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H.S. Hockey | Summer camp report: Century

Posted by: Feldman

High school hockey teams around the state are taking a mandatory break from their summer camps this week for the holiday, so I figured now is a good time to get these summer camp reports posted. Like I said in a previous post, there's not a ton of information we can gain from these camps, other than the coaches like having a few weeks on the ice with their players in the summer, to see who wants to put in the time and effort in the offseason.

We'll start our trip around Rochester with the Century Panthers.

CENTURY PANTHERS

Last season: 18-7-2, Big 9 conference champions; lost to Lakeville North, 6-1, in Section 1AA semifinals.

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Key players lost: G Erik Wennberg (17-6-2, 2.39 GAA, .904 save pct., 6 SO); F Nick Jacobs (captain; 13-24--37, 3 GWG; team-best 4 pts. in 2 playoff games); D Brandon Kautz (captain; 15-19--34, 10 PPG); F Blake Heroff (captain; 9-7--16); F Tyler Iverson (8-14--22; 11 pts in last 7 regular season games); F Isaac St. Marie (15-9--24; 3 PPG).

Key players returning(grade listed is the grade they'll be in, this coming school year): Sr. D Matt Sturchio (3-7--10); Sr. F Dalton Travis (15-9--24); Jr. F Hayden Ashworth (12-27--39); So. F Jacob Roth (4-10—14); So. D Riese Zmolek (5-8—13); Sr. D Ki-Jana Humphreys (1-2—3).

Questions for coach Josh Klingfus

How do you use these summer practices? What do you want to accomplish?"It's all skill work, shoot a lot of pucks, skating, stickhandling, some 1-on-1, 2-on-1 stuff, a lot of station work and breaking down each player individually."

You lost a lot of senior leadership off last year's team. How do you replace that?"We have to have guys step into those roles. The (seniors-to-be) class will step in and do just fine. We'll need guys like Matt Sturchio to pull a lot of weight, and we'll have some younger leaders, too — Hayden Ashworth, Riese Zmolek, along with the upperclassmen, we'll go as far as those guys push us."

Thoughts on the Panthers: Klingfus said the Panthers have about 35 kids going through summer workouts with the team, which is a nice number. Eric Rohleder is the only returning goalie with varsity experience, so he'll be given every chance to win the job, but will have some young guys pushing him when practice starts in November.

Dalton Travis was a player Century relied upon the entire season to provide offense and give the team a spark. He had 14 of his 24 points in the first eight games of the year, but he had a couple of big games down the stretch (including a hat trick against Albert Lea on Feb. 6) as the Panthers clinched the Big Nine title. They'll need him to continue to score and be a leader. Ashworth led the team in scoring last season as a sophomore, but lost one of his key linemates — center Nick Jacobs — to graduation.

Zmolek is one of the best all-around defensemen in the conference, and displayed a strong two-way game all of last season as a freshman. He had two points in his first varsity game and looked comfortable stepping into such a key role as a young player. As Klingfus said, they'll need Zmolek to be a leader this season, particularly with the loss of three-year blue-liner Brandon Kautz.

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Century's schedule will be decent once again. The Panthers have non-conference games scheduled against two teams that made the state tournament last season, Section 1AA champion Lakeville South (Jan. 3, 7:30 p.m., Graham Arena 4) and at defending Class AA state champion Benilde-St. Margaret's (Jan. 17, 7 p.m.).

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