Lakers return all starters
Even though the Detroit Lakes girls' hockey team suffered through a 6-20-1 record during the 2009-10 season, dividends from last year might be paying off for 2010-11.
The vast majority of the team is back, after losing two seniors off of last year's young squad.
Even though the Lakers are still quite youthful, they will be bringing in plenty of seasoning.
"Basically, the whole team is back and it was a team which put up some solid points last year," said DL head coachå Dan Maloney. "We return all of our points leaders, so I am expecting to see more goals this season."
Improvement was also seen on last year's squad, and that trend will hopefully continue through the 2010-11 schedule.
The Lakers will be relying on their first line to spark and maintain their scoring attack. All three line members are back in junior Brianna Seebold and sophomores Callie Johnson and Emily Payne.
The trio played the majority of minutes as DL's first line last year, so the continuity will be a strength.
"It's nice having your first line playing a full year together," Maloney said. "They have improved skillwise and hopefully they will pick up where they left off last year, that should help create a better attack."
The second and third lines will be in flux a little to start the season, as Maloney had to put regular second-liner, senior Shannon Utecht back on defense.
Senior Hayley Maloney returns, along with senior Brita Johnson and freshman Sydney Haman to man the second line, while junior Ashley Friesen and sophomore Molly Hill will see playing time there as well.
There is a host of returners, who either played some varsity or junior varsity last year, competing for ice time.
Those include junior Lauren Sinclair, Annikka Anderson, Alexis Fritz, Teresa Wheeler, Emily Seebold, Caitlyn Murphy, Savanna Noles, Emily Gavle, Madison Gjersvig and Kirsten Anderson.
The Lakers' defense returns two experienced skaters in junior Emily Raboin and senior Tiffany Iverson, with Utecht joining them as well.
"We have a heavy focus on defense and we do have some experience and skilled players there," Maloney said.
The Lakers saw a trio of goalies play last year, with Shayna Dugger graduating, while sophomore Veronica Roy and senior Amanda Moore will be back between the pipes.
Both will see action, along with eighth grader Veronica Badurek coming up through the youth ranks.
The Lakers will again have a rugged schedule, as they open Saturday in Fergus Falls, starting at 2 p.m.
The 2010-11 Detroit Lakes girls hockey schedule:
13 at Fergus Falls
18 at Alexandria
23 West Fargo
30 Park Rapids
3 at International Falls
4 at International Falls
7 Wadena-Deer Creek
9 at Thief River Falls
11 Pequot Lakes
14 at Park Rapids
16 at Morris Area
20 at East Grand Forks
28 at Bemidji
4 Fargo South
6 at Pequot Lakes
13 at Wadena-Deer Creek
18 at Crookston
21 Thief River Falls
25 Morris Area
29 East Grand Forks
5 at Sartell
12 Section quarterfinals
15 Section semifinals
18 Section finals
23-26 State Tournament.