Prep hockey: Hermantown earns state berth
CHAMPLIN, Minn. -- Bo Gronseth scored two goals and goaltender Adam Smith stopped 26 shots as Hermantown defeated St. Cloud Cathedral 4-1 in tonight's Section 5A championship game, ensuring the same lineup of Northland teams at the Minnesota high...
CHAMPLIN, Minn. -- Bo Gronseth scored two goals and goaltender Adam Smith stopped 26 shots as Hermantown defeated St. Cloud Cathedral 4-1 in tonight's Section 5A championship game, ensuring the same lineup of Northland teams at the Minnesota high school boys hockey state tournament as a year ago.
Gronseth and Scott Wasbotten scored goals 33 seconds apart in the second period at the Champlin Ice Forum to put a lock on the third-ranked Hawks' fourth straight section title.
Gronseth, a senior winger, notched his second of the night and 26th of the season when he batted in a loose puck to goaltender Joshua Robak's stick side at the 7:59 mark.
Wasbotten struck on the following shift to make it 3-0, virtually guaranteeing the Hawks' sixth state appearance in eight years and 10th overall.
The eighth-ranked Crusaders (20-8) ended Smith's playoff shutout streak at 150 minutes when Daniel Bailey blasted in a shot with 2:49 to play in the third period after Robak was pulled for a sixth attacker.
Hermantown (23-4-1) is expected to receive a top-three seed Saturday and face a randomly drawn unseeded opponent in the quarterfinals.
Gronseth flipped in a backhand shot for the only goal of the first period. Gronseth's linemate, Chris Benson, had an excellent scoring chance earlier in the period but his breakaway attempt was stopped by Robak. Benson finished with two assists.
Smith, who didn't play in the Crusaders' 5-4 overtime win earlier this season and entered the contest with a 14-0-1 record, nearly posted his third straight playoff shutout.
Hermantown again joins Duluth East and Duluth Marshall as state tournament qualifiers.
St. Cloud Cathedral 0-0-1--1
First period -- 1. H, Bo Gronseth (Christian Wasbotten), 9:40.
Second period -- 2. H, Gronseth (Chris Benson), 7:59; 3. H, Scott Wasbotten (C. Wasbotten, Zach Kramer), 8:32.
Third period -- 4. SCC, Daniel Bailey (Austin Swingle, Austin Poganski), 14:11; 5. H, Travis Koepke (Benson), 15:29 (en).
Saves -- Joshua Robak, SCC, 22; Adam Smith, H, 26.