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Quote Me, Howie: Hermantown owns Minnesota 1A high school boys hockey

Hermantown, Minnesota’s top-ranked Class 1A high school boy’s hockey team, has no dents in its armor at the outset of this season.

The uber-talented Hawks, powered by two of the state’s premier players, are deep at forward, on defense and in goal.

Pen in the Hawks as 2021-22 Minnesota 1A state champions.

Forward Zam Plante and defenseman Ty Hanson, both juniors and elite Division I commits, are supported by a boatload of talented teammates. The Hawks roll three strong forward lines and six defensemen, and all four varsity goaltenders will surely boast lofty stats at the end of the season.

Plante, a Minnesota high school hockey legend in the making, grew some junior hockey whiskers this fall playing for the Chicago Steel in the United States Hockey League, where he scored four goals and seven points in 17 games.

Six of his Hawks teammates played in the Upper Midwest High School Elite League, including Hanson who led an all-north team with 17 points (two goals) in 23 games and super-sophomore forward Max Plante (yes, Zam’s younger brother) scored five goals and 16 points in his first season in the league.

“I’m really excited about this group,” Hermantown coach Patrick Andrews said Monday morning, only hours before the team held its first official practice of the preseason. “Zam and Ty are special talents, and we have a strong leadership group.”

The Hawks open in a back-to-back at Benilde-St. Margaret’s and 2A/No. 4 Hill-Murray, on Dec. 3-4.

Andrews on more Hawks to watch this season:

“Beau Janzig is a great player, a great kid. Gavin Blomdahl, Dominic Thomas and Wyatt Carlson, ditto.”

Andrews on the Hawks’ well-oiled machine:

“We have a good core back and a few talented players moving up from bantams. We have depth and competition, and players competing for spots will be good for us all season.

“Our strengths? Four excellent goalies will compete for a starting job, and we a great defensive group and skill and speed up front. However, we’re a bit untested, with a lot of kids who haven’t played a lot of varsity hockey, which will create a steep learning curve for our depth especially early in the season. With our competitive schedule we will have some growing pains every day, as we reach to become the best team we can be at the end of February.”

Andrews on the Hawks’ mental approach:

“We focus on the pursuit, the journey, and the expectation never changes. High expectations are a positive. We worry only about getting better every day. We won’t win a state championship in November.”

Andrews on the Hawks’ 2021-22 schedule:

“Cretin-Derham Hall (Dec. 23 road game) might be the best team in the state. It’s one of our best front-to-end schedules ever – a big test for us, very difficult. We have some tough games on the road, especially early, and it’s humbling when some of the great metro teams head up here to play us.”

Minnesota High School Boys Hockey Preseason Rankings
Source: Quote Me, Howie

Class A
1. Hermantown
2. Warroad
3. East Grand Forks
4. Fergus Falls
5. Mahtomedi
6. Dodge County
7. Little Falls
8. Delano
9. Breck
10. Duluth Denfeld

Class 2A
1. Lakeview South
2. Maple Grove
3. Cretin-Derham Hall
4. Hill-Murray
5. Prior Lake
6. Andover
7. Moorhead
8. Gentry Academy
9. Edina
10. Grand Rapids

2021-22 Hermantown Hockey Schedule

Friday, Dec. 3 — at Benilde-St. Margaret’s, 8 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 4 — at 2A/No. 4 Hill-Murray, 2:30 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 10 — at Wayzata, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 11 — Rosemount, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 14 — Duluth Marshall, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 18 — at 1A/No. 5 Mahtomedi, 3 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 21 — 1A/No. 10 Duluth Denfeld, 7 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 23 — at 2A/No. 3 Cretin-Derham Hall, 7:15 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 28 — 1A/No.3 East Grand Forks, 3 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 29 — Orono, TBD

Thursday, Dec. 30 — 1A/No. 8 Delano, TBD

Saturday, Jan. 8 — Eden Prairie, 3:15 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 14 — at St. Cloud Cathedral, 7:15 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 15 — 1A/No. 2 Warroad, 5 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 18 — Hibbing/Chisholm, 7 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 27 — Proctor, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 29 — 2A/No. 2 Maple Grove, 3:15 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 3 — at Cloquet-Esko-Carlton, 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 8 — at Rock Ridge, 7 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 11 — Holy Family, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 12 — St. Thomas Academy, 3:15 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 15 — at 2A/No. 10 Grand Rapids, 7 p.m.

Published in Quote Me, Howie Sports

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