Flyers end in 4th place in JGA State Tournament


Brendan Gallaher

A goal by Tommy Anderson put the Flyers ahead of their competition – the Warriors. This win came after the Warriors had gotten the best of the Flyers multiple times in the regular season.

Brendan Gallaher, Staff Writer

Going into the Junior Gold A State Hockey Tournament at Fogerty Arena last weekend, the 5th-seeded SLP Flyers embraced their underdog status. The team played with a chip on their shoulder, displaying much more energy and poise during the tournament than in their frustrating regular season. This intensity was especially apparent during their Friday night game against their bitter rival, the 4th-seeded Minnetonka Warriors. After losing four games to the Warriors earlier in the year, the Flyers were not willing to give up so easily this time. The atmosphere was electric, with Flyers fans packing Fogerty to show their support.

After a sluggish start to the game, both teams settled in and found themselves with several scoring opportunities. The Warriors looked like they might seal the win when they went up 3-1 during the second period, but the Flyers responded with two unanswered to send the game to overtime, helped by puck control and strong momentum during the third. Less than a minute into overtime, senior Assistant Captain Tommy Anderson sniped a top shelf goal to clinch a thrilling 4-3 victory for the Flyers. “It was pretty surreal. I think it was the best goal of my hockey career, and I couldn’t sleep that night cause I was so excited,” Anderson said.

It was pretty surreal. I think it was the best goal of my hockey career, and I couldn’t sleep that night cause I was so excited.

— Tommy Anderson

Although Saturday’s game against the top-seeded Edina Hornets was tied 2-2 going into the third period, it ended with a 5-2 loss for the Flyers. The game was physical and proved to be a scare for Edina, who had only lost one game during the entire regular season. For Senior Goalie Henry Koch, facing Edina was an exciting opportunity. “I know pretty much everyone on the team, so playing against them was fun, especially since we gave them a close game until they wore us down in the third,” Koch said.

Sunday’s third place game against White Bear Lake ended up being underwhelming, as the Flyers lost in a 3-0 shutout. Still, the boys played hard and the team enjoyed a memorable tournament. Senior Forward John Brask felt like the team played much better than they had during the regular season. “It was like a new team, it was crazy. There was a lot more energy in the locker room and on the bench, and you could tell everyone stepped up on the ice because we had something to play for,” Brask said.