Hermantown sophomore Joey Pierce celebrates after scoring the overtime game-winning goal Saturday that lifted the Hawks to a 2-1 victory against Mahtomedi. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine
Saturday afternoon had all the makings of a trap game for Hermantown.
On the road against a ranked metro team inspired by the hometown crowd marking a special weekend in celebration of its own hockey heritage, the Hawks, ranked No. 1 in the Class 1A coaches’ poll, managed to fight back from a deficit and capitalize on scarce chances.
Hermantown forward Justin Thomas and Mahtomedi freshman goaltender Ben Dardis battle for the puck near the edge of the crease. Dardis finished with 38 saves in the Zephyrs' 2-1 loss to top-ranked Hermantown Saturday. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine
Sophomore forward Joey Pierce unleashed a wrist shot from the left circle that floated into the far top shelf in overtime Saturday to help lift Hermantown to a 2-1 victory over Mahtomedi at St. Croix Valley Rec Center in Stillwater.
After a strong but scoreless first period, Hermantown fell behind in the second when Dylan L’Allier scored for Mahtomedi 7:11 into the period. The Hawks, ranked No. 1 in Class 1A in the state coaches’ poll, kept hammering wood and held a significant advantage in shots and zone time.
With 10:57 left in regulation, defenseman Sam High scored the equalizer during a scrum in front of the net, and with it, lifted a collective weight from Hermantown’s shoulders.
In the overtime session, Pierce received a cross-ice pass from teammate Blake Biondi, took his time, then let the wrist shot go to lift the Hawks to a win that improves their record to 15-3-1.
No. 6-1A-ranked Mahtomedi (15-4-1, 6-2-1) received outstanding play in net from freshman Ben Dardis, who turned away 38 shots in defeat.
Mahtomedi junior forward Colin Hagstrom crashes the net while Hermantown goaltender Cole Manahan turns aside a scoring chance. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine
The MN Hockey Hub poll is for entertainment purposes only.
Mahtomedi players and coaches greeted mites players during the first intermission Saturday. The Zephyrs program is celebrating 65 years this week.