While his older brothers blazed a record-breaking trail, Joey Hanowski has created his own path.
The Little Falls Flyers junior is the younger brother of Beau and Ben Hanowski. Beau is currently playing baseball at South Dakota State University, but before that he tallied 137 career points as a Flyer hockey player. Ben is currently playing hockey at St. Cloud State University. He holds the Minnesota State High School League record for most career points with 405.
Joey Hanowski isn’t quite there yet, but he didn’t expect to be.
“It was a little difficult,” the three-year varsity player said. “I didn’t look at it that way, but others did. My brothers were two great hockey players who I could learn from and ask questions. They were always there for me if I had a question.
“I’m a different hockey player than my brothers. I play well within the system. Their skill level was way better than mine, but they were good mentors and I’m proud of the success that they had.”
Flyers head coach Tony Couture agrees that while his first-line wing has the same last name, Joey Hanowski is playing a different style game.
“He is a completely different player than those two,” said Couture. “He has a lot of ability, but he just doesn’t have the numbers those guys had. He has to work a little harder for everything.
“His brothers had a little more natural ability, but everything Joey gets he has to work for it.”
This season Joey has held his own. He is fifth in Section 6-1A with 47 points for 1A’s 14th-ranked Flyers with 30 goals and 17 assists. Five of his goals came on the power play and two were short-handed.
Last year as a Central Lakes Conference honorable mention player, Hanowski finished with 24 points (16 goals, 8 assists). In his first full varsity season he tallied eight points (3 goals, 5 assists).
“I expected myself to pick it up a little bit this year,” said Hanowski, who also plays football and baseball. “Last year was my first year on the first two lines. This year I’ve been skating with the same guys in Ben Newman and Luke Majerle. We’ve done well so far.
“Our whole line has stepped it up. It isn’t just one player. When Luke went down, Austin Bjorge joined us and we’re still clicking. So I don’t think it’s me personally. Our whole line has stepped up.”
Hanowski scored twice in the Flyers’ 5-3 victory over the St. Cloud Apollo Eagles Feb. 8.
He scored a short-handed goal in overtime to help Little Falls to a 3-2 victory over Rogers Feb. 10.
He tallied another goal against Alexandria Feb. 11, helping Little Falls to a 7-1 win.
He added a goal and two assists in the Flyers’ 13-0 rout of River Lakes Feb. 15.
“I just think he has a knack around the net,” said Couture. “He has real deception with his speed. A couple of times just recently, he got the puck in the neutral zone and just skated by the defenseman.
“He’s our team captain and our leader in the locker room. He is just a great all-around kid, who comes from a hockey family. I want my kids to be just like Joey. He’s level-headed, sociable and a good hockey player.”
Other notable performances:
Basketball: Nathan Ehnstrom, Aitkin, scored 23 points against Isle.
Caleb Janson, Pierz, finished with 17 points and 19 rebounds against Wadena-Deer Creek and 16 rebounds and six points against Maple Lake.
Kurtis Moody, Pequot Lakes, scored 32 points against Staples-Motley, 22 against Roseau and 20 against Thief River Falls.
Eli Beachy, Staples-Motley, scored 20 points against Pequot Lakes.
Caleb Baker, Crosby-Ironton, finished with 26 points and six assists against Thief River Falls.
Josh Wenzel, Little Falls, scored 20 points against Rocori.
Dustin Motschenbacher, Verndale, scored 20 points against Swanville.
Hockey: Kyler Decent, Northern Lakes, scored three goals against Red Lake Falls.
Wrestling: Aitkin’s Colton Laplante, Jerod Novak, Adam Jackson, Jordan Chouanard, Kane Magness, Kevin Handt, Andrew Bass and Cooper Blau all won Great River Conference titles.
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5856.