Players from Benilde-St. Margarets, Hill-Murray, and Totino-Grace have found ways to help their teams capture early-season victories. Each team has a few players who have stood out in the first two weeks of the season and should continue to help lead their teams to a successful season.
Benilde-St. Margarets: The Red Knights have gone 2-1 in their first three games of the season while facing off against, Duluth Marshall, Grand Rapids, and Edina. They managed to shut out Grand Rapids in their season opener 11-0, suffered a loss in a close match up 2-4 against Grand Rapids, and were able to squeak out a win 4-3 against Edina. Nate Schweitzer leads the team with 6 points so far, and goalie, Jack Olson is sporting a beautiful .930 save percentage.
Hill-Murray: The Pioneers have started their season 3-0 against, Blaine, Mahtomedi, and Simley. Their closest match up by far was against a good Blaine team where they won 4-2 during their home opener. The past two games Hill-Murray has outscored their opponents 14-1, with a shutout against Simley. Hill-Murrays strength comes from the cohesive unit the Pioneers present. Their players work well together and are constantly communicating with one another on the ice. Charlie Strobel leads the Pioneers with 6 points, and Henry Eischen leads the way with 3 goals in the first 3 games. Senior Goalie, Remington Keopple is an aggressive player who does whatever it takes to keep the puck out of the goal.
Totino-Grace: The Eagles have started their first season in 2A off 1-1 with a tough loss to Mahtomedi and steamrolling over Anoka. The first game ended 4-5 against Mahtomedi, however, Totino-Grace was able to recollect themselves and put the hammer down against Anoka finishing the contest 9-1. The Eagles have some talent across the board, however, three players are leading their team into unknown territory that is 2A hockey. Kyle Heffron has 2 goals and 2 assists in the first two games, as a Senior Captain he commands his teammates and takes opportunities to make big plays when they are needed most. Luke Delzer also has 2 goals and 2 assists on the season and maneuvers around opposing defenders with ease, making him a weapon for the Eagles offensive attack. Patrick Finley keeps the opposing offensive players in check, often utilizing his body to get the puck out of the hands of his opponents.
- #14: Nate Schweitzer– Senior Defender. Nate is a team player and his stats show it, he has 5 assists and 1 goal in the first three games of the season. He is committed to playing college hockey at Colorado College following graduation, where he should fit in well. The Red Knights have started their season strong going 2-1 and they face a tough schedule in front of them. Look for Nate Schweitzer to continue to lead his team as the season progresses.
- #31: Jack Olson– Junior Goalie. Jack has controlled the crease in the first few games of the season, only allowing for three goals against him and producing a .930 save percentage. While only a Junior, Jack Olson has stepped up and lead his team to victory in two of their three games. Jack will continue to improve as the season progresses and will help the Red Knights be successful down the road.
- #27: Charlie Strobel– Senior Forward. Charlie commands the play on the ice, he communicates effectively and puts the team first. His strengths include his ice awareness, he is strong on his feet, and is always looking to pass the puck to an open teammate. Charlie is all around a team player and a leader for the Pioneers. He will continue to lead his team in a positive direction as the season progresses and should be able to rack up some big numbers in the points category.
- #6: Henry Eischen- Senior Forward. Henry utilizes his speed and quickness to avoid defenders and position himself in prime locations on the ice. He is constantly grinding away and plays hard all three periods. Henry passes the puck well and is a well-developed player. He works well with his linemates which is valuable when they can catch the opposing team on their heels. Look for Henry to keep putting the puck in the net as well as guiding his team in the right direction for the rest of the season.
- #1: Remington Keopple- Senior Goalie. Remington is as aggressive and confident as they come for high school goaltenders. He attacks the puck and is not afraid to leave his crease when the opportunity presents itself. Remington remains calm and collected when facing a 1 v 1 rush and can locate the puck quickly. Not only can he stop the puck but he also passes it well, he has a keen hockey sense and makes big plays all game long. The Pioneers can rest easy knowing they have a goalie such as Remington Keopple in the net. He is a leader on the team and will help keep the Pioneers in close games as the season progresses.
- #23: Kyle Heffron– Senior Forward. Kyle stands out for the Eagles, not only is he 6’ 5” but he glides down the ice as smooth as can be. His teammates call him “Moose”, for obvious reasons, his frame and the way he plays is intimidating. Moose uses his body well and can get from end to end in a few long strides. He put in two goals against Anoka, his shot is hard and he is able to make it look easy putting the puck in the net seamlessly. Kyle is a well-rounded player and a leader on the team as a Senior Captain, the younger players look up to him and it is fun to watch him play. Moose will continue to lead the Eagles in their first season of 2A and should have no problem racking up goals and assists game after game.
- #12: Luke Delzer– Junior Forward. Luke lives up to the hype as he is the Eagles most versatile weapon. He can skate circles around opposing defenders and can stickhandle in traffic with ease. Luke also put up two goals against Anoka, a hard slapshot from the top of the circle and a beautiful backhand shot propelled past Anoka’s goalie before he knew what had happened. He is a team player and makes excellent cross-ice passes, often setting up his teammates to make big plays. Luke has great control of his body and is able to find open ice no matter how he has to get there. Look to Luke Delzer to make a big impact in Class 2A this season as he is a force to be reckoned with.
- #15: Patrick Finley- Senior Defender. Patrick plays hard from the very beginning to the last second of the game. He works the body well and can poke check the puck away from opposing players while still staying in position. Patrick Finley is an athlete, he utilizes his speed and ice awareness to stop rushes before they can gain momentum. He is a leader amongst his fellow defensemen and is always looking to make a key pass at the right moment. Patrick remains calm in high-stress situations and keeps a level head throughout the game. Expect Patrick Finley to help keep opposing teams from scoring to a minimum all season long as his defensive play is top-notch.