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 Mahtomedi.
How last season went
Though the Zephyrs didn’t have a state title to their name, they had established themselves in Class 1A in recent years as an annual contender for state champion. That was no different during the 2019-20 season.
It started with Mahtomedi rattling off seven wins in its first eight games of the season. The Zephyrs went on to compete for the Metro East Conference championship. They did so by winning games against Monticello, Alexandria, St. Thomas Academy and eventual Class 2A champion Hill-Murray.
Heading into Section 4A play, Mahtomedi rightfully earned the No. 1 seed with its 17-8 regular season record. The Zephyrs made their case in the regular season and postseason. In three section games, Mahtomedi won all three by a combined score of 14-2.
That performance only gave the Zephyrs the No. 4 seed in Class 1A as the field was loaded with talented programs such as Warroad, Hermantown and St. Cloud Cathedral.
It’s possible Mahtomedi used that seeding as motivation as the Zephyrs cruised to a 5-2 win against Delano in the quarterfinals. Then, Mahtomedi shocked some with a dominant 5-1 win against the Warriors in the semifinals.
In the final, the Zephyrs matched up with perennial power Hermantown. The two teams duked it out into overtime, where Mahtomedi broke the 2-2 tie and captured the program’s first state championship.
Who’s back and who’s gone
The amazing thing about Mahtomedi is its ability to win a state championship with a significant portion of its top scorers being on the younger side of things. Three of the Zephyrs’ top four scorers (Adam Johnson, Ethan Peterson and JD Metz) are set to return.
Johnson finished the year with 17 goals and 32 assists, including a pair of goals against Warroad in the semifinals. Meanwhile, Peterson posted 10 goals and 30 assists last season and Metz tallied 9 goals and 26 assists. Both each added goals in the state championship game.
In net, Ben Dandis is set to return after an all-tournament season and making 40 saves in the state final. The biggest loss will likely be, who graduates following a season where he posted 27 goals and 29 assists.
What to expect next season
Mahtomedi has been in the mix and and will likely be in the mix going forward. The Zephyrs are well-versed in what in takes to make it and compete in the state tournament. This team will be a menace not only for their East Metro foes but for the entire Class 1A field.