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 Owatonna.
How last season went
The Huskies thrived on offensive talent this past season as they averaged 4.6 goals per game. It started with an 8-1 stretch to open the season. From there, the success continued.
Owantonna rolled through the Big Nine schedule and eventually finished with a 13-2 conference record. That was good enough for second in the conference standings.
Amongst those wins included wins against Mankato East and Mankato West. In non-conference play, the Huskies picked up wins against Tartan and Farmington. Those triumphs helped Owantonna to a 19-6 overall record.
While playing a mostly Class 1A schedule, the Huskies had their hands full in Section 1AA. They were the No. 5 seed playing against Big Nine foe Rochester Century in the quarterfinals. Owatonna struggled in a 5-1 loss and saw its season come to a close just one game into the postseason.
Who’s back and who’s gone
The Huskies found success with a fairly young group of players. The two biggest departures come in the form of Collin Pederson and Zach Wiese.
Pederson graduates following a 29-point season (14 goals, 15 assists). Meanwhile, Wiese played in 23 of 25 games in net and posted a .910 save percentage and a 1.82 goals against average.
As for returners, the list of skaters is impressive. Dom Valento had a 42-point season (20G, 22A). Zach Kubicek impressed with 40 points (23G, 17A). He impressed with four goals and two assists against Rochester John-Marshall on Jan. 23.
Two key returners besides those already mentioned include Taylor Bogen (9G, 20A) and Casey Johnson (13G, 13A).
What to expect next season
There is experience for Owatonna to lean in heading into next season. But as is the case for every Big Nine team playing in Section 1AA, they will always be challenged with going against section foes who play a mostly 2A schedule in the South Suburban. With the right regular season schedule, the Huskies can make some noise in this section largely dominated by Lakevilles.