Created: January 12, 2021 01:25 PM
The Eden Prairie Eagles were one game away from winning the Class 2A Boys Minnesota State Hockey Tournament in 2020 when they lost to Hill-Murray 4-1. That loss drives them somewhat heading into this abbreviated 2021 season. The team is loaded with a lot of senior leadership, including senior defenseman Luke Mittelstadt.
"I've had a ton of good leaders through high school helping me. Last year made me more motivated than I've ever been. I've taken a lot of good steps last year heading into this season," said Eden Prairie senior deffenseman Luke Mittelstadt.
"I think under normal circumstances this season would be a motivating factor. However, with the pandemic, I think the guys on the team are just thankful to be around their buddies. If we didn't have these memories of this season I think we would be lost," Eden Prairie head coach Lee Smith said.
***To watch interviews with Lee Smith and Luke Mittelstadt, CLICK THE PLAY ICON ABOVE***
Eden Prairie has 15 seniors returning to the team. Mittelstadt feels that whatever concessions that need to be made in order to get games in, his teammates and him are more than willing to comply.
"Whether we need to wear a mask or not so be it, as long as I get to play hockey with my teammates I'm happy," Mittelstadt said.
"The footballl season went well as things transpired with the pandemic. I had a good feeling about this season in the state of hockey. It would've been hard for them to take that away from us," Smith said.
Eden Prairie will play its first game of the 2021 season on Saturday afternoon at St. Michael-Albertville. Gametime is set for 3 p.m.
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