Boys' Hockey Focuses on Controllable

Natalie Dillon
Crookston Times

The Crookston Pirates boys’ hockey team started practice for the 2021-22 season on Monday, November 15 at Crookston Sports Center. 

Last season, the Pirates were 2-11, getting knocked out of the playoffs by Thief River Falls. 

Head coach Joshua Hardy knows that his team will be considered the underdog in almost every matchup, so he looks to beat teams in other ways than physicality. 

“Something that we talk a lot about is controlling what we can control,” Hardy said. “Our communication is one thing that we do have control over, and I think that’s such a big thing as a team. We want to communicate on the ice, and we want communicate off the ice. If we can do that, it’s only going to help our play.” 

In addition to communication, captain Jack Doda looks to help make his teammates better people in order to win games.   

“I want to make everybody a better person,” Doda said. “That’s the first thing. If we’re better people off the ice, we’re going to be better on the ice. If we are respected by the community, we will be better out here [on the ice].” 

On the game side of things, it all comes down to more wins. The more effort the boys put in, the better results they will get Doda said.  

“We just have to win games and not give up those close ones,” Doda said. “Win games and play hard. If we give it everything we’ve got every game, then we will be in it.” 

It will take more than just effort, though. The team will need experience, which is something senior captain Blaine Andringa looks to bring. 

“Personally, I want to contribute more for my team, a little more playmaking with some goals,” Andringa said. “I’m seeing things with being older. Tt’s so much easier just to see the ice. That’s something that you can’t learn overnight.” 

When it comes down to it, however, it’s all about improvement. It doesn’t matter where you start, but it matters where you are at the end of the year. 

“Our goal, as always, is we want to be a better team tomorrow than we were today,” Hardy said. “Really, we want to be a better team in February when playoff time comes than we are now. It’s a long season. It’s a process, and we’re going to try to get better every day. The goal is that, by the time we get to February, we’re ready to roll and we can be competing for a section title.” 

The Pirates look to set the tone in their first game against Kittson Central High School on Monday, November 29 at 7 p.m. 

Defensemen work in transition
The Pirates offense challenges their goalies
The team works on redirecting the puck and screening the goalie
The Pirates circle up to practice passing
Head coach Joshua Hardy explains a drill