ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Dylan Samberg turned potential devastation into jubilation.
The senior scored with 19.4 seconds left in the second overtime and Hermantown won its second straight Class 1A boys’ hockey title, beating Monticello/Annandale/Maple Lake 4-3 Saturday.
Tyler Watkins scored twice and Jesse Jacques also had a goal for the Hawks (29-1-1), playing in the title game for the eighth straight time and ninth time in 11 years. Hermantown has won the tournament three times.
This is the fourth championship contest settled in a second overtime. There has been one triple-overtime title game: Eden Prairie beat Duluth East for the Class 2A crown in 2011.
Off a faceoff, Samberg’s shot from the blue line beat Tyler Klatt on the glove side.
“I looked up and there were a lot of bodies in front of me, and not a lot of time left so I just threw it on net,” Samberg said. “I didn’t see anything, all of sudden I heard a thud in the back of the net and everyone started celebrating.
“I was at the bottom of the pile then everyone kept jumping and it kept getting heavier, and I’m like, ‘I’m not sure I’m going to make it.’ Finally, right before I thought I was going to pass out, everyone starting getting off and that’s when all the emotions started to flow.”
It was the second player pile of the second overtime.
Watkins thought he scored the game-winning goal five minutes earlier but, as the Hawks were celebrating, it was overturned when video review showed Ryan Sandelin made contact with the goaltender.
“I wouldn’t have forgiven myself if we didn’t win this game,” Sandelin said.
Casey Chiodo, Ben Ward and Nick Zwack scored for the Moose (23-7-1), making their first state appearance. Klatt stopped 52 shots.
“Eight out of 10 times they might beat us, but the state tournament is a different animal,” said Moose coach Eric Nelson. “They’re going to look back with a lot of good memories.”
Outshot 15-1 in the first period, it took Monticello/Annandale/Maple Lake 52 seconds to match its total in the second with Chiodo’s goal. Ward scored on a breakaway 61 seconds later for a 2-0 lead before Watkins got the Hawks within one shortly thereafter.
Hermantown finished with a 56-23 shot advantage and 123-55 edge in shot attempts.
Zwack put the Moose back up by two 26 seconds into the third, but Jacques and Watkins scored just over two minutes apart midway through the period for the Hawks.
Hermantown entered the tournament as the top seed, but needed overtime to beat unseeded Luverne 3-2 in the quarterfinals and most of an extra period after rallying from a three-goal deficit to beat fifth-seeded St. Cloud Cathedral 6-5 in the semifinals.
“Doing it again is a lot tougher than I ever imagined,” said coach Bruce Plante. “It’s a lot of pressure on these kids.”
St. Cloud Cathedral beat Northfield 2-1 for third place and Delano beat East Grand Forks 6-3 for the consolation crown.
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