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Edina's Bobby Cowan enters tourney lore with 'The Shot'

By Loren Nelson, Legacy Hockey, 03/09/24, 11:00PM CST


Hornets senior scores winning goal against Chanhassen in remarkable fashion

Edina's Bobby Cowan, left, and Chanhassen's Kam Hendrickson shake hands after Saturday's state Class 2A championship game at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Photo by Jeff Lawler,

Edina’s Bobby Cowan didn’t point to where he was going to place his game-winning goal on Saturday in a fashion akin to Babe Ruth’s famous called-shot home run.

Hockey moves at a quicker pace than baseball, so there was no time for theatrics during Saturday’s state Class 2A championship game at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. And, really, Cowan didn’t even think we was going to score when he unloaded from about 40 feet.

“I was just really just thinking the get the puck to the net and crash the net,” said Cowan, whose third-period goal lifted Edina to a 2-1 victory over Chanhassen in front of an announced crowed of 20,346. “(The Storm’s Kam Hendrickson) is a very talented goalie, and I didn’t expect to beat him one-on-one to be totally honest.”

After Friday’s semifinals, Cowan said it was his goal to “get in the head” of Hendrickson, a teammate outside the high school season on numerous all-star teams. Mental warfare aside, Cowan’s shot not only broke the hearts of the Storm, making their first state tournament appearance, but the majority of the crowd that cascaded thunderous boos down on the Hornets for much of the night. 

Edina’s championship on Saturday was its 14th, the most of any school in the state. It’s became part of the fabric of the tournament to cheer against the Hornets, also nicknamed the Cake Eaters.

“I always just shoot the puck,” said Cowan, a University of St. Thomas commit whose winning goal was his team-best 24th of the season. “If you don’t shoot it, it’s not going to go in. On this one I got the better of him.”

Cowan combined a quick release with high velocity on “The Shot.” Perfect placement, too, as it sailed high over Hendrickson’s catching glove.

Even Edina coach Curt Giles, not one to heap praise on his players, marveled at it. 

“That shot there, from that spot, to beat a quality goaltender like that, the way he did. …” Giles said. “It’s hard to find kids who can shoot a puck like that.”

“Best shot in the state,” chimed in teammate Jackson Nevers.

Defenseman Robbie Hoch’s point shot in the third period went through a maze of traffic in front of Hendrickson and deflected off at least one player before going in. The goal pulled Edina into a 1-1 tie and only reinforced Cowan’s shoot-first mentality.

‘With Robbie’s goal it just proves that if you keep throwing the puck at the net, something good is going to happen,” Cowan said. 

Something good?

There’s nothing better than winning the state tournament, and Cowan’s return to the Hornets after playing junior hockey this fall was a crucial piece of Edina’s puzzle.

“This kid coming back a doing his thing,” Nevers said pointing to Cowan and trying to describe his emotions. “It’s so surreal.”

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