Two goals by Jared Thomas within 50 seconds in the third period lifted the Hermantown Hawks to a 2-1 win over the Rogers Royals on Saturday.
In a rematch of last year’s Section 5A finals teams, the Royals were outshot 41-16 in the game, yet led 1-0 until 7:40 remained.
Their goal came from Zach Hnath in the last second of the second period on a power play. Andrew Smith and Neal Smith assisted.
Hermantown blistered the Royals in the third period with a 26-3 shots advantage. The Royals and goalie Robby Vukelich survived two power plays before Thomas drilled two past him, at 9:20 and 10:30.
The Royals appear to have closed the gap a bit on the Hawks, who beat them 5-0 in the section finals last March 4 on the way to a second-place finish at state. Hermantown is 5-0 and ranked No. 3 in Class A.
The Royals (2-3) will host Princeton on Tuesday.