High Expectations for Boys’ Hockey

Rayyaan Usmani, Sports Writer

The EHS Boys’ Hockey team has enjoyed much success over the years. The team has made it to the Xcel Energy Center many times, including a trip last year. But the team looks dramatically different this year. After losing a variety of seniors, including Nick Wolff, Kyle Stebbing, and Tommy Muck among others, the style this team plays with differs quite a bit. Senior Stevie Hasslinger stated, “We definitely lost many physical seniors. We are a lot smaller this year, so we definitely play a different style of hockey.”

Not only have they lost various seniors, they also lost star goalie Andrew Lindgren, who transferred to a different school this season. Hasslinger stated that goalie Jared Manzella is an important player for the team this year, adding that he will be a key contributor. Senior starter Brad Dusek stated, “Our main contributors are probably the line of Tony Juricko, Kevin Sturgeon, and Spencer Roth. We are looking for a lot of goals from them.”

Even with all of the changes that have taken place within the team, the team has not changed their expectations. Dusek stated, “We expect to succeed. That is basically it. I think I have a good feeling about this year.” Hasslinger shared a similar viewpoint saying, “We want to finish the season with an above .500 record and hopefully make it to State.”

Sure, the team has had a somewhat slow start, losing the majority of its games, but the mindset has not changed whatsoever. It is a long season, and they boys believe they can turn things around. “We want to make it back to State this year,” exclaimed Stevie, “We expect to make it back to the Xcel.”

The majority of the conference games this season are important. Dusek stated, “We have to take the season one game at a time. We cannot think ahead.” But Hasslinger and Dusek both highlighted the Eastview game as a key game. Either way, the team’s expectations and mindset have not changed, and the boys will be looking to improve this season’s outlook quickly.