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State tournament notes: Altavilla makes an impression on rink, too

03/07/2015, 10:53pm CST
By DAVID La VAQUE and LOREN NELSON, Star Tribune

Angelo Altavilla’s future is in baseball, but his legacy at Lakeville North senior will forever be most associated with hockey.

 

 

Angelo Altavilla’s future is in baseball, but his legacy at Lakeville North senior will forever be most associated with hockey.

Altavilla, a senior who has committed to play baseball at Nebraska, scored 4 minutes, 11 seconds into the third period of the Panthers’ historic state championship victory over Duluth East on Saturday night at Xcel Energy Center.

The victory completed a perfect 31-0 season, the first time a big-school team has gone unbeaten since Bloomington Jefferson in 1993. The state championship is the first in the program’s history.

Altavilla scored after racing in from the blue line and firing a cross-ice feed from Nick Poehling into the net. Altavilla’s goal, his fifth of the season, put the Panthers ahead 3-0.

Altavilla also had three shots on goal and finished a plus-2. His father, Bob, is a Lakeville North assistant coach who was an assistant on the Apple Valley staff that guided the Eagles to the 1996 championship.

Altavilla also made headlines last spring when he set a state single-game record with 12 RBI.

Out of the shadows

Overshadowed all season by East Grand Forks’ top-line trio of Dixon Bowen, Tanner Tweten and Grant Loven, Green Wave senior Austin Monda unexpectedly inserted himself in the spotlight with two goals in Saturday’s 5-4 victory over Hermantown in Class 1A.

In a crafty display of nimble hands and quick feet, Monda chipped the puck over Hermantown Tanner Kimball’s stick in neutral ice then rocketed around the defenseman for a breakaway. Monda froze Hermantown goaltender Luke Olson with a deke, then buried the puck with a backhander. The goal put the Green Wave ahead 4-2 early in the third period.

“It’s an honor to be playing with these guys,” said Monda, who had nine goals entering the tournament.

“We grew up together, and it’s just unbelievable to be able to come back and do it again.”

Etc.

• An all-time tournament attendance record was set. An announced 135,618 fans watched games from Wednesday to Saturday, nearly 6,000 more than the previous record of 129,643 set in 2008.

• In third-place games, Edina scored the first four goals en route to a 4-2 victory against Lake Conference rival Eden Prairie in Class 2A.

Sam Krawczyk broke open a tie game with a late goal in Mahtomedi’s 4-3 victory over St. Cloud Apollo in Class 1A.

Championship Saturday recap

DAY 4 RECAP

 

THE QUOTE

“We really did do something special. It hasn’t happened in a long time.”

— Jack Poehling, Lakeville North ,senior after the Panthers won the state Class 2A championship to cap an unbeaten season.

 

Three to remember

Three of our favorite moments from the tournament:

1. A diving goal by New Ulm’s Jon Kopacek earned him top honors on ESPN’s top 10 plays for Wednesday.

2. Lakeville North coach Trent Eigner jumping into the arms of assistant Jake Enebak with 5.1 seconds left after Nick Poehling’s empty-netter to clinch the Panthers’ championship.

3. Undo your man bun and unleash your flowing locks at the right moment, as North’s Luke Seper did in Thursday’s player introductions, and best tournament hair honors are pretty much yours.

 

ATTENDANCE

The announced crowd of 19,495 was a Saturday evening session record. The Class 1A afternoon session was 9,357 fans, the largest crowd in more than 20 years.

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