North Shore girls hockey is on the way upSep 12, 2022 10:07AM ● By Laura Durenberger
By Sydney Wolf - The Rink Live - September 12, 2022
When projecting future success, many people wouldn't think much of a team that finished last season 7-19.
But despite posting a sub-par record in 2021-22, the North Shore Storm feel lots of excitement about the upcoming year because the team's losing record wasn't a result of a lack of talent or compete.
"When we thought it was all over, COVID started popping back up again. We had a lot of injury issues — some season ending," said Storm head coach Zack Vieau.
The North Shore girls team is a co-op primarily made up of students from Two Harbors and Silver Bay, but from time to time the team also gets players from Grand Marais/Cook County.
"Team bonding with co-ops is a huge deal, especially with girls, and we've lost that with COVID," said Vieau.
The only time many of the girls were able to be together off the ice was when they were riding the bus to and from games. Although injuries and illness plagued a large portion of the team's past season, there were still players who shined through the darkness.
Senior Livia Hoff lead the Storm in points in 2021-22 with 24.
"She was out there for about 85 percent of the game and she would run everything ... she'd do two or two-and-a-half minute shifts," said Coach Vieau.
Hoff graduated and will be playing Division III hockey this winter for Concordia College in Moorhead.
Even though the team lost their leading scorer, only three seniors are departing the program this offseason.
"We usually teeter around 23 players to put together a varsity and a JV. We have 39 this year," says Vieau, who went on to say that it's been a long time since the program has seen those kind of numbers.
Most of the team this season will have experience playing varsity minutes, and the group will be rounded out by some new faces coming up through the youth programs. Goaltenders Megan Larson and Harper Powell split time in net last season, and with Larson now graduated, Powell will step in as the primary starter.
One thing that is unique to the North Shore program and Coach Vieau is that the team will not have any captains for the upcoming year. With the large group of rising juniors, Vieau says that there will be multiple girls who he anticipates will be able to step up and lead in their own ways.
"Sometimes I felt when we put our three or four captains together it stopped the ability for other girls who wanted to lead to start leading."
Things look prosperous for North Shore hockey in the future as well — the 12U Silver Bay team made a state tournament appearance this past spring.
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