Boys hockey: Irish bow out of section at Eastview
The Rosemount boys hockey team was shut out by Eastview for the second time in 12 days in the opening round of the Section 3AA tournament last Thursday night.
The Irish gave up two goals in the first four-plus minutes and never got on the board in a season-ending 4-0 loss at Apple Valley Sports Arena.
Senior goaltender Austin Leslie stopped 34 Eastview shots. The Irish were outshot 38-27.
"I don't think anybody on this team was ready to give up. We played pretty hard and ended the season on a great note," first-year head coach Brad Stepan said. "We knew Eastview was a good team. We knew what we were up against and we hung in there. I'm proud of every one of them."
Stepan was especially proud of his 10-member senior class, which helped the program earn a No. 6 section seed for the first time in several years and win 10 games for the first time since the 2007-08 season.
"The seniors had the goal of getting to 12 wins and we only got to 10, so a couple of them were disappointed, but they did a great job leading us and getting us back out of the section play-in game for the first time in a while," Stepan said.
Other season highlights Stepan mentioned were defeating Lakeville North in overtime and shutting out Eastview during South Suburban Conference play.
"We'll be a lot younger next year, no question, but this was a good year to build on. We're excited about what we accomplished," he said. "We had a couple of big signature wins for our program, so hopefully the younger players got a taste of what it takes to win and we can get more next year."