“Their rink is a hard place to play, the ice is usually wet and soft and slow and they’ll have a good crowd,” he said. “It’ll be a great test to see how good we are. I want little steps every game and I want us to see what our people are made of. One game doesn’t make our season, at least not until February.”
Last year’s school district levy jumped by 34 percent due to debt service needs on the new middle school and other school district building projects. The public is invited to attend the annual Truth in Taxation hearing, which begins at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 1,2 in the Garfield School boardroom.
On Saturday night, the teams met in Cloquet. The Greyhounds skated a comparatively young group, with nine of their 17 players graduating in 2009 or later, including goaltender Gunnar Howg, who played on Mike Randolph’s 2015 state runners-up team.
“Nick was the first kid to walk into my classroom, shake my hand and tell me what he wanted to get out of the program, which was very impressive,” he said. “Wyatt is a great on-ice leader who works hard and works by example.”
The weekend also marked the Wilderness debut for Moose Lake’s Bryceton Butkiewicz, who picked up two assists against Bismarck. Butkiewicz passed up his senior hockey season in Moose Lake to play for the Wilderness.
“It’s good to be home over Thanksgiving weekend,” Madsen said. “It’s good for the guys to spend the holidays with their billet families and for the local kids to be at home. Family time is important, to spend time with the people who take care of you.”
“You win, you get more people in the stands and maybe a home playoff game, which is so important,” Esse said. “It snowballs.”
“I thought I was going to cry,” she said. “I was just so happy for her. The reaction on her face was worth it.”
“We all want to be in the state tournament, but we hope to be about a .500 team and be competitive in our section,” Olin said. “We were a fifth-seed last year but we would like to be a fourth seed and get a home playoff game this year. We’re in a tough section with good teams with bigger numbers than we have and that’s a challenge for us.”
Many of them were making their second state tournament trip, as a part of the Lumberjacks' third appearance in four seasons. "Everyone down there is good," said Lenarz of the state tournament. "And our kids certainly earned the right to be there."