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Edina takes a low-key, non-bleach approach to the tourney

By Loren Nelson, Legacy Hockey, 03/07/24, 9:45PM CST


Longtime Hornets coach Curt Giles keeps many of the tourney's extracurriculars to a minimum

Edina coach Curt Giles, in his 25th season, has guided the Hornets to four state championships. Photo by Jeff Lawler,

There was a time when Edina was a no-fly zone. Now it’s a no-dye zone.

A few years ago Hornets coach Curt Giles banned the post-goal fly-bys past the bench that have become as much a hockey staple as Zambonis and mullets. 

At the time, Giles, in his 25th season leading Edina, said he didn’t like the fly-bys because they sometimes created ill will with opponents. Rubbing it in and all of that. He eventually reinstated the practice.

Edina beat Elk River/Zimmerman 6-2 on Thursday in a state Class 2A quarterfinal at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The No. 1-seeded Hornets stood out both because of their exceptional speed and playmaking and the many things they didn’t do.

The fad of participating players bleaching their hair returned in a big way this year, but the Hornets were noticeably dye-free. Edina’s goal celebrations were low-key in comparison to the many premeditated performances offered so far.

But why?

“We don't see that as being an important thing for us this year at the state tournament,” senior defenseman Barrett Dexheimer said. “We're more focused on winning than all that other stuff.”

It’s safe to say there weren’t a lot of blow dryers and curlers in use in the Edina locker room before Thursday’s game. Not with Giles, a former NHL defenseman and as old-school as they come, running the operation.

“All we want to control is what we do and how we did,” said Giles, who has guided the Hornets to four state championships. “Our expectations have been the same for a number of years. These guys are extremely respectful and we want to make sure we do things right. Treat the game right, treat our opponents right … with respect. 

“We don’t worry about what other teams do. They can dye their hair, they can celebrate however they want, that’s their prerogative. We just choose to do it a little bit differently.”

Which isn’t to say Edina players aren’t having a bit of fun. Sophomore Casey Vandertop, who scored three second-period goals, does have something of a mullet going, complete with racing stripes shaved on the sides.

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