Preview: Section 5A Final Cathedral vs Hermantown [AUDIO]
The #2 seeded Crusaders head to Champlain tonight to take on #1 Hermantown in a section final matchup.Cathedral boasts a record of 18-7 heading into the section final, while the Hawks arrive in Champlain with a record of 20-4-1. The Crusaders topped Hermantown 5-4 on January 11th in the rivals' only meeting of the season.
Cathedral won their opening round matchup with Mora by a 17-1 margin. Junior forward Austin Poganski had 12 points in the game with five goals and seven assists despite playing under a minute in the third period. Will Hammer had three goals and three assists and Tommy Hall had a pair of goals and an assist in the win. Also of note, the Crusaders outshot the Mustangs 73-11 in the game.
Coach Eric Johnson called the game "a little uncomforable," but added it's important to stay sharp in those types of games for at least two periods.
Hermantown dispatched their first round opponent, Proctor, by a final score of 10-0. Eight different Hawks scored in the quarterfinal, with Scott Wasbotten and Travis Koepke each scoring a pair. Hermantown goaltenders Jace Thomas and Adam Smith combined for an 11 save shutout.
The Crusaders faced off with Granite Ridge Conference rival Princeton at the MAC in a semifinal game February 23rd with Cathedral coming out on top of a 7-2 decision. This was the third meeting in 12-13, as the teams split their home-and-home series this season.
In the playoff game with the Tigers, Poganski picked up right where he left off. The North Dakota recruit notched five more goals and added an assist to give him totals of ten goals and eight assists through two games. Hammer had another multi-point game as well with a goal and an assist.
Hermantown once again blew out an opponent in their semifinal matchup against Rogers, winning 9-0. Chris Benson and Nate Pionk each registered hat tricks in the win for the Hawks. Smith and Thomas again combined in net for the shutout.
Hear Coach Johnson's thoughts on the game below: