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Hermantown seeks perfection

03/06/2012, 10:52pm CST
By Star Tribune

About the Hawks: Hermantown, no stranger to success in St. Paul, is back and perhaps better than ever. The Hawks have appeared in each of the past two Class 1A state championship games, adding to an already packed trophy case. The Hawks won the small-school title in 2007 and earned the third-place trophy in 2006. That lone championship team, like this year's squad to date, never lost a game. "We knew going into the season we were going to be a decent team again," coach Bruce Plante said. "The guys set their goals pretty high, and so far they've been accomplishing them along the way." Hermantown has 11 players back from last season and has made a habit of flattening opponents. The Hawks have allowed only two goals in their past eight games and enter the tournament with a 168-35 goals advantage for the season. They are led by 24 goals off the stick of Jared Thomas and a defense that refuses to let up.

About the Eagles: Juniors Alex Funk and Jason Samuelson will lead the charge to try to break through the Hawks' lock-tight defense. Their combined 125 points this season is the kind of firepower Lourdes will need to make an appearance in the championship bracket one year after going two-and-out in the tournament. Funk recorded a natural hat trick in the Section 1 championship game against Northfield, scoring all three goals in fewer than six minutes of play in the second period to fuel a 4-1 victory. Second-line defensemen Justin Dewitz and Robby Campbell have 44 points combined from the blue line. Both were forwards on last year's state tournament team.

Did you know? No team has finished a season undefeated with no ties since Red Wing in 1997.

BRIAN STENSAAS

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