ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Mission completed as Hermantown edges Warroad for Class A title

For the second time this year, the Hawks edged the Warriors, this time for the school's fourth state hockey championship.

Warroad vs Hermantown_0644.jpg
Hermantown forward Dominic Thomas (21) celebrates his goal against Warroad during the first period Saturday, March 12, 2022, in the State Boys Hockey Tournament at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

ST. PAUL — After allowing an early goal, Hermantown’s defense bottled up the Warroad attackers and Zam Plante scored two second-period goals to give the Hawks a 3-2 win in the Minnesota Class A state championship game.

Defensemen Ty Hanson and Beau Janzig spent almost the entire third period on the ice and for the first time in the state tournament, kept Warroad’s Division I recruits Daimon Gardner and Jayson Shaugabay off the scoresheet.

Hermantown coach Pat Andrews had nothing but praise for his top defensemen, who also helped hold the Warriors to just one goal in the Hawks 2-1 win on Jan. 15.

“These two came off the rink like one time in the third period — they’re unbelievable studs,” Andrews said. “The work that these two kids did on their top line — two games in a row — it’s phenomenal.”

Warroad vs Hermantown_1535.jpg
Hermantown players skate the first place trophy over to the fans Saturday, March 12, 2022, in the State Boys Hockey Tournament at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

The first period was an up-and-down game, with Warroad’s Garrett Hennum scoring just over 6 minutes into the game to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead, much like the early goal Alexandria scored Friday in the semifinals.

ADVERTISEMENT

Less than 30 seconds later, the Hawks’ Dominic Thomas wrapped his stick around the back of the goal and slipped a shot past Warriors goalie Hampton Slukynsky to tie the game.

Shaugabay, a Minnesota Duluth recruit, tried to respond with his own wraparound goal late in the third period for Warroad, but Hermantown's Ty Hanson — another UMD commit — slid in front of the puck to keep the score tied.

“He’s a really good buddy of mine, I’ve played with him a lot and that’s his move,” Hanson said. “He just tries to wrap it, his stick is so long he can basically reach it around to the other side of the net. I saw it coming and I just went to the back post.”

Instead of exploding offensively after the goal, Hermantown’s attackers were held largely in check until Zam Plante scored on a backhand shot 55 seconds into the second period.

He’s a really good buddy of mine, I’ve played with him a lot and that’s his move. He just tries to wrap it, his stick is so long he can basically reach it around to the other side of the net. I saw it coming and I just went to the back post.
Hermantown defensemen Ty Hanson

Warroad answered quickly when a puck ricocheted off the skate of Griffin Marvin to tie the score, but throughout the second period, Hermantown attackers forced Slukynsky to make some impressive saves.

Plante took a pass from Kade Kohanski at the 3:02 mark of the second period and fired it into the back of the net for his second of the period and what proved to be the game-winner.

In the third period, Warroad coach Jay Hardwick split up Gardner and Shuagabay to try throw the Hermantown defenders off — something Andrews said was a “good move.”

“We thought maybe if we split them it would give us a different look,” Hardwick said. “We’ve done that at different times — sometimes you split them up and get them away from some people and have some success. We just couldn’t find that one in the third period.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Hardwick said Hanson and Janzig were the key to holding the Warriors' high-flying attack out of the net for the final 32 minutes of the game.

Warroad vs Hermantown_0982.jpg
Hermantown goaltender Dane Callaway (32) deflects a shot by Warroad forward Garrett Hennum (5) during the second period Saturday, March 12, 2022, in the State Boys Hockey Tournament at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

“They’re very good,” Hardwick said. “There’s a reason why Ty is committed to UMD. He’s in your face and he skates very well and Janzig — he’s a steady defenseman back there that makes it hard on people and he made it hard on our top line and our top guys today. I said I thought we needed to get more pucks on the net, but part of that is they made it hard on us to do that.”

Slukynsky made some terrific saves to keep the Hawks out of the net the rest of the game, but Plante’s second-period goals were all the Hawks needed for the win. He finished with 33 saves for Warroad.

