Let the celebration begin on the banks of the Red River! A five goal second period helped the East Grand Forks Green Wave beat the Hermantown Hawks 7-3 in the Class A championship game Saturday afternoon at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
It was the first state title for the North Dakota border school in nine trips to state and their highest finish since 1999 when they lost to Benilde-St. Margaret's in the Class A championship. Hermantown finished second for the fifth straight year.
It looked like the Hawks would be on their way to their Class A championship Scott Wasbotten's initial shot was saved and he got his own rebound on the left side of the net and scored on a wraparound.
Hermantown's glory was short-lived in the second period as the Green Wave broke open the game with four goals. Dixon Bowen drove down the ice like the team bus heading down I-94, went through the center slot, found an opening on the left of Hermantown goalie Adam Smith and scored, Taylor Brierley found Eddie Eades on the right point and his shot went between the two face off circles and into the net. Next for EGF came a power play goal from Jace Pesch. Grant Loven and Reed added two more goals and put the Green Wave up by four.
As the third period began, Hawk head coach Bruce Plante pulled Smith and replaced him with Jace Thomas. Like the Sheryl Crow song "A Change Will Do You Good", it did Hermantown some good as they cut the EGF margin to three when Nate Pionk found Parker Hawks in the left slot and he fired it into the goal. Thomas made an outstanding save on Pesch's center point shot. But he wouldn't prevent the puck from entering the net after Dixon Bowen found Cale Mack and he went through the center slot and put the puck past the Hawks reserve goalie. Tanner Tweten rebounded Corbid's shot to put the Green Wave ahead by five. Hermantown made Twin Ports hockey fans happy when Jared Zeleznikar's shot deflected off of EGF goalie Josh Weber and advanced over the goal line.
The Hawks out shot the Green Wave 29-25.
In the third place game, Austin Killian scored two goals to lead the New Prague Trojans to a 5-2 win over the St. Cloud Cathedral Crusaders. The consolation game at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis was highlighted by Joey Bray's goal with 4:04 left in the third overtime to lead the Totino-Grace Eagles to a 4-3 win over the Luverne Cardinals.
Luverne's Logan Norman was the recipient of the Class A Herb Brooks Award, which goes to a player that embodies the characteristics of the late coach.
Attendance for the Class A championship session was 6,859.