Jubilation (as pictured) occurred at the Northfield Ice Arena for the Owatonna Huskies at the end of the regular season last winter (2019-2020 season) with an overtime victory to secure a share of the Big Nine Championship. A few days later, at the same location, spirits were lower due to a playoff loss to the Raiders that ended the prep hockey careers of Asia Buryska and Chloe Schmidt. The rest of the team returns as the pandemic-delayed hockey season starts this week.

Owatonna went 17-7-1 overall and 16-1 in the Big Nine. Co-conference champ Northfield (17-10, 11-1) also return a wealth of experience from last season. The Raiders upset Lakeville South in the Section 1AA semifinals and lost to Farmington in the championship game.

The Huskies play their first three games at home, starting with Austin on Thursday, January 14 at 7 pm. Mankato West comes to Four Seasons on Saturday, January 16 at 1 pm and Mayo pays a visit on Thursday, January 21 at 7 pm. The entire 18-game schedule is against Big Nine Conference teams.

OHS girls hockey coach Tony Cloud is excited to get the players on the ice, "We've got a large group of returning players. We have 18 of 20 of our section roster returning this season. This is a group that's been coming along since their sophomore year as leaders and now they're jumping into their senior seasons."

Cloud is an assistant soccer coach during the fall and quite a few of the players are on both rosters. He said being outside helped during that season, knowing that protocols will be different at the rink, "We had a little bit of a preview of that during our summer camps."

Statistics for Owatonna's returning players according to Let's Play Hockey:
(player, grade in 2021, position, goals-assists=points)

  • Ezra Oien, so winger, 30-16=46
  • Olivia Herzog, jr forward, 20-15=35
  • Sydney Hunst, sr center, 11-21=32
  • Anna Herzog, sr forward, 11-15-=26
  • Abby Vetsch, so defense, 7-19=26
  • Grace Wolfe, sr defense, 7-18=25
  • Molly Achterkirch, fr forward, 9-14=23
  • Samantha Bogen, fr forward, 9-5=14
  • Sarah Snitker, so defense, 3-11=14
  • Macy Stanton, so forward, 3-6=9
  • Calbey Podien, sr forward, 5-3=8
  • Lillian Hunst, fr defense, 3-4=7
  • Gabi Lamont, jr forward 2-4=6

Regarding the schedule, Cloud knows the team may need to "adapt and adjust when needed."

  • January 14 vs Austin, 7 pm
  • January 16 vs Mankato West, 1 pm
  • January 21 vs Mayo, 7 pm
  • January 23 at Mankato East, 2 pm
  • January 26 vs Red Wing, 7 pm
  • January 28 at Northfield, 7:15 pm
  • February 2 vs Century, 7 pm
  • February 4 at Red Wing, 7 pm
  • February 9 at Mankato West, 7:30 pm
  • February 11 vs Winona, 7 pm
  • February 16 vs Albert Lea, 7 pm
  • February 20 at Mayo, 2 pm
  • February 23 at Century, 7:15 pm
  • February 25 vs Mankato East, 7 pm
  • March 2 at Winona, 7:15 pm
  • March 4 vs Northfield, 7 pm
  • March 8 at Austin, 7 pm
  • March 13 at Albert Lea, 7:15 pm
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