Allie Morse has a stack of notebooks detailing every game she played in the net for Park. The notes exemplify the importance Park puts on goaltending and the tradition of excellence that it holds.
"I feel like goaltending has kind of been the backbone of Park hockey forever," said Morse, who started five years for Park before graduating in 2012.
Longtime goalie coach Mike Moline scribbled the observations of the former Wolfpack netminder, who is now a starter at Providence College. Moline has coached goalies for the Cottage Grove Hockey Association for 11 years and the Park girls' team for 10 seasons. Park's practice and game coaching methodology and the connection Moline makes with his goalies have been integral to the Wolfpack's success.
"Even in college it's very rare to have a full-time, every-day goaltending coach," Park coach Steve Morse said. "It's a conscious decision that's been made to have Mike as our full-time goalie coach. We want that to happen. Our practices are structured to allow him to do what he needs to do."
Moline played goalie for North St. Paul and led the Polars to the state tournament in 1981. He also played for the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He works with Park's goalies throughout every practice, stressing fundamentals such as footwork. He takes the aforementioned notes during every game and meets with the goalies between periods and after the game to discuss what's taken place.
"When I played, the coaches were focused on the forwards and defensemen," Moline said. "I stood around and never had anyone work with me. I wanted to change that. I wanted them to feel like somebody cares."
Steve Morse said Moline always keeps his goalies busy; rarely do you see them leaning with one arm on the crossbar.
"The goalies don't stand around," Steve Morse said. "No matter what we're doing he finds something for all three goalies to be doing all the time."
Park's current No. 1 goalie is senior captain Paige Press. Moline started coaching Press when she was 8 years old.
"He's grown to be a huge mentor in my life," said Press, who plans on playing college hockey next year. "He's kind of like my second dad. He makes hockey so much more fun. He's taught me about work ethic and responsibility, not just on the ice, but in life — in class and at my job."
In her second year starting for Park, Press has allowed just 1.97 goals per game and has a .933 save percentage. Press is backed up by sophomore Bryce Boreen and freshman Jenna Bassamore. Press said she's well aware of the strong goaltending tradition at Park. She looks up to her predecessors like Allie Morse, Caitlin Tate, Nicole Lence and Janelle O'Neil, each a Moline pupil.
"It's a lot of pressure," Press said. "I always try to set a good example for Bryce and Jenna. It's a lot of responsibility, but I love it. I wouldn't want it any other way. I've worked really hard to get here and I'm working hard to get better every day."
Steve Morse said opposing coaches often comment to him about Park's ability to produce strong goalies year after year.
"Like any position, they compete for the position, but they're really like sisters," he said. "They're all working together and grow up with a lot of respect for each other."
The key is to identify goalies at an early age, Moline said. With Cottage Grove's youth program, Moline holds weekly goalie clinics. The hockey association offers goalie equipment for kids as young as the mite level to try it out, and see if they have what it takes to be the next Wolfpack great.
"They have to have some passion — some fire in their belly — and the will to not let anyone score," Moline said. "That's the difference between a goalie and a forward. They have to have that attitude. Not everyone has it."