Northland Sports Online

Hawks Move into State Finals




Hermantown built a three-goal lead to start the semifinal Friday against St. Cloud Cathedral. Whether the Hawks could finish became the critical question.

They had been here before, blowing big leads in an eventual tie with the Crusaders in January. Hawks coach Patrick Andrews dismissed the stalemate as “ancient history” and his players proved him correct.

A 6-2 takedown of the defending Class 1A state champion Crusaders brought Hermantown a minor upset in front of an announced record crowd of 12,836 fans.

Passionate hockey from both strong teams showed in the thundering checks that left strewn bodies on the ice. But Hermantown’s offensive prowess made the difference

Mr. Hockey Award finalist Blake Biondi, the focus of the Crusaders’ game plan, broke loose to make it 2-0 on his 47th goal of the season.

The extra attention on Biondi, combined with the Hawks’ desire to knock out Cathedral, led to trash talking. At the end of the first period players from both teams pushed, shoved and tackled opponents to the ice, resulting in seven players drawing penalties.

No. 3 seed Hermantown (23-3-4) kept its edge in the second period, outshooting No. 2 seed St. Cloud Cathedral (24-4-1).

Senior forward Cayden Sunde padded the Hawks’ lead with his sixth goal of the season. The last player chosen for the varsity roster this season, Sunde earned his team’s player of the game honors. He replaced an injured Aydyn Dowd on the second line and blocked several shots.

Senior Nate Warner got Cathedral’s first goal and sparked the team.

Cathedral scored next. But trailing 3-2 was as close as the defending champions got to repeating history.






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