Prep girls hockey preview: Duluth Marshall
Callie Hoff takes over a Hilltoppers team that reached the 7A section final last year.
Duluth Marshall Hilltoppers
Head coach: Callie Hoff, first season
2021-22 record: 17-8
Conference: Lake Superior
Key departures: F Annika Lindgren (12-40—52), F Kendra Royer (6-11—17)
Key returners: Jr. F Ilsa Lindaman (34-21—55), Sr. F Meredith Boettcher (13-21—34), So. F Nina Thorson (15-12—27), Sr. F Danica Mark (9-11—20), Jr. G Chloe Clark (6-5, 2.91 GAA, .901 save percentage), So. G Ray Anderson (11-3, 1.73 GAA, .918 save percentage, four shutouts)
Newcomer to watch: Fr. D Sarah Stauber
Outlook: The Hilltoppers lost 11 skaters from last season, but the returners are all ready to fill bigger roles. Lindaman, a Duluth News Tribune All-Area First Team selection, and fellow center Danica Mark, as well as the versatile Meredith Boettcher, will serve as captains.
“We have a big test to start the season, but I know those girls are ready to lead the team,” Hoff said. “They’ll be ready.”
The Hilltoppers started their season playing four very strong ranked teams, including Warroad, the defending Class A champions, on Nov. 11, followed by Breck, Edina and Holy Angels. “These games will help prepare us for very competitive Section 7A competition,” Hoff said. That includes the likes of her alma mater, Proctor/Hermantown, Cloquet/Esko/Carlton, Moose Lake Area and Hibbing/Chisholm. Duluth Marshall checks in at No. 6 in the Let’s Play Hockey Class A preseason poll, with Proctor/Hermantown, the two-time defending section champions, sitting at No. 3.
“Within Section 7A, they’re always the team to beat,” Hoff said of the Mirage. “We’re excited to play them but the goal is always to focus on our next game.”