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 Morris/Benson Area.
How last season went
The MBA Storm may not be a house-hold name for MN high school hockey yet, but they certainly are a program on the rise. The Storm came out of the gates on fire last season, winning 12 of their first 13 games and outscoring opponents 70-25 during that stretch. MBA finished the season with an impressive 19-5 record, with big wins over some challenging opponents such as Luverne and River Lakes.
Despite the Storm’s regular-season success, they still were given a play-in game to earn a spot in the Section 6A playoffs, due to being an independent team and not having the strongest schedule. Never the less, the MBA showed why they belonged by earning a decisive 4-2 victory over Wadeena-Deer Creek and securing the #7 seed for Section 6A. Unfortunately, that meant playing against #2 seed Alexandria, who defeated the Storm 7-1, ending their season.
Who’s back and who’s gone
The good news for MBA is they are only graduating five seniors from the 2019-2020 team. Of those five, forward Jack Riley and goalie Chase Engebretson will be missed the most. Riley was 2nd in scoring with 14 goals and 26 assists, and Engebretson had an incredible year in net, posting a 20-3 record with a 2.21 GAA and .911 SV%.
Even better for the Storm, is they get backfor one final season. Bruns led the team with 40 goals and 20 assists, including 7 different hattrick games and a staggering 19 games with multiple-point efforts. Joining Bruns on their top line will probably and , who combined for 24 goals and 32 assists last season. will most likely replace Engebretson between the pipes and will have some big shoes to fill. LeClair started two games last season, posting a 4.50 GAA and .827SV%.
What to expect next season
Morris/Benson Area has yet to make the state tournament, but if they were to make a run for greatness, now is the time. If they can get a bounce-back season fromand continue to develop players around , look for the Storm to make some noise in section 6A.