An aggressive style of hockey is what first year coach Matt Ellis plans on implementing into the Menomonie boys hockey team this season.
Ellis said it will be the largest difference from last year’s 2-22 team.
So far, that aggression has tallied up two wins and 16 total goals for the Mustang team, which features a staggering 17 returning players, many of whom have already contributed to the goal count so far this season. Two of those returning players, senior Nate Frank and junior Carter Davidson, were the top two leading scorers for the Mustangs last year at nine and 10 goals, respectively.
Senior Konner Rowan returns as the team captain, who scored one goal and had five assists last year. Other returning players include seniors Gunner Bauer, Chase Rugland, Jacob Miller, Jacob Brown, juniors Cole Mensing, Jaxon Skutt, Blake Paulson, Ryan Sisko and sophomores Dieter Heim, Austin Stokes, Kaleb Miller, Claysen Cook, Trent Weber and Zach DeMarce.
Brigs Richartz is the lone newcomer to this year’s team and currently is the only freshman on the varsity roster. However, Ellis hinted that it is likely that other players from the junior varsity will bump up to varsity as the season goes on.
Menomonie will aim to improve on last season’s last place Big Rivers Conference finish and are already on par to surpass their 2-22 overall 2016-17 record. The Mustangs started the season off sharp, winning 7-4 over Regis/Altoona/McDonell on Nov. 21, then 5-3 against Amery on Friday, Nov. 24. The Mustangs wrapped up the Amery tournament with a 5-4 overtime loss against Baldwin-Woodville on Saturday, Nov. 25, then opened up conference play with another close loss, 3-2, at Chippewa Falls on Thursday.
Mensing and Demarce are currently matched at four goals each so far this season, while Davidson sits at three and K. Miller and Rowan are notched at two goals apiece. Sisko, Richartz and Weber have chipped in one goal each.
The Mustangs play at home Saturday against Black River Falls, followed by another home-game matchup against River Falls on Thursday.
Roster (varsity and JV)
Seniors: Gunner Bauer, Jacob Brown, Nate Frank, Jacob Miller, Konner Rowan, Chase Rugland
Juniors: Carter Davidson, Cole Mensing, Blake Paulson, Ryan Sisko, Jackson Skutt
Sophomores: Clasen Cook, Zach Demarce, Brady Dulin, Cooper Gorecki, Dieter Heim, Kaleb Miller, Austin Stokes, Trent Weber
Freshmen: Jackson Card, Jace Gilbertson, Dominik Hendrickson, Grant Imsande, Colby Lee, Jaxon Platter, Brigs Richartz, Holden Rudiger, Bryce Schneider, Evan Sisko, Sedric Yukel