Northland Pines advances to the WIAA Division 2 State Hockey Final

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MADISON, Wis. (WSAW) -- The team from the hockey capital of Wisconsin is now one win away from becoming a state champion in Wisconsin for the first time since 1989, as Northland Pines put on a show in a dominant 9- 2 semi-final win over Somerset.

Pines takes down Somerset in the state semis.

“I’m ecstatic, the goal was just to make it to Saturday,” said Harmen Marion, Northland Pines senior forward. “Coming down here that was the only thing on our mind. Now that we’ve made it we can focus on Saturday, and winning this whole thing.

“I’m so ecstatic, I’m so excited,” said Gunnar Schiffmann, Northland Pines senior forward. “I’ve been dreaming about this since I was in eighth grade. I mean I looked at the high school players and said ‘I want to be one of those guys.’”

The Eagles eased any potential nerves when they came flying out of the gates with two goals in the first five minutes of the game.

“Yeah I think anytime the puck goes across the goal line as a coach your blood pressure goes down and the kids relax a little bit,” said David Cox, Northland Pines head coach. “I thought they did a really nice job coming out and getting after it. You know the two goals scored, (they) were just tenacious at the net, and pounding the puck in.”

After Somerset scored later in that period to cut the lead in half, Pines pulled off an incredible penalty kill of a five minute major, a turning point in the contest.

“That gave us an amazing boost,” Schiffmann said. “We felt the energy there, and everybody was just so proud of each other that we were able to keep them off the board.”

“We just got to stay away from those crucial mistakes Saturday, because they’ll make us pay for it.”

The rout was on from there. The Eagles found the back of the net four times in the second period to blow the game open, three of them coming on power plays of their own.

“Power play was huge, we could feel them getting frustrated, and they just kept taking penalties,” Marien said. “Once you put one in on the power play, you kind of gain confidence in it.”

Saturday’s championship game against Saint Mary’s Springs will be a rematch from late December, a game the Eagles lost 5-2. Head coach David Cox says his points of emphasis will be no whining, control what you can control, and have fun.

Puck drops at 9:30 AM.