2012-13 Winter Preview: Park boys hockey team moves forward without top two scorersPark found its first winning season in several years last season, discovering that success again might prove more difficult.
By: Nick Gerhardt, South Washington County Bulletin
Park found its first winning season in several years last season, discovering that success again might prove more difficult.
The Wolfpack went 13-10-4 last year and lost to Eagan in the Section 3AA tournament. The Wildcats went on to the state tournament.
Park will have to rebuild after losing its top two scorers from last year and deal with low numbers. The Wolfpack has nine seniors this season and returns team captains Jacob Garr, Cody Newton and Chris Peterson. Peterson is the leading point returner with 18 from last season. Newton had 17 points and Garr had 16.
Park graduated Joey Pierre, who finished tied for the team lead in points with 24 (12-12), and Luke Nelson, who led the team with 15 goals and had nine assists will not be back this season.
Moser enters his fifth year as head coach for the Wolfpack and will have to find a way to produce offensively. The power play only connected 13.8 percent of the time during the regular season and Park only scored 2.68 goals per game and gave up 2.88 per game.
The Wolfpack will have to generate plenty of shots and that may mean getting shots from the blue line and getting traffic in front of the net, Moser said.
Park also has to replace goaltender Erick Majerle, went 11-9-4 during the regular season, had a .918 save percentage and a 2.61 goals against average. The top candidates to replace Majerle are juniors Matt Palmquist and Kyle Strand.
Other returners include junior Eric Stoffel (2-7) and Alex Kiesla (2-4).
Moser expects the conference to have excellent parity this season and said there isn’t a clear-cut favorite this season. Among the contenders will be Stillwater and White Bear Lake.
The Wolfpack opens the season Thursday, Nov. 29, against Tartan in Oakdale.