23 November 2010

Boys Hockey: 11 seniors raise Tiger hopes

Co-captains Tyler Grubb (below)
and Jake Sorenson (right)

The 2009-10 Tiger team that finished 9-16-1 overall and 2-12 in the Missota Conference had just five seniors on its roster. This year's edition of Tiger hockey will sport more than twice that many (11).
Coach Keith Revels is hoping that veteran corps will provide the nucleus of a much improved squad that could be in the annual hunt for second place in the Missota Conference behind Holy Angels.
"I expect all 11 seniors to play regular shifts and contribute," Revels said. "There aren't many teams that have that much experience and leadership returning."
The eleven twelfth graders include forwards Tyler Grubb, Quinn Malcolm, Zak Payne, Matt Provost, Dan Handberg and Trevor Hockert; defensemen Jake Sorenson, Justin Rees, Quinn Eden and goalies Aaron Dahl and Mike Moser.
Underclassmen returnees include junior forwards Trevor Howard and Blake Weinand; junior defender Andrew Peterson; junior forward/defender Jake Eldred and sophomore forward Kevin Olund.
Co-captain Grubb, an all-Missota Conference performer as a junior, led the team in scoring (22 goals, 11 assists) and was selected to the all-Missota Conference team last winter. Peterson was last season's "Most Improved Player", and Weinand received the "Mr. Hustle" award. Olund took home Rookie of the Year honors.
"Grubb and Handberg were our leading scorers last year," Revels said. "We have a big group of defenders back led by co-captain Sorenson and two goalies in Dahl and Moser who both have varsity experience.
"Our other goalie, Victor Simones, had 14 wins for a very good B-squad team
(19-4-1) last year. We'll need to establish a go-to guy there."
Revels likes his team's overall size and strength but cautioned that it would need to make sure those two attributes don't lead to increased minutes in the penalty box.
"We have to learn to keep our elbows and hands down," he said. "and we'll need to be better in our own zone than we were last year."
As for the Missota Conference, the veteran Tiger coach said that the addition of Chaska and Chanhassen clouds the picture a little.
"I'm not sure about the new schools but I imagine their split from last year will have an impact," he said. "I see us in the mix. It should be a pretty competitive
field after Holy Angels."
In the race for Section 1AA honors, Revels said Rochester Century and the two Lakeville schools would rank as pre-season favorites but added his team will get a chance to prove its mettle in a handful of regular season games against section opponents.
"We'll have many important games with section teams that will have seeding implications," he said.
Todd Karich will serve as varsity assistant coach with Dean Weasler handling the junior varsity team as well as working with the goalies. Brian Oswall and former Tiger Ryan Donnelly are also assistant coaches for the 2010-11 season.
The Tigers open the regular season Saturday, November 27, with a non-conference game at Hastings.