Minnesota state hockey tourney includes 3 local team, two players with Superior tiesMitch Beattie, the son of Tom and Karen Beattie is a senior defenseman for the Eastview Lightning, and Derek Wiitala, the son of Wade and Deb Wiitala, is a junior defenseman for the Breck Mustangs.
By: Ken Olson, Superior Telegram
The Minnesota State High School Boys Hockey Tournament will have a local flavor to it with Duluth Marshall and Hermantown playing each other in the Class A tournament and Duluth East playing in the Class AA tournament this week at St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center.
The city of Superior will also be well represented with the sons of two former Superior Spartans playing in the event.
Mitch Beattie, the son of Tom and Karen Beattie is a senior defenseman for the Eastview Lightning, and Derek Wiitala, the son of Wade and Deb Wiitala, is a junior defenseman for the Breck Mustangs.
Mitch Beattie has five goals and 18 assists for 23 points this season. His dad, Tom, is a 1985 graduate from Superior Senior High School, where he was a standout baseball pitcher. He later pitched at UW-Superior.
Derek Wiitala had three goals and 17 assists this season and will be playing in the state tournament for third straight year.
His father, Wade, also graduated from SSHS in 1985, while his mother, Deb, graduated from Minong’s Northwood High School in 1984. Wade Wiitala was a three-year letterwinner on the Spartan hockey team and was captain of the 1985 squad that played in the Wisconsin state tournament.
Duluth Marshall (16-12) will face third-seeded Hermantown (23-4-1) to open the Minnesota Class A high school boys hockey tournament at 1:15 p.m. Wednesday, while Duluth East plays Moorhead in Class AA on Thursday.
Hermantown defeated Duluth Marshall 4-3 when the Lake Superior Conference boys hockey rivals met in a regular-season game Jan. 3.
The Hilltoppers will get a chance to avenge that loss, with much more at stake. The winner advances to play either No. 2 seed Breck or Marshall High School at 11 a.m. Friday.
The Hawks have reached the last three championship games, losing in each.
Duluth East (24-4) received a No. 2 seed in the Class AA field and will play Moorhead (14-11-2) in a quarterfinal at 11 a.m. Thursday.
The Greyhounds, winners of 16 straight games and in the state tournament for a fifth consecutive year, defeated the Spuds 5-1 in the regular season.
The winner advances to Friday’s semifinals against either Edina or Lakeville North.
Eastview (18-9-1) opens against No. 1 Hill-Murray (25-2-1) at 6 p.m. Thursday.