By PATRICK SLACK
Despite a 43-14 shot advantage, fourth-ranked and reigning state runner-up Hermantown had trouble putting away the host Little Falls boys hockey team, Saturday.
But after each team traded scores in the first two periods, Hermantown converted its second power-play with six minutes to play in the third, edging past the 11th-ranked Flyers 3-2.
Senior Ben Newman struck early in the first off of an assist from senior Spencer Fenske to put Little Falls ahead 1-0, with the Hawks tying the game five minutes later.
Neither team scored again until the final two minutes of the second, when Hermantown took a 2-1 lead on the power-play.
The Hawks’ lead proved to be very short-lived, though, as senior Matt Stumpf set up senior Austin Bjorge just 15 seconds later to even the score at 2-2 heading into the third, before Hermantown came away with the decisive goal.
Senior Michael Stumpf kept Little Falls in the game with a 40-save performance.
Hermantown 3, Little Falls 2
Hermantown 1 1 1 – 3
Little Falls 1 1 0 – 2
LF: Ben Newman (Spencer Fenske), 6:28.
HERM: Koepke, 11:28.
HERM: Benson, 15:02 (pp).
LF: Austin Bjorge (Matt Stumpf), 15:17.
HERM: Benson, 11:01 (pp).
Saves: HERM: 12. LF-Michael Stumpf: 40.