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For Raiders, the puck stops here

Sorenson has been stellar as goalie

By Jason Feldman

jfeldman@postbulletin.com

Nate Sorenson was asked what he likes about being a goalie, just what is it that he enjoys about pucks flying at all parts of his body for 45 minutes per game.

"All the saves," the Rochester John Marshall senior answered, smiling.

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But, he was questioned, does he know how many saves he has made this season?

"I’ve had 305 this year," he said, still smiling, "and my save percentage is about 93 or 94 percent."

No details get by the senior goalie for the Rochester Area Raiders adaptive floor hockey team. That’s not surprising, because not many pucks get by him, either.

And Sorenson was spot-on with his stats, too (305 saves, a .936 save percentage and a 1.90 goals-against average). He has backstopped the Raiders to a 10-3-1 record this season and the No. 3 seed from the South Division in this weekend’s state tournament. The Raiders open play Friday at 6:30 p.m. against two-time defending state champion Anoka-Hennepin.

That tough opening-round draw isn’t deterring any of the Raiders’ five seniors — Sorenson, leading scorer Andrew Watts, Kyle Parker, Josh Rodrick and Andrew Loessin — from believing that they can capture the program’s second state championship. The Raiders won their only state title in 2003.

But the Raiders aren’t looking that far ahead. As a good captain should be, Sorenson is focused on winning the first game.

"We played (Anoka-Hennepin) two years ago," he said, "and if we play our best, I know we can win. We have a lot of confidence in each other."

Watts, who has a team-high 34 goals and 38 points, said the Raiders need to continue to do the things they have worked hard to improve on this season.

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"We have to do a better job of passing and looking for better shots," the veteran forward said. "We’re confident. We’re playing very well."

Watts said it has already started to sink in that this weekend will be his last with the Raiders, regardless of how well they do.

"It is pretty sad being my last year," Watts said. "I love playing for the Raiders and seeing my teammates every day."

Raiders coach Wayne Pollock said each of the five seniors have brought something different to the program. Pollock’s thoughts on the seniors:

• On Kyle Parker: "Kyle’s a captain and he’s been around for six seasons. He’s our veteran."

• On Andrew Watts and Nate Sorenson: "They’ve both been around for three years or so. Both of them, their first seasons, we stuck them right in there on those top lines. And Nate stepped right in and filled the goalie role for us when we needed someone to play goalie."

• On Josh Rodrick: "This is only his first year out for hockey. He has four goals and he knows how to find the holes. Every goal he’s scored has been in a spot just big enough for the puck."

• On Andrew Loessin: "He’s been with us for three years or so, too. He’s a very determined player. He is always ready to go when he’s called on and he gives 110 percent when he gets out there."

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