Little Falls at Hibbing/Chisholm
7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 21
Little Falls is fresh off a 4-21-2 record that shocked the program and coach Tony Couture, who did know that it might be a rebuilding campaign. That’s a difficult season for a program that has made six state tournament trips in the last decade and has 321 wins in 22 years under Couture. He’s challenging this year’s team with a tough schedule, including its annual trip to the Iron Range to face northeastern Minnesota’s small-school powers, such as No. 20-1A Hibbing/Chisholm.
Little Falls struggled to score goals last year, which is a surprise for the usually high-scoring Flyers. It’s up to returning veterans such as senior Austin Fenske and juniors Landon Bjorge and Tommy Miller to pick up the team.
Hibbing/Chisholm also had an uncharacteristically difficult season, going 10-14-1 in its first season under coach Todd Versich.
The Bluejackets had an almost unprecedented stretch of success from 2002 through 2012 when they advanced to the Class 1A, Section 7 final every year and qualified for three state tournaments.
Joe Kanipes and Jake Bestul both scored double-digit goals last winter and will be counted on for big seasons, as will sophomore Scott Perunovich, who moves up to the varsity after a fantastic youth career.