Sophomores are the Future of BSM Boys Hockey


Emma Hoen

Sophomores Drew Stewart, Mason McElroy, Mason Stenger, and Michael Risteau (from left to right) pave the path for future BSM hockey success.

As the BSM Boys Hockey season starts its closing period, the team will face challenges next year with the amount of seniors graduating. Some of those challenges will include the sophomore class needing to pave the way for a successful year and building up their leadership skills. Sophomores that will be counted on are Mason Stenger, Drew Stewart, Michael Risteau, and Mason McElroy. Combined, these four can provide not only great leadership with their uplifting personalities, but also a sense of safety in times of trouble.

While the program has a veteran squad of seniors, the team also relies on their sophomores to keep the game alive. Some sophomores, like Michael Risteau, jumped from bantams to varsity. The jump from playing at a bantam level to the varsity level is very hard and moves at a much faster pace. Not only do you need to keep up with the speed, one also has to deal with the physicality of the bigger and stronger players. “I think us sophomores will have to step up and take a bigger role on the team and be the captains and the leaders of the team,” Risteau said.

Upon needing to step up into bigger roles, certain players will always maintain natural leadership behavior while keeping their traditions and superstitions alive. One of the most superstitious people on the BSM boys hockey team is Drew Stewart. While the games are a lot more fun and there’s a lot more energy involved, Drew Stewart has adapted his pregame and mid game rituals into his routine. Stewart will not hesitate to wait out any individual just to be the last player off the ice. You can also catch him snacking on a honey stinger energy gel booster between the second and third period of any game. While gaining some energy through a nap, protein shake, and meditation visualization, Stewart is very protective about his belongings, specifically, his sticks. “I’m taping the sticks, playing sewer ball with the guys, and no one’s touching my sticks, and I’m using my lucky puck to give the puck marks on the stick,” Drew Stewart said.

In the sense that some people have many superstitions, others just keep it plain and simple, such as Mason Stenger. Stenger enjoys freestyling with his teammates on long away bus rides. His game day routine includes eating cheese tortellini and jamming out to music on his airpods.

Being a varsity defensemen with four seniors can be very aspiring for the underclassman. As a result, Stenger is able to analyze how the upperclassmen play and their roles for when he is to become their age. Giving him a different perspective on ways to improve not only his game physically but also mentally. “The junior defensemen are gonna have to step it up and be leaders back there,” Stenger said.

Not only does Mason Stenger have a simple set of superstitions, but teammate Mason McElroy also likes to keep it simple. “Pregame I like to go to Caleb Koskie’s house and sleep on his bed and eat dinner with his family and see Big Core,” McElroy said.

Another simple superstitious player is Michael Risteau. “I love to take a nap for the game and ride the peloton bike, and then get a good meal and protein shake in. And then when I get to the rink, I like to have my airpods and listen to music and always have to make sure my sticks are great and ready to go,” Risteau said.

With the attacking front end and protective back end, the final deciding factor of a goal comes down to the starting goalie. This responsibility falls into the place of Mason McElroy. While widely known for his accent, he is also known for his outstanding goaltending abilities. Beginning his season strong with his first varsity start against Eden Prairie, winning 3-2, he secured his first win as well. That marked his favorite memory so far. Going into the season as the starting goalie, Mason learned to deal with the pressure but also handled the great feeling of winning, making sure to enjoy his time back in the crease. So how did Mason McElroy become a goalie? “I used to play a lot of mini sticks growing up and I used to tend the pipes in there and so I thought I’d take it to the ice,” McElroy said.

In the spirit of the game, there will only be one winner, whether it’s your team or the opponent team on top. With all the highs and lows of hockey, especially the bigger games such as Edina, Maple Grove, and Rogers, certain players enjoy the high pace and high tempo side of things during the game, more specifically, the Edina game. “It was just high energy, a lot of goals and just really fun all together,” Stewart said.

Someone else that follows the footsteps of loving the Edina game is Michael Risteau. “Just because going to the student section was amazing, and the crowd was great, and there were a lot of goals and we beat them,” Risteau said.