Hermantown Falls in Fifth Straight State Hockey Championship
Optimism was in the air in the Hermantown fan section at the Excel Energy Center in St. Paul as the Hawks hit the ice in their fifth straight Class A Boys Hockey Championship. The opponent was a new face, top seeded East Grand Forks. While Hermantown was seeded as the underdog, many saw the game as an even matchup.
Hawks senior forward Scott Wasbotten drew first blood in the game, finding the net with only 33 seconds left in the opening period. Wasbotten’s score would be the only goal of the period.
Two and a half minutes into the middle frame, Green Wave junior Dixon Bowen would open the floodgates, starting the first of a streak of 5 unanswered East Grand Forks goals through the second period.
Hermantown junior Parker Hawk would cut into the East Grand Forks lead in the opening minutes of the third period, but two more Green Wave goals would set the game out of reach for the Hawks. Jared Zeleznikar would find the net around the 13 minute mark of the third, which would be the final goal of the game.
With a final score of 7-3, the Hermantown Hawks would claim their fifth straight second place title in as many years. East Grand Forks goes on to earn their first state championship.
Hawks senior Zach Kramer and junior Nate Pionk were named to the Class A All-Tournament Team.
Following the game, Hermantown Head Coach Bruce Plante addressed the media on a number of subjects. Among the comments, Plante spoke to what it felt like losing this game, admitting the loss definitely hurt. While losing the game was certainly painful for the players and coaching staff; after falling the previous four years to private schools Breck and St. Thomas Academy, Plante offered a shade of light on the situation, saying:
"It feels better losing to East Grand Forks than other teams we’ve lost to here"
Plante also addressed the idea of Hermantown moving to AA, saying that he doesn’t feel the team has the depth necessary to play against the big schools.