Skater From Down Under Gets One More Hockey Season in Owatonna
Connor Lee (Sydney, Australia) is back in Owatonna playing for the Steele County Blades junior hockey club for a fourth year. He wishes he could come back next winter too, but this is his final season of juniors, "I'm not looking forward to aging out. I've had such a good time here and wish I could spend a fifth year here."
He's enjoyed "The community. The team. Probably just my favorite part is just walking in every morning and having 20 to 30 guys just to talk to. It's really awesome to have brothers, so many of them."
Lee carries an infectious good spirit around. Fans have answered back by chanting "AUS-SIE! AUS-SIE! AUS-SIE!" after he makes a big play. By the end of this season Lee could be the franchise leader in scoring and games played.
Lee attended camps at Shattuck-St. Mary's during his youth hockey days and also knew a player from Australia who previously played for the Blades. Lee is "stoked" to play an outdoor game in Mankato as part of Hockey Day Minnesota in January. Here the full interview with Lee below, including his plans for next winter.
Joey Bunton (Danville, IL) is in his second season with the Blades. It's his third year of junior hockey after playing for a team in the NA3 league in Peoria, IL to start his junior hockey career. He says he and his brother started the sport after getting a 'Learn to Skate' flyer in elementary school.
Despite limitations and restrictions during the abbreviated 2020-21 season, Bunton had an enjoyable experience, "It was just a great time. We all just kind of hung out with each other. We didn't go do other things with other groups. It was all kind of one team."
The Blades have started the season 5-1-0-1 (5 wins, one regulation loss, one shootout loss) Steele County hosts games MEA Weekend Friday at 7 pm, Saturday at 2 pm and Sunday at 3 pm at the Four Seasons Centre in Owatonna.
Blades coach Nick Adamek gives a season update:
Check out more interviews with members of the Steele County Blades.
- Brady Rossbach (New Berlin, WI) and Jackson Blough (St. Joseph, MI)
- Tanner Stendel (Owatonna) and Brady Nance (Bakersfield, CA)
- Matthew Ebersole (Milwaukee, WI) and Elliot Wrigley (Littleton, CO)
UPCOMING STEELE COUNTY BLADES SCHEDULE
- Friday, October 22 versus Rum River Mallards, 7 pm at Four Seasons Centre
- Saturday, October 23 against Minnesota Blue Ox, 2 pm at Four Seasons Centre
- Sunday, October 24 hosting Dells Ducks, 3 pm at Four Seasons Centre
- BLAINE SHOWCASE TOURNAMENT at FOGERTY ICE ARENA:
- Thursday, October 28 versus Hudson Havoc, 12:10 pm
- Friday, October 29 against Dells Ducks, 9 am (Yes. 9 AM)
- Friday, October 29 versus Minnesota Moose, 7:20 pm
- Saturday, October 30 playing Pueblo Bulls, 7:50 pm
Visit the Blades' homepage for more team info.