Hockey has returned to the ice, and one of the best girls teams in the state hopes to get back to the top where they were for so many years.
When you think consistency, you think of the Bismarck Blizzard, but after a six-year title streak was broken last season, Bismarck is hoping a new normal can bring together a team that found it hard to come together in a pandemic.
“You really can’t spend a lot of time having closed-door meetings,” says head coach Tim Meyer. “Just because we didn’t want large groups together for very long so it made it really tough for everyone to get to know each other.”
With a new season comes a potential new era of Bismarck Blizzard hockey, the flurry of goals potentially gone with an emphasis on defense.
“In the past, I would say we were an offensive-dominated team and we were really all about scoring goals,” says Meyer. “Going out there and pushing the pace. And maybe that’s not quite the case. I think not necessarily about our team and a little bit more about the parody across the state. There’s a lot of good goaltending out there. A lot of teams embracing more defensive systems and keeping things tighter.”
That defensive pressure will come with players ready to take on any role on the ice.
“We’re ultimately saying that no one really has a position,” says senior Jayda Krikorian “You’re going to be thrown into something brand new and everybody is going to have to try something new. So ultimately it’s going to come down to who can figure it out, who’s willing to go out there, who’s willing to block shots, who are willing to put their body in front of the net.”
On the offensive side, the Blizzard wants to keep things simple, going back to basics when it comes to taking shots.
“We talk a lot about shooting the puck,” says senior Madison Cole “Always shoot the puck. When you have the opportunity to shoot the puck, don’t dilly dally. Don’t dangle the puck around people. Just take that opportunity to just shoot it because that’ll make more opportunities to score.”
The results won’t matter for Bismarck to start, just what kind of play they put on the ice.
“You know you play enough games throughout the season and it’s really all about making it to the tournament,” says Meyer. “If you make it to the tournament, anything can happen at that point in time. SO you can’t really sit there and be focused on wins and losses at the beginning of the year. Really just has to be about player development.”