It was a record-breaking season for the Rebels, to say the least
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
MOOSE LAKE, Minn. – Before the season even began, Moose Lake Area boys hockey head coach Sherm Liimatainen knew his Rebels could have a record-breaking season on the ice.
But Liimatainen wasn’t expecting anything like this.
In a year that included a handful of eye-popping records, the Rebels finished their season with a 19-5-1 overall mark – the school’s best of all-time. They ended the season with an unfortunate 4-1 loss to Sauk Rapids-Rice in the quarterfinals of the Section 5A tournament.
Though the season ended earlier than expected for the highly-talented Rebels, the boys touched on records all over the ice. Players tied state-bests for most assists in one period, as well as in one game, while their goaltenders both broke the old school record for save percentage in a season.
Another major school record smashed was by MLA’s leading-scorer this season, senior center Daniel Anderson, who tallied 87 goals in just three years – the most ever by a Rebel in a three-year span.
And the state record that no one ever thought would be touch was matched, as junior Michael Unzen buried an unbelievable seven goals in one game this season – a mark set by hockey legend John Mayasich of Eveleth 58 years ago back in 1951.
“I can’t say enough about the commitment the boys made this season,” said Liimatainen who in just his fourth year with the varsity program, was named the Coach of the Year in Section 5A – a section that includes some of the toughest and best Class A coaches in the state. “There was great leadership and everyone made a contribution on this team. I was very proud of how we played this year.”
Yes, a handful of records were touched on by a number of different Rebel players, but the bottom line is that the MLA hockey program is quickly improving. Even though a number of seniors will leave the team, a club that went 4-20 just three years ago doesn’t look so shabby.
“The future looks bright for our hockey program,” he said. “We got some big opportunities if we keep it together.”
Tags: winter sports wrap up