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2016 Boys HS Hockey Tournament Day 4: The Finals

It was Championship Saturday in St. Paul as the Class A and AA finals, among other games, took place. Would Hermantown FINALLY win the big one? Who wins the rubber match between Eden Prairie and Wayzata? Find out the results and the award winners in the final recap of this year's tournament.
Image courtesy of Giles Ferrell
Class A

Championship Game: Hermantown 5, Breck 0

For half the first period, Breck had really clamped down on the Hermantown offense, limiting them to just a pair of shots, and they weren't the highest of quality. The Hawks looked like it was going to be a struggle to get anything going offensively all day, as just gaining the offensive zone turned out to be troublesome.

However a couple of bad clearing attempts allowed Hermantown to keep the zone, and the Hawks made the Mustangs pay as senior Cole Koepke netted the game's first goal on a great pass play from his linemate Ryan Sandelin at the 9:47 mark of the first period.

That goal brought the Hawks to life.

Hermantown controlled the play from there on out to end the period, as they certainly showed they were the top seed in the tournament. Their play resulted in two more goals, as Jesse Jacques and James Lindberg both found twine to give the Hawks a commanding 3-0 lead heading into the intermission.

Breck did show some life in the second period, but they were not able to get any of the nine shots on goal in the period past Hermantown's goaltender, Luke Olson. Olson made some big saves in the first two periods to keep the Mustangs off the board and the momentum on Hermantown's side.

Logan Judnick scored at the 7:03 mark of the second, and from there on out the game was pretty well in hand for the Hawks. Ryan Sandelin added one more for good measure late in the third, and the Hawks cruised to their first Class A championship since 2007 and snapped a streak of six consecutive years of losing in the final as well.

After the game, Hermantown head coach Bruce Plante said, "[Winning a championship] is wonderful. Probably one of the greatest moments in my hockey life, to tell you the truth."

Players of the game: Ryan Sandelin (Hermantown) and Cole Koepke (Hermantown) each tallied three points for the Hawks today. Luke Olson (Hermantown) stopped all 23 shots, including some big ones early on, to get his fourth shutout of the season.

3rd place game: Thief River Falls 4, St. Paul Academy 1

Consolation game: St. Cloud Cathedral 4, Mankato West 2

Awards

Herb Brooks Award: Tyler Loe (Mankato West)
All-Tournament Team: Brendan Bushy (Thief RIver Falls), Ethan Johnson (Thief River Falls), Chase Ellingson (Breck), Justin Paulson (Breck), Linden Olness (Breck), William Blake (Breck), Cole Koepke (Hermantown), Eric Gotz (Hermantown), Jesse Jacques (Hermantown), Luke Olson (Hermantown), Ryan Sandelin (Hermantown), Wyatt Aamodt (Hermantown)

Class AA

Championship Game: Wayzata 5, Eden Prairie 3

It was a rubber match between the two teams, who were meeting for the third time this season. And as expected, the game did not disappoint.

Jack Carlson opened the scoring for Wayzata 4:41 into the first period, as he fired a slap shot back Eagles goaltender Shaun Durocher to put the Trojans out ahead. But the lead did not last long as Casey Middelstadt scored on the power play, his 12th point of the tournament, for Eden Prarie to even the score at one.

The Eagles appeared to be on their way to their third title in eight years as they scored twice before the halfway mark of the second period. Michael Graham and Jarod Blackowiak tallied the markers for the Eagles, who were in full control of the game at that point.

Most teams just roll over when they fall behind 3-1 to a team like Eden Prairie, but give credit to Wayzata. They did not.

Bily Duma scored a shorthanded goal and Matt Nelson added an even strength marker 86 seconds apart before the second period ended, to bring the score to a 3-3 tie. The game went to intermission tied, and set up a highly anticipated third period.

5:32 into the third period, Logan Lindstrand fired a shot from the blue line that made its way through traffic, and beat Durocher to give the Trojans the lead. It was a puck that absolutely had eyes, as it definitely should not have made it to the net, and the goaltender had to chance of stopping it.

Eden Prairie gave their best effort to even the score late in the period, but they could not get one past Schilling, and Colin Schmidt added an empty netter with 1.5 seconds left to seal the win, and the first high school hockey championship in Wayzata school history.

Players of the game: Logan Lindstrand (Wayzata) netted the championship winning goal in the third period, while Alex Schilling (Wayzata) made 30 saves to keep the Eagles offense relatively grounded in this game.

3rd place game: Grand Rapids 3, Stillwater 2

Consolation game: Bemidji 4, Farmington 1

Awards

Herb Brooks Award: Jackson Cates (Stillwater)
All-Tournament Team: Matt Fitzgerald (Bemidji), Nick Leitner (Bemidji), Alex Pollock (Bemidji), Alex Adams (Grand Rapids), Micah Miller (Grand Rapids), Jackson Cates (Stillwater), Casey Middelstadt (Eden Prairie), Michael Graham (Eden Prairie), Nicky Leivermann (Eden Prairiee), Alex Schilling (Wayzata), Grant Anderson (Wayzata), Hank Sorenson (Wayzata)

Attendance:

Attendance for today's afternoon session was 8497 (Class A). The evening's session drew 19,655 (Class AA).

Random Tidbits

-Bruce Plante doesn't think he is retiring quite yet.
-Barry Melrose was blown away by the tournament.
-A tournament first: Colin Schmidt's empty netter was scored with .8 seconds left as the Trojans were already piling on the goaltender celebrating the win. The officials added a half second to the clock, made the players clear the ice, and drop the puck to run out the clock. Certainly won't see that again.

Follow Giles on Twitter @gilesferrell
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