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Session 2 Recap: Rochester Lourdes/Hermantown and New Ulm/Thief River Falls

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Game 3
Rochester Lourdes Eagles 2 - 7 Hermantown Hawks

The Hawks came out ready to play against the champions of Section 1A, as a quick tip from a point shot found the back of the net just 33 seconds into the game. Hermantown looked like they were going to roll through the Eagles when Jared Thomas redirected another goal past Neumann to put Hermantown up 2-0, but a bad angle shot that got past Mensinger made it a one-goal game with plenty of time in the 1st period. The Hawks would regain their two-goal lead on a set play off the faceoff that had Neumann scrambling. It looked like Hermantown would take a 3-1 lead into the locker room, but the Eagles scored a goal right off the draw with 2 seconds left in the frame.

The Eagles had to be happy with the results of the 1st period, but they didn't replicate those results in the 2nd. Hermantown came out with a purpose and took control early in the period. A pair of quick goals got the Hawks up 5-2. From there, Hermantown flat-out dominated the frame, adding another goal off of a terrible in-zone turnover that resulted in a 3-on-0. A powerplay for Lourdes gave them their first real chance to get back in the game, but resulted in too few good looks. The Hawks just had to keep their game going to cruise into the 2nd intermission with a 6-2 lead.

The Lourdes needed a quick response to start the 3rd and almost got what they were looking for when the top line of Samuelson, Farrell, and Funk created a great chance that was broken up at the last minute. That's about as good as it got for Rochester, though, as the Hawks got back to dominating play and puck possession. The Lourdes didn't do themselves any favors by taking a 5-minute major, which allowed Hermantown to add another goal. The lead grew to 5 goals as Hermantown took command by a score of 7-2. With the major penalty eating up much of the remaining time in regulation, the Hawks put it in cruise control. The Rochester Lourdes, after a promising 1st period, fell to Hermantown.

Game 4

New Ulm Eagles 1 - 5 Thief River Falls Prowlers

After seeing three blowouts in the first three games, fans and spectators alike were looking for a little bit of a closer game to be played. The opening minutes were broken up by whistles, with no team being able to get a good flow going. After Jon Narverud got a couple whistles, the Eagles opened the scoring on a quick shot off a faceoff. The Prowlers would respond when Isak Bergland's shot was caught by Brach Kraus, but his glove was inside the net when he caught it. The Prowlers got back to work, creating an odd-man rush that lead to their second goal. A late-period penalyt put New Ulm on the man advantage, but the Eagles were unable to capitalize.

The Prowlers got the 2nd period underway quickly with strong net drive that let to a rebound goal for Tanner Nessen. Thief River Falls gave New Ulm a quick way back in when Evan Ose took an interference penalty. The Prowlers got the kill and immediatly went on an odd-man rush once the penalty expired, but Kraus showed great patience in waiting the shooter out. The Prowlers started to dictate the flow of the game, getting New Ulm caught a little flat-footed. A stretch pass led to the fourth Thief River Falls goal, breaking the game open. A late goal for Thief River Falls that came off a nice individual effort widened the gap to 5-1. Thief went into the locker room with a firm hold on this game.

The Prowlers seemed to have the game in hand, but they gave New Ulm a great opportunity to claw back into the action. The Eagles had over 1:40 of 5-on-3 powerplay time, but couldn't seem to get set up well in the offensive zone. The one good chance they had was stopped by Narverud on the doorstep. Once the Prowlers got clear of the two penalties, they continued to trap New Ulm in their own zone. A New Ulm penalty helped Thief River kill off more of the clock, as the Prowlers will move on and face Hermantown in the Class A Semifinals.