Hahn's heroics do it for Warriors
Jeremy Hahn says he doesn't have the hands or the great vision on the ice to dangle his way through a maze of players to score a goal. "They keep telling me, 'shoot the puck, shoot the puck,'" Hahn said. He did just that in dramatic fashion Frida...
Jeremy Hahn says he doesn't have the hands or the great vision on the ice to dangle his way through a maze of players to score a goal.
"They keep telling me, 'shoot the puck, shoot the puck,'" Hahn said.
He did just that in dramatic fashion Friday night in the Minnesota Section 8A boys hockey championship game in the East Grand Forks Civic Center.
Hahn scored both of Warroad's goal, including the game-winner on a power play with 35 seconds left in the third period, to give the Warriors a 2-1 victory over defending champion Thief River Falls and a berth in next week's Minnesota state tournament.
Stationed at the top of the right faceoff circle, Hahn one-timed a perfect feed from the left point by Tai Larson past Prowler goalie Cole Hunt (18 saves) for his 19th goal of the season. His goal also sent Warroad back to the state tournament for the fourth time in the last five seasons.
With linemates Aaron Marvin and Bryce Ravndalen drawing the defensive attention on the other side, Hahn ended the tense battle on just Warroad's third shot of the final period.
"They were trying to keep me open in practice this week," Hahn said, "and I guess it just worked."
Still, it was not a play Warroad has worked on much. "No, not really," Hahn said.
His goal came just seven seconds after Hunt was whistled for a tripping penalty, just the eighth penalty called in the game.
Hahn had given Warroad a 1-0 lead at 2:12 of the second period. Cutting across the high slot from right to left, he fired back across his body and caught Hunt sliding to his right as the ice-hugging puck found room into the left side of the net.
Hahn's two biggest goals of the year? "Oh, yeah," he said. "The feeling is amazing compared to last year. I never wanted to feel that again."
A year ago, the Prowlers beat Warroad 3-2 in four overtimes in the championship game.
Warroad, which gave up just one goal in three games in the tournament, saw its 1-0 lead evaporate at 10:04 of the second period. Corey Horien beat Warroad goalie Jake Vatnsdal (20 saves) with a quick wrist shot from the right faceoff circle on a power play after a perfect pass from Cody Bottem.
Vatnsdal, who transferred from Roseau High School to Warroad for a better chance to play in his senior season, validated his decision with strong goaltending and his first trip to a state tournament.
"It's like a dream come true," Vatnsdal said. "I was just glad I found a place to go, and now we head to state. This is all I ever wanted, and now it's true."
Thief River Falls coach Scott Bergland was upset by the tripping penalty on his goaltender in the last minute of play.
"We had our chance to win it on a power play before that," Bergland said. "I'm certainly not blaming our loss on that. But you'd certainly like to see the kids decide the game on the ice."
Half of the game's eight penalties were called in the final period, two on each team. The eight penalties called in the game were split four apiece by the Prowlers and Warriors.
"I thought we played very smart hockey and probably had better scoring chances," Bergland said. "We just didn't put the puck in the net. On their last goal, he (Hahn) semi-whiffed on the thing. I think if it gets it all, Cole probably gets that one, too. It's a good play - give them credit, they're a talented team. But we were in better condition than they were. They were gassed, and we were starting to take the play to them."
But Warroad's late power play put the gas back in Warroad's tank.
Said Warroad co-coach Bruce Olson: "With the rule changes this year, you'd figure there would be a lot of power plays and penalty kills, so we worked basically every day on that. Lo and behold, here we got rewarded at the end of the year because of that."
Hahn certainly did. It was his eighth power-play goal this season. None came any bigger than his last one.
"We knew on the power play that with Ravndalen and (leading scorer) Marvin controlling the play on that one side, they (Thief River Falls) would get two forwards over there," Olson said. "That's going to leave that far guy (Hahn) wide open. If that defenseman (Larson) can see him, it's going to be there. Tonight he did."
Warroad will take a 19-8-1 record into the state tournament. Thief River Falls finishes at 13-13-2.