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Friday, March 12, 2010
Hockey (B)
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1A Semifinals: Hermantown def. Mahtomedi

By Kyle Stevens
Xcel Energy Center - St. Paul, Minn

The Minnesota National Guard selects our Two Stars:

Jared Thomas
GWG 1:14 into overtime

Brandon Zurn
2 goals, 1 assist

For more information on The Guards, go to http://1800goguard.com

Hermantown 7
Charlie Komnick: Hat trick
Jared Kolquist: 2 goals
Tyler Ampe: 21 saves
Team: 44 shots on goal
Team: 3 for 4 on power play

Mahtomedi 6
Charlie Adams: 2 goals, 1 assist
Ben Marshall: 1 goal, 2 assists
Brad Wohlers: 37 saves
Team: 27 shots on goal
Team 1 for 4 on power play

The Story
In one of the most epic finishes to a state tournament game in recent memory, Hermantown escaped a literal last-second, regulation game-winner to advance to tomorrow's championship with a 7-6, overtime victory.
At the end of regulation, after Hermantown fought back from a two-goal deficit to tie the game at 6-6, a long rebound gave Mahtomedi a rare chance at a true buzzer beater.
With Ben Marshall pushing the puck, Charlie Adams came along side to Marshall's left. A poke check put the puck on the tape of Adams who rifled a shot past Hermantown goalie Tyler Ampe just as the horn sounded to end the game.
The referee signaled it a goal. Mahtomedi emptied from the bench. Charlie Adams became the base of a dog-pile.
And then the replay announcement came. After no time at all, the goal was waved off. Mahtomedi had punched their first-ever ticket to the finals, only to have it ripped up and thrown at their feet.
"I think we all threw up on that roller coaster," said Mahtomedi head coach Jeff Poeschl.
Well, almost everyone. "I didn't know if it was in or not," said Hermantown head coach Bruce Plante. "I was just hoping."
After a three minute break, an eight minute, sudden-death overtime was at hand. The best game of the tourney was about to get even better.
The Zephyrs had possession early and were skating into the zone when control was lost and it sent the Hawks back up the ice.
"We got our legs back waiting for the call and they were wasting their energy celebrating," said Thomas, who would score the game-winner on that rush.
"I've haven't scored in overtime, ever," Thomas continued. "Until now."
Perhaps the final punch to the stomach for Mahtomedi came after their press conference. After 10-minutes of answering questions that never seemed possible just a few minutes before, coach Plante, Adams and Marshall took a slow walk off the stage. And then Marshall's shoulders sunk. He saw it.
The TV in the conference room was showing replays. First came the goal at the buzzer. Then the dog pile, followed by the slow motion overhead view of Adams' shot. The clock clearly hit zero before the puck crossed the line.
And then, just as they turned to leave, Thomas' game-winner flashed in front of their eyes.
Marshall bowed his head and bit his lip. Shock doesn't always mute pain.

The Quote
"Definitely heard that. I think that put a little fire under us." - Hermantown senior winger Charlie Comnick on Mahtomedi's student section's reinterpretation of a well known children's song. The Zephyrs' fans, after taking a 6-4 lead in the third period, gave a rousing rendition of, "If you're losing and you know it, clap your hands," clap-clap.

Box Score / Full Game Audio / Highlights coming soon

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