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Hermantown outguns Mahtomedi 7-6 in overtime

By Legacy Hockey staff, 03/08/24, 4:15PM CST


State Class 1A semifinal: River Freeman scores the winner to push Hawks into state title game

Hermantown’s AJ Francisco tucks the puck around the outstretched pad of Mahtomedi's Charlie Brandt for his hat trick. The Hawks defeated the Zephyrs 7-6 in overtime to advance to the Class 1A state title game. Jeff Lawler,

Quick Recap

River Freeman scored with 48.5 seconds left in overtime as No. 1 seed Hermantown beat No. 4 seed Mahtomedi 7-6 in a state Class 1A semifinal at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

No. 5-1A Mahtomedi (18-12-0) rallied from a four-goal first period deficit against No. 1-1A Hermantown (20-8-2) to force overtime.

Sam Harris and Max Strecker each scored in the final two minutes as Mahtomedi forced the extra session. Strecker's goal came with 50.2 seconds remaining. Both of the Zephyrs' final goals came with their goaltender pulled in favor of an extra skater. 

Sophomore forward A.J. Francisco put Hermantown ahead 6-4 with 11:19 remaining with his third goal of the game.

Key Moment

All of the game’s many momentum swings boiled down to one final play, wunderkind A.J. Francisco drawing a defender and goalie Charlie Brandt to him, then alertly dishing to River Freeman for the winning one-timer.

By The Numbers

3 - Hermantown only recorded three shots in the third period as Mahtomedi was applying offensive pressure (16 shots/3 goals).

6 - A.J. Francisco has scored six of his 12 goals in the Hawks' last five games. In addition, he won 19 of 36 face-offs and assisted on the game-winning goal.

7 - River Freeman has scored seven of his 22 goals in the sectional and state tournaments. Two of those goals have been game winners.

They Said It

 It’s a crazy cliche, but we come in down four-rip after the first period and said, ‘We’ve got them right where we want them.’ 

— Tongue-in-cheek Mahtomedi coach Jeff Poeschl on his team's 4-0 early deficit against Hermantown

Hermantown’s River Freeman battles Mahtomedi’s William Brummel in the corner during Friday Class 1A semifinal. Freeman had two goals, including the overtime game winner, and added two assists. Photo by Jeff Lawler,

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