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Trojan Machine

By Loren Nelson, 04/14/20, 11:15AM CDT


Defensive-minded Wayzata, No. 10 in our too-early rankings, returns all of its top scorers

Sophomore Gavin O'Connell shared the Wayzata scoring lead last season with 26 points. Photo by Loren Nelson,

Our too-early look at Class 2A continues as we count down the top 25 big-school teams for the 2020-21 season.

10. Wayzata

2019-20 Record: 14-10-2
Playoffs: Lost 5-4 in overtime to Edina in Section 6AA quarterfinals
Seniors lost: 8
Goals for: 78
Goals lost: 26 | Goals returning: 52
Goals against: 73
Goalie minutes lost: 1375:13 | Goalie minutes returning: 0
Power-play percentage: 20.7
Penalty-kill percentage: 84.7

Their schedule is always daunting. Their style is always predicated on grit and hustle and in-your-face defense. And all those blocked shots are a constant, too — year after year, hundreds upon hundreds of blocked shots.

As the names on the roster change from season to season, the Trojans always look pretty much the same as they did the year before. This team isn’t going to cruise to a lot of three-, four- and five-goal goal victories. Wayzata, playing a style that one opposing coach described as “having six goaltenders on the ice”, isn’t going to get blown out often, if ever, either.

Remarkably, the Trojans played in 10 overtime games last season. Six more were decided by a single goal. Impartial fans seeking dramatic finishes need only to make Wayzata appointment viewing. Just don’t expect a lot of scoring.

The Trojans managed just 78 goals last season. The good news is that 52 of those return from a squad that was loaded with juniors and sophomores. Jack Kimlinger (8 goals, 8 assists) had the most goals and points of any departing senior, an eight-player group that also included defensemen Kyle Mortenson (12 points), Per Waage (9 points) and Joe Tomczik

The most significant loss, however, comes in goal. Ironman Garret Bonello played all the minutes and helped keep the Trojans competitive in every game while posting a 2.60 goals against average.

Wayzata returns its top four scorers, led by junior Jake Keller and sophomore Gavin O’Connell with 26 points each. Junior Jake Schneider was the top goal scorer with 11, and junior Dylan Lewis had nine goals among his 17 points.

Juniors Tucker Ness (5 goals, 11 assists) and Carson Peters (9 points), both of whom measure 6-foot-2, will anchor the defense. 

Goaltending? Who knows? Junior Grayson Wong was listed on the Wayzata roster last season and could be the heir apparent. Or maybe the new starter comes from a Bantam AA team that finished the season ranked in the top 15 by two media outlets. Although this is the most important position, it shouldn’t be a huge concern — another constant for this program, which won a state title in 2016, has been the production of consistently solid goalies. 

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