Last second goal pushes Mahtomedi past Hermantown in the State semifinals

Friday second seeded Hermantown would fall in the final seconds to third seeded Mahtomedi 2-1 in the Class A state semifinals at the Xcel Energy Center. It was a rematch of the 2019-2020 state championship game where the Zephyrs skated away winners.

Late in the first period Mahtomedi celebrated a goal but it was called a no-goal having danced across the line but never crossing. Then seconds later Hermantown skated down and scored the game’s first goal from Dallas Vieau, his 23rd of the year. The Zephyrs tied it up from a Jonny Grove goal to end the first 1-1.

“Neither team is playing great in the first period. It was kind of back and forth. There wasn’t a lot of chances. Nobody was really taking care of the puck that well. The shots were low on both sides,” Hermantown head coach Patrick Andrews said.

The second period would see two penalties but no scoring keeping it a 1-1 game. The Hawks led in shots 23-12 after two frames, only allowing three shots by the Zephyrs in the second.

“We have six studs back there and I was really proud of us and we didn’t give them much,” George Peterson said, a Hermantown senior defenseman.

After a quiet third period Mahtomedi’s Charlie Drage netted the game-winner with 48 seconds left in regulation to claim the 2-1 win. Hermantown led in shots 32-25.

“It’s always a battle. Both teams, both programs have a lot of respect for one another,” Mahtomedi head coach Jeff Poeschl said.

“The senior group, this is the Covid team,” Coach Andrews said. “I said then, I’d never been more proud of our program. In that moment of Covid, no one complained. We didn’t protest. We weren’t going to not show up. We sent the JV and most of this senior group was on that JV team that showed up to the state tournament, and put a heck of a scare into a varsity hockey team.”

In 2020-2021 Hermantown earned a state berth but coming in contact with Covid the majority of their varsity team was unable to attend. The JV team would battle Dodge Country to a 7-3 state quarterfinal loss.

The Zephyrs will play No. 1 Warroad for the 2023 state title Saturday at Noon at the Xcel Energy Center. Watch the game on WDIO.

Hermantown (26-3-1) will play for third place Saturday at 9 a.m against No. 4 Orono.

For the bracket, Click Here.