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Friday, March 11, 2011
Hockey (B)
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1A Semifinals: Hermantown vs Hibbing

By MNSO Staff
Xcel Energy Center - St. Paul, MN

#2 Hermantown 6
Garrett Skrbich: 2 goals
Andrew Mattson: game-winning goal, 2 assists
Jared Thomas: 2 assists

Hibbing 4
Adam Johnson: 3 goals
Joe Anderson: 3 assists
Team: 2-for-4 on PP

GAME PHOTOS coming soon...
It wasn't overtime, or double overtime for that matter, but the first Class A semifinal was a great one. A furious second period comeback gave Hibbing hope, but in the end Hermantown escaped, 6-4.
From the start, Hermantown owned the ice. The Hawks so controlled the first period, one would think they had a three-goal lead into intermission. Instead, Hibbing took a 1-0 edge into the break on a goal from Nick DeCenzo.
The Hawks again pulled the strings to start the second, and this time the scoring followed suit. Garrett Skrbich tied the game just 41-seconds into the middle frame. Jesse Dyson scored at 3:04, and Skrbich added his second tally only 41-seconds later for a 3-1 lead. Travis Koepke added a fourth goal late in the period to give Hermantown a decided advantage.
As it turned out, Koepke's goal was not late enough. With less than a minute to go in the second, Adam Johnson scored to double Hibbing's output, and put a jump in the step of the Bluejackets. Well, at least a jump in Johnson's step as he scored again 24-seconds later, on the prettiest goal of the tourney so far. Just like that, Big Mo had wandered into Hibbing's locker room, just in time for the third period.
Johnson would complete the natural hat trick just 1:15 into the third to tie the game, 4-4. Things would stay that way until Andrew Mattson scored at 10:50. As much as the lead gave Hermantown an edge, it seemed to kick Hibbing into another gear.
A late interference call on Skrbich gave the Bluejackets a golden opportunity to tie the game. Instead, in what will be a heavily debated move, Hibbing coach Mark DeCenzo pulled his goalie allowing Jared Kolquist to flip the puck over the Hibbing defensemen. The puck cleared the zone and slowly, ever so slowly, made it's way toward the net. Johnson gave a spirited chase, and a final lunge, but the puck crosses the line and Kolquist was mobbed by his on-ice teammates.
No game notes to report
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