Willmar Cardinals Winter Preview: Girls Hockey
COACH Rick Dahle (1st year) ASSISTANT COACHES Ross Dahl, Veronica Williams 2005-06 SEASON Willmar finished 2-23 overall and 2-14 in the Central Lakes Conference; lost 4-0 to Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato in the first-round of playoffs. KEY DATES Seaso...
Rick Dahle (1st year)
Ross Dahl, Veronica Williams
Willmar finished 2-23 overall and 2-14 in the Central Lakes Conference; lost 4-0 to Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato in the first-round of playoffs.
Season Opener: Today at Benson Civic Center vs. Morris/Benson Area, 7 p.m.
Central Lakes Conference Opener: Friday at Fergus Falls, 7:15 p.m.
Home Opener: Nov. 28 vs. Hutchinson, 7 p.m.
Holiday Tournament: Dec. 27-29 at Owatonna
Section quarterfinals: Feb. 10 at high seed
(Name, Year, Position)
Abby Schueller, senior goalie
Ashley Hutton, sophomore forward
Libby Flickinger, senior defense
Kelsey Johnson, senior defense
Jennie Mattison, freshman defense
Allie Sweep, junior forward
Kelsey Swanson, senior defense
Emily Kack, junior forward
Nikki Serbus, senior defense
Erin Sheehan, freshman forward
Samantha Sing, junior defense
Carlie Freese, freshman defense
Chelsey Wierschem, sophomore forward
Sarah Hulscher, junior forward
Chelsey Beilhartz, senior forward
Taylor Sandberg, sophomore defense
Ali Sing, freshman forward
Amanda Croonquist, sophomore goalie
Allison Johnson, freshman goalie
Willmar has good experience on defense with Libby Flickinger (CLC honorable mention), Kelsey Johnson, Kelsey Swanson, Nikki Serbus and Sam Sing all back. Goalie Abby Schueller sat out her junior year, but is back trying to duplicate the success she had in goal as a sophomore (CLC honorable mention).
Scoring was the big need a year ago as only 33 goals were tallied, 15 of those against winless Little Falls in Willmar's only two wins.
Chelsey Wierschem, Ashley Hutton and Chelsea Beilhartz should lead the attack. Wierschem and Hutton were both CLC honorable mention last year and Beilhartz was two years ago. In all, 13 players have won letters.
For the first time, Willmar will field a junior varsity team, which will play a duplicate schedule.
Fourteen players on the roster include two juniors, two sophomores, seven freshmen and three eighth-graders.
Nick Dahle is the new head coach. The Crookston native and the owner of Cullen's Home Center spent the past six seasons coaching in the youth program. Ross Dahl will be his assistant coach. Dahl had guided the Willmar program since its inception in 1998, including two state tournament visits. Veronica Williams, who played four years of club hockey at St. Cloud State, will coach the JV.
FROM THE COACH
Rick Dahle: "We have a lot of experience at blue line, but they'll be learning a new game. The high school league has instituted new rules to speed up the game. The game was migrating towards the boys' game with more physical play, clutching and grabbing. The focus now is on skating and keeping two hands on the stick. Contact on a player not carrying the puck is now illegal. It should make the game more exciting and I do think we'll score more. I'd like to settle on three lines, but it's a little undecided right now. Our forwards will be expected to play center as well as wing, if need be. We've also got some seasoned players on offense and some nice young players. We'll be floating several players from the jayvee to the varsity each night; you can play four periods, just not four in a row."