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 Totino-Grace.
How last season went
For the Eagles, most of their season was spent around the middle, whether it’d be their standing in the Northwest Suburban Conference or record-wise. That came in part due to some up-and-down play. There was the five-game losing streak that began in December and leaked into January. Then, Totino-Grace rattled off four straight wins between Jan. 30 and Feb. 6.
When all was set and done, the Eagles finished the regular season with an 8-13-2 record and picked up some key wins, including a victory in a 6-5 overtime thriller against conference for Elk River.
Totino-Grace got its postseason off to a strong start as the Eagles defeated Champlin Park to advance to the Section 5AA semifinals. Going up against top-seeded Blaine, the Eagles gave the defending section champions a scare but the Bengals prevailed 1-0.
Who’s back and who’s gone?
There’s one large presence departing from the Totino-Grace program due to graduation. That would be, who leaves after leading the team with 20 goals and 28 assists.
There’s plenty of reason for Eagles fans to be hopeful, however., and are all poised to return after combining for 42 goals and 51 assists a season ago.
To make matters even better, Wes Johnson is set to be back as the top goaltender for Totino-Grace after posting a .887 save percentage.
What to expect next season
The theme for most teams in Section 5AA and the Northwest Suburban Conference is the challenge of supplanting top teams such as Blaine, Maple Grove and Andover. Totino-Grace may have an opportunity to do that with some experienced players coming back. But only time will tell if the Eagles can break into the top echelon of the northwest suburb hockey scene.