Hockey has officially returned to Minot as the Minot State Women’s Hockey team is hitting the ice.
Head Coach Ryan Miner said since day one of practice the team has clicked and he is excited about this group of girls.
“We’ve been getting into a good rhythm a good tempo,” Miner said. “We’ve been working on systems here for the last few weeks and really started to grind those out. Our veteran players have definitely been working with our Freshman to kind of understand the concepts and it’s starting to click here which is what we are looking for.”
Last season the Beavers finished 16-5-1, and they know exactly what they need to do to improve on that this year.
“This year we just need to work hard and be confident, we need to be confident and be physical this year,” Haley Wickman, Senior Forward, said. “A big goal this year is to be a physical team and to be a team that others don’t want to play against so that is definitely something we are going to look for this year.”
“The physicality aspect of the game and that doesn’t mean just going into the corner and blowing someone up but just putting your body on them and making sure you step into a lane rather than reaching or using your stick,” Miner said.
For Wickman, she is hoping to help develop the younger players.
“I’m really fortunate to be a leader on this team and our whole leadership group we do try to be the best leaders we can and for our young girls,” Wickman said. “And our young girls they come from being a leader in their past teams so it doesn’t take much to guide them.”
After making it to the National Championship game the last two seasons, the Beavers hope to get over the hump and bring a title to Minot.
“We got to make sure that we don’t go in there with nervousness or hesitation.,” Miner said. “Keeping things simple moving the puck using our speed and physicality and just playing our game. When we play with other teams and play down to their level that’s when we get caught. When we control the tempo and move the puck and control everything throughout the game that’s when we’re our best.”
As for the energy of the team, they credit most of that to the faithful Beaver fans always cheering them on.
“In Nationals we had a lot of support in our final game there and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone back in the stands supporting us,” Ensley Fendelet, Junior Forward, said.
“Community’s been a huge support for us, the university’s been a huge support for us and we’re hoping we can bring back those existing fans but also make sure we add some new ones this year,” Miner said.
Over the weekend the Beavers went 2-0 to start their season. They are back on the ice on Friday when they travel to the University of Colorado.