Solving the riddle of St. Cloud Cathedral goalie Nick Hanson proved to be a near-impossible task for Hermantown just one day after the Hawks put up 7 goals on Mahtomedi in the MSHSL Boys Hockey semifinal.

Cathedral senior Andrew Dwinnel scored the lone goal early in the first period of play, then both teams' defenses and goalies settled in for the remainder of the first and all of the second period.

While both offenses applied pretty even pressure through the first period, Hermantown dominated the Cathedral zone through the second and third periods of play, with the Hawks outshooting St. Cloud Cathedral by roughly a 2-1 margin, taking 52 shots compared to Cathedral's 23 in the final two periods.

As the Hawks applied offensive pressure into the second period, their best scoring chance came on a power play as a loose puck found its way to defenseman Will Esterbrooks with a wide-open net, but Hanson once again stonewalled Hermantown, shifting to make a clutch stick save.

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Despite outshooting Cathedral by a significant margin, the Crusaders were efficient with their opportunities in the third period. Andrew Dwinnel scored his second goal of the game to bring the Crusaders lead to 2-0 midway through the third period, and Joey Gillespie tacked on a third St. Cloud Cathedral goal at the 12:18 mark in the final frame of regulation.

Hermantown managed to break the shutout as AJ Francisco scored the Hawks lone Championship Saturday goal at the 15:46 mark in the third period after the Hawks pulled their goalie to get an extra attacker.

Francisco's goal would be the final of the game, giving St. Cloud Cathedral the 3-1 victory and the title of 2024 Class A Boys Hockey Champion as Hermantown claimed another second-place trophy.

Hermantown Hawks Fall to St. Cloud Cathedral In 2024 State Boys Hockey Championship

St. Cloud Cathedral defeats Hermantown 3-1 in the 2024 State Boys Hockey Class A Championship.

Gallery Credit: Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

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