Hermantown Skates Past Unbeaten Luverne 6-3 in Class A Quarterfinal
The Hermantown Hawks opened the 2014 Class A Minnesota State Boys Hockey Tournament against the Luverne Cardinals, a team that had not lost a game this season. Along with an unbeaten record, the Cardinals' 2014 tournament berth is the team's first trip to State.
Hermantown opened the game with a score only 27 seconds into the match. Junior Nate Pionk struck, assisted by Ryan Kero. Gunnar Olson scored the equalizer for Luverne midway through the period on a power play, but Tanner Kimball regained the lead for Hermantown late in the first period, giving the Hawks the 2-1 advantage going into the first intermssion.
Cole Koepke scored another Hermantown goal just short of four minutes into the middle period, but Luverne's Gunnar Olson would take advantage of another power play to cut the Hawks lead to 3-2. Hermantown senior Luke Jacques found the net just short of the 13 minute mark to wrap up scoring for the second period with the Hawks holding the 4-2 lead.
Kyle Amundson found the net for the Hawks only 42 seconds into the final period, which would give Hermantown the 5-2 lead that they would hold on to for 11 minutes. Luverne's Andrew Verhey scored at the 11:54 mark, cutting the Hermantown lead once again. The Cardinals pulled their goalie to get another skater on the ice late in the period, but Nate Pionk had other plans. Pionk scored an empty-net goal to close out the game with a final of 6-3.
The Hawks advance to the semifinals to play against New Prague, who won 5-2 against Chisago Lakes in the second game of the day. New Prague and Hermantown will meet on Friday afternoon at 1 pm.