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 Forest Lake.
How last season went
The Rangers came out hot during the 2019-20 season as they started with a six-game unbeaten streak.
Forest Lake managed to maintain a 13-9-3 regular season record while picking up wins against section opponents such as Elk River and Duluth East. Eventually, the Rangers finished fourth in the highly competitive Suburban East Conference.
In the wide open Section 7AA, Forest Lake earned the No. 4 seed. The Rangers moved on past the quarterfinals after prevailing in a 1-0 victory over Duluth East in the quarterfinals.
In the semifinals, Forest Lake ran into the buzzsaw that was Andover in this section. The Rangers season came to an end on that day.
Who’s back and who’s gone
Hunter Johnson was a key cog in the offensive machine for Forest Lake. He’s set to return after a 24-point season (11 goals, 13 assists).
As for a supporting cast of returners, it’s slim pickings. Jordan Oberholtzer (11G, 11A), Jack Makelke (9G, 11A) and (8G, 10A) all graduated after solid senior seasons. So too did goaltender Josie Bothun, who posted a .906 save percentage in 11 games.
One good piece of news is the expected return of Casey Sauve. He’s set to be back after posting a .891 save percentage in 13 appearances.
What to expect next season
Looking at the returning list of players, there are certainly holes. On the negative side, it could appear that the 2019-20 season was the year for the Rangers to make a move and have significant success. But that didn’t happen. Who knows? This could be Forest Lake’s year. It could be any year based on the unpredictable nature of Section 7AA.