Last year — 11-1 conference, 18-7-1 overall
Opener — Today (Saturday), Rocori, home, 3 p.m.
Coaches — Justin Strunk (head), Todd Weisijahn Josh Gross, Al Bistodeau, Dick Udee, Tony Brumm, Brandon Mitchell, Zach Sikich
Captains — Branden Cecil, Jason Roberge, Jackson Nelson, Shane Smith
Returning starters — Branden Cecil (sr F), Jason Roberg (sr F), Shane Smith (sr F), Mitch Motter (sr F), Trent Frederickson (sr F), Ryan Puetz (sr F), Jake Hellickson (sr D), Jackson Nelson (sr G), Dustin Schoepke (jr F), Vinny Billing (jr F), Travis Limoseth (jr D), Nolan Walker (jr D), Cody Luftman (jr D)
Also in the mix — Jake Moss (so F), Jordan Fischer (so F), Sam Libke (so D), Jac Mateja (so D)
Fast facts — Most of last years conference champion team returns including two top scorers in Cecil 17 goals and 21 assists, and Roberge 15-19. The senior goalie, Nelson, had 2.88 goals-against last year, splitting time with a senior goalie. Matt Hellickson, strong soph D last year, left to play with Team USA in Ann Arbor, MI.
Coach says — “We will play great team defense, limiting opponents’ quality scoring chance. We are a fast and aggressive team. We will consistently outwork other teams, and we have a group that plays physical and wins tough battles. We have a great group that works hard and are outstanding leaders as student athletes.”
Outlook — Royals have good chance to exceed last year’s strong season with a large, quality group returning, augmented by promising sophomores.