With most sports on hold and the 2020-21 season still months out, it’s time to take a look at teams from all over the State of Hockey and examine what happened this past season and what’s ahead. The next team we’re breaking down is East Grand Forks.
How last season went
Based on history, it’s hardly a surprise East Grand Forks found itself in the mix as one of Class 1A’s top programs. Playing a tough schedule, the Green Wave cruised to an 18-4-2 regular season record. That included a stretch where East Grand Forks won 10 of 11 games between Jan. 9 and Feb. 15.
Many of those 18 wins came against quality opponents. During the regular season, the Green Wave grabbed wins against Mahtomedi, Thief River Falls and St. Cloud Cathedral.
Heading into the Section 8A tournament, it appeared that it was a two-team race between East Grand Forks and fellow northern powerhouse Warroad. The two teams collided in the section final. The Warriors won and dashed the Green Wave’s hope of a state tournament run.
Who’s back and who’s gone
Though East Grand Forks’ season ended on a sour note, the list of players set to return to the Green Wave lineup is quite sweet. The four players who lead East Grand Forks in points last season,, Logan Spencer, Jaksen Panzer and , all are set to return after combining for 59 goals and 86 assists.
The most important Green Wave player lost to graduation looks to be Austin Cooley. He guided East Grand Forks in net and finished his final high school season with a 1.67 goals against average and .903 save percentage.
What to expect next season
With much of the Green Wave firepower set to return to the ice this November, it appears to be state tournament or bust with this squad. The talent is there. Now, it’s just getting past that pesky Warroad squad.