After graduating 13 players last season, Andover boys’ hockey had a few openings in its lineup. One game into the season, those varsity newcomers seem to have things figured out after a 7-3 win at Hopkins Nov. 26.
It looks like Blaine should challenge for another conference title and perhaps a section title, returning several of its key contributors from last season. Spring Lake Park moved sections and will not have to face St. Thomas Academy or the other Class A powers that made up the section bracket each year.
Fifty-six of the best boys and girls high school hockey teams in the Upper Midwest, Canada, and for the first time, New England, will battle in the 13th annual Schwan Cup hockey tournament, December 26-January 1. The tournament field is divided into four divisions each for boys and three divisions for girls.
Last season Blaine’s inability to score in the Section 5AA opener spelled the end of an otherwise successful 17-win season. The Bengal girls finished second in the competitive Northwest Suburban Conference at 13-5.
When Nick Bjugstad, the former Blaine High School graduate and Gopher turned Florida Panthers rookie centerman, took to the ice ahead of his first National Hockey League game last April, he noticed a familiar face warming up across the rink in fellow Blaine graduate, Matt Hendricks, then playing with the Washington Capitals.