MORE FROM MINNESOTA BOYS HOCKEY TOURNAMENT 2022
Three decades removed from his time with the Minnesota Gophers and still the program's all-time assists leader, Larry Olimb is taking on a new challenge as head coach of an Orono girls' team looking to improve on its third place finish at the 2022 state tourney.
The 18-year-old senior at Hill-Murray High School is the No. 100-ranked North American skater in the midterm rankings by NHL Central Scouting and is weighing NCAA Division I offers. But his next task is helping St. Cloud reach the second round of the NAHL playoffs, which begin Friday
Junior forward led the Class AA state champions with 29 goals, 74 points in 31 games.
In an annual tradition, the All Hockey Hair team announced after state tournament
Hermantown places five on Class A team, while Andover and Maple Grove each have four on Class AA team
Andover wins first boys hockey title with 6-5 win over Maple Grove
Mahtomedi used a flurry of three goals at the end of the first period to help secure a 4-2 win over the Cardinals in the third-place game at the Xcel Energy Center on Saturday.
Maple Grove, Andover make first title game appearances while Warroad, Hermantown look to add to championship legacies
The junior had three points in No. 5 Andover's 4-2 upset over top-seed Hill-Murray
Second-ranked Warroad is the only team that stands in the Hawks’ way of redemption after a disappointing end to the 2021 season.
Joshua Giuliani now has five goals in the tournament as the Crimson aim to hang school's first title banner
The Hawks allowed an early goal, but locked down defensively and allowed just six shots the rest of the game.

“I think he is the best goaltender in the state,” Hardwick said. “Earlier this year he made some huge saves and gave us a chance and that’s what he does. He’s a competitor — he competes every day and then he doesn’t have highs and lows, he’s just calm and does his job. I imagine (Mahtomedi’s Ben) Dardis to win the (Frank Brimsek Award) tomorrow and I expect Hammer to win it next year because that’s how good he is.”

The Brimsek Award goes to the state's top senior goaltender. Slukynsky is a junior.

Callaway made 19 saves, but needed to make just nine over the final two periods to preserve the win for Hermantown.

Not a ‘redemption’ story

After the disappointing end to Hermantown’s 2021 season, Andrews was happy to snag his first title as the Hawks’ head coach, but he didn’t like the way the word “redemption” has been thrown around.

Hermantown looked to be headed back to the state title game, but the entire varsity team except Zam Plante was ruled out of the state quarterfinal after a COVID-19 exposure during the Section 7A semifinal against Virginia/Mountain Iron-Buhl.

ADVERTISEMENT

Plante, who was sidelined with an injury during the section tournament, led the junior varsity squad in a valiant effort, but lost to Dodge County 7-3.

“I don’t like that word, I just think we were on a mission and it’s been, unfortunately, a 48-month mission instead of a 24-month mission,” Andrews said. “I’m just so proud of these guys, they put in an unbelievable amount of work and we’re unbelievably talented. But what no one sees is the amount of work these guys put in. I don’t know of anybody that skates as much as them.”

Warroad vs Hermantown_0082.jpg
Warroad forward Matthew Hard (9) and Hermantown forward Zam Plante (27) collide chasing the puck during the first period Saturday, March 12, 2022, in the State Boys Hockey Tournament at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

Warroad 1-1-0—2

Hermantown 1-2-0—3

First period — 1. W, Garrett Hennum (Carson Pilgrim), 10:45; 2. H, Dominic Thomas (Ty Hanson), 12:14.

Second period — 3. H, Zam Plante (Beau Janzig), 0:55; 4. W, Griffin Marvin (Pilgrim, Eric Comstock), 1:41; 5. H, Z. Plante (Kade Kohanski, Max Plante), 3:02.

Third period — No scoring.

Saves — Hampton Slukynsky, W, 33; Dane Callaway, H, 19.

PHOTO GALLERY (swipe/click to view)

Follow the Minnesota boys hockey postseason with state tournament information and brackets from every section.

Jamey Malcomb has a been high school sports reporter for the Duluth News Tribune since October 2021. He spent the previous six years covering news and sports for the Lake County News-Chronicle in Two Harbors and the Cloquet Pine Journal. He graduated from the George Washington University in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in history and literature and also holds a master's degree in secondary English education from George Mason University.
What to read next
Around 200 Minnesotans participated at the 2022 Boys High Performance 14's and 15's Development Camp.
In 2020-2021, Eastview went 5-14 and then completely changed things up to finish this past season at 17-11, only then falling in the 3AA championship game.