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2015 Girls' State Tournament

Hornets rally to beat Bison

Edina advances despite brilliant Buffalo goaltending

Despite 37 saves, Buffalo goaltender Kendra Carlson could not save the Bison from a Class 2A state quarterfinal loss to Taylor Williamson and the Edina Hornets. (MHM Photo / Tim Kolehmainen)

Edina advances despite brilliant Buffalo goaltending

[ Box Score ] | [ Game Sheet ]

SAINT PAUL – In her first state tournament, Buffalo senior goaltender Kendra Carlson played, what she considered, one of the best games of her career. With 37 saves, she denied Edina a goal for two periods, relentlessly stopping the puck.

While Carlson had one of her best games, the Hornets had a slightly better one.

Freshman forward Emily Oden bested Carlson twice on the power play in the third period and led Edina to a 3-1 victory over the Buffalo Bison in the Class 2A girls’ state hockey quarterfinal at the Xcel Energy Center on Thursday. With the victory, the Hornets will face the reigning state champion Hill-Murray Pioneers in the state semifinal on Friday.

Despite the high-powered Hornet attack led by Ms. Hockey finalist Taylor Williamson on her team, Edina coach Laura Slominski struggled to find an answer to Carlson’s stonewall goaltending.

“She played a phenomenal game,” Slominski said of Carlson. “Sometimes I think it’s just the right night for the kid and she was just on in all aspects. We kept talking in between periods about different things we could try to do to beat her, and every time we did that, she was able to get in the way again.”

But, when Oden squared up to shoot from just outside the crease 3:32 into the third period, Carlson couldn’t get in the way. Oden scored the equalizer to Buffalo forward Abby Halluska’s goal from less than three minutes before.

Much to the dismay of the Bison, Oden wasn’t finished lighting the lamp. With 54 seconds remaining in regulation and the score tied, the team’s second leading scorer put the puck past Carlson and gave the Hornets a 2-1 lead that would be extended by Williamson who later scored on an empty net.

Carlson didn’t even see Oden’s game-winning shot giving her little chance to stop it.

“It went right over me,” Carlson said. “I kind of got screened.”

Despite an early thriller in the state tournament, the Hornets know they have to have a short memory in order to find success Friday.

“We’ll enjoy this win for a few minutes here, then we’ll get back to the hotel and start focusing on Hill-Murray for tomorrow,” Slominski said.

Nick is a Preps writer for the Minnesota Hockey Magazine. He also is a reporter for the Star Tribune sports hubs and a staff writer at the SB Nation Steelers site, Nick is the Editor-in-Chief of the LNHS North Star and hosts the weekly podcast, "Prep Sports North." Follow Nick on Twitter: @NickKellyLNHS

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