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Lumberjacks have big skates to fill this year

If the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton boys hockey team is going to duplicate last year's run to the state tournament they will do so without some major players and with a younger group we haven't seen in a long time.

If the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton boys hockey team is going to duplicate last year's run to the state tournament they will do so without some major players and with a younger group we haven't seen in a long time.

"We will be the youngest team in many years," commented CEC coach Dave Esse. "We have two very good senior goalies competing for the job and our defensemen will all be underclassmen."

Gone are Mr. Hockey candidate Justin Jokinen, defenders Austin Hatch and David Brown, forward Adam Boleman and goalie Aaron Baker. Jokinen finished with 21 goals and 22 assists, Brown added 16 goals and 16 assists, Hatch had seven goals and 16 assists, Boleman six goals and 14 assists and Baker finished with a 3.12 goals against average and a saves percentage of 89.1 percent.

The Jacks will turn to senior center Colton Roy, senior wing Blake Abrahamson, senior center Ethan Johnson and sophomore center Jack McFarlane for scoring. Roy finished with eight goals and eight assists to lead the returning group.

"We will have to play very disciplined hockey and stay out of the penalty box," mentioned Esse. "It's going to be interesting to see who will step up and take charge on offense."

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Esse also said his team will work on the basic fundamentals and improve every day as they return just a total of 40 points from last season.

"We'll just work hard and do the best we can," Esse stated.

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