Skating into the season


Mariah Schroht

Senior Aaron Bangs gets ready for a face off

Sam Snitker, Writer

After rocky beginnings, the Owatonna Boys Hockey Team is off to a great start to the season. With a current record of 5-1-1, they are fourth in the Big 9 Conference, and hungry for the top spot. This season has been a very different experience compared to other seasons. The impact that COVID-19 had on our world pushed the season back until 2021, and shortened it as well. But since then, the boys have come back bigger and better and have been playing very well so far this season.

For the most part, things have been positive this season. Senior captain Dom Valento said, “The season is going pretty well so far. With our record being 5-1-1, I think we have a shot at getting Owatonna it’s first conference championship in 28 years.” The boys have pulled off big wins against good teams like Northfield and Rochester Mayo and continue to beat most of the conference teams. Head Coach Josh Storm said, “We have done a good job of creating offense. We have one of the highest shot totals in the conference and have scored a high amount of goals this season.” With a squad this talented, the boys are looking to continue to dominate offensively in games down the road.

The boys took their first loss to Mankato East early in the season 5-2. Since then the boys have won every game except a recent one against Mankato West, ending in a 4-4 tie in overtime. Coach Storm said, “We need to continue to get better at team defense and work to improve our special teams.” This comes with hard work, which the boys do plenty of out on the ice every day. 

With COVID-19 going around, the season hasn’t exactly turned out as planned. Not only do the boys have a shortened season, but by rule, the boys have to wear a mask out on the ice while they play. Senior captain Casey Johnson said, “Playing with masks on isn’t ideal, but it’s something we have to deal with and work around.” It can’t be easy playing with a mask on, and it’s impressive that these guys can do it. Additionally, Storm said, “COVID has made things a bit different. I think it has made us appreciate the opportunity to play and to enjoy every opportunity we have to be on the ice.”

The boys have fought hard this season and will play away in Minnetonka at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20.