Emotions spilled onto the ice after Hermantown's apparent game-winning goal in the second overtime of the Class 1A title game.
Monticello/Annandale/Maple Lake goalie Tyler Klatt lay on his stomach, dejected. A jubilant mob of Hermantown players gathered at the other end of Xcel Energy Center. Moments later both parties were brought back for more high-pressure hockey after officials looked at replay and determined that Hawks forward Ryan Sandelin interfered with Klatt in the crease on Tyler Watkins' shot.
No goal at 11:44 of the overtime meant both groups of players had to regroup.
"I was mad at myself, I'll tell you that," Sandelin said. "I wasn't forgiving myself if we didn't win this game."
As for Klatt, Moose teammate Nick Zwack said, "After having thought we had just lost, for him to bounce back and keep playing the way he had been playing, it was pretty incredible."
Hermantown coach Bruce Plante had been here before even if the experience didn't immediately register.
In 2010, Hermantown edged Mahtomedi 7-6 in overtime of the semifinals. Mahtomedi appeared to score at the end of regulation, but video replay showed the puck was just short of the goal line as the clock expired. Zephyrs players piled up in celebration after the referee signaled goal, only to learn it did not count.
"I said I had never seen that before, but one of our coaches reminded me that same exact thing happened to [Mahtomedi]," Plante said.
Well, not exactly. In 2010, premature celebration by the Zephyrs was followed by defeat. On Saturday, Hermantown handled the emotional jolt, then rallied to win the game.
"It was one of those deals that put a little bit of wind back in our sail, but obviously we weren't able to finish it off," Moose coach Eric Nelson said. "[Hermantown] just came back with that little extra push and it ended it their favor."