DL boys' team out to prove something

Three words can sum up the Detroit Lakes boys' hockey team's attitude heading into the 2010-11 season -- "Something to prove." After losing a combined 146 points with the losses of Minnesota's leading scorer Tanner Lane and Alex Phelps, there is ...

Three words can sum up the Detroit Lakes boys' hockey team's attitude heading into the 2010-11 season -- "Something to prove."

After losing a combined 146 points with the losses of Minnesota's leading scorer Tanner Lane and Alex Phelps, there is some doubt DL can recover those types of points.

"The kids definitely feel they have something to prove and they want to silence the critics," said DL head coach Chris Denardo. "They are motivated to be good and quiet everyone up."

Phelps graduated and Lane has moved on to play junior hockey with the Fargo Force this year, but DL's shelves are not bare by any means.

In fact, the Lakers maybe more balanced than last year's team.


"I think our depth will be a strength this year," Denardo said. "We do have a lot of new players, but we will have three lines who can do some damage this year."

Denardo isn't labeling any lines as his first, second or third, because he believes the team will not lose any scoring punch no matter who's out on the ice.

"All three lines will get a chance to start a game," Denardo said. "We won't have an exclusive first line."

On one of those lines, the Lakers return some potent scorers in senior Nate Baker (22 goals, 22 assists in 2009-10), junior Alex Mason (10-13) and Slovakian foreign exchange student Frantisek Jung.

"Frantisek will bring his wide-open European style of play," Denardo said.

The line of senior Andy Schupp (16-9), Ryan Berg (2-11) and Kirby Inderrieden (3-2) will also make up a formidable line.

"We have two No. 1 lines who can score," Denardo added.

Depth is also shown on the other two lines, as Ryan Lindquist, Austin Rusness, Kyle Herrmann and Cody Olson will rotate.


The fourth line will consist of Taylor Magnuson, Austin Starkey, Connor Collins and Nick LeTourneau -- who hails from New York Mills and played for Wadena-Deer Creek last year, but has a one-year variance from the MSHSL to play for DL, since W-DC has to travel to Long Prairie for practices and games.

The defense is experienced with three-year starters Alex Deconcini and Ethan Brake returning, and Derek Bream coming in after seeing some ice time last season.

"All are fairly good-sized defensemen and can play physical," Denardo said. "They also do bring an offensive style, as well."

The goalie position will be inexperienced, as Blake Murphy returns after seeing limited action last year. Mike Brunner will also find time between the pipes for the Lakers.

"Mike saw good ice time on junior varsity last year and Blake has played in a few games now on varsity," Denardo said. "It will be important to get some good confidence under them and keep their focus."

The team speed will also be a strength, which will lead to some aggressive- style plays.

"We're going to focus on the little things, like crashing the net and picking up some rebound goals," the DL coach said. "We'll have a crash and bang style of play."

But DL has another advantage, in that some teams maybe overlooking them because they are now without Lane.


"Some teams may see us as being down and licking their chops when they face us," Denardo said. "But there is a fire in the guys and they want to prove everyone wrong. I think we'll be a stronger team overall, because we don't have that one player to rely on to score for us.

"Everyone will have to step it up."

DL's schedule is also tougher, with games against perennial powers Virginia and International Falls and also a unique outdoor game on Hockey Day in Minnesota Saturday, Feb. 12.

The Lakers will host Morris Area on the new People's Park Outdoor Rink, starting at 3 p.m.

"I think it will be a hit," Denardo said of the outdoor game. "The rink is regulation and it will be a fun time. The kids will have a good time with it."

The Lakers hosted their Thanksgiving Holiday Tournament Friday and Saturday and will travel to Fergus Falls Tuesday for a 7:15 p.m. start.

Laker results

The 2010 Detroit Lakes boys hockey schedule:



26-27 DL Holiday Tournament

30 at Fergus Falls


2 Pequot Lakes

9 Prairie Centre

14 Park Rapids

21 at Fargo North


28-30 at Granite City Tournament in St. Cloud (vs. St. Cloud Apollo, Sauk Rapids, Mound)


6 Wadena-Deer Creek

8 Willmar

14 at Virginia

15 at Eveleth-Gilbert

18 at Crookston

20 at Pequot Lakes


22 International Falls

28 at Prairie Centre

29 at Fargo Davies


3 at Wadena-Deer Creek

5 Little Falls

8 Bagley

12 Morris Area at People's Park Outdoor Rink

15 at Park Rapids

17 Kittson Central

19 Section play-in game

22 Section playoffs

26 Section semifinals


3 Section finals at St. Cloud

9-12 State Tournament.

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