Hermantown Hawks Advance to Class A State Championship Following Win Over New Prague
The #2 Hermantown Hawks, fresh off their 6-3 victory over Luverne, found themselves with one game standing between them and another trip to the Class A State Championship. That game was a pairing with the #3 New Prague Trojans at the Xcel Energy Center.
Hawks senior Ryan Carlson was the first on the board, tallying a goal at the 5:09 mark in the first period. Kori Ochs extended the Hermantown lead in the opening seconds of the second period, giving the Hawks a 2-0 advantage they would carry through the period.
Scott Wasbotten opened the third period by extending the Hermantown lead 3-0 just over a minute after the intermission. Trojans senior forward Augie Isaacson took advantage of a power play at the 6:32 mark, giving some life to New Prague and managing to fight off the looming shutout. With under two minutes in regulation, Scott Wasbotten found the net again; this time on an empty-netter that would bring the Hermantown lead back to three. With just under one minute to play, New Prague's Casey Busch rounded out the game with an even strength goal that gave the final score of 4-2 in favor of Hermantown.
This marks Hermantown's fifth consecutive appearance in the Class A Boys State Championship. In each of those previous four appearances, the Hawks took home the second place prize, losing to Breck the first year and to St. Thomas Academy the next three years in a row. This year, St. Thomas Academy is in Class AA and Breck lost in the Section 2A Championship to Orono.
Hermantown will await the winner of the other Class A Semifinal between St. Cloud Cathedral and #1 seed East Grand Forks. The game between the Hawks and winner of the other semifinal will be played at noon Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center.