Duluth Marshall waxed Brainerd 6-2 in a Lakeview Classic high school boy’s hockey summer tournament game Friday evening at beautiful Mars Lakeview Arena.
The Hilltoppers — 4-0 in tourney play this summer — will face traditional Class A power Mahtomedi in a Lakeview semifinal at 3:15 p.m. today. A second semifinal immediately afterwards pits Bemidji or STMA against Benilde-St. Margaret’s or St. Cloud Tech/Apollo. The Lakeview final is Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
The Hilltoppers lost to Cloquet-Esko-Carlton in a Section 7AA quarterfinal a year ago, in their first season in Class 2A. Duluth Marshall’s signature, 4-0 regular season victory over Duluth East at Amsoil is a hot discussion thread on Minnesota high school hockey online message boards this summer.
“We’re a year older, and improved,” Duluth Marshall coach Brendan Flaherty said while watching his team dismantle Brainerd from the Mars Lakeview Arena pressbox. “Despite our ridiculously difficult schedule, we will be more competitive. With our lack of depth, we need to stay healthy.”
The disciplined Hilltoppers feature a stuffing defense led by several of my close, personal friends: highly-trustworthy senior Joe Liberty, burly junior Willie Stauber, acutely-athletic sophomore Peter Hansen and prized freshman Nolan Krenzen. Juniors Levi Stauber and George Grannis and sophomores Carter Sullivan and Keelan Golat are top-six forwards. Goaltenders Cameron Brandt and Gavin Abric are solid puck-stoppers.
Look for Duluth Marshall to make a run for a Section 7AA championship in 2017-18, if not already next season.