The Rogers Royals gave longtime nemesis Hermantown a stern challenge on Saturday before the Hawks prevailed 3-1, including an empty-netter, in Rogers on Saturday afternoon.
Hermantown, state Class A runner-up the last four years, is 8-0 against Rogers in the last five seasons, including 4-0 in sectional play.
The game Saturday was only the second one of those eight that was close; Hermantown won 2-1 in Rogers two years ago.
Jason Roberge put the Royals (6-2-1) on the board first, at 3:37 of the second period, assisted by Jacob Walker.
Hermantown (6-1), which outshot the Royals 35-21, pulled even on Nate Plonk’s goal at 8:46 of the second, and took the lad on Tanner Kimball’s goal at 6:28 of the third.
Rogers’ Spencer Marchand almost tied the score on a breakaway with about six minutes left. His shot hit the post.
Plonk got the empty-netter with 46 seconds remaining.
Rogers goalie Jackson Nelson stopped 32 of 35 shots. Jace Thompson foiled 18 of 19 for the Hawks.
Rogers will meet Orono on Thursday in the Schwan Cup tournament in Blaine.