HANCOCK — Saturday, the Hancock High School hockey team made history, bringing home their second state championship in school history.
The Bulldogs had a tough road to the title, knocking off defending champions Cranbrook in the semi–finals on Friday in an overtime thriller.
Then on Saturday, they beat Grand Rapids Catholic Central 4–2 to bring the Division 3 state championship back to the Copper Country.
“It feels great. Glad I can chip in on our team’s win. It feels unbelievable to get a state championship for this team,” freshman forward Alex Nordstrom said.
“It was an unbelievable experience. It really didn’t kick in when the third period was ending. But it was unbelievable celebrating with the boys that I’ve played on the team with for so long so it was a good experience,” said senior defenseman Dylan Paavola.
“It feels awesome. I was a part of it in ’99 as an assistant coach and it was a great feeling. I think we doubled the size of the crowd coming in today. The support we’ve had in the last week or so has been just overwhelming,” head coach Dan Rouleau said.
The Bulldogs received a special police escort through the Upper Peninsula, all the way into the city and to the doors of the school.
And the team talked about the best part of winning a big title for a small town.
“Just the community support you get. It’s just awesome to get a full crowd at your game. The parents are very supportive. Up here, it’s just that U.P. Power pride I guess,” said Rouleau.
“I’m so proud of the boys. We’ve came so far. We trained all summer and did summer skates all summer. We worked so hard for this in practice and all year long. I’m just proud we could do this one last time,” Paavola said.
Hancock mayor Lisa McKenzie declared today to be named “Hancock Bulldog Hockey” day. It was the first hockey state title for Hancock in 17 years.