedtke that pushed the Trojans' past Edina 4-3, and clinched a top seed for next week's Section 6AA playoffs. Photo by Drew Herron, Legacy Hockey

In most circles, the three best teams in the state right now sit on a tier a step or two above the rest. 

Sure there might be a couple others capable of registering an upset on a good night.

The regular season came to an emphatic close Saturday night at Braemar Arena in Edina, where two of those three teams, Wayzata and Edina, (Minnetonka is the other) gave another packed house its money’s worth in battling into overtime before the Trojans, ranked No. 3 in this week’s Legacy Class 2A ratings, struck 1:47 into overtime to secure a 4-3 victory and likely a No. 1 seed in next week’s Class 2A, Section 6 tournament ahead of No. 2-ranked and likely second seed Edina. 

The winning play began with junior forward Max Luedtke hopping over the boards and being fed a pass by senior captain Jake Mattson. As defenders closed, Luedtke threw the puck on net from above the circles. It went in, giving the Trojans a jolt of momentum entering the playoffs.

“There are not really words to describe these kinds of moments,” Luedtke said. “What this does for our confidence going into the playoffs, it’s a huge boost. Everyone is ready to roll for what’s next.”

What’s next is the postseason and the march toward the state tournament. That likely means more one-goal games in packed buildings. But for Lake Conference teams, those games have become commonplace.

Two of Edina's four games against Minnetonka and Wayzata have been settled in overtime. Both games between Wayzata and No. 1-ranked Minnetonka went to OT.

Iron sharpens iron in the Lake Conference.

“I think what it’s proven to us is that we can play with anyone,” Wayzata coach Pat O’Leary says. “Most playoff games are going to be one-goal games, and we’ve been through this with 'Tonka, and again tonight. Yeah, the Lake Conference is a meat grinder, and you’re going to get tested every night.

“It also allows us to put players in difficult situations to work through. Sometimes they succeed, and sometimes they don’t, but that’s how you learn.”

Edina and its top line of Jackson Nevers, Bobby Cowan and Mason West pushed hard on Wayzata for much of three periods, while the Trojans hammered back. The lead changed hands three times.

Overtime means one play proves decisive, and it came less than two minutes into the fourth period, handing the Hornets their second loss in a week following Edina’s 3-1 loss at Minnetonka last Saturday night. 

Wayzata knows that feeling too, having fallen to Minnetonka. It lost 5-4 in overtime on Feb. 1, after tying the defending champions 1-1 in late December.

Winners of four straight since and assured of a No. 1 seed for the playoffs, the Trojans have checked off another box and are feeling confident and eager to get back to work Monday.

“Our goal was to get on a run here after our loss to 'Tonka, but we talked less about what seed we might get, but rather concerned about how we would be playing when we get to (sections)," O'Leary said.

Luedtke is all but counting on a third meeting with Edina.

“We’ll see them again,” he said. “If we want to get to state, we’re going to have to go through them. That’s our goal to play them again, and beat them again.”

Edina goaltender Joe Bertram makes a stop on a scoring chance from Wayzata's Cade De St. Hubert during the third period. Photo by Drew Herron, Legacy Hockey

Quick Recap

Wayzata prevailed in another Lake Conference overtime thriller Saturday night at Braemar Arena, defeating host Edina 4-3 and clinching a top seed in next week’s Class 2A, Section 6 playoffs.

Max Luedtke scored the game winner just seconds after hopping on the ice for his first shift of the extra session. Teammate Jake Mattson fed him with a pass, and amidst closing pressure, Leudtke fired a low-percentage shot on net from above the circles. 

It hit, and Wayzata (21-2-2) prevailed. The Trojans head into the playoff with a jolt, having avenged a 4-1 loss to the Hornets three weeks ago at Plymouth Ice Center. 

Luke Miller scored twice, and was part of a foursome along with Mattson, Hawke Huff, and Cade De St. Hubert, who all finished with a pair of points in the victory.

Edina (20-4-1) was led by Jackson Nevers, the senior captain and Minnesota recruit who scored twice. Casey Vandertop added two assists for the Hornets (20-3-1).

Evan Turek stopped 21 of 24 shots in net for Wayzata, while Joe Bertram made 20 saves on 24 shots for the Hornets.

Edina senior captain Jackson Nevers carries the puck wide while Wayzata defenseman Finn De St. Hubert covers. Nevers scored twice for the Hornets in their 4-3 overtime loss to Wayzata. Photo by Drew Herron, Legacy Hockey

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