With most sports on hold and the 2020-21 season still months out, it’s time to take a look at teams from all over the State of Hockey and examine what happened this past season and what’s ahead. The next team…
With most sports on hold and the 2020-21 season still months out, it’s time to take a look at teams from all over the State of Hockey and examine what happened this past season and what’s ahead. The next team we’re breaking down is Lake of the Woods
How last season went
The Bears got off to a slow start during the 2019-20 season and had a tough time recovering. Lake of the Woods lost six consecutive games between Dec. 17 and 28. There were some bright spots in that month, however, as the Bears picked up consecutive wins against Bagley/Fosston and Park Rapids.
As the regular season wound to close, Lake of the Woods struggled again as the Bears suffered four consecutive losses to end the regular season. The regular-season struggles meant Lake of the Woods headed into the play-in round of the Section 8A tournament.
The Bears rolled through their first postseason game as they defeated Bagley/Fosston but could not make it a Cinderella run as they fell to Warroad in the quarterfinals.
Who’s gone and who’s back
This past year, Lake of the Woods was a team with a balance of senior leadership and youth. That means while some experienced players will graduate and leave holes in the Bears’ lineup, there will still be experience on the ice when they begin next season.
The biggest losses are likely Blake Ferris, Gunner Ferrier and Aidan Tom. Ferris led the team with 27 points (16 goals, 11 assists) and Tom graduates after starting 10 games in net and posting a .856 save percentage.
Returning key players include Jack Woods, Jackson Lebrassuer and Riley Stromlund. Woods returns after a 10-goal season and Lebrassuer is set to come back after 6 goals and 7 assists last season. Stromlund will likely take the reigns once again as the main goaltender after starting 14 games and registering a .858 save percentage.
What to expect next season
Lake of the Woods certainly took some hits this past season both literally and figuratively. But with some experience coming back, the Bears will hope things can only get better.