Eveleth on top again
With Pete Samargia stopping 61 of 64 shots, Eveleth-Gilbert won its first true state championship (we won’t count the Tier II title in1993) since John Mayasich led the Bears to a 59-0 record and four state championships from 1948 to 1951.
The Blake Wheeler show
He would go on to play for the University of Minnesota, the Boston Bruins and Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets in the NHL and the 2014 U.S. Olympic team, but Wheeler announced his presence on the hockey scene with a pair of hat tricks in leading Breck to the state title.
Marvin ends marathon
The most memorable of Warroad’s 12 appearances in the Class 1A tournament came in the 2005 championship game. T.J. Oshie (sound familiar?) tipped the puck to Aaron Marvin, whose goal at 11:37 of the second overtime period lifted the Warriors to a 4-3 victory over Totino-Grace in what still is the longest championship game in state tournament history. “Class 1A hockey does not have to take a back seat to 2A,” Warroad co-head coach Dennis Fermoyle said after the game. “It’s tough to get a better game than this.”
Hanowski is for real
Little Falls forward Ben Hanowski was the most prolific scorer in state history when he took the ice for the Flyers’ quarterfinal game against Virginia/Mountain Iron-Buhl. But skeptics remained, citing inferior competition. They were silenced when Hanowski scored five goals in a 6-2 victory. Hanowski concluded his high school career with 405 points in 117 games.
Cadets go out in style
In its final game as a Class 1A team, St. Thomas Academy rallied from a two-goal, third-period deficit, getting the winning goal on a slapshot from sophomore Tommy Novak with six seconds left in regulation to beat Hermantown 5-4 for its third consecutive championship. No team cheered St. Thomas Academy’s move to Class 2A more than the Hawks, who were runners-up to the Cadets each time. Hermantown coach Bruce Plante called it the most difficult loss of his life.
(Note: Does not include Tier II in 1992 and 1993)