ST. PAUL - It was a record-breaking, standard-setting, milestone-making type of season for the Little Falls Flyers boys' hockey team.
While Wednesday's game didn't provide the result the Section 6-1A champions would have hoped, the goal for the Flyers is still the same - to win their last game.
Instead of coming in the Class 1A state championship game Saturday at the Xcel, it will need to come at Mariucci Arena on the campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
"We want to end on a win, and if we can't win the state championship then we want to win the consolation championship," said Flyers head coach Tony Couture. "We had a very disappointing time there last year when we played Albert Lea and lost and then had to go home on Friday. We want to stay as long as we can and our kids want some hardware."
Little Falls has not had good luck in the consolation bracket. Last year it lost to Albert Lea 5-2.
Little Falls captain Ben Hanowski led the Flyers in a celebratory charge across the rink after scoring a goal against St. Thomas Academy in the quarterfinal round of the state hockey tournament on Wednesday. The Flyers lost to the Cadets 5-3. Photo/John Pedersen
Regardless of how Thursday comes out, the Flyers can look back and say 2007-08 was a good season.
First the Flyers kept their home win streak going. It now stands at 32 straight games.
They captured their fourth-straight section final and own a 43-2 mark against section opponents in the last four seasons.
Ben Hanowski became the school's all-time leading scorer, and after Wednesday's two goals, stands at 110 goals and 147 assists for 257 points.
On the play Hanowski captured his 100th career goal, brother Beau reached his 200th career point.
Little Falls collected its second Central Lakes Conference title, in the process defeating Brainerd and St. Cloud Tech.
It was a season in which Couture picked up his 200th career victory.
Unfortunately none of that will matter to the players unless the Flyers come away with two more wins.
"We have to win it for the (seniors) tomorrow," said Couture. "We kept stressing that. We need to go out tomorrow and win. We can't just be two and done."
A chance at three
Ben Hanowski had a rare opportunity at 9:56 of the second period: a penalty shot. Hanowski attacked St. Thomas Academy goalie Kurt Altrichter's right, but the sophomore goalie was up to the task.
"If Ben maybe could have gotten that penalty shot, it might have been a different story," said Couture.
JEREMY MILLSOP, sports writer, may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5856.
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