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Storm’n Sabres look to improve forwards in season

Stockinger, Orth, Trobec lead 2019-20 team 

BY ANNA HINKEMEYER | STAFF WRITER

    The 2019-20 season is shaping up for the Storm’n Sabres girls hockey team.
    The team, which is a cooperative between Sartell-Stephen and Sauk Rapids-Rice school districts, has been practicing for two weeks and faced Rogers Nov. 8 in its home opener in Sartell. SSRR comes off a 15-11-1 record in 2018-19.
    “We have a really tough schedule right out of the gate, and we are working hard to prepare for that,” said Marty Anderson, head coach. “We play Rogers, St. Cloud, Buffalo and Alexandria in our first four games and all are tough teams. Every game this season will be a battle, and we have to be ready for that.”
    Last year, the Storm’n Sabres tied with Rogers and won five total games against St. Cloud, Buffalo and Alexandria, three of which were only separated by one goal. Alexandria joins Section 8AA this season, replacing North Wright County.
    “Alexandria is a very good team,” Anderson said. “I’m expecting the same level of competition from them as we have from North Wright County. It has been that way in years past, so we will have to work hard against them just like we do with any other team. We should be right in the mix of competitiveness with all of the teams in the section.”
    The team returns experienced skaters beginning from the net out. Senior goalie Chloe Stockinger will be the starting tender for SSRR.
    Stockinger was nearly unbeatable during the 2018-19 season, boasting a .924 save percentage in 981 minutes of game time. She recorded 12 wins and one tie.
    “Having a good goalie like Chloe makes all the difference for the team,” Anderson said. “She is a phenomenal goalie, and the girls have some reassurance that if they make a mistake, Chloe will have their back and be able to make many saves in the net.”   
    Stockinger is one of three captains and is joined by forward Anna Orth and defender Riley Trobec.
    The team will feel the loss of 2019 Sartell-Stephen graduate Brooke Walters. Walters, a forward, played the top line of the 2016 state-participating Storm’n Sabres team as a freshman and contributed 28 goals and 10 assists in her senior season.
    “The girls have recognized that it will take many of them to equate to what Brooke did for the team,” Anderson said. “When we had our scrimmage, we had a rotation of seven girls scoring goals for the team, which is what we want. It shows our depth in the forward position.”
    Anderson expects contributions from Orth, who had 10 goals and 17 assists last year, Lauren Wensel (3 goals and 11 assists) and Rachel Wieland (3 goals and 10 assists) as well as from Jayden Lommel, Hannah van der Veer and Kelly Carriere.
    Eighth grade forward, Nora Sauer, will also join the varsity ranks. It is the first time the team has advanced a middle school student on its roster.
    The Storm’n Sabres ended its playoff run in quarterfinals against Brainerd last February, but Anderson is confident in his team’s ability to bring the heat in the Central Lakes Conference and section.
    “I think we have another very competitive team this year,” Anderson said. “Our section is always competitive, and we will look different in February around playoff time than we will in November – just from the play experience and fine-tuning technique and skill. But even in the beginning of the season, I expect great, tight matchups from the girls. We are excited.”