Because Strategy Matters
Robert H. Collins
Attorney at Law
Town Square Building
20 Lake St. N. STE 202
Forest Lake, MN 55025
The Minnesota Mullets are a Junior A hockey team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Mullets operate out of Northeast Ice Arena at 1306 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413.
For Tryout Information Email: ChrisWalbyHockey@gmail.com
MATTOS ON THE MOVE
Mullets Defenseman Commits to Grand Canyon University
By: Dan Bradley
FOREST LAKE, MN -- Another day, another college commitment for the Minnesota Mullets. On Monday, the team announced defenseman Castor Mattos (’98) has committed to Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona.
“(Grand Canyon) has a great hockey program, and I’m excited to get there,” Mattos said. “I’m looking forward to bettering myself on and off the ice, meeting new teammates, and improving my game to be the best player I can be.”
A native of Kaneohe, HI, Mattos was a force on the penalty kill for the Mullets. He finished the 2018-19 season with 2 goals, 9 assists and 27 PIM’s in 42 games. In his Junior Hockey career, Mattos scored 5 goals and 20 assists in 147 games; his discipline jumps off the page, with just 59 career penalty minutes over four seasons.
“Juniors was a great experience for me,” Mattos added. “Every single road trip with the Mullets was awesome and a lot of fun, especially the (showcases) in Chicago.”
Mattos’ commitment means all of the Mullets’ age-outs will be playing college hockey following their junior careers; Nate Holm and Joe Brophy announced their commitments earlier this summer to Northland College and Nazareth College respectively. Leo Iaboni was attending the University of Minnesota while playing with the Mullets last season. Tyler Morrison (’00) also committed to Northland College this summer, marking greater than 100% (3 NCAA and 1 ACHA) college placement for the Mullets this offseason.
Grand Canyon competes in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), and starting in the 2019-20 season, the Antelopes will field both Division I and Division II Club programs.
For more information on the Mullets program, go to www.mulletshockey.com.
FOLLOWING THE FLOW
Former Mullets Captain Hansen Reflects on First Year of College Hockey
By: Dan Bradley
DULUTH, MN -- Junior hockey places a heavy emphasis on player development and advancement, but what happens to these young men after they move on to compete at a higher level?
Former Minnesota Mullets captain Jon Hansen recently finished his first year at the College of St. Scholastica (NCAA D-III) in Duluth, MN, and took some time to discuss his experience, as well as shed some light on what future collegiate hockey players can expect when their junior hockey career comes to a close.
“I was really nervous for both my first class and first practice,” Hansen said. “Our first formal practice wasn’t until October, so I had some time to settle in. Luckily, I had a month of Captain’s practice to ease my way in to playing with my teammates. The speed and pace of practice was a big difference (from juniors), but I felt ready for it.”
Hansen’s hometown of Twig, MN is just a 20-minute drive down Highway 53, but despite the proximity to home, it was a still a major adjustment for the newest member of the Saints to make.
“It was a big change, but a good change,” Hansen said. “After a couple weeks, it just started to be a routine. I was a little overwhelmed the first week, but then I got a lot more comfortable in practice.”
Hansen made his debut with St. Scholastica on November 2, in a game against the Aurora Spartans.
“Playing that first game as a Saint was a blur at times,” Hansen recalled. “I was just kind of running all over the place. I had a lot less time to make decisions (than in Juniors). That was definitely the biggest difference. Everything is faster.”
It didn’t take long for Hansen to find his way onto the stat sheet; In the fourth game of the season, he scored his first collegiate goal against the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) Raiders.
“Scoring that first goal was huge for me,” said Hansen. “It was in the first period and their d-man was breaking the puck out. I saw him take a look to his far-side winger, and I stepped up to pick off his pass on the right side of the ice. I walked in on the goalie who stopped my first shot, but luckily the rebound dropped right to my stick and I slapped it in the net.”
“I started to play a lot better after that game.”
In 22 games this season, Hansen scored 3 Goals and added 7 Assists. After a frustrating season, in which the Saints posted an 11-13-1 record (5th in NCHA – North Division), Hansen is committed to improving himself on and off the ice.
“On the ice, I need to be in even better physical shape, so I can make a bigger contribution to the team next year,” Hansen said. “The biggest piece of advice I can give to players making the jump from juniors to college hockey is to work on quick decision-making and be in good shape when the season starts.”
Saints Head Coach Tim Madsen agreed with Hansen’s assessment of his own play, and the season as a whole.
“Jon had a great season for us,” Madsen said. “He had a very good first half of the season and was a pleasant surprise in a lot of ways. We love his (hockey sense) and he can obviously rip a puck! His second half the season wasn’t as successful, and his fitness level was a part of that. He is going to work on that, and I know he is going to have a good career here!”
Hansen has not yet decided on a major.
Hansen is one of 33 players from Mullets Head Coach Chris Walby’s programs to advance to the NCAA level over the past seven years. For more information on the Mullets program, go to www.mulletshockey.com.