Dandy Dozen: Owatonna Boys’ Hockey Celebrates its Seniors
The Owatonna Blue Line Club boys' high school hockey banquet was held Sunday night where coach Josh Storm thanked and said goodbye to 11 senior hockey players and a senior manager. More than half of those players were three-year letter winners. The Huskies accumulated a 13-12-2 record and hosted a section quarterfinal game for the first time in a decade. Their playoff win over Farmington was the first for a Big Nine team over a South Suburban team in nearly ten years.
Player awards included the Lee Harra-Most Valuable Senior Award going to Mitch Wiese, who also picked up the Ken Austin-Leadership Award and the Hobey Baker Character Award. Senior Jacob Dub won the Ken Wilcox Award for putting the team above himself and for his work with the Owatonna Youth Hockey Association. Junior Andrew Munns was awarded the Dudley Otto Most Improved Honor.
Wiese was a three-year letter winner and two-year captain. He scored goals this season against Mayo, Northfield and Century and had 42 points in his career (13 goals, 29 assists). Tyler Wencl won his third consecutive All-Conference award and finished his career tied for 16th on the all-time points list at OHS with 99 points on 42 goals and 59 assists. He was joined on the All-Big Nine list by Wiese and senior Nate Smith. Senior Nick Smith made the honorable mention list. Wiese and Braeden Meier earned All-Big Nine Scholar Athlete recognition.
Nate Smith had 45 career points (28G, 17A) and had multi-point games this season against Northfield, Albert Lea and Rochester Mayo among his 14 goals and eight assists. Nick Smith had 34 career points (16G, 18A). He had a hat trick this season against Austin and played very well against Lakeville North in the section semifinals according to coach Storm while adding up nine goals and eight assists.
Goaltender Ryan Johnson ends his career as the school record-holder for shutouts in a season (six) and career (eight). Dub wraps up his time between the pipes with a 19-19 career record. Walker Nelson spent three seasons manning Owatonna's blue line. Storm complimented his ability to get the puck out of the zone in a hurry. Nelson scored a goal against Farmington in the playoffs.
Breck Henderson made a courageous comeback in his junior year after suffering a severe cut to his neck in preseason practice to play last season and turn in a solid senior season. Storm said he played very well at the end of the season. Meier had three multi-point games this season and Landon Thurnau used his speed to be a contributor to the varsity. Storm spoke of Kenny Johnson's grit to work hard to be a part of the varsity. Kenzie Karsten completed her second year as a manager for the Huskies.
Highlights for Storm included the holiday trip to Duluth, the win at East Ridge and volunteer work the players did with the U8 team and Toys for Tots. Heidi Meier said Stick it to Cancer Night was a success and hopes it continues in the future. A check was presented to Brian "Red" Wencl, Tyler's father, who is battling cancer. Another check will be given to the From the Heart Run fundraiser.
Junior letter winners included Munns, Matthew DeHaan, Tommy Lehrer, Dawson Ringhofer, Evan Steinberg, Drake Gieseke, Easton Sletten, Jacob Stoykovich, Luke Kubicek, Mason Oland, Ashton Sorum and Dom Wondra. Sophomores earning letters included Aidan Cords, Collin Pederson and Zach Wiese. Captains for 2018-19 are Munns, Gieseke and Kubicek.
All Big Nine Conference players included Nate Smith, Tyler Wencl and Mitch Wiese. Nick Smith earned honorable mention.
Owatonna's Stick it to Cancer night was a big event and will support Red Wencl and the From the Heart Run fundraiser.
Owatonna's players enjoyed their time together during the season and at Sunday's banquet.
Owatonna's boys' hockey team had 11 senior players plus manager Kenzie Karsten (not pictured).