by MATTHEW DAVIS
Could this be the year that the North Metro Stars fly under the radar?
Stars girls hockey coach Aubri Lindberg hopes so.
“I believe that we are really going to surprise some teams,” Lindberg said. “The opportunities are endless for our team this season.”
The Stars consist of players from five high schools including Osseo, Brooklyn Center and Park Center. They will have a young team this season, but Lindberg sees a drive in them.
“They come to the rink everyday eager to learn, and we as coaches are seeing vast improvements in our players and team each and everyday,” Lindberg said.
Senior captains Hannah Paulson, Megan Peterson, Kelsey Kraemer and Selena Pena give the Stars some veteran leadership. The Stars have young core of returning forwards Leah Younkers, Alexis Burdette and Emily Ach can provide some offense. Young and returning defenders Ali Underwood, Aly Davis and Cassie Hemming will help Paulson defend the net at goalie.
“These girls have the potential to mold into a very elite team in the next several years,” Lindberg said. “However, this young inexperience can also play in to becoming a weakness for us as well at times because it may take some of our newcomers a little while to adjust to the speed and quickness of varsity hockey.”
They hope to improve on last season’s 5-21 record. The Stars lost in the Section 6AA quarterfinals to eventual state champion Minnetonka.
This young Stars squad will have their hands full in the Northwest Suburban Conference. Blaine, Armstrong-Cooper, Maple Grove, Centennial, Andover and Elk River alone provide a formidable schedule.
“Each team has the opportunity to win any game on any given night,” Lindberg said about the NWSC.
The Stars opened their season on Thursday, Nov. 7, with an 8-0 loss to Hopkins. Paulson had 33 saves while the Stars mustered only 10 shots as a team.
Younkers scored the first goal of the season a couple days later at Alexandria. The Stars fell 4-1 to the Cardinals on Saturday, Nov. 9. Paulson finished with 40 saves in goal.