Brainerd Boys Hockey Hopes Brotherly Connection Can Lead Them To State
Coming off their first 20-win season since 2013, the Brainerd boys hockey team has high hopes for the year ahead of them. The chemistry is at an all-time high with four brothers starting for the Warriors this year.
From day one of the season, the Brainerd boys hockey team has had one goal in mind…to make history.
“I think we are all trying to leave it out there, and make history for our program because we’ve never made it to the state tournament,” Mason Kruse, Brainerd Senior Left Winger, said.
“There’s not any doubt that the focus here is to make it to the tournament,” Dave Aus, Brainerd’s Head Coach, said.
“Now that I’m a senior, it’s our top priority,” Riley Andres, Brainerd Senior Center, said. “Make it to state as a team.”
The team is 2-1 so far, and although the team had nine goals last night against Fergus Falls, none of them came on the power play. The power play is something that coach Dave Aus wants to improve on.
“If we can get that up to around 40 [percent], all the teams that I’ve had that have made it to the tournament, other than one, have been up in that area, and you’re deadly,” Aus said.
Many teams say they have good chemistry, but no one can compare to the chemistry the Warriors have. Three triplets, Gavin, Wyatt, and Riley, along with their younger brother, Westin Andres, are on the starting line for Brainerd.
“We’ll cherish it for years to come after this, being able to play with all of our brothers,” Riley Andres said.
“it’s really fun, it’s awesome, just to have this close of a bond with these guys,” Gavin Andres, Brainerd Senior Defenseman, said.
If Brainerd goes down a man, it will be all Andres’ on deck for the penalty kill.
“It’s pretty cool when we go on a penalty kill all four of us are out there,” Riley Andres said. “It’s pretty cool to all be together out there.”
This weekend, we will learn a lot about the Warriors as they welcome in three teams from across the state for the Brainerd tournament.
“It will be two tough matchups this weekend,” Kruse said. “I think people are really going to find out what we are made of.”
“It’s an important weekend for us to expose and show people that we have a pretty exciting thing going here, and we are going to be fun to watch all year long,” Aus said.
Brainerd’s first game in the tournament will be Friday, December 7th at 8:00 p.m. against Benilde-St. Margaret’s