Stillwater finished third in the Suburban East Conference last year, behind White Bear Lake and Cretin-Derham Hall, before being bounced by Holy Family Catholic in the Class 2A, Section 4 semifinals. Earlier this year, the Ponies named former NHLer Greg Zanon their new coach. Zanon gets Noah Tussey and Joe Stengl back this year to build on their combined 62-point 2018-19 campaign.
Here’s what Zanon had to say about this year’s early outlook:
PrepHockey: What’s the outlook like for Ponies hockey this early?Stillwater coach Greg Zanon.
Greg Zanon: I believe the outlook is a good one. We have a majority of our varsity team coming back and we have some hungry players at JV looking for their opportunity to contribute.
PH: After last year, what do you think you can build on for a run into the postseason?
Zanon: We need to continue to build on playing confident hockey having that never quit attitude.
PH: Who are some of your key returners? What do you expect them bring to the team?
Zanon: We have three returning D who played big minutes for us last year and we’ll be looking for the same thing out of them this year [Cooper] Wylie, [Evan] Murr, [and Joe] Manning. We expect good leadership and the willingness to do what needed of them as the season goes on. A couple of key forwards for us will be Stengl and Tussey. Stengl took big strides last season and we expect the same thing this year for him to continually get better and help the team all over the ice. Tussey needs to continue to contribute to our offense while growing to be an all-around forward who can shut down the opposition’s top players.
PH: Any under-the-radar players we should be looking out for?
Zanon: Not until our team has gone through tryouts and is picked.