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Archibald following in father’s footsteps

As a player Jim Archibald was an uncommon combination of skill and scrappiness.

At North Dakota, the head coach of the Brainerd Warriors scored 144 points and set school records for penalties and penalty minutes. He went on to play four seasons in the minors and 16 games with the Minnesota North Stars.

Jim’s son, Brainerd senior forward Josh Archibald, has inherited his father’s skill and some of that feistiness. The younger Archibald is tied for second in the state in scoring with 11 goals and 16 assists through nine games, an average of 3.0 points per game.

“We’ve gotten off to a good start,” Josh Archibald said. “(Second in the state) comes with hard work and our line has great chemistry right now. We’re passing the puck around, scoring tick-tack-toe goals. I’m passing to them, they’re passing to me.”

Josh is paired with Matt Pohlkamp and Mitch McLain to form one of the state’s most skilled lines. Pohlkamp has 10 goals and 10 assists, McLain nine goals and 11 assists.

“Matt’s big and strong, works in the corners, has a great shot, is fast, and sees the ice well,” Archibald said. “Mitch’s got great hockey sense. He knows where everyone is on the ice. He can make blind passes or go back door. He also goes in the corners with other guys and comes out with the puck.”

Jim Archibald said his son, the Warriors’ captain, is playing with a different attitude.

“His penalty minutes have gone way down compared to what they’ve been the last two years,” Jim said. “He’s being a leader. He’s going on the ice and giving 100 percent every time he’s out there.”

Josh’s game includes unselfishness. Last weekend he had an opportunity to play for the USA Under-18 National Development team but turned it down because the Warriors had a Section 8-2A game at Moorhead.

“He said he wouldn’t leave the team to play, that it was too important of a game,” Jim said. “I think that says a lot about his character and how he puts the team first.”

Jim said he didn’t have to influence Josh to go to the rink as a youngster.

“When he was about 3 we used to take him to the little arena in the small town where we used to live,” Jim said. “Every time we would try to take him off the ice he would sit there and cry. 

“He has a lot of inner drive. He always sets goals for himself, and goes out and tries to achieve those goals.”

Josh said his dad has had a positive impact on his career.

“I’m kind of following in his footsteps,” he said. “I look up to him for everything. I talk to others too, but he’s been the greatest influence on me, and so has my mom (Anne). They’ve been there for me, for everything good or bad. They want the best for me.”

The elder Archibald has enjoyed the opportunity to coach his son.

“It’s been fun for me, but he might have a different opinion,” Jim said. “I put a lot of pressure on him, I’m not going to kid around about that, but I think he thrives on that. The more pressure I put on him the harder he plays.”

What’s it like playing for your dad?

“He’s been my coach pretty much my whole life,” Josh said. “There were a couple years where he hasn’t been. He looks for big things out of me. He pushes me harder than anyone else. It’s tough at times, but it’s going to turn out good in the end.”

The younger Archibald hopes to play at the next level. He has visited Bemidji State and Bowling Green and hopes to also visit UND and Nebraska-Omaha.

“I’ve got some options,” he said. “I’m going to play all my cards and see what happens.”

Other notable efforts:

• Katy Etterman, gymnastics, won three events and the all-around title against Sartell and won the all-around title in the Warriors Invite.

• Sierra Hanowski, girls hockey, had two goals and two assists against the St. Cloud Icebreakers.

• Zean Baker and Riley Nelsen, Nordic skiing, won the boys division of the Bemidji Relays.

• Bradyn Watson and Josh McKeag, swimming, each won two events and were on two first-place relays against Rocori.

MIKE BIALKA may be reached at or at 855-5861.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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