Woodbury boys hockey: Bolin: 'Future does look bright'
Woodbury closed out the 2012-13 season with a first-round loss in the Section 3AA playoffs to a familiar foe.
Park defeated Woodbury 6-2 in the Feb. 19 game, bringing an end to high school play for the Royals' 12 seniors.
"As a group, they left a strong legacy for the younger kids as to how to continue to work and compete and be coached during a season that doesn't give you the kind of results you'd like," said head Woodbury coach Wes Bolin.
The Royals finished the season with a 6-17-3 record (1-14-3 Suburban East Conference) that often saw more downs than ups. Still, players remained resilient and morale was strong, Bolin said.
"They kept working, they stayed positive," he said. "It's tough for young players to stay positive when you're not winning, but they did."
Seniors Ford Pendleton and Jordan Graham recorded Woodbury's two goals in the section game, which Bolin said was riddled with more trips to the penalty box for the Royals than any other game of the season.
"That really took us off our game," he said.
Park broke a 1-1 first period score on a goal where Woodbury players thought goalie Austin Macalus had frozen the puck. Officials ruled it a goal, and Park came right back to score again 33 seconds later.
"It took some wind out of our sails," Bolin said. "That's pretty tough for a team that hasn't had a lot of breaks go its way all year, to bounce back mentally."
The season saw tough luck at virtually every turn for the Royals, with injuries to players including starting goaltender Evan Broadbent, defenseman Mark Dornfeld, forward Max Cahill and junior forward Jack Glaeser.
"We did not play one game this season with our full roster," Bolin noted. "That's a tough thing to deal with."
Moving forward, he said it will be critical for Woodbury players to improve their physical strength. Still, he said the return of players like Glaeser, freshman forward Sasha Choporov, sophomore defenseman Hayden Shaw and a stable of goaltenders who gained varsity experience this season make for a "good nucleus" heading into the 2013-14 season.
Bolin noted that Woodbury also will see "a good number" of players from the bantam program for the first time since the arrival of East Ridge divided the local talent pool.
"Our future does look bright," he said.