15 games on the night of the 2019-2020 season opener. But, really, there is only 1 game worth talking about.
ANDOVER at EDINA
There might not be a better game all year and we are getting on night #1. Three time defending State Champ Edina Hornets hosting the Andover Huskies.
I feel like the general thinking, based on what I’ve read and what I’ve heard, is that Andover is the favorite in this game. Even with it being a road game for the Huskies. Maybe it is because we had this same match up last year on the first night of the season and Andover won 4-3. Although the Huskies won that game Edina outshot them 37-22. There were 13 combined penalties with Edina having 7 of them and Andover scoring 2 PP goals early in the third period.
I am going to take the contrarian view point. Not going out on a limb, I know. But follow me here. Andover might have the best forward line in the state in Hemp-Nelson-Krause. But you know what is the perfect antidote for a potent line? A set of great defense and a tremendous goalie. Vivian Jungels and Lily Hendrickson are a top 2 D pairing in the state. And when you are at home and have last change you only need one really good D pairing to match up against Andover’s top forward unit. Having last change will be key tonight, in my opinion. Edina should take full advantage of that and if they don’t it will be a costly mistake. Uma Corniea is only a 9th grader. I think she might be the best goalie in the state. And I am not using exaggeration for dramatic effect. She’s that good.
Edina has more experienced forwards which will serve them well tonight. The bigness of the game shouldn’t affect them. Andover, on the other hand, certainly has some weapons past the top forward line but they are young and inexperienced. If you combine that inexperience and youth of Andover’s second and third lines with the added pressure from the magnitude of tonight’s match up it could negatively affect their performance. Isa Goettl, for example, is a fantastic talent. But she is very small and this will be her first varsity action. She will figure out how to play against bigger, faster, and older competition but it will take some time. If this game were later in the year this variable wouldn’t be a factor. But with it being the first game of the year it will play a significant role.
And it will be very important for Edina to stay of of box. They will not want to give Hemp-Nelson-Krause any PP time.
Edina 4. Andover 2.