By Jim den Hollander
With a promising trio of games behind them this past weekend, a positive group of Dells Ducks entered a short week of practice.
The first quarter of the season has wrapped up and with a 1-10-0-0 record nobody is popping champagne corks, but it’s not hard to find positives as the team simply looks better every time it hits the ice.
This was supposed to be an easier season without the hassles and trials of a season plagued by pandemic issues from start to finish. But this team has faced adversity on and off the ice. What is left at this point is a understaffed, but focused and determined squad ready to face its challenges and confident it can improve.
Adding the veteran presence of Jason Heard, a fearless and gritty ‘01 who leaves nothing on the ice and expects the same of everyone else on his team, will bring out the best on a team that includes some talented individuals.
The Ducks face a tough challenge ahead as Heard will be unable to join them in the next challenge, four games in three days weekend at the Midwest-West Division Showcase, beginning early Thursday.
In a span of just over 50 hours, the Ducks will hit the ice four times at the Fogerty Ice House in Blaine, MN. The first three games will see the Ducks facing getting rematches against the Minnesota Mullets and Rum River Mallards, the two teams closest to them in the standings and the Steele County Blades, off to an awesome start, but a team the Ducks hung tough with until the final 20 minutes on Sunday.
The last game will be a tough one, against the Minnesota Blue Ox.
The Ducks are a combined 0-7 against these four teams so far, but the team is confident with an improvement on previous efforts and solid goaltending they will contend for victories.
There will be little reprieve for the Ducks in November as the team follows up the Showcase with nine games in the first three weeks of November including a three-game homestand and a second Showcase event at Merrimack College in Massachusetts before the Thanksgiving Break.
First game of the weekend will faceoff at 12:30 p.m. Thursday against the Mullets. All Showcase games will be on HockeyTV.