Duluth East senior Garrett Worth has never met Dave Spehar.
Yet Worth knows well the former Greyhounds star from the mid-1990s. Worth has punched Spehar's name into YouTube searches hundreds of times, committing to memory every big goal Spehar scored — and there were dozens of them.
"Before I go to bed at night, I like to watch videos of Dave Spehar. That's kind of my thing," said Worth, who did his best Spehar imitation Thursday. He scored three goals in No. 3-seeded Duluth East's 5-0 victory over unseeded and first-time tournament entrant St. Michael-Albertville (23-6) in the Class 2A quarterfinals at Xcel Energy Center.
Worth's three goals gave him 45 this season, tied for the most in the state. Spehar scored 58 goals in 1995 and 54 in 1996, notching five hat tricks in six state tournament games.
Worth "has a gift that not all players have," said Duluth East coach Mike Randolph, in his 29th season, of the 5-9 Mr. Hockey finalist. "And I've seen all kinds of goal scorers."
Worth opened the scoring early in the first period, scored again early in the second and completed the hat trick to end a three-goal flurry for No. 3 state-ranked Duluth East (24-2-3) over a span of 1:45 late in the second. Worth's WMD linemates, seniors Ian Mageau (goal, two assists) and Ryder Donovan (two assists), contributed to the rout.
"They just move the puck around, tic-tac-toe, and they find the net," St. Michael-Albertville senior defenseman Garrett Sandberg said about the Greyhounds' top line.