No. 2 Hermantown soars past Luverne, into State boys hockey semifinals
The defending Class A state champions, second seeded, Hermantown opened the 79th Boys State High School Hockey Tournament Wednesday shutting out Luverne 6-0 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
This marks the Hawks’ fourth straight state tournament appearance and ninth in the past ten seasons.
Hermantown head coach Patrick Andrews described this year as “kind of uncharted territory. Losing guys and guys leaving early, which doesn’t happen a lot in our program. And I thought these guys handled that great right from the start.”
It took six minutes for the first shot of the game to be registered by Hermantown. On their second shot Aaron Evjen scored the first goal of the tournament giving Hermantown a 1-0 lead. Evjen scored the game-winning goal in the Section 7A semifinals to lift the Hawks past Hibbing/Chisholm 3-2.
“It’s an amazing feeling to come through for my team when they need me. I got to give credit to my linemates again, Sam Swenson and Mason Sundbom. They made great plays for me and I just buried it,” senior forward Evjen said.
A minute later it was 3-0 Hawks with River Freeman and Evan Gunderson each finding the back of the net.
Luverne brought out a heavy defense in the second period not allowing any more goals, and holding Hermantown to just eight shots. The Hawks would lead 24-9 in shots after two frames.
“It was kind of ironic pulling Hermantown again and just knowing how much it means to the town to come to this tournament and the memories that we have with Hermantown. Challenging them in 2014 and then taking them to overtime in 2017, and then again battling with them today. So we’ve got a history now,” Luverne head coach Phil Paquette shared.
In the third Wyatt Carlson scored his 21st goal of the season to make it 4-0, then Dallas Vieau netted his 22nd of the season on a power play. George Peterson put the nail in the coffin.
Outshooting Luverne 49-13 Hermantown would secure the 6-0 victory.
“It’s awesome. I mean, the whole team works all the time, 24/7 practice, in and out. We get the job done,” sophomore forward River Freeman said.
Senior defenseman George Peterson added, “we’re playing the Xcel week now so it’s a good feeling.”
The Class A semifinals are set for Friday at 11 a.m. back at the Xcel Energy Center. The Hawks (26-2-1) will face No. 3 Mahtomedi.
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