Girls host Proctor/Hermantown in hockey opener Friday

New Prague High School’s new girls hockey coach, Taylor Ries (right) talks to players during a practice at the New Prague Ice Arena last week. The team will open its season Friday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. against Proctor/Hermantown. (Chuck Kajer Photo)

The New Prague Trojan girls hockey team will open the 2017-18 season Friday, Nov. 10, when they host Proctor/Hermantown at 7 p.m. at the New Prague Ice Arena. The game was moved from Saturday to Friday as Proctor’s football team will play Saturday in the state playoffs.

This will be the first game for the team’s new head coach, Taylor Ries. He is being assisted this season by former Trojan head coach Dan Gullickson and former player Trojan Jordan Anderson.

The Trojans are coming off a disappointing 11-12-3 record last season that ended with a first-round upset to New Ulm in the Section 2A playoffs. The Trojans will be looking to turn things around this season even as they make the move up to Class AA for the post-season. The Trojans were placed in Section 2AA, which includes Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Prior Lake, Shakopee, Chaska/ Chanhassen, Bloomington Jefferson and Wright County Conference foe Holy Family/ Waconia.

The Trojans’ regular season schedule will not change drastically from last year, with a number of Class A schools, however most of these teams are strong, stateranked teams. Proctor/Hermantown and Red Wing, the Trojans’ first two opponents, are both ranked, and their fourth opponent, St. Paul United, was the Class A runner- up last season.

The Trojans have had a good first week of practice, with the team competing in a scrimmage with Mankato East and Mankato West on Saturday, Nov. 4. Ries said the two scrimmages had contrasting results.

“In our first scrimmage, we outshot the other team by a lot and controlled the play, but couldn’t finish and put the puck in the net,” he said. “In the second one, we scored seven times, so we did see improvement. We got to the puck better and were able to score. It was a big improvement.”

Ries said he expects the Trojans to be competitive with most teams on the schedule. “We’re going to be facing some good Class A teams during the season and will also see some of our section teams, so we’ll be tested. The top two teams will probably be Eden Prairie and Minnetonka. If we can play sound defensively and convert on our chances, there’s no reason we can’t compete with anyone.”

Of course, in order to compete, you need good....

To see more on this story pick up the November 9, 2017 print edition of The New Prague Times.