Northern Star: Blake Biondi
For this week's segment, meet the captain of the Hermantown boys hockey team and future UMD Bulldog.
HERMANTOWN, Minn. – Part of Blake Biondi always knew that he would be a Minnesota Duluth Bulldog.
“Obviously I’m from the area and my dad played there and I’ve been a fan my whole life. So I think for UMD it was just kind of a no-brainer and I was going no matter what,” Biondi said.
Biondi committed to UMD in 21017, just a few weeks before he started his first varsity season with Hermantown.
Biondi’s dad, Joe, played for UMD from 1989-93, and now he is just one of many Hermantown natives to join the Bulldogs, including three current players.
“I looked around obviously but I think when it came down to it, it was always in my gut and UMD was the place,” Biondi said.
“You look out there and [Cole Koepke and Dylan Samberg and Jesse Jacques] are doing so well for themselves and it’s so fun to see and they’re representing their community so well as Bulldogs and this greater Duluth area, and they did such a good job at Hermantown when they were here representing themselves, representing us, and Blake’s just carrying on that tradition,” head coach Patrick Andrews added.
But before Biondi thinks about UMD, he has some unfinished business to take care of. Last season, the Hawks were stunned in the section finals, losing to Greenway in double overtime, ending Hermantown’s streak of nine straight state tournament appearances.
“Obviously that’s the main reason that I think we’re playing so well right now. Obviously no one wants that and that was the last thing we wanted so right now we’re just trying to win every single game and get better every day and I think if we do that, we have a good shot at getting back to the state tournament and winning a state championship,” Biondi said.
And Biondi is having one of his best seasons yet. He currently is tied for sixth in the state with 31 goals and ranks sixth in points with 60.
“Obviously trying to prove that I can have a great year and honestly want to win a state championship so I’m just trying to get better each day and help the team win. Just my mental game honestly, I think me playing with a strong mentality and a chip on my shoulder, trying to go prove people and ignore the noise, not worry about anything else. Just go do my thing and focus on myself and my teammates and I think that’s why I’m playing so well,” Biondi said.
“He’s really learned how to be a leader and what that really means. A lot of times we slap a “C” on a kid’s chest and say alright you’re the captain, you’re supposed to be the captain and we don’t really teach them how to do that. He’s been so open to advice and he’s really learned what that means to be a captain and he’s their leader,” Andrews added.
Biondi has led the Hawks to a 15-1-4 record and they are once again a top contender in class A. But Before Biondi hangs up the Hermantown sweater, he’s hoping for one final chance to achieve his dream.
“The fact that he was willing to come back for his senior year and try to win a state championship with his buddies that he’s grown up with and come back for our program says so much about him. He wants to give back. The community’s given him a lot and he’s taken a lot from the program over the years and I think that he feels like he wants to do something special with his buddies,” Andrews said.
“This is the closest group of guys that I’ve ever been apart of and this team. Obviously we’ve all been growing up and playing together our whole lives but this year we’ve all come together, it’s crazy. It’s a great vibe in the locker room and I think that’s why we’re winning so many games right now. I’ll miss the guys for sure but we’re just focused on winning a state championship right now,” Biondi added.