Inside the House: Blake Biondi
DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - A sit down with former Hermantown Hawks and current UMD Bulldogs forward Blake Biondi.
Zach: You made a significant jump in terms of play production from a freshman to a sophomore. What went into that offseason? What went into last year and the comfortability that you felt on the ice?
Blake: “I would definitely say it’s a mentally based thing because confidence was everything. And I would say my two linemates, being able to get on a roll with Quinn and Dom was huge right away early and then everything went from there I guess. Everything just flew by and obviously, goals came from our line, and obviously, that was a success.
Zach: You’re another in a long line of Hermantown players to come through UMD and find both successes in high school and now at the collegiate level. What is it about that Hawks program that makes players so ready it seems, to make that jump to the Division I level?
Blake: “I’d say our youth programs are one of the biggest things. Just great people around and now it;s just a tradition that everyone wants to be on the high school team. Everyone wants to go and win a state championship and then go play at UMD. So the youth is the biggest thing. You see all these guys do it and all the kids want to do it so it’s really cool.”
Zach: Actually you were one of the major characters in a new movie, a movie that has released this past fall called “Hockeyland” which was a chronicle part of your season, that of Eveleth Gilberts as well. A lot of cameras, and a lot of attention around you for that season. You got to the state championship game. So what was the experience like being on a movie scene and on a hockey team at the same time?
Blake: " Yeah it was interesting for sure, but a lot of fun I’d say. Every day was kinda something new. You never knew what was gonna happen and it kept you on your toes. But yeah, it was really fun.”
Zach: Both at Hermantown and now UMD, you had to deal with that- where it’s community pressure, it’s media pressure, it’s everyone watching your games when they’re on or checking the box scores and the paper. What is that like? How do you deal with the pressures that were with you at Hermantown and now at UMD?
Blake: “Hermantown obviously prepped me for playing at UMD. Honestly, I don’t view it as a bad thing, it actually helps elevate my game at times. But yeah, I’d say Hermantown definitely prepped me to play at UMD.
Zach: Not only did you play at Hermantown, which seems to have that pipeline to UMD, but your dad, Joe, played here in the mid-1990s. The last UMD team to win the regular season conference championship. They won the WCHA in ‘92-93, so was it a family thing too? Not only with UMD being the team you grew up with and the team in your backyard, but did Dad playing here lead you to be a Bulldog too?”
Blake: “He honestly let me do whatever. He said ‘Hey, I obviously want you to be a Bulldog, but I want you to do what you want,’ and I obviously wanted to be a Bulldog so it all worked out. I grew up coming to the games at the old Deck when I was three, so I think a was gonna be a Bulldog for life.”
Zach: Your dad is part of that last team to win a conference championship so that’s one thing by the end of your career here that you want to at least tie him, if not pass him, right?
Blake: “Absolutely. The main goal is a national championship.”
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