By Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It is state tournament time in Minnesota.

Boy’s hockey is taking over the Xcel Energy Center this week.

There are plenty of kids dreaming of playing in the big dance. Blake Biondi and Drew Sams got to live out their dreams when they helped Hermantown beat Monticello 4 to 2 Wednesday night.

“The first time … [you] stand out into the X with your helmet off, you’re like, ‘Well, this is happening, they’re going to call my name,'” Sams said.

Biondi agreed with his friend.

“That’s when it hit me, too. It was surreal all the way up until then,” Biondi said.

This day is a long-time coming, and these two go way back.

blake biondi and drew sams Hermantown Hockey Dreamers Arrive At State Tournament

Blake Biondi and Drew Sams (credit: CBS)

The duo first talked to WCCO in 2012, when they were both 9 years old.

“You kind of want to reach around the world, and if your arms could fold around the world, then that’s how much you want it,” Sams said.

And now — after years of practices, games and tournaments — the once-wannabes are now the ones others want to be. And they are still side by side, roommates at this year’s tournament.

“There is like 100 little boys just like us that we all wanted to play, you know, in the state tournament one day, and now we’re doing that,” Biondi said.

Six years to the day after the pair watched Hermantown score the first goal of the game, Biondi himself scored the first goal of the game.

“I was cheering for him, too, I was still cheering!” Sams said.

And would not be his last. He scored two more for a hat trick.

“If you like put your mind to it, and just work for it every day, like you can make it happen,” Biondi said.

And as exciting as this all is, this is not the ultimate goal.

“We’re not just here to be here at the state tournament, we’re trying to win the state championship,” Sams said.

The boys are two games away from making their true state tournament dream come true.

They have got a lot to play for Thursday, when they face Alexandria at 1 p.m.


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