Crimson Girls Hockey Continues Rise With Hegland at the Helm
Feb 05, 2016 07:36AM ● Published by Doug Erlien
Maple Grove Girls Hockey Coach Amber Hegland watched her team during a recent practice
Most coaches have the summer to run camps and to get to know the kids they have coming back. Despite not having that luxury, Hegland has the Crimson in a prime position to advance to the state tournament for the first time in school history.
“I just wanted to come in here and help them grow,” Hegland said. “One of the things that we did talk about is that they have done a lot of things that have prepared them and many different people in the past have helped them get them to where they were at. I was going to try and take what I know about hockey and the way that I approach hockey and give them a little different way of looking at things.”
From day one, she knew her team had the ability to be special. Hegland was the head coach at Wayzata High School and an assistant at Armstrong/Cooper before coming to Maple Grove. Although she didn’t know her team, from afar, she saw the talent.
“From the day I was interviewed, we had a couple of kids in the interview and they shared a quote that they picked out,” Hegland said. “To go far, you had to do it together' and that’s exactly what this group has been. It’s always about the team and about one another. They really have each other’s backs.”
With an 18-5-2 record, Hegland’s team received the top seed in the upcoming section 5AA tournament. Four of the five losses came to top three ranked teams: Breck No. 1 in class A and Hill-Murray, Minnetonka and Edina, the top three teams in class AA. The rugged schedule will no doubt help the team as they navigate the second season.
“I saw the great schedule that they had built and it helped us to expose our weaknesses so we could continue to grow each and every practice so we’ll be playing our best here at the end," Hegland said.
The Crimson begin the second season on Tuesday night, Feb. 9 against the winner of the No. 4 Spring Lake Park/Coon Rapids vs. No. 5 Anoka game which takes place Saturday, Feb. 6 at Roseville Arena. The Crimson defeated Spring Lake Park/Coon Rapids 9-2 and tied Anoka 1-1 in the second game of the season.