Hockey. It’s more than just a sport at St. Cloud State University, it’s a coming-together of the community of St. Cloud. It brings together people of all ages, race, ethnicities and more for the love and spirit of the game.
Hockey season has begun and our Huskies are headed in the right direction. After having an amazing team last season and having all eyes on them, coming up short of a national championship was felt by each player.
“Definitely the goalie situation, Charlie was clear-cut our number one,” said Robby Jackson when asked how the team had changed from last season to this season. “Also, we were driven by seniors last season. Five seniors were our leading scorers,” he continued, “but they are all gone. Everyone has to step up now with different goals for the benefit of the team.”
The Huskies have always had high expectations on their shoulders when it comes to owning the ice.
Last season, going 31-9-1, it was a very good season. Kalle Kossila scored 14-40, 54 points in 41 games with the Huskies last season. With Joey Benik, Patrick Russell and other seniors leaving, it also left a scoring gap.
This is a gap that Jackson believes they have the ability to fill.
“I like to think I am a leader on the team, sometimes,” Jackson said. “We have a really young team, so leaders are hard to come by, but the upperclassmen do a good time working with us. But everyone has to step up into a leadership role. So I think we have a team full of leaders.”
Playing hard is something the Huskies do every time they hit the ice.
Dealing with adversary early this season, Huskies were tested quickly as they took a heavy loss 1-4 to Minnesota State University in their season opener, with a hard fought 4-6 loss to them the next night.
Many teams would let negativity sink in and discourage them and disrupt their entire season. Not the Huskies. They learned from their mistakes and embraced the experience of being down to have a comeback win against the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers.
They rallied back and beat them 6-5, and then came back to beat them again after being down 0-2 in the third period. They scored 2 goals in 20 seconds to tie the game and took full momentum to win 3-2.
“It felt really good. They are still our rivals. Just because we aren’t in the same conference anymore doesn’t mean we don’t love to beat them,” replied Jackson when asked about how it felt beating the Gophers. “Being able to beat them in that way in front of our home fans was something special.”
Our Huskies have one thing in mind as their goal for this season, and that is winning. We have seen the fight and desire to win in all 5 of their games so far, so this goal is evidently truthful.
“The goal is to always win a championship,” Jackson said. “That is something we all want to bring to St. Cloud. We think we have a shot at it every year. Last year we fell short of that goal. This year we are definitely a new team, but we think that once we get to where we want to be, we will be in the tournament. We believe we have a shot, just like anyone else.”
With young driven leaders such as Jackson on the team, the sky is the limit for this youthful team.