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Two-Man Advantage: Day 1 All-Tourney picks Biondi, Paradise get most out of their famous bloodlines

By Loren Nelson and David La Vaque, 03/07/18, 10:45PM CST


Gritty, punishing Alexandria defenseman Jack Powell also lands on our tournament-opening squad

David La Vaque has covered all but one state hockey tournament game since 2009 and has worked as a Star Tribune high school sports reporter since 2004. His favorite tournament experiences include cheering for alma mater St. Paul Johnson in 1991 and staying for most of the Apple Valley/Duluth East marathon semifinal game in 1996. Loren Nelson has covered every state tournament since 2009 as the national media editor for Sport Ngin. He attended many, many other Tourney games as a high schooler from the far northern reaches of Minnesota making the annual pilgrimage south to the old St. Paul Civic Center in the 1980s.

Hermantown's Blake Biondi celebrated after he completed a hat trick late in the third period against Monticello. Photo: AARON LAVINSKY • aaron.lavinsky@startribune.com

Because three stars for an entire day of games seems like too few, and a wait-til-the-end, full-blown all-tournament team is a bit much (and already being done elsewhere) Two-Man Advantage continues its tradition of selecting daily all-tourney teams.

Day 1


Jackson Boline

Alexandria | Senior

State tournament shutouts are accomplishments to be recognized, so we say, "Well done, sir," to Boline, who needed to be at his best in the late stages of Wednesday's quarterfinal when Thief River Falls unloaded a large chunk of its 19 shots.


Jack Kubitz

Orono | Junior

Scored a goal, notched two assists and finished with a team best plus/minus of plus-4 in the 6-1 rout of Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato. Yes, the big stage seems to suit this guy, considering he came into the tournament with 2 goals and 8 assists.

Jack Powell

Alexandria | Senior

By the second period of the Cardinals’ victory over Thief River Falls they were already showing highlight clips on the big screen of Powell knocking players off the puck, making crisp outlet passes and doing everything else you’d expect out of your workhorse defenseman. Powell gets bonus points for suffering what appeared to be a serious injury in the third period, only to dust himself off and return to the ice a shift or two later.


Blake Biondi

Hermantown | Sophomore

The son of former Warroad state tournament star Joey Biondi (remember him from the late 1980s?), the kid has more than a little of his old man in him. His debut on the big stage included three goals and an assist, and the Hawks needed all of it to once again put away feisty Monticello.

Joe Paradise

Mahtomedi | Junior

Speaking of great bloodlines, how about Paradise and his twin brother, Tom, being the grandsons of not one but two state hockey legends in Herb Brooks and Bob Paradise? Joe was involved in most all of the highlight clips from the Zephyrs’ win over Mankato East, as he scored two goals (executing an imaginative fake selfie as a celebration after one of them), inexplicably tripped over the back of the net while skating at high speed and, for good measure, took an interference penalty late in the third.

Matt Miller

Monticello | Sophomore

Just when you thought Hermantown, leading 3-0, was seemingly on its way to steamrolling Monticello, Miller goes and scores back-to-back goals in a blink of the eye. His second, off a strip of a Hermantown defenseman and five-hole shot on the resulting breakaway, was a thing of beauty. Miller was money in the postgame media conference, too, talking about how the Moose had once again gotten into the Hawks’ heads with the quick-strike goals.

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