Hockey: Elk River-Zimmerman girls season preview

Elk River-Zimmerman girls hockey

Coaches — Joe Heasley … assistants: Joel Wesloh, Kevin Esperum, Andrea Bauman

Last year — 6-9-2 conference, 12-13-3 overall

Opener — Sat., Nov. 9, at Eden Prairie, 3 p.m.

Captains — Kaylee Forster, Mandy Sailor, Emily Heid

Returning starters — Forster (sr D), Sailor (sr D), Heid (sr F), Abby Canton (jr F), Julia Miller (jr F), Samantha Westgard (jr F), Hailey Williams (jr F), Allison Boser (so F), Breanna Simon (so F), Jess Edwards (jr G), Ali Gallus (so D), McKenna Wesloh (fr D)

Also in the mix — Sophia Schutt (so F), Shae McLean (fr F), Andrea Westgard (fr F), Raelynn Kornick (fr F), Annie Dalton (fr F), Jessica Dexheimer (so D), Kennedy Mitchell (fr D), Tiffany LaFontaine (jr G), Michaela Gould (so G)

Top scorers back — Canton, Simon, Forster, Sailor

Worth noting — Forster and Heid have played since 9th grade although Heid missed last season (knee injury) … Five of top six goal-scorers return: Canton (19), Simon (11), Forster (10), Westgaard (9) and Wesloh (8) … No. 1 line will be Canton, Simon, Williams … Edwards (.898 save percentage, 2.1 goals-against) split goalie time year with Kim Scott

Coach says — “We’re hoping for a good year … We are still pretty young, with nine to 11 players in ninth and 10th grade at the big spots, but obviously more experienced than we were last year.”

Outlook — The Elks started poorly but finished strong last year with a very young team, and came within one goal of the state tournament.  An up-and-coming team, with a handful of solid senior leaders, they should be top-half in the conference. Top NWSC teams probably Blaine (four D-1 players) and Andover.