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 Thief River Falls.
How last season went
The Prowlers have long been a team to be reckoned with in the northern part of the state, especially amongst Class 1A programs. Because of that, Thief River Falls annually puts its team on the ice against some of the state’s top competitors. That was no different this season.
In the early going, the Prowlers showed they were up for the challenge as they won their first three games of the season. From there, things weren’t quite as rosy as Thief River Falls stumbled against some tough opponents. The Prowlers did, however, show some toughness as they topped solid programs such as Gentry Academy and Hibbing-Chisholm and ultimately finished the regular season with a 14-10-1 record.
Heading into postseason play, Thief River Falls had its hands full in a tough Section 8A. As the No. 3 seed, the Prowlers got off on the right foot as they bested Red Lake Falls in the quarterfinals. Then, Thief River Falls battled it out with second-seeded East Grand Forks in the section semifinals. After falling behind 2-0, the Prowlers attempted a rally in the third period but came up short and saw their season draw to a close.
Who’s gone and who’s back
This roster came into this season with high expectations thanks to senior leaders such as, and . They showed their prowess as the trio combined for 47 goals and 66 assists.
To make matters more difficult for the 2020-21 Thief River Falls squad,was a senior who manned the net for nearly the entire season. He impressed with a 1.93 goals against average and .927 save percentage.
Looking at the list of the Prowlers’ top scorers, Blake Biermaier’s name pops out as a returner with a chance to step up. Playing alongside the outstanding seniors, Biermaier came through with 8 goals and 15 assists.
What to expect next season
There’s a lot of pieces from the 2019-20 Thief River Falls roster graduating and moving on. That means players such as Biermaier will have to take a step up in a big way while the next group of talented Prowlers make their way through. There has a chance to be some growing pains, but Thief River Falls has the pedigree to still have lofty expectations for the 2020-21 season.