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 Virginia/Mountain Iron-Buhl
How last season went
December was a rough month in what was a rough season for Blue Devils. Between Dec. 10-28, the squad suffered six consecutive losses. Those results became a season-long trend as Virginia/Mountain Iron-Buhl gave up 4.64 goals per game.
Things did turn for the better as the season wore on, however. The Blue Devils picked up wins against Hibbing/Chisholm and Bloomington Kennedy. From Jan. 4-14, the team went on a five-game unbeaten streak. That helped Virginia/Mountain Iron-Buhl to a 7-16-2 regular-season record.
In a tough Section 7A, the Blue Devils earned the No. 7 seed. Their postseason run lasted one game as they fell to Greenway in the quarterfinals.
Who’s back and who’s gone
There is plenty to like about what’s likely to come for the 2020-21 Virginia/Mountain Iron-Buhl team. The returning list has some key names, including Ryan Scherf, Brennan Peterson and Tom Nemanich. That trio combined for 28 goals and 44 assists and is expected to return to the ice during the 2020-21 season.
As for departures, look no further then Dillon Drake. He graduated following his final season of high school hockey where he scored 10 goals while dishing out four assists.
The goaltending situation is a little more complicated. Ian Kangas is expected to be back after posting a .901 save percentage. Meanwhile, netminder Tristan Pikula posted a .870 save percentage in his final season of high school hockey.
What to expect next season
There are some signs of progress, including the fact that the list of returning players is encouraging. However, this returning group has some work to do after last season’s performance. We’ll see what kind of progress can be made.