As a freshman he was superb. As a sophomore spectacular. As a junior and senior — well, go ahead and pick your favorite from a bouquet of adjectives.
Ben Dardis’ brilliant play in goal has defined Mahtomedi hockey for four seasons, one of which ended with the hoisting of the program’s first state championship trophy (in 2020).
Could another such run be in the offing? Remember, Mahtomedi came into the 2020 tourney with a 20-8-0 record, overlooked and underappreciated.
Hermantown, with just three losses, and Warroad, with only two, joined defending champion St. Cloud Cathedral as the teams expected to reach the title game.
It’s Hermantown, Warroad and “best of luck” to everyone else again this year, with Dardis and Mahtomedi more than happy to crash the championship party if overlooked yet again.