By Pat Garry, Staff Writer
Once again, the time to drop the puck is upon us. The girls and boys’ hockey teams are ready for another great season, and coaches look forward to successful outings again this year. Come out and support these energetic, devoted athletes and have the time of your life.
River Lakes Stars (Girls)
This season, the Lady Stars are directed by new head second-year Coach Rand Roeske.
“I’m very excited for the season, as we have a great core of kids returning. Most of the kids will be entering their third season of Varsity hockey. We have two seniors, nine juniors, and four sophomores that we are looking to lead us. And we will be young at goaltending, but highly talented as well,” said Coach Roeske. The Lady Stars’ goal is to make a run at the end of the season, and have a legitimate shot to play in the section final; and advance to the state tournament. There are some new faces on the coaching staff: Bryce Savage, Kyle Curran, and Emily Kuhlman will be joining Alexis Klatt and Rand Roeske this season. Last year the group fell one game short of the section finals, and they look to build off of that slight disappointment.
River Lakes Stars (Boys)
Zach Johnson takes over as head coach this year, after being an assistant the past two seasons. Zach is a 2006 Rocori graduate and a River Lakes alum. This season, Johnson’s staff includes Mike Bailey, Alex Naujokas, and Mark Johnson.
“We are excited to build off the success we had last year. We finished the season 13-12 and got beat in the section semis to a tough Cathedral bunch,” said Coach Johnson. The Stars return their top two scorers from a year ago, in Logan -Stellmach and -Griffin Duininck. River Lakes graduated eleven seniors but they bring back some valuable experience. Some of the other key returners are Colten -Baumgarten (D), Ethan Howard (D), Blake -Blattner (C), Griffin Bjerke (F), and Tanner Stanley (F); in addition to two very good goaltenders: Josh Venable and Drew Tangen, both juniors.
“We look to make some noise in a very competitive Section 6A,” Coach Johnson added.
The high school hockey 2019-20 season is guaranteed to be as exciting and competitive as ever. Full schedules are available on the individual school’s websites or by visiting the Minnesota State High School League website at http://mshsl.org/mshsl/index.asp.