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From Fathers to Sons, Red & Black Runs Through Generations of Greyhounds

Updated: February 19, 2019 11:04 PM

Watching Duluth East skate to a state runner up finish last season is all too familiar for four former Greyhounds.

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"Derek, Jeremy and myself, at the end of our senior season through the playoffs, ended up playing as a line together. Rusty played defense," said former Duluth East forward Craig Fellman.

Fellman, Jeremy Jeannette, Rusty FitzGerald, and Derek Locker achieved that honor back in 1991.

"As a young kid growing up you watch that state tournament on TV. I wish the kids today could experience the clear boards because that was just something," said FitzGerald. "You'd watch the puck go around the boards and then all of sudden you'd seen someone with orange shoes on."

However, the former players would argue that the lasting memory embedded into their minds is their overtime section championship victory against Cloquet.

"Coming out onto the rink into the DECC, there were five people deep on the boards," described Jeannette. "There were people sitting in the stands and we were playing Cloquet, so half of the place was white and half the place was black and red. The energy in that place was incredible."

"To this day I remember the section final against Cloquet. Rusty FitzGerald scored the winner. I can visualize it right now, so that's the impact it's had on the program," added Duluth East head coach Mike Randolph.

They were the first Duluth East team to make the state tournament since 1975. Even 28 years later, Randolph still brings up the 91 team.

"They played a real physical brand of hockey and played together and it's a special group I'll never forget," he added.

For four current Greyhounds, including Jack Fellman, Jacob Jeannette, Jack FitzGerald and Josh Locker, these are stories they've all heard before; because they are all sons to the living legends of the '91 team.

"He just shows me the Richfield game. Where he scored and the flying green stick. It's in our garage to this day," said junior forward Jack Fellman about his dad.

"I know they were kind of a grittier team, because my dad was like - he was kind of a grinder. He just went into the corners and got stuff done. Always laid the body, finished the checks," added sophomore forward Jacob Jeannette.

As the younger Greyhound generation, they know they have big skates to fill, but they have a coach who's guided 17 Duluth East teams to the state tournament.

"I think it just shows how smart he is. He knows what he's doing, he's been around this long and can keep winning," said senior forward Jack FitzGerald.

Built on a winning tradition like that, they know they're part of a recipe for success.

"I've watched my son want to be there and want to go to the section championship games. Say, 'I want to be there dad. How can I get there?' He puts time in the rink and works hard at it, so I think the culture is such a big deal with this program," said former Duluth East player Derek Locker.

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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