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Moose Lake Area Rebels

By Louie St. George Duluth News Tribune, 12/02/15, 10:30PM CST


Team capsule: Moose Lake Area

By Louie St. George Today at 8:46 p.m.


Coach: Joe McDonnell, third season

2014-15 record: 8-18

Conference: Two Rivers

Section: 5A

Key departures: D-F Jesse Granfors (14-27—41); D­F Teddy Ryan (19-16—35); D Asa Spicer (0-12—12)

Key returners: Jr. F Bryceton Butkiewicz (47-25—72); sr. D-F Hunter Lake (4-3—7); jr. D Wyatt Lampel (4-19—23); jr. G Logan McNulty (6.00, .838); sr. F Richie Parzy (5-20—25); sr. D Joey Whited (0-3—3)

Season outlook: Optimism is running high for the Rebels, according to McDonnell, whose roster is heavy with experience. At the top of a talented bunch of juniors is Butkiewicz, who sheds his football cleats — he scored more than 30 touchdowns in the fall for Section 7AA champ Moose Lake-Willow River — for hockey skates. A year after scoring 26 goals as a freshman, Butkiewicz ranked near the top of the state leaderboard with 47 as a sophomore and was the Northland’s leading scorer. For Moose Lake to continue its upward progression, the Rebels need to shore up a defense that allowed about six goals per game last winter. Before becoming head coach in 2013-14, McDonnell was an assistant during a winless 2012-13, when the team nearly folded. The Rebels won five games in McDonnell’s first go-round. Another jump is possible this year. Spring Lake Park, which won Section 5A last season, moved up to Class AA.