Hockey team prepares for a promising season

Sam Mogensen

Coming off a disappointing season-ending loss against Minnetonka in sections in 2009, the young and talented 2010 boys’ hockey team hopes to rebound with a state championship run.

Expectations for the new team are high. With the lineup starting to develop, head coach Ken Pauly looks forward to a big season. “We’ve had a young lineup the last couple of years, and I think it’s time to cash out on some of that talent,” said Mr. Pauly.

Coach Pauly is very excited about the competition for the goalie position, which is open for the first time in three seasons after losing Jacob Myers to graduation. “[Anders] Jecha has been playing very well lately, and we’re expecting [Justin] Quale to make a push for the spot,” said Mr. Pauly.

With hopes of making state this year, the team has some obstacles to overcome in order to progress. “One thing that was lacking last year was signature victories; we had some nice wins but no signature victories,” said Coach Pauly. “When we play those signature teams like Edina, Eden Prairie, and Hill Murray, we need to win.”

In order to win those key games, the team’s star players Patrick Daly, Grant Besse, Patrick Steinhauser, Jake Horton, and Christian Horn have to produce. “Patrick Daly is clearly one of the best defensemen in the state. He could even be a Mr. Hockey candidate,” said Mr. Pauly. “He’s that good.”

Another obstacle to the team could be the talent of the individual players on the team itself because individual talent can sometimes draw from the full team effort as each of the players could think of themselves as individuals rather than part of the team. “I think we’re very talented, [but] talent can be an obstacle to hard work and team work,” said Mr. Pauly.

With confidence apparent in both the coach and the players, the 2010 team expects to go far. “We have a lot of good competition this year, but in the end we’ll come out on top,” said Horton.

Hoping the team plays at its highest level throughout the season, Coach Pauly is very optimistic. “We have incredible potential.”