Boys, girls hockey begin season
November 20, 2017
Underclassmen take over boys hockey team
This year’s Stillwater boys hockey season started on Nov. 13. Stillwater will have its positives and negatives but with the help of the coaches and captain, the team could make it to state.
This years team is going to include underclassmen due to the fact that the team lost 13 seniors last year. The team will be looking for leadership in the captains and the few returning players.
“Last year we had 13 seniors,” Assistant Coach Pete Hamilton said “This years team will be mostly younger guys.”
The varsity team last year had mostly seniors which leaves the team searching for leadership. Hopefully with the help of the coaches and returning players this team could make it to state.
Hamilton said, “Last year we had a talented group of sophomores.” The sophomores then are the juniors now who will make up the majority of the hockey team this year.
This year’s juniors to look out for would include Adam Eisele, Teddy Sagissor and Joe Raleigh. Last year these four players showed excellent skill and leadership throughout the season in the past year.
“There is not a lot of confidence yet, but I think the coaches are doing a good job getting the guys ready and by the first game we will be back to normal like any other year.” said senior and captain Matthew McGinley.
Last year the team went 22-3 with the help of Noah Cates, Luke Manning and Matthew Stanton, who graduated last year. This year the juniors and sophomores are going to have to step up to the plate to continue the reputation Stillwater has had.
McGinley said “White Bear is always the biggest rival in the conference and Cretin is always another good conference game.” These are going to be the most competitive team that Stillwater will face this year.
Last year in both games against Cretin-Derham Hall Stillwater came out on top. With the first game’s score being 5-2 and the 2nd being 9-2. White Bear is a different story, When Stillwater had a close loss, 2-1. But they pulled through at the second game going 4-0.
If this season goes well, the 2017-2018 team could get a state title. “Our goal is… to win a conference championship…then to win a section championship…and then put ourselves in a place to win a state championship.” coach Hamilton said.
Young girls hockey team ready for season
Another season for Stillwater girls hockey is just around the corner. The first game for the Ponies was held on Thursday Nov. 16 against Tartan at home. The season ended last year with a regular season record of 9-16-1, and a heartbreaking loss to Forest Lake in the first round of playoffs.
This season is a different story however, the previous coach of the team Tony Scheid resigned after coaching Stillwater for 14 seasons, leading the team to 2 state titles, and finishing with an overall record of 260-112-21. After being an assistant coach of the team for 13 seasons, Lee Gillespie took over the position of head coach.
“I really like him as a head coach and I really like what he brings to the team,” sophomore Haley Eder-Zdechlik said when asked about the new coach.
Gillespie is the newest and quite possibly the most important addition to such a young team with so much potential.
Lee Gillespie said, “There’s going to be a lot more opportunities for everyone, especially for the younger players.”
This season will also feel the impact of losing 15 players from last year, some due to graduation and others because of choice. This means that many younger players will have to step in and take a leadership role.
The loss of this many players may not be as bad as it sounds, it will allow for many of the younger players to gain some great experience by playing at a higher level, and provide the team with some new strengths. The team will need every one of the younger players to step up and perform at their maximum potential in order to have success in one of the hardest conferences in all of Minnesota. Although this is a young team, they have all the tools necessary to be successful for many years to come.
Junior Hannah Affolter said, “A big game for us is going to be the Hill-Murray game, that’s one that everyone really wants to win.”
Hill-Murray ended the regular season last year with an outstanding record of 20-4-1, and took third place in the state tournament. The team was scheduled to play Hill-Murray in their second game on Nov. 18.
Head Coach Lee Gillespie said, “The future is really bright for this team, it may take some time but we’ll get there.”