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 Minnetonka.
How last season went
Playing in the ultra-competitive Lake Conference and Section 2AA, there’s often a small margin of error for a team such as the Skippers. That was evident at the beginning of the season as Minnetonka dropped five of its first six games of the regular season.
Though the Skippers put themselves in quite a hole, they did do a solid job of rebounding. From that point on, they went 11-6-1. That run included wins against Chaska, Andover, White Bear Lake, Edina and Eden Prairie. They finished with a 12-12-1 record and a 6-3-1 record inside the Lake, good enough for second place behind the Eagles.
As the No. 3 seed, Minnetonka blanked Chanhassen 3-0 in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, the Skippers got another crack at Eden Prairie. Though Minnetonka struck first and looked poised to knock off the highly-touted Eagles, the Skippers couldn’t add anything else on and eventually lost 6-1 to Eden Prairie.
Who’s back and who’s gone
Players such ashave been a fixture on Minnetonka hockey teams. But that will no longer be the case as he graduates. During his senior season, Lagerback showed his experience with a 38-point campaign (19 goals, 19 assists). Brandon Lacorny also graduates after adding 21 points (11G, 10A). Brandon Shantz also graduates after appearing in 22 games and posting a .896 save percentage.
In the column of returners, some key pieces stand out. Hunter Newhouse tied with Lagerback for a team-best 19 assists last season. Meanwhile, Duke Kiffin also returns following a season where he made a name for himself with 13 assists. Tyler Kueppers returns after a more balanced 2019-20 season (8G, 9A).
What to expect next season
Under coach Sean Goldsworthy, Minnetonka has peaked at state champion but also had some lackluster seasons. The talent is there, which means expectations are almost always high. That will almost certainly be the case. The true test will be if the Skippers can be more consistent than last season and pull off some victories against some other big schools.