Brainerd/Little Falls Girls Hockey Team Looks To Repeat Historic Season
Last year’s remarkable run by the Warriors was one for the ages, finishing with a 25-5-1 record and coming up one goal short of winning the state title. This year’s team looks to use that experience to their advantage.
“Us experiencing that, like motivates us to want to go back there again and so we can use that to push us to get better,” said Brainerd/Little Falls Girls Hockey Senior Forward Shaylee Stroot.
Jack Freeman takes over as the Brainerd/Little Falls head coach after Jim Ernster resigned last season. Freeman knows all about the hockey tradition and culture in the Brainerd Lakes Area, as he graduated from Brainerd in 2007.
“It’s been a real treat to be able to come home and be apart of this and to be on the coaching side of things rather than the playing side of things,” said Brainerd/Little Falls Girls Hockey Head Coach Jack Freeman.
Another hole to fill on this year’s team is at goalie. With Olivia King now playing for the Gophers, two freshmen, Breya Sawyer and Emily Johnson, are competing for the starting job.
“We feel really good about our two, young goaltenders – they are young, but they sure are talented and they both want that job,” said Freeman.
The Warriors feature Sophie Robinson and Gabbie Smith, who just signed to play Division 1, and speed will be one of their greatest assets this year.
“We try and work harder than anybody else and we’re just kind of always faster, so then you combine that and we just kind of out-skate everybody and that’s kind of our strength,” said Brainerd/Little Falls Girls Hockey Senior Defenseman Sophie Robinson.
The Warriors have already shown they’re an elite team this year, beating Cloquet-Esko-Carlton and Blake, as well as taking Eden Prairie to overtime, but they know they have to take things one game at a time to get another shot at a state title.
“Our obvious goal is to make it to state and win state, but every game is important, especially our section; we have a pretty good section, so if we come out on top of that it would be big for us,” said Brainerd/Little Falls Girls Hockey Senior Forward Gabbie Smith.