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Adapted Floor Hockey: Warriors hoping to keep the streak going

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Brainerd Warrior Adapted Floor Hockey captains Tate Boelter (left) Blaise Edinger Matt Allord and Karlee Schuler bring the puck down the floor Wednesday, Jan. 8, during practice at Riverside Elementary School. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

It’s 44 and still counting for the Brainerd Warriors.

The three-time state champion Warriors have not lost a game in three years and with the team’s top four scorers and goalie back from last year, Warrior head coach Todd Person is optimistic things won’t change much.

That’s not to say this year’s team doesn’t have question marks. Brainerd graduated Brach Delcastillo and Sierra Hartung, Spencer Thomas and Maddox Canon are not back this year. That leaves depth as a concern for Brainerd.

“It’s a much different team this year,” Person said. “We have some new players that came out this year, which is great. This is a completely new thing for those players. We have a few players from last year’s team not on the roster right now so it will be a different look.”

Brainerd does return its leading scorer in Matt Allord. The junior earned all-tournament team recognition last year at state along with Blaise Edinger and Tre’Von Otey. Allord finished the regular season with 21 goals and 29 assists.

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“Matt is just a leader on the floor and off the floor,” Person said. “He does whatever it takes. He pushes himself right to the edge where we constantly have to ask him if he’s good to continue. He just keeps going and going. I know he’s in pain and days after a game are rough for him, but he wants to keep going and be out there all the time.

“I wouldn’t think there is anybody else in the state who is the competitor that Matt is. He understands the game so well. He may not get all the goals, but he makes all the right passes at the right times and his stick work is among the best. We are very fortunate to have him on the team.”

Edinger, a senior, posted 18 goals and 13 assists in the regular season. He also played in the net on occasion for Brainerd.

“He’s going to need to be fluid with where we put him on the floor and I think he understands that,” Person said. “He’s been a center, forward a lot for us in the past, but there will be times when we’ll need him back as a defenseman. Just do some other leadership things out on the floor. He’s been responding well to that in practice. He’ll do what he needs to do to help the team.”

Fellow senior Karlee Schuler has experience in net, but played the floor last season and tallied five goals and six assists during the regular season.
“We’ve had her in that chair defenseman position and she’s been out on the floor quite a bit,” Person said. “Karlee just wants to be out there and she wants to compete. She never really complains or whatever. She loves to play.”

Brainerd’s top goalie last season was Tate Boelter. He faced 94 shots and secured 72 saves for a save percentage of 77%.

“Tate is looking good,” Person said. “He’s slimmed down this year. He’s been coming to practice and working hard. We’ve been spending a lot of time on fundamental things with all the new players, but we’ve been trying to get him as much work as we can in the goal. He’s going to be ready and he’ll be right where he was last year if not improved.”

Otey and sophomore Kadyn Robinson each finished with 23 points during the regular season. Otey tallied 14 goals and nine assists. Robinson collected 11 goals and 12 assists.

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“We’re glad Tre’Von is back,” Person said. “He’s going to definitely be a contributor. He’s a good player. It’s nice he’s there.

“Last year was Kadyn’s first year and we’ve told him that we’re expecting a lot more from him this year. He’s working in practice, but we’re putting him in situations that maybe he didn’t see last year. It will be interesting to see how he responds to that.”

Alex Goedker is the only other returning player with his five goals and six assists.

“Alex is right now light years ahead of where he was last year,” Person said. “He had a hat trick in the state championship game last year. He is working hard day in and day out in practice. We’re really excited with where he’s been over the last couple of months of practice.”

New to the program are sophomore Abigail Thompson and freshmen William Ingram, Cadence Atwater and Hunter Zilka.

“William was on the team a couple of years ago and he’s back,” Person said. “Hunter and Cadence are both new. They’re both working hard. Cadence is a competitor and you can tell that right away. She’s ready to compete and it will be good to get her out in game situations. Everything is new for her, but she’s picking things up really quick. Abigail is kind of in that same boat.

“They just haven’t had the experience yet so it will be really good to get down to Rochester and be able to get them sometime in.”

As usual, Brainerd will open up at the Rochester tournament where it will face its top competition. Brainerd opens with Dakota United, which it defeated 7-1 in last year’s state semifinals. It will face Robbinsdale Saturday, Jan. 11. Brainerd defeated Robbinsdale 13-1 in the state title game.

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“Our work ethic is good. They know what it takes. They’ve been there and they continue to strive to continue that. This team is different from last year’s team and it’s certainly different from the team we had two and three years ago.

“We’ve had the luxury of putting these younger players in all the time. They’ve played in pretty much every game so the experience we do have, even though they are young, is helpful.”

Floor hockey

Head coach: Todd Person, eighth season

Career record: 71-22-1 (.755)

2018-19 record: 13-0, State champions

Captains: Blaise Edinger, Karlee Schuler, Tate Boelter, Matt Allord

Assistant coaches: Josh Fordyce

Warrior roster

Seniors: Blaise Edinger, Karlee Schuler, Tate Boelter

Junior: Matt Allord

Sophomores: Kadyn Robinson, Abigail Thompson, Tre’Von Otey, Alex Goedker

Freshmen: William Ingram, Cadence Atwater, Hunter Zilka

Warrior schedule

Friday, Jan. 10: vs. Dakota United at Rochester 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Jan 11: at Rochester 9 a.m.

Saturday, Jan. 11: vs. Robbinsdale at Rochester 12:30 p.m.

Jan. 16: vs. Maple Grove 4:30 p.m.

Jan. 21: vs. Dakota United 4:30 p.m.

Jan. 28: at Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound-Westonka 4:15 p.m.

Jan. 30: vs. Anoka-Hennepin 4:30 p.m.

Feb. 4: vs. Mounds View 4:30 p.m.

Feb. 11 vs. Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound-Westonka 4:30 p.m.

Feb. 13: at Maple Grove 4:30 p.m.

Feb. 18: at Mounds View 4:30 p.m.

Feb. 20: at Anoka-Hennepin 4:30 p.m.

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Todd Persons

Covering the Brainerd lakes area sports scene for the past 23 years.
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