Boys’ hockey beats rival Benilde

Team brings their experience to sections game


Josh Halper

Park boys’ hockey celebrates after the final buzzer of their game Feb. 22. Park beat Benilde 2-1 to advance to the section semi-finals.

Isabel Kjaer

While reflecting back on the 2-1 win against rival Benilde St. Margaret’s, defensive coach Dan Batdorf said the team’s long-time involvement in the sport often gives them the upper hand in tough games.

“We played them twice before tonight and we tied one time and we lost. The fact that we won, that’s great,” Batdorf said. “You know we have a very experienced team and I think when we get in games like that you can rely on age and our experience doing this.”

According to senior Jonny Sorenson, last year the team was not prepared for sections games, but this year the players feel they can advance further because they have built up confidence in their abilities.

“I think last year when we beat Benilde we weren’t really ready for Edina because that was just our first section meet in a while, but I think this year we know what it takes and we’re not trying to be a different team. We just know who we are,” Sorenson said.

Batdorf said there is additional pressure on the players to keep winning so the season and atmosphere can continue.

“I think these guys don’t want (the season) to end. You have to win so there’s that added edge and that added desperation to not let this environment and this family to go away,” Batdorf said.

According to Batdorf, wins help build a sincere community throughout the team that continues into next year.

“I think games like today and situations like today help you build a program on those type of honorable, very team-first activities that are a great thing to carry into the next season,” Batdorf said.

Sorenson said he is concentrating on resting and thinking about his role on the team to prepare for the next game against Edina.

“I’m just focusing harder and making sure I’m getting enough rest and really thinking about what I need to do, not really for myself but for my teammates, to make sure that I give us the best chance to win,” Sorenson said.

According to Batdorf, the players enjoy taking risks during the game that make the scores and games more interesting in the long run.

“This group of kids, I love them to death and they like to walk on the wild side. They walk the tightrope and they like to wait until the last minute and make it really really exciting,” Batdorf said.

Sorenson said during the timeout called in the last five minutes of the game, players were told to take advantage of the situation.

“When we called the timeout, Coach just said just stay locked in and just embrace the moment,” Sorenson said.

According to Batdorf, the crowd was extremely helpful when it came to winning, a component the team will need against their next section opponent.

The fans were awesome and they brought it just as much as the boys did so we need that against Edina,” Batdorf said.

The next game at 7 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Bloomington Ice Garden.