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 North Shore.
How last season went
It was a solid start to the season for the Storm as they won three of their first five games. While they went 5-15 the rest of the way, there were a few highlights along the way, including consecutive wins against Proctor and Ashland. When the regular season wrapped up, North Shore had compiled an 8-17 record.
Heading into the postseason, the Storm were in an underdog in the Section 7A play-in round but came through with a 4-3 win against Hibbing/Chisholm to keep their season alive. Unfortunately, North Shore’s reward for that win was top-seeded Hermantown. The Hawks’ run toward second place in Class 1A began as they defeated the Storm in the quarterfinals.
Who’s back and who’s gone
North Shore’s top offensive producers are both set to return next season. Sully Tikkanen is back after a 10-goal, 12-assist performance while Ryder McMilen comes back after an 18-point season. Nate Bilben is also back after scoring 9 goals last season.
The Storm’s biggest losses come in the form of Cole Komrek and Connor Sullivan. Komrek graduates after scoring 12 goals and 6 assists in his final season. Sullivan was the main netminder for North Shore and finished with a .900 save percentage.
What to expect next season
There are signs of hope for the Storm as key offensive players return. The biggest hole to fill will likely be in net with Komrek graduating. Besides filling holes, they have the unenviable task of trying to take a step up in a section that has been dominated by Hermantown for more than a decade.