by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Every skater in the state would cherish the opportunity Chase Springman and his Elk River teammates had last Saturday as the Elks were the host team for Hockey Day Minnesota. The senior co-captain is elated that the Elks made the most of it by defeating Stillwater 4-1 and that he was able to punch in the third goal at the Handke Pit.
“It was such an amazing experience, I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” said Springman. “I think everybody had a ton of fun. We are so grateful to be a part of this and especially to get a win out of the deal.”
It was not surprise that Springman would step up on Elk River’s big day. He’s one of the main reasons the Elks are 12-3, leading the NWSC at 8-0, and ranked No. 7 in the state. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound forward has 13 goals, tied with linemate Jake Jaremko for the team lead, and 11 assists. Last year, Springman was an all-conference pick, generating 15 goals and 13 assists on a 16-11 team.
“Chase has a great shot. He can pick the corners. He can beat a good goaltender,” said coach Gordie Roberts. “He is very strong kid, like a bull. He is strong in the corners and along the boards. He’s trying to improve his defense and be a solid two-way player.”
Probably Springman’s best game came against No. 4 ranked Blaine in a duel for the conference lead when he scored on a rebound and on a backdoor move to help the Elks rally for a 6-4 victory Jan. 9. “My line was really buzzing all night and some of them started going in, ” said Springman, who then notched two more in the following game, a 5-0 win over Osseo.
A balanced Elk attack is racking up 4.9 goals per game. Fourteen different players have scored.
“We are a run and gun type offense,” Springman said. “Our forwards are real fast and can change positions from defense to offense quickly. That’s the best way to play.”
Springman and goalie Mac Berglove are the captains. Asked what the Elks need from him each game, he assessed: “Being a captain, Mac and I are very vocal, in the locker room and between periods. Also to lead by example, to back-check, hit, be a good two-way player, and obviously score goals.”
When he’s not skating, Springman’s second sport is golf, where he played the No. 5 slot last year. His low was 79.
Springman said he started hockey at age three. He’s skated with the current group since mites. They went to “state” in bantams both years on the way up to varsity. Now they’re on the man stage.
“He has a real passion for the game and competes hard,” said Roberts. “In these two years he is much improved. He played Elite League this fall and wants to continue in hockey. I tell him to make sure he just enjoys the moment.”
Asked what his senior year goals were, Springman said, “To have the best senior year we possible can. To have as much fun as we possibly can. To win Hockey Day Minnesota, and we’ve done that. And make it to state.”
THE SPRINGMAN SCORECARD
Personal file — Age: 17 …. Family: parents Jackie and Dan; brother Sawyer … Sports: hockey, golf …. Academics: B average … Next year: juniors hockey, eventually college
Favorite stuff — Class: Senior Portfolio … TV show: “One Tree Hill” …. Movie: “Miracle” … Music: country … Book: “Toughness” by Jay Bilas… Teams: Patriots, Penguins, Wild … Athlete: Patrick Kane … Food: Chipotle burritos … Drink: Powerade orange … Kickback activities: golf, fishing, hunting … Wants to visit: Paris