Beyond the Blueline: Tradition Doesn't Graduate as Hawks Still Soar

Updated: February 13, 2018 10:56 PM

From old Hawks to current Hawks, playing for Hermantown hockey is special.

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"Just playing with a hawk on your sweater is something special and something a lot of people don't get to do," said senior center Tyler Watkins.

It also means being a part of a winning tradition.

"Every year we just try to live up to that same tradition," added senior winger Jacob Herter.

Heading into their final game of the regular season, the Hawks record isn't as flashy as their last where Hermantown ended the year on a 30-game unbeaten streak. However, around Christmas time is when things started to click for this year's team.

"I think they got over the fear of losing and they were just playing to win," said first-year head coach Patrick Andrews.

They knew graduating 10 seniors there would be growing pains.

"Every loss is a learning experience," said Herter. "We look at every goal scored against us and how we can get better every night, so for the next game we don't make the same mistakes twice."

Sitting 16-6-2 they've learned how to deal with losses this season, but they continue to remain the Class A perennial powerhouse even with the addition of a new head coach.

My goal and our hopes is that our schedule along the way has got these guys ready for playoffs. We took a few losses along the way, so hopefully at March we're ready to go," said Andrews.

Andrews and his staff are all Hawks through and through having all graduated from the program. They've all been around this formula that seems to be working well for the Hawks - developing their players and positioning them as the team to beat.

"We have guys that have never played in playoffs. If they have played, they've been in minimal roles- fourth line third line and now they're the stars. So there's going to be weight," said Andrews as Hermantown gears up for the playoffs.

"We get every team's best game and we know that going into every single game. The other team - we're on the top of their list of who to beat on the year," said Herter.

Hermantown expects to remain the team to beat as they head into the section playoffs eyeing their ninth consecutive section title. To add to that, their main goal on the season has been to repeat as the Class A state champion for their third consecutive year.

"There's confidence there, but again, there can't be too much confidence. If you overlook anybody, anyone can lose on any given night," said Watkins.


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