Even with high-scoring top line, Duluth East focused on depth at - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Even with high-scoring top line, Duluth East focused on depth at state

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The Duluth East boys' hockey team has one of the best --- if not the best --- offensive lines in the state this season, but the Greyhounds are focused more on the team's depth headed into this week's MSHSL Class AA tournament.

"You can't depend on one line," head coach Mike Randolph said. "It has to come from different areas, the scoring. Because it has, I think that's why we're in the state tournament."

It surely came from different areas in last week's Section 7AA championship game, with role players Brendan Baker and Logan Anderson scoring two of Duluth East's three goals in an overtime thriller against Andover.

Actually, junior Ryder Donovan was the only top line guy to record a point in that 3-2 win, but that's an encouraging sign moving forward.

"We've got a really well-rounded team," senior defenseman Luke LaMaster said. "There's not one line that's 10 times better than another. Every line has their job. They know what they're good at, what they need to do to score goals and keep the puck out of our net. It's perfect for us."

Donovan has combined with seniors Garrett Worth and Ian Mageau to total 73 goals and 101 assists this season, and they're all among the top nine scorers in this year's Class AA tournament field.

Still, Randolph prefers the "by committee" approach.

"We need those guys to be good, to be themselves," he said, "but we need everyone else, too. The best team will win the state title, not necessarily the best individual line."

Duluth East is the No. 3 seed in this year's tournament and opens with a quarterfinal game against St. Michael-Albertville, with that scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Thursday.

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