The boys celebrate at the net after they win their game against Park High School at the St. Croix ice arena. They won 4-1 against Park on Dec. 14.
The boys celebrate at the net after they win their game against Park High School at the St. Croix ice arena. They won 4-1 against Park on Dec. 14.
Photo submitted by Thomas Jorgensen

Boys hockey team overcomes losing seniors last season

The boys hockey team lost 11 seniors last year and are bringing up a lot of younger players. Their fans did not know how this year was going to be because of all of the new boys coming up to the team and their lack of varsity experience.

However, they have been succeeding tremendously with a overall record so far, as of Jan. 3, at 3 wins and 1 loss in the Suburban East Conference and are ranked third, with Cretin- Durham Hall at second and White Bear Lake at first.

The boys hockey team practices at the Stillwater Ice Rink everyday after school at 2:45 p.m. They usually have their games about twice a week.

The team is connected and they all do their best to win their games together. “Everyone of us has different skills that contribute to how we play as a team. We are a very tight knit group of guys. Everyone gets along super well and we hang out outside of school a lot too,” senior Wyatt Carroll explained.

The younger players have  opportunities to learn from the seniors and get more playing time on the ice.

“It is fun to learn from the older players who have more experience on the ice and it is a great environment,” sophomore Wyatt Wells explained. You really have to “trust the process and learn from your mistakes” Wells added about doing his best.

With 17 games left in our season, the sky is the limit for this group.

— Greg Zanon

The players coming up to varsity can often feel nervous when stepping out on the ice. However they also get a lot of adrenaline.

“You get a lot of adrenaline and are very pumped up to play with the team and show off what you’ve been working so hard on to get here,” Wells said.

This season for the boys is very different from last. After losing seniors who were not only a big impact on the ice but also off, these players have bigger roles to fill this season.

“I think this year everyone is a little bit more focused. We all have a little bit more to work for this year after our loss of seniors,” Carroll said.

The team is overcoming the loss of the seniors well. They are working with what they have and using them to the full potential.

“To lose 11 players is tough but most of our juniors this year played a majority of their sophomore year on the Varsity team so they know what is expected of them and how we want to play this season. Having players buy into what coaches are teaching as quickly as possible is the best way to overcome the loss,” head varsity coach, Greg Zanon explained.

It is tough on the coaches and the players losing all of these seniors, however they are making to the most out of it.

Zanon explained how it is tough every year losing players. The best thing we can do as coaches is plan ahead of the season on how we pick our teams to try to have the best balance of classes as possible.

“To this point we have played well our first 8 games has been filled with top 10 opponents and we have learned a lot in the first part of the year.  With 17 games left in our season the sky is the limit for this group,” Zanon said.

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    Mady RichertFeb 6, 2024 at 8:59 am

    Your caption caught my eye for this story. I was intrigued and immediately wanted to read more when I saw the caption about the loss of seniors and how the boys hockey team has adapted to changes in the program this season. You used a variety of strong words and facts that allowed for me to understand how the team has adjusted and what ways are different from last year. I also liked how you included the view standpoint of head coach Zanon and how he always plans ahead for there types of changes.