Boys hockey: Hockey team fourth in first trip to DuluthIn recent seasons, Rosemount boys hockey coach Scott Macho has not had his team in holiday tournaments, choosing instead to fill out the Irish’s schedule with quality non-conference opponents in preparation for the upcoming conference play.
By: Brian Hall, Rosemount Town Pages
In recent seasons, Rosemount boys hockey coach Scott Macho has not had his team in holiday tournaments, choosing instead to fill out the Irish’s schedule with quality non-conference opponents in preparation for the upcoming conference play.
Last week, Macho and Rosemount broke the recent trend and took part in the Duluth holiday tournament.
This year’s Irish might have just given their coach reason to start a new tradition of traveling to Duluth during the annual holiday break.
“It was a good experience for the kids,” Macho said. “They behaved themselves well. We were proud of how they competed. We had a couple of hiccups in a couple of games. I think it was a really good team-building experience.”
Macho and the players met up with former Irish players J.T. Brown and Luke McManus. The Irish got the chance to tour the old Duluth Entertainment Convention Center where the University of Minnesota-Duluth used to play its games as well as the new Bulldogs facility, the Amsoil Arena.
Taking fourth in the eight-team tournament wasn’t too bad, either.
Rosemount (4-5, 1-2 South Suburban) beat Buffalo, 3-2, in the opener, before a 5-3 loss to host Duluth Central/Denfeld, the No. 15 team in Class A. In the finale, the Irish lost 2-0 against Forest Lake. All of the games were played at the Heritage Arena.
“It was a lot of fun,” Macho said. “I think the kids really started to lean on each other and trust each other a little more on the ice.”
The experience went so well, Macho and the Irish might make some return trips.
Macho said the team was invited back for next season and there might be designs on expanding the tournament to 16 teams.
“We could go back to Duluth,” Macho said. “They could play at the DECC and the new Amsoil Arena, so it could be another unique opportunity. I hope it pans out. I think it was a good experience. We’re bringing in a lot of young kids and we could get them up there again, competing against good teams again. It opened a few doors.”
On the ice, the Irish started receiving a bit more scoring help.
Rosemount, which has had trouble scoring at times in recent seasons, posted three goals in its first two games, making it three games in a row with three goals.
“We’re starting to spread it out a little bit too,” Macho said. “The forwards are showing up on the scoreboard. More of those guys knocked in points for us.”
Against Buffalo, Rosemount scored three goals in the second period en route to the win.
Andy Gustafson had a goal and an assist. Mike Cossalter and Trevor Kolden scored the other goals. Hank Fairchild made 22 saves in goal for the Irish.
“I really think we controlled most of the game,” Macho said. “We started a little sluggish, but decided to take control and did it.”
Kolden, a junior forward, hit the back of the net for the second straight game against Duluth Central/Denfeld for a goal. Joe Kearney and Connor Langfield also scored. Gustafson had two assists.
Justin Frank was in goal against Forest Lake and made 38 saves as Rosemount was outshot 40-24.
Brown and McManus
One of the highlights of the trip might have been meeting up with the former players.
Brown, a UMD freshman wing, has scored five goals and 11 assists in 20 games, good for fifth on the team in scoring. After graduating from Rosemount in 2008, he spent two years in the United States Hockey League playing in Waterloo.
Last season at Waterloo, Brown was third in the league with 77 points and was named second-team all-USHL. He had 34 goals and 43 assists in 60 games.
McManus was also a 2008 graduate of Rosemount and played two seasons in the USHL. The defenseman tallied one goal and 12 assists in 49 games last season for Tri-City. McManus hasn’t appeared in a game for the No. 5 ranked Bulldogs this season.
“They brought us into the new facility,” Macho said. “The kids got to see them, and also Jack Connolly, an All-American is in the locker room. They got to take pictures. It’s kind of fun to see their eyes open up and see what the facilities are like at the next level.”