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 Monticello.
How last season went
Three seasons ago, the Moose became a state darling when they shocked the state by making it to the Class 1A state championship game in their inaugural state tournament run. Since then, this program has become a household name.
Monticello has maintained that success in recent seasons, including during the 2019-20 season. The Moose went a perfect 11-0. In a season that saw the team score more than four goals per game and post a 17-7-1 record, Monticello picked up key wins against the likes of Pine City, Alexandria and North Branch.
In the Section 5A tournament, the Moose were a favorite as the top seed but playing in a section known for its unpredictable results.
It was smooth sailing in the first two rounds as Monticello cruised to wins against Sauk Rapids-Rice and Princeton. In the section final, the Moose faced a Pine City squad looking for its state tournament appearance.
The two teams played in a wild game all the way until the end where Monticello pulled ahead with some late-game magic to win 6-4 and make its second state tournament appearance in the past three seasons.
In St. Paul, the Moose were tasked with taking down heavyweight and No. 3 seed Hermantown. The Hawks cruised to a 7-1 victory and ended Monticello’s state tournament chances.
In the consolation round, the Moose earned a win against Mankato East/Loyola in the semifinals. Then, Monticello finished with a sixth-place finish as the Moose lost to Delano, 2-1.
Who’s back and who’s gone
Jeffrey Henrikson and Brian Cornelius were on the ice as Monticello made its rise in the state. They both graduated this past Spring after combining for 45 goals and 52 assists last season.
While both those losses will be tough to recover from, the Moose have plenty of returning talent to rely on. It starts with Wilson Dahlheimer. That last name has become synonymous with Monticello hockey. He’s the latest Dahlheimer to produce solid numbers and is set to return following a 40-point season (18 goals, 22 assists).
Alongside Dahlheimer is Gunnar Dibley, who had 28 points (10G, 18A) last season and is set to return.
In net, there’s more good news. carried the netminding load last season and succeeded as he posted a .916 save percentage in 31 appearances.
What to expect next season
As mentioned, Monticello has become more than just a nice story in central Minnesota. The Moose are a force to be reckoned with and will look to be a contender again next season with their returning talent and the open nature of Section 5A.