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 25 minutes north of Minneapolis in beautiful Forest Lake, Minnesota. The Mullets operate out of the Forest Lake Sports Center located at 5530 206th St. N, Forest Lake, MN 55025.
For Tryout Information Email: ChrisWalbyHockey@gmail.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.
BROPHY HITS THE BOOKS
Mullets’ Forward Commits to D-III Nazareth College
By: Dan Bradley
FOREST LAKE, MN -- Another member of the Minnesota Mullets is making the jump from the locker room to the classroom. On Tuesday, the Mullets announced forward Joe Brophy has committed to Nazareth College.
Brophy, a Coralville, IA native, recorded 2 goals and 9 assists for Minnesota last season, while finishing third on the team with 45 penalty minutes. He added an assist in the playoffs, and caps off his USPHL career with 16 goals, 35 assists and 142 PIM’s. Brophy saw significant time on both the power play and penalty kill for the Mullies; he also won just over 60% of defensive zone faceoffs.
An everyman for the Mullets (and before that, the Forest Lake Lakers), Brophy did not miss a start in either of the last two seasons; he missed a total of five games over four USPHL seasons. A true team-first player, Brophy also started several games as a defenseman when the Mullets were dealing with a multitude of injuries.
“(Coach Walby) really put me in positions to succeed and grow my game,” Brophy said. “He knew what I needed to work on, gave me the opportunities and kept pushing me to do my best.”
Nazareth College is located in Pittsford, NY, just outside of Rochester. The Golden Flyers compete in the United Collegiate Hockey Conference (UCHC), where they finished 5th after posting a 12-9-7 record (8-5-5 in conference play).
“It was an easy decision for me to commit to Nazareth,” Brophy said. “My parents moved to the Rochester area about a year ago, so I wanted to stay in the New York area. I’ll get to stay close to them, as well as keep playing hockey for a good program.”
Brophy is planning to pursue a degree in physical therapy.
“I’m extremely excited for Joe and his family,” Mullets Head Coach Chris Walby said. “I can’t thank them enough for the opportunity to coach him for three years, and for all they’ve done to help us grow as an organization.”
Brophy’s commitment makes him the 33rd player from 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.