With 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 Eastview.
How last season went
The Lightning played a number of close games last season. That’s evident in the teams average goal numbers. While Eastview scored 2.56 goals per game, the Lightning gave up 2.52 goals per game.
Those numbers didn’t start out strong as Eastview dropped three of its first four games to open the season. From there, the Lightning went on a 12-6-1 tear and included wins against St. Thomas Academy, Lakeville South and Prior Lake.
Eastview entered Section 3AA play as a middle-tier team. The Lightning faced off against St. Thomas Academy. Going up against the Cadets in any postseason circumstance always presents some challenges. But this year it was especially true with St. Thomas Academy making a Cinderella run to the state semifinals. That run began St. Thomas Academy rolling past Eastview in the quarterfinals.
Who’s back and who’s gone
The Lightning went with a senior-heavy lineup this past season and it shows when looking at the team’s statistical leaders. Each of the top four point-getters for Eastview graduated this spring. John Eernisse, Ryan Quaintance, Cullen Johnson and Caden Espinda Banick combined for 46 goals and 59 assists in their final seasons wearing the Lightning uniform.
That senior leadership was also in net. Benett Weestrand graduated after posting a .918 save percentage last season.
What to expect next season
Eastview will need some major reinforcements in order to match last season’s success or even improve upon it. A lot of the Lightning’s offensive production and goaltending came from the seniors. This means there’s an opportunity for a young player to step in a make difference. The opportunities will certainly be there.