2011-12 Mayo boys hockey preview
Head coach: Lorne Grosso, 45th season (624-400-26 record)
Assistants: Bob Haskins, Todd Huyber.
Last season: 12-12-2, lost in Section 1AA quarterfinals.
Outlook: The Spartans grew and got better and better as last season went along. Now they hope to pick up where they left off in the regular season, when they went 8-1-2 down the stretch before falling to rival Century in the Section 1AA quarterfinals.
A big part of Mayo's second-half surge last season was the development of three young forwards, Adam Alcott, Ryan Martin and Max Whitney. Those three combined for 55 points as sophomores and return this season to make up the Spartans' first line. "Those guys have a lot of confidence and experience," coach Lorne Grosso said, "and they're very enthusiastic about playing. That will help."
Seniors Seth Gilbertson and Nik Brozovich will be joined on the second line by junior Nolan Edwards. On the third line, senior Marcus Nordstrom will team with sophomores Justyn Sweet and Matt Rogers. Sweet and Rogers both saw varsity action in the second half of last season.
"I really like this group of forwards," Grosso said. "They have a lot of energy and good, positive attitudes. It's a close bunch of kids."
Defensively, third-year veterans Steve Serratore and Jack Dingle will lead the way. The senior duo were not only solid in their own end last season, but they are able to jump into the rush and produce points. They combined for 32 points last season.
"Serratore is probably our best blue-liner, and Dingle has the most experience," Grosso said, "so they'll both do really well."
Seniors Josh Newman and Rick Maas, Junior Will Holtan and sophomore Tommy Fjelsted also are expected to see time at defense.
Three goalies are competing for the starting job, and all three may get a chance to start at some point. Senior Michael DeBusman and junior Case Hanson lead the way, with sophomore Chase Utley pushing them.
"DeBusman backed up (Alex) VanGalder all of last season and never complained a bit," Grosso said. "That's a tough spot to be in, but he has just a great attitude. We'll take a look at all of those guys."
Seniors — F Nik Brozovich, G Michael DeBusman, D Jack Dingle, F Seth Gilbertson, D Rick Maas, D Josh Newman, F Marcus Nordstrom, D Steve Serratore. Juniors— F Adam Alcott, F Nolan Edwards, G Case Hanson, D Will Holtan, F Ryan Martin, D Matt Moore, D Brian Murray, F Neel Pruthi, F Charlie VanGalder, F Max Whitney. Sophomores— Jacob Billings, Joe Boudet, F Tommy Fjelsted, Eric Gibson, F Tommy Hanson, Isaac Jones, Jordan Korte, Alexander Mathis, Ian Nordstrom, F Matt Rogers, F Justyn Sweet, G Lucas Utley, Anthony Solseth.
Home games at Graham Arena
(Game time 7:30 p.m. unless noted)
Nov. 29 — Red Wing
Dec. 2— Faribault
Dec. 8— Mankato West
Dec. 10— John Marshall
Dec. 15— at Austin
Dec. 17— Farmington
Dec. 20— at Owatonna
Dec. 22— Albert Lea
Dec. 28-30— Rochester Kiwanis Festival
Jan. 6— at Hibbing
Jan. 7— at Virginia, 3 p.m.
Jan. 14— Century
Jan. 19— at Winona
Jan. 21— at John Marshall, Noon (Graham Park)
Jan. 26— South St. Paul
Jan. 28— at Albert Lea, 1 p.m.
Jan. 31— at Lakeville North, 7 p.m.
Feb. 2— Owatonna
Feb. 4— Mankato East, 8 p.m.
Feb. 9— at Mankato West, 8 p.m.
Feb. 11— at Faribault
Feb. 14— at Century
Feb. 18— Winona, 1 p.m.