Hermantown's Tyler Watkins takes the puck to the net against Virginia Saturday's Class 1A, Section 7 semifinal at Amsoil Arena. Photo by Dave Harwig, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hermantown took care of business in convincing fashion in the first of the two Class 1A, Section 7 semifinals at Amsoil Arena. The top-seeded Hawks blitzed Virginia/Mountain Iron-Buhl 9-0 on Saturday night to advance to their ninth consecutive section final.
Tyler Watkins got the scoring started early with a tally coming only 2:20 into the first period, and after the Hawks killed off some momentary momentum on a Virginia power play, Ryan Sandelin and Logan Judnick scored nine seconds apart to put Hermantown up 3-0. With three goals on their first three shots, and four goals in the first period, the Hawks were off to the races and never looked back
Hermantown scored five more goals in the second period, and spent much of the third cycling the puck through the Virginia zone; the final period only involved four total shots, all by the Hawks.
Hermantown spread the scoring up and down the lineup, with 15 of their 18 skaters logging a point. Dylan Kolquist and Logan Judnick each scored a pair of goals, while Ryan Sandelin and Dawson Pietrusa both collected three points each. Cade McEwen made 12 saves in goal to shut out the Blue Devils, while Virginia’s Taylor Greenwalt made 27 saves in a losing effort.
Hermantown head coach Bruce Plante lauded his skilled players for their effort in the win. “They can do anything. They’re all pretty creative guys, and they all come off the outdoor rinks. They’ve been together a long time.”
Plante also pointed to the Hawks’ size as a key difference between the teams.
“We have a bunch of guys who are like 25-year-old guys,” he joked. “It’s hard to play against us.”
The top-seeded Hawks (25-1-1) advance to face the winner of the second semifinal between Greenway and Hibbing/Chisholm. Virginia/Mountain Iron-Buhl finishes its season 11-16.
Hermantown's Jake Hausmann shoots a backhand shot during Saturday's Class 1A, Section 7 semifinal versus Virginia. Photo by Dave Harwig, email@example.com
Hawks' superfans Ben and Josh cheer during Saturday's semifinal at Amsoil Arena. Photo by Dave Harwig, firstname.lastname@example.org
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