The first goal of his three goals came on a soft, arching flip shot from the slot. A knuckle-puck that fluttered into the back of the net.

"It was kind of a lucky goal, but we'll take it," Hermantown sophomore Blake Biondi said, grinning after leading the top-seeded Hawks past unseeded Monticello 4-2 on Wednesday in the state Class 1A tournament quarterfinals at the Xcel Energy Center.

With his nerves sufficiently calmed, Biondi ramped up the beauty factor for his next two goals, ripping a rising shot into an opening the size of a hubcap for goal No. 2.

He deflecting a blast from the point under the crossbar for goal No 3.

The last of Biondi's goals, his 30th of the season, came with 2:31 left and gave No. 1-ranked Hermantown (21-6-2) its final two-goal cushion in a game that was eerily reminiscent of last year's meeting between the two teams in the championship game.

The Hawks won that one 4-3 in double overtime for their second consecutive state title.

"They sure make us earn it, I'll tell you that," first-year Hermantown coach Pat Andrews said.

The Hawks, making their ninth state tournament appearance in a row, raced to a 3-0 lead only to see sophomore forward Matt Miller score twice for Monticello (19-8-2) in a span of 1:28 in the second period to make it 3-2.

"We got in their head when we put a couple away on them," Miller said. "We knew we had a chance."