Hermantown 4, Mahtomedi 1
Sophomore wing Blake Biondi had four goals to power the top-ranked/1A Hawks past the No. 2/1A Zephyrs in Hermantown. Biondi, a Bulldogs recruit, has scored 10 of his team-leading 21 goals in the last four games.
“Blake’s been simply outstanding, explosive and on fire,” Hermantown Coach Patrick Andrews after tonight’s victory. “We’re watching a really good prospect — a sophomore, for gosh sakes — turn into an elite high school hockey player, and right before our eyes. He has so much natural, creative ability. He and Tyler (Watkins), his centerman, have been turning pucks playing against our opponents’ best line and making something out of nothing. It’s been fun to watch.”
Andrews, on tonight’s victory: “Our best win of the season. A complete game from start to finish, the best we’ve played all season. February is here, so we’re a little things model. The guys know the system, understand what we’re looking for from them. We’re harping on fine-tuning our game, working on special teams play and stuff.”
Andrews, on the play of junior goalie Cole Manahan, who earned his 12th victory of the season and lowered his season goals-against average to 2.56: “Tonight was his best game of the season, hands down. He played great, especially in the second period when Mahtomedi pushed back hard, and he won a game for us tonight.”
Manahan, on the Mahtomedi victory: “Blake Bionidi has an outstanding game. He really showed why he’s commitmed. Our entire defense played great, including Trent Madill who blocked a lot of shots, and Darian (Gotz) who did a good job clearing the zone.:
Manahan, on stepping into a starting role: “This is my dream. As a young player I watched the varsity goalies and told myself, ‘I want to be that guy.’ So, I’ve been working hard my entire life for this chance, running on the cross country team and in 5K’s to get in tip-top shape. This is the highest level of hockey I’ve ever played at, not having played on any elite bantam teams or in the elite league in the fall.:
Manahan, on his goaltending approach: “I have the mentality if I can see it, I can stop it. If I see it and I let it in, then that’s on me.”
Duluth East 7, Elk River 0
Austin Jouppi scored two goals and Parker Kleive stopped 21 shots to post his fourth shutout of the season as the third-ranked/2A Greyhounds improved to 14-3-1 overall at Essentia Duluth Heritage Center. Duluth East plays host to Cloquet at 7 p.m. Monday at Essentia.
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Minnesota High School Boys Hockey Top Goal Scorers, By Class
1. Garrett Worth, Duluth East — 37
2. George Grannis, Duluth Marshall — 28
3. Sammy Walker, Edina — 25
4. Reese Kaehler, St. Francis — 24
5. Matthew Gleason, Cretin-Derham Hall — 23
1. Mason Plante, Marshall –38
2. Kasyn Kruse, Luverne — 36
3. Zach Bruns, Morris/Benson — 34
4. Donte Lawson, Greenway — 31
5. Luke Krause, Lake of the Woods — 29