2019-20 Men’s Hockey Season Preview

Posted on November 1st, 2019 by

SAINT PETER, Minn. – With a large group of returners in 2019-20, the Gustavus men’s hockey team will look to bounce back following a pedestrian 2018-19 campaign. The Gusties finished last season 7-17-1 overall and 4-11-1 in the MIAC, although eight of their 17 losses were by one goal. After three weeks of practice Gustavus kicks off its season with a pair of contests at Lawrence University on Friday and Saturday.

“We’ve had a good first few weeks of practice, we’re healthy, and our guys had a really good offseason and came into the start of the season in good physical shape,” said Head Coach Brett Petersen. “This group has been very cohesive and gelled since day one so that has helped them navigate individually and collectively the first few weeks.”

Coach Petersen enters his 20th season at the helm of the Gustavus men’s hockey program in 2019-20 and his biggest emphasis for the upcoming season is build off their strong defensive play from a season ago and to find more ways to put pucks on net.

“Scoring has been our achilles heel the last few years. We get into so many tight games and we can keep it up but we struggle to score consistently. We didn’t give up a ton of goals last season as we were solid on the back end, it was just finding the net that gave us issues.”

Defensively, the Gusties were one of the strongest team in the MIAC a season ago, allowing just 62 goals on the season, which was the second fewest in the league, just one behind Augsburg. The Black and Gold bring back MIAC All-Conference Honorable Mention goalie Robbie Goor (Jr., Anoka), while they return their entire contingent of defensemen, led by 2018-19 MIAC All-Rookie Team Selection Toby Sengvongxay (So., Luverne).

“Robbie will be our number one goaltender and we’ll look to see if he can handle an increased workload since he shared minutes his first two years with us. He has the ability to handle the workload once we get into conference play, but early in the year we’ll need to see what our two young guys can do.”

“The depth of our program right now lies in the defense, as we didn’t lose anyone from that group last season. Toby would be the leader of the pack back there along with our two captains, Jared [Bromberg] (Sr., Rochester) and Axel [Hallin] (Sr., Hovas, Sweden). Those two are good guys, they handle the room awfully well, and I’m proud of how much they’ve matured on and off the ice. They’re a big part of the reason to why our group is so close right now.”

The Gusties return eight of their top 10 point scorers from a 2018-19 team who finished sixth in the MIAC in goals per game with 2.12. Leading the attack will be Caleb Anderson (Jr., Sioux Falls) and Sengvongxay, who finished second and third in scoring for Gustavus last season with 16 and 12 points, respectively.

“We lost two of our top scorers in Colton [Schmidt] and Evan [Erickson], but we return the vast majority of our forward group. Even though our current group is still relatively young, they were forced into their roles earlier in their career than they anticipated. We have a few lines that have been playing together for a few years now so I’m hopeful they can take another step in the right direction. Most of our returning forwards have logged significant minutes and that will only help them as we get underway this year.

Petersen, the 15th winningest active coach in Division III men’s hockey has seen change over his time at the lead of the Gustavus hockey program and has noticed how much more advanced the game has become.

“The biggest change has been the number of players in our league coming to us from junior hockey today than there were 10-15 years ago. When I started back in 2000 we only had two junior players in our entire program, and now we only have two high school players in our entire program. The reality with that change is that our entire league, and the entirety of Division III hockey has significantly gotten older and the quality of play has increased. This has created unbelievable parity in our sport in that the bottom end teams are going to compete with the top teams and every single night is an absolute meat grinder and we’re excited to be able to get after it.”

2019-20 SCHEDULE

2019-20 ROSTER

2018-19 STATS

 

 

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