Hermantown beats Breck in double OT, advances to title gameZach Kramer scored 7:26 into a second overtime to give Hermantown a 4-3 victory over Breck in a Minnesota Class A boys hockey state tournament semifinal today at Xcel Energy Center, just minutes after the Hawks missed a rare penalty shot.
By: Rick Weegman, Duluth News Tribune, Superior Telegram
ST. PAUL - Zach Kramer scored 7:26 into a second overtime to give Hermantown a 4-3 victory over Breck in a Minnesota Class A boys hockey state tournament semifinal today at Xcel Energy Center, just minutes after the Hawks missed a rare penalty shot.
Kramer picked up a loose puck in the Mustangs' zone and rifled a shot past goaltender Henry Johnson for the game-winner.
Hermantown (25-4-1) advances to the championship game for a fourth consecutive year at noon Saturday against either two-time defending champion St. Thomas Academy or East Grand Forks.
Lane LeGarde was hooked in the slot and awarded a penalty shot at 3:31 but he put his shot high and wide right.
Each team scored two goals in a wild third period to set up a sudden-death eight-minute overtime period. Neither team scored in the first extra session.
After Thomas Lindstrom tied the game at 1 in the final 14 seconds of the second period, the second-seeded Mustangs only needed 12 seconds to take the lead in the third. Matt Colford took possession of a mishandled puck off the opening faceoff, sped into the zone and dropped a pass to Jack O'Connor, who whizzed a shot past Hawks goaltender Adam Smith.
Travis Koepke tied the game at 5:59 when his second attempt at batting in a rebound was successful, deflecting in off Otto Haeg's right skate for a 2-2 tie.
Colford rushed into the Hawks' zone, maintained possession of his own blocked shot attempt and beat Smith at 8:57 to again put Breck ahead.
But Hermantown tied it once again at 11:07 when Bo Gronseth backhanded a pass off the end boards to linemate Koepke, who one-timed the puck past Henry Johnson for his 31st goal of the season.
Hermantown controlled much of the second period, including having what amounted to a three-minute power play after a delayed penalty and ensuing power play. But the Hawks were unable to add to their 1-0 lead during that advantage and later Grant Sega missed a wide-open opportunity on a rebound.
The No. 2-seeded Mustangs capitalized by scoring on a rush up ice in the final moments of the period. Colford sped past a Hawks defenseman to retrieve Jorgen Salveson's chip into the zone and found the trailing Lindstrom.
Chris Benson scored on a rebound midway through the first period to give Hermantown a 1-0 lead. Gronseth shot from his knees and Benson plucked the rebound up, skated to his left and wristed home the lone goal of the period at 8:22.
The winner faces either two-time defending champion St. Thomas Academy or East Grand Forks in Saturday's noon title game.
First period - 1. H, Chris Benson (Bo Gronseth, Neal Pionk), 8:22.
Second period - 2. B, Thomas Lindstrom (Matt Colford, Jorgen Salveson), 16:46.
Third period - 3. B, Jack O'Connor (Colford), 0:12; 4. H, Travis Koepke (Neal Pionk), 5:59; 5. B, Colford (Andrew Keiser), 8:57; 6. H, Koepke (Gronseth), 11:07.
First overtime - No scoring.
Second overtime - 7. H, Zach Kramer (Nate Pionk, Jake Zeleznikar), 7:26.
Saves - Adam Smith, H, 30; Henry Johnson, B, 37.