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'That will to compete just oozes out of them': Sartell's confidence grows for second Class AA season

The Rink Live talks with Sartell boys head coach Ryan Hacker about the teams first year in Class AA, some key returners to look out for, the influence of Spencer Meier, and much more.

TRL Hacker Graphic.jpg

SARTELL, Minn. — Moving up from Class A to Class AA is no easy task in the world of Minnesota high school hockey. Sartell just finished up their first season after making the jump from Section 6A up to Section 8AA.

The Sabres ended their first season in the new section with an overall record of 15-11-0. "Jumping from A to AA, It's that depth sometimes, depth and skill level," said head coach Ryan Hacker about the challenges that come with the move.

Although Sartell may be playing against tougher opponents now, the players aren't afraid to take on more skilled teams, and are excited about doing it all again this upcoming season.

"That will to compete just oozes out of them," Hacker said about his players.

Sartell will be returning several players for next season, including two of the top scorers in Tory Lund and Parker Comstock.

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Lund, a junior, ended his season leading the team with 54 points (29 goals and 25 assists), while Comstock, also a junior, had 38 total points (tied for second on the team).

Things will also look similarly in net, with Noah Hacker likely to clutch the starting spot in goal.

With new competition comes changes in playing style, and that was something that took some getting used to for the team.

"We have a lot of nice boys on the team, but when you get on the rink you gotta be a little angry sometimes, play with a little bit of an edge," Hacker said.

One thing that the Sabres prided themselves on this year is being hard to play against.

"We play a 200-foot game, we're relentless attacking the puck, punching pucks away, and in their face all the time ... there's nothing that makes a coach feel more proud than when you talk to the opposing coach and they say, 'Man, your team's hard to play against!'"

To hear more about Sartell's season this last year, the culture of the team, the influence of St. Cloud State Huskies Spencer Meier, among many other topics, you can watch the full interview below or check out the podcast version on Spotify, Apple, Podbay, or Amazon!

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0:46 - Coach Hacker talks about his coaching roots and how he found Sartell.
1:23 - Recap of Sartell's first season in Class AA
3:12 - Tory Lund's season and playing style
4:50 - Players to look out for next year, unsung heroes on the team
7:47 - Strengths and weaknesses
9:05 - The influence of St. Cloud State captain Spencer Meier
11:05 - Recent improvements at Sartell's rink
13:00 - Things to look forward to for next season
14:35 - Describing the team's personalities on and off the ice

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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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