The Hermantown Hawks boys hockey team entered Wednesday night's 7A Championship against the Greenway Raiders looking to punch their 8th straight ticket to the state tournament and defend their Class A title from last year. Led by Jesse Jacques and Tyler Watkins, the Hawks were able to do just that.

The game's opening frame saw the Hawks coming out of the gate strong, applying heavy pressure in the Greenway end early, but not being able to find the net. The Raiders were able to turn the pressure around on Hermantown, evening out the ice that was slanted in the Hawks favor early on. In the closing minutes of the first period, Ryan Sandelin broke the scoreless tie, giving Hermantown the 1-0 lead off the assist from Jesse Jacques and Dylan Kolquist.

In the second, Jacques bookended the period with scores, netting a goal just under two minutes into the period and again at the 14:51 mark; putting Hermantown up 3-0. Tyler Watkins brought the Hawks lead to 4-0 early in the third period, and Greenway's Nikolai Rajala ended Hermantown's shutout three minutes later. Tyler Watkins went on to score again in the middle of the third period off an assist from Jesse Jacques and Dylan Samberg to give Hermantown the 5-1 win.

The Hawks advance to their 8th straight Class A State Hockey Tournament, looking to defend their title from last March. While they've made it all the way to the Class A championship game each of the last 7 years, last year was the first year the team was able to earn a victory.

Hermantown will await the completion of the remaining section tournaments around the state, after which the bracket for the state tournament will be announced. This year's tournament is next week, running March 8 - 11 at the Xcel Energy Center with consolation round games at Mariucci Arena.