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 Southwest Christian/Richfield.
How last season went
The Stars are a relatively new co-op program still looking to find their footing amongst those in Class 1A. They didn’t help their cause early on last season as they dropped their first four contests.
However, that fortune changed during the rest of the regular season. Southwest Christian/Richfield went on to go 12-7-2 the rest of the way while averaging 3.88 points per game. The Stars relied on that high-scoring approach to head into the postseason with a 12-11-2 record.
In the Section 2A tournament, Southwest Christian/Richfield opened with Waconia in the play-in round. The Stars notched a win as they won 4-1. Next up was a tough opponent in Delano. Though Southwest Christian/Richfield gave the Tigers everything they could handle, Delano prevailed with a 3-2 win.
Who’s back and who’s gone
Nic Gustafson was surely a bright spot for the Stars. He graduates after scoring 30 goals and tacking on 36 assists. Besides Gustafson, Jeremiah Konkel is a key departure. He graduates after a 36-point senior season (13 goals, 23 assists).
Meanwhile, there are plenty of players who are able to return and help Southwest Christian/Richfield take a step forward. That includes Jackson Olimb, who posted a 38 point season (15G, 23 A). Ryan Odefey is also expected be a key returner after a 29-point season (12G, 17A).
In net, there is plenty of returning experience to lean on. Isaac Haugen is back after posting a .896 save percentage in 15 games. Max Lavin is also back after accumulating a .869 save percentage in 11 appearances.
What to expect next season
For many years, Richfield was a powerhouse in Minnesota high school hockey. Due to a number of factors, that’s no longer the case and that ultimately led to this co-op. But there appear to be signs this train may be headed in the right direction. It’s ultimately up to this current group of returners to make some noise and help get this program back on the map.