Eden Prairie sophomore defenseman Lauren Boyle shouldered both mental and physical weight this season while helping carry her team to its first state-tournament appearance in five years.
Boyle, a smooth-skating defenseman adept at carrying the puck end to end, joined fellow sophomores Angie Heppelmann and Charly Dahlquist to form the Eagles’ core.
“Our freshman year, the coaches just wanted us to relax, play our own game and figure it out,” Boyle said. “This year they came in with a different attitude and really put pressure on us. That was kind of hard for me because I’ve never had weight put on me.”
Boyle knows what do with weight. She broke a 20-year-old Eden Prairie squat record for a sophomore with a lift of 270 pounds.
Added strength helped her contribute nine goals and 12 assists as the Eagles placed fourth in the Class 2A tournament.
She spoke to Star Tribune reporter David La Vaque about the Eagles’ promising future, her work with weights and her less-than-desired nickname.
Talk about the excitement of getting Eden Prairie back to the state tournament for the first time in five years. It was a huge goal for our team to make it to the state tournament. We really came together this year, more so than any other team I’ve been on. It meant so much to everybody on the team, especially our seniors and our captains.
Tell me about the weight-room squat record you broke in the offseason. I’ve been lifting weights since I was 12 years old. Last spring, I worked out with the Holy Family boys’ hockey team. Then I worked out with some Minnetonka girls’ hockey players in the summer, all at Velocity. And then I worked out with my team in the fall. The squat record was 255 pounds, and I reset it at 270 pounds.
With all of that work, did you feel like a different player stepping on the ice this season? Yeah, when I stepped on the ice for the first time with my summer time, I was like, “Wow. I feel great! I could do this forever!” It was a huge part of my game, especially being a skater.
What’s next in terms of your developing your game? Goal-scoring is one of my worst attributes. I started off the year hitting pipes every game. Multiple times. They gave me the nickname “Tink” because that’s the sound of a puck hitting the pipe.
Tink like short for Tinkerbell? Yeah. I actually received a little Tinker Bell doll from our coaches. It’s in my locker right now.
There is a good hockey tradition at Eden Prairie. Given the season you had and the number of talented young players coming back, when you look up at those championship banners, do you feel any closer now to adding a few of your own? Yeah, we actually went over that last week at one of our last practices. Our assistant coach Tim Mahoney said, “Girls, I think the black [championship] banners look a little prettier than the red ones.” It would be amazing to be represented on one of those banners.
David La Vaque