The end of hockey season
Published 8:00 pm Friday, March 24, 2023
Updates from Upperclassmen by Jordan Habana and Joseph Yoon
On Feb. 16, the Albert Lea girls high school team took on their rivals the Dodge County Wildcats in the Section 1A championship game. Albert Lea won in overtime 3-2, which led them to go to the state tournament. The girls headed up to the Cities on Tuesday, Feb. 21 to beat the snowstorm after the school had a pepfest to celebrate them and the robotics team. It is a very cool experience to be able to play on the ice that the NHL plays on and to be in the same locker rooms that they go in. Although it is cold sitting in the stands watching the games, surprisingly down on the ice it is very hot. We sadly lost both of our games after a hard fight and headed home on Friday after taking a trip to the MOA for fun team bonding. Being one of the three juniors on the team and having no seniors, I am excited to see how next season is going to be after we had a very successful season this year ending with a 18-9-1 record.
The end of an era
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Just like girls hockey, boys hockey also had a successful season finishing 19-7-1 but falling just short to New Prague by a score of 7-5 in the section semi-finals. The group of boys on this year’s team was filled with nine seniors, most of whose hockey memories together date all the way back to the squirt years. From winning our home squirt tournament our squirt year, almost making state our pee wee year, making the trip up to Warroad our bantam year, to almost making the state tournament our junior year, this group of seniors have made memories that will last a lifetime.
When thinking back upon all that this group has done together and what might have been our biggest accomplishment, I think of how we beat Onalaska in a nail-biting overtime win 3-2 our squirt year. I think of when our bantam team beat Roseau AA our bantam year 5-2 which was the first time Albert Lea had ever beaten Roseau in boys hockey. I think about the tears that fell last year when we made it to the section final and were so close to making state. All these are great achievements, but nothing compares to the relationships created through this sport and to the influence made upon the next generation’s talent. Bonds that will be there until death and influence that will carry on for the next generation, this sport has seen us put our blood, sweat and tears into it and it has given us something back that we will never forget.
Looking back, both the girls and boys teams finished off the 2022-2023 season successfully. Whether it was the girls team making state, or the boys team and the achievements that we have accomplished over our career together, AL hockey continues to make the town proud and also the kids we influence. Although this season may be over, bright things are ahead for both the boys and girls teams in the future.
Jordan Habana is a junior and Joseph Yoon is a senior at Albert Lea High School.