Chippewa (WQOW) — The Chippewa Steel are gearing up for their second season on the ice, after missing out on the playoffs in 2018 with 41 points.
It’s also their first full season under head coach Carter Foguth, who continues to establish his culture. He returns a good chunk of players on all three levels of the ice, and will look to their experience early in the season. The best way to create those connections though with the returners and newcomers, is just hit the ice and play hockey.
“I think its been good here. We’ve been together for a couple weeks now, and we’ve had a lot of on ice time and off ice time as well,” says defensemen Michael Black. “So we’ve had a lot of time to get to know each other, and I think we’ve done a good job at that. But on the ice, it makes it a lot easier if you know the guys off the ice so I think we’ve done a good job.”
“It makes it easier, that we have a good amount of returners,” says Isaac Mobert, who plays forward. “So there is that chemistry from last year. And it seems like the new guys are actually meshing pretty well, and they’re starting to pick it up.”
One of the biggest questions though for Chippewa heading into the season, is who will be between the pipes? Last year’s starting goalie Josh Langford has left for the USHL in Green Bay, leaving a battle between three players for the new starter. Each one will get their shot to be the guy in the crease, as the competition heats up heading into 2019.
“We have three guys who are probably capable of taking that top spot, but we’re just looking for two guys that step up and quite simply play the best,” says Foguth. “They’re all going to get chances to play throughout the probably first six or so games, so whoever does the best in practice and carries the load in the games, those will be the guys we take moving forward.”
“We’re all a little bit odd you know,” says Trent Burnham, who’s competing for the starting spot. “We’ve all got our own friendship going, and we just compete against each other. But we never talk each other down or anything, we’re always keeping everybody up.”
The Steel open their 2019 season on the road Friday night, traveling to take on Janesville at 7:05 p.m.