Marlin girls open seasonWhen the Mitchell Marlin varsity girls’ hockey team takes the ice tonight in Rapid City, it will be the first time the team does so as a complete unit.
By: Aaron Saunders, The Daily Republic
When the Mitchell Marlin varsity girls’ hockey team takes the ice tonight in Rapid City, it will be the first time the team does so as a complete unit.
“(Tonight) is the night we find out what we are made of,” Marlins head coach Randy Rezac said. “We’ve had a few preseason games, but in those games we never had a full lineup.”
The Marlins scrimmaged a variety of opponents this preseason, including teams from Luverne, Minn., Worthington, Minn., and South Dakota opponents Brookings and Sioux Falls.
Rezac, who is in his first year as the head coach for the Marlins after taking a three-year absence from coaching, said he hopes his team will make it to the state tournament this season as one of the top-seeded teams.
“I am hoping that we can come into the state tournament seeded in the top four, but the ultimate goal is to win the state championship, of course,” he said.
The Marlins are relying on their six seniors to help guide them to a top-four finish. Among them are Hannah Spates and Cara Beck, the Marlins’ goalie tandem.
“We are good as far as experience goes,” Rezac said. “Our strong point will probably be our two returning goal keepers.”
Beck and Spates will get defensive help from the quartet of Bailey Hohn, Michelle Wyatt, Cassidy Stuckey and Karissa Beck.
The Marlin frontline is anchored by Kylie Barington, Kayla Murtha and Hailey Stahl.
While Rezac has a veteran group of players, he has a brand new staff, including his daughter Jessica Rezac, Amanda Young, Heather Ebert and lone holdover Brianna Prickett.
“We have an excellent coaching staff,” Rezac said. “We have ex-Marlins players in Amanda and Jessica, Coach Prickett has been head coach in the past and Heather has been invaluable so far.”
This weekend, the Marlins will take on the Rushmore Thunder, a team they are familiar with after facing it two weeks ago in a scrimmage in Mitchell.
“They are good skaters,” Rezac said. “We played well but lost. In order for us to beat them we are going to have to give it all we’ve got,” Rezac said.
The first matchup of the three-game league series starts at 8 p.m. Central time today in Rapid City.