Hermantown Sports Notebook

Hawks blitz Grand Rapids, host North Shore in Section 7A quarterfinal Tuesday night

Brandon Schmidt had a goal and two assists to lead top-ranked Hermantown to a 6-0 victory over Grand Rapids in a nonconference high school hockey game last Thursday night at IRA Civic Center in Grand Rapids. (Click here to watch the Hawks-Rapids highlights on YouTube)

Jacob Herder and Darian Gotz added a goal and an assist each, and Cole Manahan posted a 21-save shutout for the Hawks.

Hermantown swept defending Minnesota Class AA state champion Grand Rapids in a two-game, home-and-home series this season, also winning 3-1 in Hermantown on Jan. 9.

Two-time defending Class A state champion Hermantown (17-6-2) next hosts North Shore (10-13-3) in a Section 7A tournament quarterfinal at 7 p.m. Tuesday at historic Hermantown Arena. The winner advances to face either International Falls (12-11-1) or Duluth Denfeld (10-15) in a 7A semifinal matchup Friday at 6 p.m. at Amsoil Arena in Duluth.

The Hawks are averaging 4.52 goals per game and led offensively by top-six forwards Tyler Watkins, super-sophomore Blake Biondi, Schmidt, Jacob Herter, Elliott Peterson, Justin Thomas and Brady Baker.

A ridiculously-stingy Hawks’ team defense is allowing only 2.32 goals per game. Popeye-strong defenseman Darian Gotz and 6-foot-3 goaltender Cole Manahan — both juniors — are rising Division I prospects.

Tidbits

Sixth-seeded Proctor-Hermantown will meet No. 3 Red Wing in a Minnesota Class A high school girls state hockey quarterfinal at 1 p.m. Thursday at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. The Mirage are making their fourth state tournament appearance.

. Hermantown (8-15) will host Grand Rapids in a nonconference boys basketball game at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday at Hermantown Gym.

. The Hawks girls basketball team, boasting a 21-4 overall record, closes out the regular season at nonconference Hibbing on Thursday night.

Pee Wee AA’s pound Rochester, eye North Regional

Max Plante scored three goals to lift Hermantown to a 4-1 victory over Rochester in a pee wee AA hockey game Saturday afternoon at Essentia Duluth Heritage Center.

“It was our last game of the regular season, and we’ve got a big playoff run ahead of us,” Hermantown coach Nick Jones said after the game. “So we wanted to finish strong with all our guys contributing and working hard.”

Next up for sixth-ranked Hermantown (31-6-2) is the North Regional playoffs March 2-3 in Bemidji.

“We’ll continue to work hard in practices, fine tune the little things and get everyone firing on all cylinders,” said Jones. “The kids know what to do. It’s just a work and competition thing here.”

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