After a taste of success, Eastview's plan is to get to state in 2023

In 2020-2021, Eastview went 5-14 and then completely changed things up to finish this past season at 17-11, only then falling in the 3AA championship game.

One thing that Eastview knows they need in order to be competitive again this upcoming season is depth. Last season they were the Section 3AA runners-up and have made it a goal to advance to the state tournament this upcoming season.

APPLE VALLEY, Minn. — It's no easy task to turn a losing record into a winning one but Eastview hockey did just that the past two seasons.

In 2020-2021, the Lightning went 5-14 overall under first-year head coach Aaron Fulton. The very next season, Eastview turned things around finished up the year 17-11, only falling to Cretin-Derham Hall in the Section 3AA championship game.

"We had lost a lot from the previous season ... we went fairly young with the roster." said Fulton, a St. Cloud State University graduate.

With a lot of the players being quite young on the '20-'21 team, they came back this past year with more experience and even better leadership.

Junior John Kisch, who scored 33 total points (8G - 25A), had a big hand in last year's success.


"I think he's sitting on another big season, I know he wants it," Fulton said.

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Kisch can be dangerous on the power play, and knows when to shoot versus when to set up another teammate. He has more points in just assists alone than all but one other player on his team.

"He's not just a one-dimensional guy ... he makes guys better around him too," Fulton said.

One thing that Eastview knows they need in order to be competitive again this upcoming season is depth. Sophomores Zach Wooten and Jordan Brothers, along with junior Charlie Ortman, all had above 20 total points this season and will return for the Lightning in the fall.

Even though there are lots of returning faces, Eastview will miss some of the senior faces including Gabe Tritschler on the blue line and forwards like Jordan Larkee and Cody Domagalski.

Tritschler has plans to play club hockey with the University of Arizona, while Larkee is currently looking to find a roster spot in the NAHL, but also has plenty of opportunity in the NA3HL.

With some key seniors departing the program this offseason, players such as Brayden Kaldenbach and Kevin Woehler are expected to make a big step up on the blue line, as well as forwards Billy Downs and Sean Kalthoff on offense.

Goaltender Jay Svaren will also be returning to the Lightning for his senior season. "He's a strong goalie, not just physically but mentally ... He's been at a few junior camps, so he's getting some work there and I think he'll continue to just get better." said Fulton of Svaren, who posted a .924 save percentage this past season.


After the season that Eastview had, Fulton, along with assistant coaches John Carroll and Tim Hartung, were named the Section 3AA coach and assistant coaches of the year.

"It's a collective group award, we all put in the time ... I'm just proud of the program," Fulton said.

"We have the pieces in place ... we're set up to make another run and hopefully the plan is to get to the Xcel (Minnesota state tournament)."

For more on Eastview's season, the various players on the roster, Lightning alumni making waves, and more, you can check out the full podcast above or watch the interview on our YouTube channel below.

Related Topics: BOYS HOCKEY
Sydney Wolf is a reporter for The Rink Live, primarily covering youth hockey. She joined the team in November of 2021 and graduated from St. Cloud State University with a B.S. in Mass Communications and a minor in Writing and Rhetoric Studies and was a part of the University Honors Program.
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