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Edina twins win state championships

Courtesy+of+John+and+Hannah+Halverson
Courtesy of John and Hannah Halverson

Shortly after learning to walk, twin seniors John and Hannah Halverson put on their first pairs of ice skates. 15 years later, the Halversons helped lead the Edina Boys’ and Girls’ Varsity Hockey teams to another state title, making history in 2024 as the first twins to ever win state championships in the same year.

Growing up, John and Hannah Halverson were surrounded by hockey. “My grandpa played for the Gophers, so [we are] kind of a big hockey family,” Hannah Halverson said. Although they both started skating around the same time, she was initially more interested in hockey than her brother. “I didn’t off the gate like [hockey] as much as she did, but when we grew up, we both loved it,” John Halverson said.

In 5th grade, Hannah Halverson joined Squirt A, the boys’ hockey team her brother played for. “That was one of my favorite years,” she said. “They put us on the same line, so it was really fun and we were super competitive, but it just [made us] better.”

From playing on the same team as kids to cheering each other on from the seats at the Xcel Energy Center today, the Halversons have had a long hockey journey. Despite their many successes, both twins have faced adversity in their hockey careers. This year specifically, each Edina hockey team faced unique challenges regarding mentality.

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Last year, the Boys’ Hockey team lost the championship game to Minnetonka due to a single goal that was scored in the third period. “Ever since we lost that game last year, I’ve always wanted to get back,” John Halverson said. “When we beat Grand Rapids and earned our way to the state championship, there was no way our seniors who were there last year were going to let the team lose.”

Similarly, the Girls’ Hockey team was seeded 4th going into the state tournament, the lowest seed Hannah Halverson ever had when entering a state tournament. “[We played] our best knowing that we probably weren’t favored to win. I think it honestly helped us,” she said. Halverson had already won two state titles: One Class A title with Breck as an 8th grader, and one Class AA title with Edina during her freshman year. However, Halverson said that winning this year was very different. “I think being a senior and being a captain was just a sense of pride, and I’ve never been so excited for a win. I think we had kind of a rocky season too, and so to come out with the win was just something that I’ve always dreamed about,” she said. “It’s kind of a full-circle moment [from] freshman to senior year.”

Winning both state titles in their senior years was a dream for the Halversons. “It was a perfect ending to our hockey stories at Edina,” John Halverson said. “I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way,” Hannah Halverson said.

Although their high school hockey careers are over, John and Hannah Halverson plan to continue playing hockey. John Halverson is participating in the USA Junior Hockey Leagues and Hannah Halverson will play hockey for the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the fall.

This piece was originally published in Zephyrus’ print edition on April 18, 2024

This story was originally published on Zephryus on April 21, 2024.