Dodge County went from being an underdog in their debut at the state high school hockey tournament against top-seed Hermantown to the favorites when the Hawks were forced to field a mainly junior varsity lineup due to a COVID exposure in their section championship game.

The state's leading scorer junior Brody Lamb put on a show, scoring six goals in the Wildcats 7-3 win. The record for a single game is seven by John Mayasich of Eveleth in 1951. Hermantown had a few varsity players for the game, most notably Zam Plante. The sophomore missed the section title game with an injury. He was on the ice for more than 34 minutes on Tuesday. He played despite still recovering for a separated shoulder and with a broken thumb.

The Hawks outshot the Wildcats. Lamb told the Star Tribune, "They still had some skills. Plante obviously played really well. That was an awesome effort by him."

Dodge County will play Little Falls Friday at 1 pm. The Wildcats beat the Flyers 3-2 on March 5. Little Falls edged Delano 2-1 Tuesday night. Gentry Academy made its tournament debut as well, winning 8-0 over Northern Lakes. East Grand Forks topped Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato 8-1.

COVID is impacting the Class AA tournament also. Defending champ Hill Murray was forced to withdraw Tuesday. That will allow Wayzata to advance to the semifinals. Other quarterfinal games on Wednesday include Lakeville South versus Moorhead at 1 pm, Eden Prairie against St. Thomas Academy at 6 pm, and Maple Grove versus Andover at 8 pm.

The girls semifinals are Thursday, followed by the boys semifinals on Friday. All four championship games are Saturday at Xcel Energy Center.

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