The Morris Benson Area varsity boys' hockey team finished the 2007-08 season with both an "up" and a "down" in the Section 6A tournament.
This year's team made Storm history with a section tournament win, defeating Wadena-Deer Creek 6-3 in the first-round play-in game. In the quarterfinals the Storm were shut out by Little Falls 11-0. The Flyers went on to win the section championship, but lost their first game at the state tournament.
The Storm finished the season with a 7-16-1 record.
"Coming off a strong season, I had high expectations," said second-year coach Jim Kennedy. "We lived up to them."
Kennedy said the team showed composure and represented both communities well.
"It was a season of ups and downs," he said.
The Storm netted a total of 60 goals this season, for an average of 2.5 per game, while the defense allowed 125 goals or an average five per game.
"This year we did a lot of learning," said Kennedy. "Next year will be a time to touch up."
After skating together for a year, the players have developed a sense of teamwork and have worked on the basic skills so they will be able to hit the ice ready to play.
The team had a lot of young players and will only lose a few to graduation.
Among the seniors are Mikey Siegel, Jordan Lee, Travis Dingman, and foreign exchange student, Otto Pyrhonen.
Kennedy said a basic core group of players will be back for the 2008-09 season, including this season's two top-scoring players.
Benson junior Peter Lindblad led the team in scoring with 17 goals, as well as 17 assists.
Morris freshman Tyler Hansen was second in scoring with 13 goals and five assists.
Lindblad had two hat tricks for the Storm this season against Bagley and Sartell. The Storm won both games with Bagley, while the Sartell game ended in a 4-4 overtime tie.
Hansen had a hat trick in the Storm's 5-4 loss to Luverne.
Other key players returning are two of the Storm's goalies.
Benson junior goalie Will Johnson, as well as sophomore Alex Sinclair, will be back in the Storm's net.
Johnson had a save percentage of 85.5. He recorded 624 saves, while giving up 106 goals.
Sinclair was new to the Storm this year, having moved to the area.
"He did really well," said Kennedy.
The coach explained that Johnson and Sinclair are very competitive, but get along great.
"They push each other to be better goalies," he said.
Kennedy said the team is excited for next season.
Again, the coach will have high expectations for the Storm.