Delano finished last year's high school season with a 20-8 record, and the Tigers reached the Class 1A, Section 2 championship, where they lost to Breck for the third time in the last four years.

There is noticeable growth in the sport at the extreme western fringe of the metro, and Delano coach Gerrit van Bergern said competing in July tournaments can be an effective tool for honing the hockey talent developing in Wright County.

“It’s exciting for us because we get to play teams that we’d never be able to schedule,” van Bergern said. “And by seeing how hard our guys worked, we showed we are a good hockey team. Overall, it was great hockey, and it was fun to compete against teams that we watch play at the state tournament.”

Delano and Grand Rapids battled in the finals. Photos by Drew Herron