Hermantown, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- One of the big reasons the Hermantown Hawks flew into the state tournament at (28-0) has been the play of senior forward Jared Thomas.
"He's a great player. He's a good leader for us," Hawks head coach Bruce Plante said. "He kills penalties, is on the power play, and just does everything for us. We are real lucky to have him. I think he's one of the best players I've seen in our games this year."
Thomas committed earlier this year to play his college hockey at UMD and was also named one of 10 finalists for Minnesota's Mr. Hockey Award.
After a game this year at AMSOIL Arena, he talked about his future with the Bulldogs.
"It's for sure exciting. I'm excited to come here and play in front of all my family and friends who are still around," Thomas said. "It's been my dream since I was little to play for the Bulldogs, so hopefully it can come true soon."
Another dream for Thomas would be a Class A state championship. The #1-ranked Hawks are already champions of Section 5A and the Lake Superior Conference, which was no easy task.
"I put a lot of pressure on our guys to try and win the conference because it's a good conference," Plante said. "You've got teams like Cloquet, Superior, Duluth Denfeld, and Duluth Marshall in that conference. It's just a great conference."
"Winning the conference was a huge deal for us," Thomas said. "We've only won it a couple times at Hermantown, but this is our fourth year in a row, and I've been part of three of them. I'm pretty happy to say that."
That makes Hermantown native and UMD freshman Adam Krause happy as well, and he said this week he believes in this Hawks team down at state.
"Just take it all in," Krause said. "Those guys have been there before. This is the third year in a row, so they know what it takes. Just have fun with it."