Hermantown boys hockey coach Patrick Andrews has said several times since the start of this season that his young and talented team will be "a work in progress." Never was this more evident than last Saturday at historic Hermantown Arena, when the Class 1A/No. 1-ranked Hawks fell to 1A/No. 2 Warroad 4-1.
"We are not good enough yet, as the Warroad game showed, and we continue to make strides and improvements," the seven-year Hawks coach after the loss. "Saturday is a game we all would like back, from the coaching staff, to the players and managers, because we just did not play up to the standard set at Hermantown. Credit Warroad for taking advantage of our slow start and then never giving us a chance to get back into the game. That said, Saturday's loss can be a great learning experience for our team as we continue to grow and learn just what it takes to compete at the highest level. The hockey season is a journey full of learning opportunities, and the pain of a big loss can be the greatest teacher."
Hermantown (10-3-2) will face Hibbing-Chisholm (10-6-0) at 7 p.m. today at Hermantown Arena.
"Once again this week will test our team with great opportunities for growth as our schedule does not let up, when we play host to a young, skilled Hibbing team and Class 2A power White Bear Lake Saturday," Andrews said. "We will also celebrate AJ Francisco as he embarks on his own journey to the Youth Olympics in South Korea with a short pregame ceremony (tonight) and a post-game send-off and autograph session upstairs of the Hermantown Arena."
Francisco, a sophomore right shot defenseman-forward, is an uber-elite Division I prospect with pro potential.
TODAY'S PREP EVENTS
Hibbing-Chisholm at Hermantown
Grand Rapids at Cloquet-Esko-Carlton
Greenway at Duluth Marshall
North Shore at Rock Ridge
Ely at International Falls
Hermantown at Bemidji
Cloquet at Rock Ridge
Nashwauk-Keewatin at Mesabi East
Littlefork-Big Falls at Floodwood
Ely at Bigfork
Esko at Duluth Denfeld
Carlton-Wrenshall at Cromwell-Wright
Two Harbors at Proctor
Chisholm at South Ridge
Rock Ridge at Hermantown
Two Harbors at Silver Bay
North Branch at Princeton
Moose Lake-Willow River at Mora
Proctor at Hibbing
Littlefork-Big Falls at Cherry
South Ridge at Northwoods