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 Irondale.
How last season went
Irondale had an up and down 2019-2020 season, as they struggled to play consistently on both ends of the ice. For example, they lost their first game of the year to a very good White Bear Lake team 1-10, but then managed to beat the Bears 4-1 when they matched up again in January. That’s how things went this season for Irondale, as they flirted with success but couldn’t quite grasp it, ultimately finishing the regular season with a 7-18 record, good for 8th in the Suburban East Conference.
Section 4AA is loaded with powerhouses like Hill Murray, Stillwater, and White Bear Lake, so the Knights had a steep hill to climb to make any noise in playoffs. As the #8 seed, Irondale was lined up against Minnehaha Academy for the Play-in game, in which they coasted to a 6-1 victory. Unfortunately, this earned the Knights a playoff game against #1 seeded Hill Murray, who defeated Irondale 8-0 to end their season.
Who’s back and who’s gone
The good news for Irondale, is they are only graduating 7 seniors from the 2019-2020 team. Of those seven, none will be missed as much as leading scorer Nate Foley. Foley led the team in points with 20 goals and 16 assists, the next closest skater had only 14 total points on the year. Foley scored 34% of the Knights goals, a staggering number which will be difficult to replace.
Thankfully the Maroon and Gold have familiar facesand returning on the defensive end. Both were top 4 in scoring for the Knights last season, combining for 9 goals and 14 assists. Also coming back is starting goaltender , who was also voted to be a captain for the 2020-2021 season. Kaasa posted a 7-14 record with a 4.30 GAA and a .863 SV% last year.
What to expect next season
Irondale hasn’t been a high school hockey powerhouse since the 1980s, and they have a lot of work to do if they want to get back into the discussion. Particularly on offense, as they only scored 59 goals last season, an average of 2.18 goals per game. The Knights will have to develop all 4 lines and play disciplined hockey if they want to replace Foley’s scoring and light the lamp more in 2021.