2012-13 Winter Preview: Coaching carousel continues as Walz, Fink take over East Ridge hockey teamWith the departure of its head coach and an 0-4 start, the East Ridge girls hockey team has had a rough start to the 2012-13 season.
By: Justin Kruse, Woodbury Bulletin
The East Ridge girls hockey team’s season hasn’t started the way most were hoping.
With the departure of its head coach and an 0-4 start, the Raptors have had a rough start to the 2012-13 season.
This year, the Raptors have started with three lopsided losses and another loss against Apple Valley in which the Raptors led 1-0 in the third period before allowing three unanswered goals.
East Ridge now has two new coaches as former head coach Craig Norwich is no longer on the coaching staff.
In a message left by phone, Norwich said that he was no longer the head coach and he is “currently in the Bahamas.” He did not comment on the reason for his departure, nor did East Ridge Athletic Director Jon Hinzman.
By e-mail, Hinzman stated that the team would be co-head coached by Tim Fink and Wes Walz. Walz, a former Minnesota Wild forward, played for three different NHL teams as well as playing in the American Hockey League and four seasons in Switzerland’s professional league.
Norwich, a former Minnesota state champion, NCAA title holder and longtime NHL player, was East Ridge’s third head coach. The combo of Fink and Walz are now the fourth head coaches at the helm of the Raptors since the school opened in 2009.
The East Ridge faithful are hoping the new leadership will produce wins and improve the Raptors’ chances on the ice.
Back with East Ridge this season are a number of key players from last season, including junior Olivia Henderson, who lead the Raptors in scoring in 2011-12 with 12 points, along with junior forwards Kayla Bender and Cassie Goff, senior defender Katelyn Bergloff, junior defender Jess Hammer and senior goalie Katie Ahmann.
To start the year, East Ridge lost 6-0 to Shakopee, 7-0 to North St. Paul and 6-0 to Eagan, before playing Apple Valley close. In the loss to Apple Valley, Jessie Anderson scored the Raptors’ first goal of the year, with an assist going to Hannah Johnson.
East Ridge opened Suburban East Conference play on Tuesday at White Bear Lake (2-1) after the Bulletin went to press. Next, the Raptors face off with Stillwater (1-0-1) at Bielenberg on Thursday.