Steele County Blades Players Make Quick Impact
Steele County Blades forward Noah LaFleur (West Salem, WI) made quite an impact in his first-ever junior hockey game, scoring a hat trick in last season’s opener, “It was a really fun game and I think I was just feeding off all the energy that junior hockey brought.”
“There’s the realization that it’s not going to happen every game. But it’s something that I’ve always felt that I’ve been able to do. So, I just look forward to making the next play and just keep chugging along.”
Despite the amazing debut, he still had plenty to learn, “A lot of the physicality, and not just the big wind-up hits or anything like that, but just consistent physicality. There’s also somebody on you, wanting to give you a little push. I think that was the biggest adjustment for me.”
He’s honored to be a captain this season and takes pride in being involved locally, “A lot of us really enjoy getting out in the community. It speaks to the coaching staff here to make sure we are a positive impact.”
Goalie Levi Preugschas (Buffalo, MN) played in 31 of the 44 regular season games as a first-year player last season and both playoff games. His decision to return to the Blades was an easy one, “The dynamic here and the coaching staff. I made a lot of good friends last year. Not anywhere else I’d rather play this year than with my boys.”
“It’s just practice. It’s going from one level to the next. It takes time and you just have to work that much harder in practice. You’ve got to get tuned up to each of the shots you’re facing.”
He takes on a leadership role this season, “It’s a huge honor to be a captain for this team.”
For Preugschas and LaFleur this is their age-out season and each hopes to play at the college level.
Steele County opened their home schedule with a 2-1 win over the Minnesota Mullets on Friday, October 6. Adam Rauser (Czech Republic) and Cody Vittori (Naperville, IL) scored goals. Bence Gaspar (Hungary) stopped 19 shots for the win in goal.
The Blades play games on Friday, October 13, and Saturday, October 14 at the Four Seasons Centre in Owatonna at 7 p.m. each night. Visit the Blades website.
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