Class A state tournament capsule: Hermantown vs. East Grand Forks
HERMANTOWN (27-2-1) VS. EAST GRAND FORKS (25-4) What: Class A state tournament final When: Noon Where: Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul Outlook: In its 12th state tournament appearance, Hermantown returns to its sixth straight final. The Hawks fell 7...
HERMANTOWN (27-2-1) VS. EAST GRAND FORKS (25-4)
What: Class A state tournament final
Where: Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul
Outlook: In its 12th state tournament appearance, Hermantown returns to its sixth straight final. The Hawks fell 7-3 to East Grand Forks in this game a year ago after carrying a 1-0 lead into the second period. The Hawks’ 25-game unbeaten streak overlaps a string of four shutouts in five playoff games. Luke Olson (1.37 goals-against average, .934 save percentage) has eight shutouts behind a defense that can go six-deep. Nate Pionk (34 goals, 35 assists, 69 points), Ryan Kero (32-41-73) and Cole Koepke (21-23-44) drive a six-plus-goals-per-game attack. Kero, Kyle Amundson and James Lindberg scored in Hermantown’s 3-0 victory over East Grand Forks on Dec. 30. Coach Bruce Plante has 491 career wins. … Last year’s contest between these teams was the first all-public school Class A final since 2003. East Grand Forks featured seven goal-scorers and sucked away all the drama with a five-goal second period. In Friday’s 5-2 semifinal win over second-seeded Mahtomedi, Grant Loven (14-18-32) notched a hat trick. Mr. Hockey finalist Dixon Bowen (27-34-61) is headed to North Dakota. Trevor Selk returned to the lineup Friday after a six-week injury absence and scored a goal. Josh Weber (1.46, .926) is back between the pipes. East Grand Forks is making its third straight and 10th overall tournament appearance. The Green Wave have won 16 of 17, including 4-3 in overtime vs. Thief River Falls in the Section 8A title game.
TV: WDIO Chs. 10&13
Radio: KQDS-AM 1490/WKLK-FM 96.5
Internet: Prep45.com ($4.97 per day)
Tickets: Adults, $17; students, $11
Quotable: “If we don’t man up, it won’t work out. We’ll have to stick it to them right back.” - Plante said of the physical Green Wave
“I don’t think anybody considered us the favorite last year.” - East Grand Forks coach Tyler Palmiscno, whose team was the top seed, on 2014 win over Hermantown