No secret: Hill-Murray girls' hockey looks strong

  • Article by: AARON PAITICH , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 2, 2013 - 5:17 PM

A strong core of returning players bodes well for the Hill-Murray girls’ hockey team.

hide

Left: Brittney Anderson, right, is a workhorse on the blue line for the Pioneers. She rarely loses 1-on-1 battles.

 

The Hill-Murray girls’ hockey team surprised a lot of people last season. The young, inexperienced squad began the season 3-3-3.

Once Christmas time came around, the Pioneers hit their stride, advancing all the way to the Class 2A state semifinals.

“I’m sure we caught some people off guard, definitely,” coach Bill Schafhauser said. “It took us a while to get going, but once they gained confidence in each other, it was fun, that’s for sure.”

Opposing teams won’t be fooled again this season. With a strong core returning, the Pioneers are expected to contend.

Four key veterans have played well in the Elite League this fall.

Sarah Bobrowski is the Pioneers’ leading returning scorer and senior captain. She is committed to play college hockey at Lindenwood. Bobrowski brings speed and a scoring touch that will be heavily relied upon.

Senior Brittney Anderson bolsters Hill-Murray’s blue line. Anderson, who will play for St. Cloud State next year, plays defense “the old-fashioned way,” Schafhauser said. Anderson is strong in small areas, protects the puck well and rarely gets beat 1-on-1.

“She’s an absolute workhorse,” he said. “She logs a ton of ice time. She has a great shot and is a great special teams player. The little tricks and details that not a lot of defensemen have — she definitely has all of that.”

Jess Bonfe is a prototypical power forward. Tall and strong on the wing, Bonfe is getting a lot of interest from Division-I schools but is uncommitted. The junior is expected to take another jump offensively this season.

“She’s really good in the trenches and in front of the net,” Schafhauser said. “She’s just a really good athlete.”

Transfer with skills

The Pioneers also have a newcomer in McKenzie Steffen, a sophomore transfer from Benilde-St. Margaret’s whose family moved, Schafhauser said. Steffen also had a strong season in the Elite League.

“[Steffen] brings a ton of skill,” Schafhauser said. “She’s great with the puck and is a great skater. I’m hoping she finds her way offensively. She definitely has the ability to put up a lot of points and be a really good special teams player.”

The Pioneers received contributions the past season as well from freshmen like Kate Smith, Kenzie Prater and Jac Kaasa.

“All those kids got some awesome experience,” Schafhauser said. “Pretty balanced scoring I think is what we’ll experience again. That’s what really carried us last year and I fully expect it to happen again this year.”

Depth and balanced scoring is what separates the pretenders from the contenders, and the Pioneers were able to run four lines without hesitation.

But after the Pioneers’ strong playoffs run, the secret’s out. Hill-Murray is preparing for another impressive campaign.

  • related content

  • Above:  Hill-Murray defenseman McKenzie Steffen, center, handles the puck and skates well. She is a transfer from Benilde-St. Margaret’s.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Miami - LP: M. Dunn 1 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: D. Carpenter 3
Arizona - WP: T. Cahill 7 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: P. Strop 5
San Francisco - WP: J. Machi 12 FINAL
Colorado - LP: C. Bettis 10
Texas - WP: M. Perez 3 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Gray 0
Houston - LP: J. Fields 3 FINAL
Seattle - WP: F. Rodney 5
Cincinnati - WP: A. Simon 5 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: C. Morton 2
LA Angels - LP: E. Frieri 4 FINAL
Washington - WP: D. Storen 5
Kansas City - LP: K. Herrera 3 FINAL
Cleveland - WP: B. Shaw 5
Baltimore - WP: C. Tillman 10 FINAL
Toronto - LP: T. Redmond 8
Chicago WSox - WP: A. Rienzo 6 FINAL
Detroit - LP: E. Reed 4
St. Louis - LP: M. Wacha 2 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: J. Niese 3
Minnesota - WP: C. Fien 6 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Lueke 4
NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 1 FINAL
Boston - WP: J. Lackey 5
San Diego - LP: T. Ross 2 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: K. Lohse 5
Philadelphia - LP: C. Hamels 2 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: Z. Greinke 5
Charlotte 97 FINAL
Miami 101
Dallas 113 FINAL
San Antonio 92
Portland 112 FINAL
Houston 105
Pittsburgh 3 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 4
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Dallas 4
St. Louis 3 FINAL(OT)
Chicago 4
Houston 0 FINAL
Red Bull New York 4

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many regular season games will Vikings win?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close