Hermantown Hawks Win 5-4 In Double OT To Win 7A Title, Advance To State [PHOTOS]
In a rematch of last year's Section 7A Championship, Hermantown and Greenway met at AMSOIL Arena to decide who would represent the section in this year's State Boys Hockey Tournament. Both squads entered the game as top-5 ranked teams in the state, with Hermantown owning the top spot, and Greenway the third-ranked team. This meeting of top hockey powers in Class A turned out to be a real slugfest that kept fans on the edge of their seats.
The opening frame proved to be a back-and-forth affair, with both teams remaining scoreless until Blake Biondi scored in the final minutes of the period. Fans who have been watching Hawks hockey for the last decade might have assumed this would be the opening of the floodgates for Hermantown. Greenway had other plans.
The Raiders would score two goals in the second, putting Greenway up 2-1 at the end of the period. The Raiders would go on to open up the third period with another goal, putting Hermantown in a 3-1 deficit early in the last period of regulation.
With over half of the third period gone, Tyler Watkins broke the drought for Hermantown. His was the first of three goals in the period that included scores from Blake Biondi and Brady Baker. With a 4-3 lead, Hermantown looked posed to close out the final seconds of the game and continue their campaign to defend their 2017 state title. Once again, Greenway had other plans.
Just before the clock expired on the third period, Cameron Lantz scored the game-tying goal for Greenway to send the game to overtime. Both teams remained scoreless through the first overtime period, prompting a resurfacing of the ice and a second overtime period. The second overtime period looked to be a scoreless affair for both teams once again, but as the clock ticked under 15 seconds, Tyler Watkins scored his second goal for the night to give Hermantown the 5-4 overtime victory and their 9th straight trip to the state tournament.
The Hawks will await the completion of the rest of the section tournaments and tournament seeding to see who they will face in the opening round of the state tournament next week. The opening round of the Class A tournament is Wednesday, March 7 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.