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No. 1 Hermantown and No. 2 Duluth Denfeld Battling for Redemption in Section 7A Championships

Alicia Tipcke
Updated: February 25, 2020 10:52 PM

It's been a tournament of redemption for the boy's hockey teams in Section 7A. Last season, Duluth Denfeld fell to Greenway in the Section 7A semifinal round. The second seeded Hunters found revenge Saturday, shutting out the Raiders to 4-0 to secure a spot in the section title match.

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"We came out knowing that they were going to be a good team. We played them before in the season and they were a pretty good team, but we came on harder and we just knew that we needed to come on hard and we did," said Duluth Denfeld sophomore forward Connor McClure on their semifinal victory over Greenway.

Denfeld's opponent in the section championship game will be the Goliath, top-seeded Hermantown. The Hawks notched another championship appearance after downing fourth seeded Eveleth-Gilbert 8-0 in the semifinals.

"All we've been focused on is the first period and nothing else matters. Just be in the moment, be here, be ready for the first period and I thought we did exactly that. I thought we came out and just dominated the first period," said Patrick Andrews, head coach of the Hermantown boy's hockey team.

Leading the Hawks is team captain, Mr. Hockey finalist, and the Northland's scoring leader Senior forward Blake Biondi. With 83 points this season he may meet his match in Denfeld's senior netminder Shawn Easty. Easty boasts a .92 save percentage and 2.4 goals against average.

"It starts with our goaltending for sure and then it's our rock. If we can play from our goaltender out and have the same structure that we had [Saturday], as for our defenseman, I think we have a chance to win," said Duluth Denfeld Head Coach Dale Jago.

For Hermantown,the three time state champion's quest for revenge is not over. Now, they're concentrating on returning to the State tournament. Greenway deprived them of doing it for the 10th straight season last February, stealing the 2019 section title 3-2 in double overtime.

"We're just gonna play our game. We're not going to look back at last year, we're [going to] use it as motivation. It's totally new year and it's back to us, back to being the Hawks and winning," said Hermantown senior forward Blake Biondi.

For 21-5-1 Denfeld, Head Coach Dale Jago says a strong game plan is necessary to notch the team's first placement in State since the 1980's. 

Denfeld senior forward Griffin Lehet and his team are excited for the championship game,"[it] feels wonderful, obviously, but we're gonna do things just like any other game [and] prepare the same when it comes."

Denfeld and Hermantown are set to face off in the Section 7A championship game Wednesday at 7 p.m. at AMSOIL Arena in Duluth.

Credits

Alicia Tipcke

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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