The concoction of this season’s Hill-Murray players is a curious one. The Pioneers can be labeled neither young nor old. They don’t lean veteran or inexperienced. A freshman starts in goal. One of the team’s points leaders is a senior and the other a junior. Another freshman is the top goal scorer.
Hill-Murray’s all-inclusive, all-ages approach has had a fun-for-all payoff. The Pioneers are 8-1-0 and ranked No. 3 in the Class 2A coaches’ poll from Feb. 10 as they head into Thursday’s showdown with No. 5-1A Breck. The Pioneers' only loss this season came against No. 2-2A Edina, a 1-0 setback on Feb. 3 that saw the Hornets score the lone goal in the third period.
As for the aforementioned mix of Pioneers players, freshman Grace Zhan is allowing an average of just one goal per game and has an outstanding . 947 save percentage. Senior Ava Stinnett and junior Allie Franco lead the Pioneers in points with 13 each and freshman Chloe Boreen has a team-best 10 goals.
Breck’s roster is headlined by four players committed to the University of Minnesota, including sophomore Ava Lindsay, the Mustangs’ (5-2-0) scoring leader with 21 points. Senior defender Emily Zumwinkle, another of those Gophers commits, ranks among the best in the state at any position and has six goals with six assists.