Usually when a team begins its season with a 1-4-1 record, not much is looking good. That is not the case with the Denfeld hockey team. Every game the Hunters have played this season has been decided by two goals or less. One of the bright spots ...
Usually when a team begins its season with a 1-4-1 record, not much is looking good.
That is not the case with the Denfeld hockey team.
Every game the Hunters have played this season has been decided by two goals or less.
One of the bright spots early on this season has been the production of the "Sophomore Line."
Also known as the "Red Line," sophomores Brandon Owen, Rob Bordson and Brett Johnson lead the Hunters in points after the first six games.
Owen leads the team with 11 points (7 goals, 4 assists). Bordson has 10 points (3-7), and Brett Johnson has 8 points (2-6).
"We didn't expect to be putting up points," said Bordson about the expectations he shared with his linemates coming into high school hockey for the first time.
The three linemates have been on the same line for most of the last seven years. They have been friends and lived near each other in Piedmont for all their lives.
With each close game, the sophomores feel it's only a matter of time before the Hunters are on the other end of those one to two goal games.
Denfeld assistant coach Dan Doyle has been happy with the immediate production the Hunters have received from the younger group.
"We need to keep working hard," said Doyle. "We've been in every game. We could be 5-1 or 6-0. The bounces will eventually go our way."
"There have been some close games," said Brett Johnson. "We need to have more endurance late in the game."
"The production's great," said Doyle. "They lead the team in offense and have scored some important goals."
The trio played last season for the Duluth Lakers Bantam A team, a team made up of kids from the Denfeld and Central areas.
The jump from Bantams to high school is a significant one and Doyle has been impressed with the adjustments made by the three.
"It's a faster game," said Bordson.
"We thought we would get thrown around," said Owen, whose older brother Alex also plays on the team.
"We knew they were all good players," said Doyle. "We were hoping they would do this, but it's hard to expect."
The Hunters have a come-from-behind 6-4 victory over Virginia to their credit, a 1-1 tie against Central and three one-goal losses.
Denfeld has also seen production from senior forwards Kevin Johnson and Steve Halvorson.
Juniors Alec Antilla, Bryan Wick and senior Josh Wick have been solid on defense for the Hunters.
Senior Willie Winklesky-Greene and junior Phil White have split time in goal.
Next on the menu for Denfeld is the Hermantown/Proctor Hockey Festival Monday through Wednesday. The Hunters will play Park Rapids on Monday at 5:30 p.m. in Hermantown.
The super sophomores believe the team's luck will change and success will soon follow with each game.
"The games have been so close, we just haven't gotten the win," said Brett Johnson. "By the end of the season we'll start capping off the games with wins."