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 Ely.
How last season went
Ely was coming into the 2019-2020 season with a glimpse of hope, as they had secured their first playoff win since 2008 over International Falls the previous year. However, that spark didn’t last long, as the Timberwolves lost their first 8 games of the season, being outscored 81-15 during that stretch. The young Northern-team played more competitive hockey towards the end of their schedule, but still finished the regular season with an abysmal 3-15 record.
Ely headed into Section 7A Playoffs seeded #10 and looked to play spoiler as they did in 2019, but unfortunately, the odds didn’t play in their favor. The Timberwolves ran into a #7 seeded Proctor team that had their number all season and took a harsh 2-12 loss to end the year.
Who’s back and who’s gone
The good news for Ely is they are a super young team, last season alone they had 12 players who were listed as Freshman or younger on the team roster. The biggest returners for the Timberwolves will be, , and who combined for 10 goals and 15 assists last year. Also back is starting goalie , who started for the Timberwolves as an Eighth-grader and has the only playoff win in the past 11 years for the program.
Bad news for Ely is that Luke Olson skated in his last game vs Proctor. Luke led the team in points by far, tallying 32 goals and 12 assists this season. To put this loss in perspective, the team scored 50 goals in total, so Luke was 88% of their offensive production last season and has been the go-to scorer for the past three years now.
What to expect next season
The saying, “It’s always darkest before the dawn”, speaks true to what this Ely program is going through. Next year will prove to be one of the hardest challenges for the Timberwolves as they look to find a new playmaker(s) on the offensive end to replace Luke Olson. They’ll need to develop their young players likeand into serious goal-scorers if they hope to make another “Miracle at the border” happen again like it did in 2019.