Quote Me, Howie

by Howie Hanson

Hermantown boys hockey coach Patrick Andrews on his Class 1A No. 1-ranked Hawks' impressive season-opening road wins against Benilde-St. Margaret's, 6-5, and 2A/No. 1-ranked Hill-Murray, 4-1, over the weekend: 

"The first weekend was a tale of two games. Friday night was a track meet with both teams scoring almost at will, filled with tremendous momentum swings and end-to-end action. Honestly, it was as good of a high school hockey game as you are going to see. Saturday's game was much more defensive. Both teams looked a little tired -- we didn't get back to the hotel until almost midnight -- and it was really a battle of wills and stout defense. I was very proud of our boys' effort and most impressed with our compete. We found a way to win two games, in two totally different ways against equally difficult opponents.

The (Max) Plante, (Zam) Plante, (Kade) Kohanski line lived up to the hype coming out of youth hockey. The PPK line has been together since pee wees and you can see why they have tremendous chemistry because they trust each other. They are completely selfless in their approach to playing as a unit. Honestly, I got caught up just watching them at times this weekend -- it is like art the way they move the puck, fill in space and support each other. Zam picked up right where he left off last season scoring a hat-trick on Friday night, with the game-winner coming on a tremendous individual effort set up by a D-zone faceoff play executed to perfection by Max, Kade, Beau (Janzig), and Hanny (Ty Hanson).

Ty Hanson and Beau Janzig were sensational, playing rock-solid D and providing offense from the back end. The (Gavin) Blomdahl, (Wyatt) Carlson, (Dallas) Vieau line provides scoring depth and a ton of speed and aggression on the forecheck. The (Joshua) Kauppinen, (Matthew) Kauppinen, (Dominic) Thomas line also adds offensive punch, great chemistry and tremendous depth. We had solid goaltending from both (Garron) Opsahl and (Dane) Callaway."

Zam Plante scored a team-high four goals and six points in the openers, and Hanson and Kohanski (three goals) each collected four points. Sophomore Max Plante had a goal and three points in his varsity debuts.

Hermantown (2-0) visits Wayzata (2-1) on Friday night and plays host to Rosemount (1-0) at 3:15 p.m. Saturday. Both Class 2A opponents are traditional state tournament contenders.