Boys’ hockey honors seniors

Senior Night pushes forward despite the season ending abruptly


Anna Benishek

Senior Cameron Donahue skates through the tunnel of hockey players to meet his parents for Senior Night March 13. Due to COVID-19, boys’ hockey did not have a scheduled game and Park held small, inter-squad scrimmages.

Anna Benishek

After a two-week delay in the hockey season, the team is finally starting practice on the ice and preparing to compete in Sections. 

According to senior assistant captain Austin Amelse, the night was memorable and he was glad the program proceeded with Senior Night. 

“I really enjoyed it. I thought it was better than having nothing, because we were going to have nothing originally because we don’t have any regular season games left because of the break with COVID(-19),” Amelse said. “It was the best that could happen and a lot of parents put in a lot of work so it turned out pretty well.” 

Senior Lucas Hand said he’ll miss all of the friends he made throughout the years from the program. 

“For sure (I’m going to miss) all my buddies, I’ve skated with them since Mites, Squirts, Peewees and all through high school,” Hand said. 

According to head coach Andrew Sackrison, the large number of seniors were valuable in improving the hockey program and will be missed by everyone.  

“Number one it’s a huge group — 15 guys — they’re taking off and it’s tough to lose that many obviously out of a program at once,” Sackrison said. “They all have a pretty good impact on the program so it will be some big steps to follow based on the success in the past few years we’ve had.”

Hand said overall the season was memorable and enjoyed playing with his teammates. 

“For me just having a really good season. This is the most fun I had in awhile playing so I would say I just had a lot of fun,” Hand said. 

Sackrison said with so many seniors leaving this year there might be a small gap in the program, but they’ve been refining the underclassmen for next year. 

“There may be a little dip. I don’t think for the most part we did what we could for the development standpoint, giving some younger guys opportunities this year and hoping to bring them along so that they can more easily step in next year to carry out the torch,” Sackrison said.

Amelse said the team will have its first Sections game March 18 at Braemar Ice Arena against Edina. It may be tough for the team, since it only has three days to prepare for the game. 

“We obviously want more time but it’s all we got after our break from COVID(-19),” Amelse said.

According to Hand, the team’s opponent will be tough competition, but it needs to remember the first time it competed against Edina and apply it to the game.

“We have to look at how we played them our first game and just try to recreate that and get pucks on net,” Hand said. “Play really good defensive hockey because they’re a good team and we’ll have a good chance of winning.”