Saturday, December 4, 2021

Wildcats claim #2 spot at tournament

Dodge County claims No. 2 at first ever Minnesota State High School League tournament in St. Paul. They eventually fell to Gentry Academy, but not before defeating Hermantown’s Hawks and Little Falls’ Flyers in quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively.

Living on the edge has become part of the culture in Dodge County and Byron as our high school sports teams have been engaged in intense state tournament action. It’s been exhausting to follow Hayfield and Byron basketball teams in state tournament action in addition to the K-M wrestlers who competed as individuals.

Perhaps the most engaging was the first-ever appearance of the Dodge County Wildcats against one of the strongest hockey programs in the state…Hermantown’s Hawks. When it was learned that the Hawks were missing a few of their varsity skaters, the state’s media downplayed the head-to-head battle against the upstart Dodge County collective squad.

Junior Varsity or not, the ‘Cats showed up with a full head of steam. Hermantown was billed as the home team. As visitors, the ‘Cat took 5:55 to score in the first period on a goal from Brody Lamb on assists from Gavin Giesler and Matt Donovan. Lamb added another goal in the first with Donovan assisting again. Did I mention it was 33 seconds after his first goal?

Cooper Jacobson got into the act and placed on into the back of the Hawks’ net at 16:08 of the first period on assists from Miles Smith and Gyffon Wolesky. The upstart unit from Dodge County had a 3-0 shutout going at the end of period one.

Lamb had the first of two hat tricks at 7:18 of the second frame before Hermantown scored.

In the third period Lamb scored at 4:27 before the Hawks responded with a goal, then another to pull to 5-3.

That’s when Lamb pulled out all the stops and scored at 15:31 and 16:00 in the final period to seal the ‘Cats’ first ever state hockey tournament victory. The 7-3 final score was icing on the cake…Junior varsity or varsity, the Dodge County Wildcats nabbed their first state hockey win and no one will ever take that from them.

These young men from all over the county, Pine Island, Zumbrota and parts around our county came together under excellent coaching and accomplished what no one would have dare dream of when the season began.

 

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