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 Hutchinson.
How last season went
After losing in the section finals in 2019, the Tigers had revenge on their minds coming into the 2019-2020 season. Hutchinson came out of the gates hot, winning 7 of their first 8 games. After some mid-season trouble, Hutchinson finished strong with an overall record of 16-8-1, good for 4th in the Wright County Conference.
Entering playoffs the Tigers drew the #1 seed for Section 3A and went to work on getting their retribution from the year prior. They absolutely blew out all three opponents, outscoring Fairmont, Luverne, and Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato by a total of 24-2 to secure their first trip to the State Tournament since 2009.
Hutchinson drew the #8 seed for the tournament, which meant playing against an absolutely loaded Warroad team in the first round. The Tigers showed some first-period rust and could not overcome the firepower of the Warriors squad, ultimately losing 3-9 at the Xcel Energy Center.
Then came Mariucci Arena and the consolation bracket, where Hutchinson was set to face their conference rival Delano. In an absolute shootout, Hutch would see their season end in a heartbreaking 5-6 overtime loss.
Who’s back and who’s gone
The good news is they are only graduating 6 seniors from this historic team. The bad news, one of those players is Austin Jozwick. Jozwick led the team in scoring by a wide margin, with 35 goals and 29 assists.
A big sigh of relief for the Tigers is that, , and will all be back. Jensen (21G, 16A) was 2nd in points, Longie (8G, 13A) led all defenseman in scoring, and Hagen manned the net posting a 16-7-1 record with a 2.47 GAA and a .906 SV%.
What to expect next season
Hutchinson is coming off their fifth section championship ever and will look to repeat. In order to do so, they’ll needto step into the lead scoring role and quarterback their already strong powerplay. If they can replace Jozwick’s production and have another solid season from , look for the Tigers to be on top of Section 3A again.