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 Stillwater.
How last season went
The Ponies have long been among the East Metro’s best, specifically in the Suburban East Conference and Section 4AA. That looked to be the case once again this past season. Stillwater went on an 8-1 run to open the season.
The Ponies kept that pace for the most part. Along the way, they picked up key wins against Duluth East, Mahtomedi, White Bear Lake and Cretin-Derham Hall. After that strong start through nine games, Stillwater went 10-4-1 the rest of the way and finished second in the Suburban East.
In the postseason, the Ponies were amongst the teams in the mix for the section crown. They came in as the No. 2 seed. After a win in the quarterfinals, Stillwater faced off against the Bears, a team that at one point held the top spot in the Class 2A coaches’ poll. These two East Metro titans battled it out but it was White Bear Lake that emerged with a 5-3 win as the Ponies headed home disappointed.
Who’s back and who’s gone
Noah Tusey took the reins of Stillwater’s offense and ran with it last season. He’s expected to return after scoring 25 goals and adding 23 assists. Evan Murr andare also set to return after combining for 17 goals and 40 assists.
In net, the Ponies will hit a reset button of sorts as both of their goaltenders graduate. Logan Bies spent 18 games in net, posting a .902 save percentage. Meanwhile, Joe Pearson also spent time manning the net in eight games. He posted a 1.57 goals against average and .890 save percentage.
Another big loss will come in the form of Joe Stengl. He graduates after a 37-point senior season (23 goals, 14 assists).
What to expect next season
Stillwater has rarely dipped in the past decade or so. While the Ponies may not be boasting state championship banners all over their arena, they do have the reputation of at least being the mix. That might be the case next season. The biggest challenge will be overtaking a Hill-Murray squad coming off the high of a state championship with plenty of returning talent.