State Week for Hawks and Hounds

Eyewitness Sports
Updated: March 04, 2018 11:31 PM

Two Northland teams will be representing the North at the Minnesota State Boys Hockey Tournament.

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For Hermantown, this marks the ninth straight season the Hawks will appear at the state tournament. They're also aiming for a three-peat at the state title.

The Hawks come in as the favorite and top seed in Class A. Up first, Hermantown will face Monticello which happens to be a rematch of last season's Class A championship game that took two overtimes. Most of the team has been to the X, but some have not. It also marks the first year that the Hawks are led by head coach Patrick Andrews.

"You don't understand, I've dreamed of this since I was in squirts," said junior goaltender Cole Manahan. "I've had dreams of this forever, so this is literally my dream come true," he added.

"It's very rewarding," said Andrews. "I've been around the program my whole life. I've been coaching in the youth level and the high school level for the past 15 years, so to be able to take this team to state is pretty special."

In Class AA, Duluth East will be making their first trip back to state tournament since 2015, but will make their 23rd trip overall. 

After back-to-back seasons of falling in the Section 7AA final, the Hounds are finally on the winning side. On Thursday, Duluth East defeated Andover 3-2 in overtime to advance to state.

"We've got a lot of guys crying in there just because of the relief," said junior Ryder Donovan following the win. "I mean all year we had a target on us and we never took our foot off the pedal. We had a couple of tough losses, but we never stopped believing."

"I've had to walk into two lockers rooms, two years prior to this that were really difficult. You know, we're down two nothing, but they believed in themselves, came out as a team-- I couldn't be prouder of a group of kids," said head coach Mike Randolph.

Hermantown will face Monticello Wednesday at 6:00 P.M, while Duluth East will face St. Michael-Albertville on Thursday at 1:00 P.M. All games will take place at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

All of the championship bracket games from Class A and AA will be televised in the Northland on WDIO/WIRT.

To see the Class A Bracket, click here.

To see the Class AA Bracket, click here.



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