Horn leads Red Knights to upset Hornets and move on to semis

Horn leads Red Knights to upset Hornets and move on to semis

Matt Muenzberg, Sports Editor

“It was probably one of the greatest moments of my entire life.”

These were senior captain Christian Horn’s words after scoring the game winning goal to beat Edina 3-2 in the State quarterfinals Thursday, March 8, in front of over 18,000 people at the Xcel Energy Center.

Although they got the result they wanted, the Red Knights did not play at the high level that they would’ve liked, only managing four shots in the first period. “I felt that we were very fortunate, especially after the first period. I thought we played very poorly. We played with a lot of nerves. I thought we were badly outplayed,” said head coach Mr. Ken Pauly.

The Red Knights stepped it up in the second period, outshooting the Hornets 16-8. Junior forward Grant Besse scored the first goal of the game on the power play, a backdoor goal on a pass from Horn. Ten minutes later though, standout Edina sophomore forward Connor Hurley tied the game up at one.

A wild first minute led to a 2-2 tie at the start of the third period. Junior forward Dan Labosky got the scoring started just 17 seconds in the period when he decked Edina goalie Willie Benjamin after a long pass from line-mate Besse. Just 19 seconds later, Edina’s Andy Jordahl evened the score.

With just three minutes left, the Hornets drew a power play on an elbowing call against senior forward Jake O’Borsky. At that moment, Coach Pauly admits, “I had that sinking feeling.”

Edina did hit a post, but the Red Knights killed off the power play. The game looked like it was headed for overtime before Horn’s game winner.

Horn is no stranger to big goals, with an overtime winner against Burnsville as a freshman and a go-ahead goal in sections his sophomore year just to name a few. “I think he’s pretty used to it,” said Besse.

The Red Knights will play Lakeville South Friday night at 8 p.m. The Cougars upset top seed Duluth East in their quarterfinal game. “Lakeville South just got done beating, in my mind, the best hockey team in the state this year. That’s a heck of an accomplishment for those guys, and if you can beat Duluth East, you can beat anyone,” said Mr. Pauly.