When it comes to Eastview hockey, it can be easy to focus on a big goal scorer like Ryan McNamara or stalwart sophomore goaltender Zach Driscoll. Coach Drey Bradley sees it a bit differently.
Bradley’s defensemen may be underappreciated by the fans, but he has a ton of admiration for them. One of them is senior Mitch Beattie, who Bradley says has “20-plus points and a plus/minus ranking of around 40.”
Beattie and his Eastview teammates defeated Eagan to reach the state tournament this week at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
As the clock hit 0:00 against Eagan, what were you feeling?
I had many different feelings at this point; most of all excitement as we skated toward Driscoll. I had a feeling of happiness and joy and I had a feeling that this team can accomplish anything.
What was it like to take Eagan down after losing to them 7-1 during the season?
I believe that we felt as a team that we had something very special, something Eastview hockey has not seen in a long time. We all knew that we are able to play with any team in the state.
When did you start skating/playing hockey?
On my neighbor’s backyard rink that he’d make during the winter. I started playing association hockey at Eastview when I was around 5 years old.
Most memorable moment as a high school athlete?
Probably winning against Eagan in the section championship. Another favorite is coming back and beating Rosemount last year 6-5 after trailing 5-0.
Most serious teammate?
John Snodgrass. He is always on the ice if we have it open before practice. He is always locked in and focused before every game.
There are many, but I would have to say the goofiest is Kevin Wobschall. It seems he is always laughing and likes to have fun.
Favorite NHL team/player? Anyone you model your game after?
My favorite NHL player is probably Zdeno Chara. I also enjoy watching Zach Parise, especially since we were able to scrimmage against him when he played with the Eastview Squirt A team earlier this year.
Name association: Zachary Driscoll.
Calm, confident, collected, smart, focused, backbone. Couldn’t ask for better.
I plan to attend Iowa State University. My major is undecided.
Thoughts about the state tournament?
I’ve grown up going to almost all the tournaments and have always dreamed and imagined participating in it. Now this year as a senior, making it is definitely a dream come true.
Thoughts about your opening game against Hill-Murray?
Driscoll has been playing awesome, which gives us the confidence to play to our best. We have to continue our strong D-zone and must finish each offensive opportunity that we have. We are playing our best right now and it’s a thrill to play No. 1 Hill-Murray.