26 March 2014

Boys Hockey: One for the record books

2013-14:  A Season to Celebrate
After starting the season with a middling 5-3-1 record the Tigers flipped a switch and went on to put together the best season in school history.

From December 19 to its loss to eventual state runner-up Lakeville North in the Section 1AA title game coach Keith Revels' team rattled off a school record 18 straight wins to finish the year 23-4-1.

The Tigers won the Missota Conference championship with a near-perfect 13-0-1 mark with their 23-win total ranking as the most in school history.

About the only negative in the season just completed was the shutout (6-0) loss to North in the section finals.

"The worst part about it is the score made it look like less of a game than it was," Revels said. "I feel like we were much more competitive this year with them than we were in last season's playoff loss to North that ended up 5-2."

Seven seniors completed their Tiger careers
Twenty Tigers received varsity letters at the team's awards banquet held Wednesday night, including seniors Landon Nielsen, Alex Aubrecht, Tanner Grubb, Jack Erickson, Chris Fitzgibbons, Nick Schoening and Dallas Tucker.

"You don't have good team chemistry without having good team leaders," Revels said, "players that put the team ahead of themselves. The things this team was able to accomplish this year was due in large part to the leadership this group provided."

Underclassmen receiving letters included juniors Gage Overby, Benton Olson, Justin Novak, Matt Olund, Austin Martinsen and Jake Trippel and sophomores Grady Hauswirth, Devin Bernu, Erik Holmstrom, John Siebenaler, Wyatt Jensen, Cody Billins, Cooper Zimmer and Tyler Jette.

Student managers  Marcus Dubois and Matt Thompson and statistician Loren Jette, Kate Sorenson, Jordan Budensiek, Morgan Nielsen, and Jessica Singewald also earned varsity monograms.

All-Missota forward Justin Novak led the conference in scoring (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Novak, the leading scorer in the Missota Conference, along with linemates Martinesen and Siebenaler and defenseman Holmstrom made the all-Missota Conference team. Erickson and Hauswirth garnered all-league honorable mention. Grubb was the recipient of the state-sponsored Hobey Baker Award.

With 13 letterwinners expected to return from a record-breaking season, Revels said the outlook for his program is promising.

"We'll have a great core group coming back," he said. "The entire line of Novak, Martinsen, and Siebenaler that netted 140 points should be even better. The same goes for Hauswirth and Trippel who had 50 points between them this year.  

"On the blue line, five of our six varsity defensemen will return led by Bernu and Holmstrom who have two full varsity seasons under their belts already as sophomores. Olson will be the lone senior returner and Jette logged a lot of minutes in his first varsity season. Billins was getting more and more varsity time as the season progressed as well...Overby returns for his senior year already having 20 wins in 30 varsity starts and The JV team this year finished 20-3-2." 

Even with all of the experience returning, Revels said the school's switch to the South Suburban Conference next fall will offer his team some new challenges.

"Bigger, faster and stronger is the name of the game in the South Suburban," he said. "Good  competition, night in and night out. Most of those schools have quality programs with large feeder systems across the board.  

"We'll have to come to play have every night if we want to compete. The upside is seeing that type of competition throughout the season will better prepare us for sectional play."

2013-14 Missota Conference Champions