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Willmar girls hockey preview

Girls Hockey


Jason Mayer, 1st year


Mandi Samuelson (varsity), Veronica Collins (head JV), Glenn Leitch (goalies)


Overall: 12-12-2

Central Lakes Conference: 2-8-2, 6th place

Section 2A: beat Mankato East 5-2; lost to Hutchinson 5-1 in section final

Key Dates

Season/Home: 7 p.m. today North Wright County

Central Lakes Opener: Nov. 19, Fergus Falls at Willmar

Cardinal Classic: Nov. 26-27 (Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato, Austin, Morris/Benson Area)

Holiday Tournament: Dec. 27-29 at Austin

Section 2A: Feb. 10, 12, 27 (final at Gustavus Adolphus' Lund Arena)


(name, position ... returning letterwinners in bold)


Jessica Bays, forward

Kayte Cole,* center

Katie Hoffman, forward

Alex Linbo, wing

Talia Orsten, forward


Paige Davis, wing

Becca Freese,* wing

Kayla Hanson, defense

KyLee Hulscher, wing

Liz Marshall, forward

Kendra Maxfield, defense

Baylie Young, goalie


Sam Block, defense

Elsie Duininck, forward

Liz Gorans, forward

Brooke Mayer, center

Madison Sandberg, goalie

Brittany Serbus, defense

Lauren Sing, wing


Miranda Roelofs, wing

Alex Sobieck, defense


Amelia Amon, defense

Kaylee Chester, forward

Allison Freese, defense

Annie Johnston, center

Shelby Schneider, wing

Ellissa Wiler, forward

Peyton Setrum, forward

* - Captains


Lines: (1st) Kayte Cole centers KyLee Hulscher and Lauren Sing ... (2nd) Brooke Mayer centers Becca Freese and Miranda Roelofs ... (3rd) Annie Johnston centers Shelby Schneider and Alex Linbo ... Defense (pairs): Brittney Serbus and Alex Sobieck, Kendra Maxfield and Sam Block; also, Amelia Amon, Allison Freese, Paige Davis and Kayla Hanson ... Goalies: Baylie Young, Madison Sandberg


New head coach Jason Meyer, a native of Wadena employed at Rice Memorial Hospital, has coached eight years in the youth program.

His first team must replace six front-line players, including All-Central Lakes Conference picks Erin Sheehan and Jennie Mattison, one of three defenders gone. It's a young team with first-line center Kayte Cole and third-line wing Alex Linbo the only seniors with varsity experience. There are nine letterwinners in the next two classes, two freshmen and at least four eighth-graders that will see significant varsity ice time. Freshman winger Miranda Roelofs was voted "Most Improved" as an eighth-grader.

The Cardinals have veteran goaltenders in Baylie Young, a third-year starter, and two-time letterwinner Madison Sandberg. Skating is a strong point and there's good overall speed and skill but the four scrimmages revealed the players must learn to finish off plays around the net.

Last year, Willmar got off to a sluggish 0-2 start while getting outscored 15-1, but then reeled off six straight victories before a 1-0 loss at Alexandria.

Willmar graduate Tim Hanson, a third-grade teacher at St. Michael-Albertville who began his high-school coaching career at Willmar as John Wilson's assistant in 1997, brings his North Wright County RiverHawks to Willmar Tuesday. The Cardinals will get a taste of a top tier Class AA team. The RiverHawks return eight seniors and junior goalie, Amanda Koep, coming off an 18-5-4 year in which all five losses were by a goal including a 3-2 overtime loss to state-bound Roseau in the Section 8AA semifinals.

-- Rand Middleton

Rand Middleton
Tribune photographer/videographer. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime news/sports beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 
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