State Hockey: Defending Class A Champ Hermantown blanks Luverne in quarterfinal

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Hermantown extended its drive toward a successful state championship defense with a 6-0 victory over Luverne in the Class A quarterfinals of the Minnesota State High School League’s Boys Hockey State Tournament on Wednesday at the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul.

***Click the video box above to watch highlights from the 45-TV broadcast***

The No. 2-seeded Hawks used a three-goal outburst in a 71-second span in the first period to set the tone for Hermantown’s 14th consecutive victory. The victory sends Hermantown (26-2-1) into the Class A semifinals on Friday at 11 a.m. against the winner of Wednesday’s second quarterfinal between No. 3 Mahtomedi and Alexandria Area.

Hermantown wasted little time in seizing control.

Senior forward Aaron Evjen started the first period spree with a goal with 6 minutes, 28 seconds elapsed. Just 41 seconds later, sophomore forward River Freeman doubled the lead. Before arena public address announcer Dave Wright could share the goal-scoring information, the Hawks bumped the lead to 3-0 on a tally by junior forward Evan Gunderson.

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Hermantown dominated the territorial play in the first period by outshooting the Cardinals (21-7-1) by a 16-1 margin.

The Hawks were unable to build that lead in the second period but did so in the final period with three more goals to push the game into running with just less than two minutes remaining in regulation.

Senior forward Wyatt Carlson joined the scoring spree with a goal early in the third period. Junior forward Dallas Vieau and senior defenseman George Peterson followed with two quick-strikes late in the period.

The Hawks outshot the Cardinals 49-13, including a 25-4 advantage in the third period.

Junior goalie Dane Callaway made nine saves in recording the shutout for the Hawks. It was the sixth shutout of the season for Hermantown.