Posted at: 11/12/2012 8:22 PM
Updated at: 11/13/2012 10:44 PM
By: Laura Kennedy
The Duluth East boys are back and ready for the preseason grind. Between high tempo practices, they will be scrimmaging some of the best teams in the state.
"Practice is one thing, but you have to show you can do it in games," said Ryan Lundgren, senior forward. "We play those good teams and it really shows what we've got as a team."
The Greyhounds lost a talented group of seniors from last season. But head coach Mike Randolph says the new guys are hungry and motivated.
"We have a large group of quality kids," Randolph said. "A lot of them have been waiting anxiously to play varsity. They're gonna get their opportunity and we think they are gonna bring a lot to the table."
Senior defenseman Meirs Moore says East's experienced skaters are ready to step up and lead.
"Everyone is going to be looking to us, the senior core here, to get things done and win games and to keep the goals out," Moore said.
Other returning players like seniors Alex Toscano and Andrew Kerr say they have a lot to offer and plenty to prove.
"I think we're gonna have a lot more grit and determination this year," Toscano said. "A lot of people are saying we can't get it done. That's just motivating us more."
"I think we have a lot of hard workers this year," Kerr said. "We may have lost some talent, but we have a lot of seniors. I think we're going to be more physical."
The Greyhounds have some senior leaders on defense and between the pipes. They don't just want to return to the state tournament, they expect to.
"We've been to the state tournament the last three, four years. We expect to go back there again," Randolph said. "We know it's going to be a great challenge because our section is as deep as any section in the state. But they have to go through us to get there."
For the seniors who have come so close, and for those who have been waiting for their chance, the Hounds hope their time has finally come.
"Coming up short the last two years, It's bitter. We're hungry for that state title," Toscano said.
"That's our main goal. Everything we do is working toward that," Moore said.