Greenway won the Class 1A, Section 7 final Wednesday night after Donte Lawson scored the game winner in double overtime. The Raiders defeated the top-seeded Hawks 3-2 at Amsoil Arena in Duluth. Photo by Dave Harwig, SportsEngine
Donte Lawson (No. 13) scored the game-winning goal Wednesday night against Hermantown. The Raiders, who won 3-2, advance to their first state tournament since 2001. Photo by Dave Harwig, SportsEngine
Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin coach Grant Clafton has been building toward this moment for over three years. His team’s senior captains had lost 9-0 to Hermantown three years ago as sophomores, and suffered a 5-4, double overtime loss in last year’s Class 1A, Section 7 final.
Clafton’s Raiders had lost the teams’ regular-season meeting 4-0 on Jan. 15 — but Clafton refused to buy the hype over the Hawks’ dominance.
“It does not matter,” he said. “I don’t believe in the ‘poor me’ and all this stuff. If you believe, you can get it done.”
And they got it done: Greenway beat Hermantown 3-2 in double overtime Wednesday, upending a program that has claimed nine straight state tournament berths. In winning the Class 1A, Section 7 championship, the Raiders advance to their first state tournament since 2001.
Hermantown's Ethan Lund shoots the puck Wednesday night at Amsoil Arena in Duluth. The Hawks, who have appeared in nine straight Class 1A state tournaments, lost to Greenway, 3-2, in the Section 7 final. Photo by Dave Harwig, SportsEngine
A dynasty came to an end at Amsoil Arena on Wednesday night.
In a Class 1A, Section 7 final that brought all the drama and then some, Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin knocked off top-seeded and perennial state tournament contender Hermantown 3-2 in double overtime. Senior forward Donte Lawson scored 3:47 into double overtime to launch the Raiders to their first state tournament since 2001.
The third-seeded Raiders (15-13-0) pulled off a stunning upset over a Hawks team that had been to nine straight state tournaments, including back-to-back Class 1A titles in 2016 and 2017.
The game had an inauspicious start for the Raiders, who gave up 22 shots on goal in the first period. Junior goaltender Logan Wright made 20 of his 48 saves on the night, however, and the Raiders opened the scoring with a goal from junior forward Ben Troumbly.
The Hawks (22-4-2) replied with two goals in less than a minute from Aaron Pionk and Blake Biondi.
Troumby tied the game at two midway through the second period, setting the stage for Lawson’s overtime heroics.
Hermantown goalie Cole Manahan finished with 36 saves.
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