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Hawks Hunt for Rink Improvements to Grow Program

Alicia Tipcke
Updated: February 05, 2020 07:49 PM

In the last ten years the Hermantown boys hockey team has skated in nine state tournaments, winning two of their three championships during that stretch. For many, like seniors Blake Biondi and Drew Sams, the tradition of Hawks hockey started outside.

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"That's where all of us developed our skills and stuff, outside, so that'd be really cool if we could get another one. It'd only help the program," said Hermantown senior defenseman Drew Sams.

Hermantown currently has four outdoor rinks and one indoor sheet, but rink rats may see expansions. The city is one of eight finalists for a donated outside ice rink from the Minnesota Wild.

"Four outdoor rinks is everything we have for our program and that's the outdoor ice and another one would be great of the little kids and the kids coming up in our program," said senior Hermantown forward Blake Biondi.

However head coach Patrick Andrews noted that expanding outdoor spaces won't solve all of their problems

"As great as outdoor ice is, it's great for our culture and our community, when it comes time for high competitive practices you need indoor ice. We have over 400 kids in youth hockey boys and girls on one sheet of ice," said Hermantown boys hockey Head Coach Patrick Andrews.

The Hermantown City Council passed a resolution that may offer a solution. A sales tax increase will be perused at the State level that, according to the Duluth News Tribune would, in part, help fund a second rink inside the Hermantown Hockey Arena.

"We're currently out spending tens of thousands of dollars a year on rinks all over the city. Renting ice from Carlton to the DECC to AMSOIL. It's not an effective way to run a quality program. We've been doing it, but I think we deserve it," added Andrews.

The second ranked Hawks have found a way to make it all work. Currently sitting at 16-1-4 with four games remaining in the regular season, playoffs are on the mind.

"We're hoping to, you know, keep everything rolling. We've got tough a schedule here at the end of the year so we just want to keep playing those tough games in that competitive environment" said Sams.

All Biondi hopes for is to, "win a State championship, right now only thing on my mind."

Credits

Alicia Tipcke

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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