Boys hockey: Tigers show potential with 3-0 run at DuluthSports editor Matthew Steichen talks with boys hockey coach Keith Revels about the season ahead.
By: Matt Steichen, The Farmington Independent
The boys hockey team once again prepared for the season with some scrimmages in Duluth last weekend. How did it go?
We had a good weekend up north. Friday afternoon we had practice at Amsoil Arena in Duluth with a tour of facility with Bulldog equipment manager and fomer Tiger Kyle Lemke. We also got to see UMD play Mankato that night. Saturday we had split squad outings against Eveleth (won 5-1) and Virginia (won 4-1) and a varsity scrimmage against Proctor (won 4-1). We played very well, scored some goals and allowed only one in each outing.
Last year’s team finished 14-13, the first .500 season since 2005-06. In what areas did you see last year’s team improve the most compared to past Farmington teams?
Steady goaltending and an improved commitment to defensive zone was keys to success. We also had two lines that could put the puck away and a very physical third line that played very well defensively.
You lose some productive forwards in Tyler Grubb, Zak Payne and Dan Handberg. What players are you expecting to pick up the slack on the offensive end?
We have Andrew Peterson (37 points) and Grant Hauswirth (19 points) and a number of other threats and should have three lines that have ability to put the puck away. There are a couple of young forwards that may also contribute.
Who will you look to for leadership among your returning defensive players?
Jack Buss and John Donnelly have a full season on the blue line for us. JV players Zach Colaw, Marques Words and Jordan Lugowski, as well as newcomer Corey Rurud are in the mix for our top six defenders.
Are there any other varsity newcomers you’ve watched in practice this week that you think could make an impact this season?
Rurud on the blueline, Jack Erickson and Dan Block at forward.
Victor Simones got the bulk of the time in goal last season and won 11 of his 19 starts. Are you expecting him to once again play in a rotation, or will he get more time as a senior? What are his strengths as a goalie?
I would expect at least 20 starts for him again this season. He is athletic and uses his size well. He’s also very composed.
The team used a late-season surge to finish in a tie for third in the conference at 7-7. Do you feel like this team has the ability to maintain that level of competitiveness or finish even higher if things to your way this season?
With a week in the books, we have the potential to meet and possibly exceed last year’s marks, especially if we get off to a better start than we did a year ago. Steady goaltending and a commitment to defensive end are key for us. If we can do those things, I think we have enough depth up front to win some hockey games.
Who do you look at as the top teams in the conference and section?
Holy Angels and Chanhassen in the Missota, Lakeville South in 1AA.