Sophomore Adam Johnson brought Hibbing/Chisholm from sure defeat to the brink of victory with a natural hat trick spanning the second and third period Friday against Hermantown.

But No. 2-seeded Hermantown, after watching Johnson erase a 4-1 lead, responded with an Andrew Mattson tally with 6:10 to play and added an empty-netter in the final minute to earn a spot in Saturday’s state championship game.

The two Northern rivals tied 2-2 in the final regular-season game of the season, and Friday’s tiebreaker lived up to expectations.

-- Michael Rand, Star Tribune