With 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 Duluth…
With 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 Duluth Denfeld.
How last season went
For many years, the Hunters have played in the shadows of perennial powers in the north shore area such as Duluth East and Hermantown. But this year, Duluth Denfeld caught some attention with its success.
It started early as the Hunters rattled off five wins in their first six games. From there, Duluth Denfeld went 14-4-1 while averaging 4.32 goals per game. The Hunters earned key wins along the way against Greenway, Roseville and Thief River Falls.
Come postseason, Duluth Denfeld had the annual and unenviable task of trying to best the Hawks in Section 7A. As the No. 2 seed, the Hunters rolled to the section finals with a 4-1 win against Proctor in the quarterfinals and a 4-0 win against defending section champion Greenway in the semifinals.
In the section final, it was Duluth Denfeld and Hermantown. The Hunters, playing in their first section final since 2013, struggled as the Hawks cruised to a 6-0 win.
Who’s back and who’s gone
Based on the youth of this Duluth Denfeld roster, the Hunters most likely overachieved during the 2019-20 season.
Kade Shea is set to return following a 52-point season. Connor McClure, who accumulated 54 points during the season, is slated to return along with his twin brother Cooper. They will be heading into their junior season.
Simon Davison also returns following a 33-point season (15 goals, 18 assists).
Griffin Lehet will be a key piece to replace following a 53-point senior season (24G, 29A). also had 14 appearances in net and graduated after posting a .915 save percentage.
Speaking of goaltenders, Jacob Snyder was the other half of the Duluth Denfeld goaltending duo a season ago. He’s set to return after posting a 1.75 goals against average and .933 save percentage in 13 appearances. Snyder has a chance to be in the discussion for the Frank Brimsek award next spring.
What to expect next season
This was a successful season for the Hunters. But I have a feeling they head into the 2020-21 season hungry as ever to expand on their success. That will mean beating Hermantown in the Section 7A tournament. And that is no small task.