There’s no set formula for building team chemistry, no proven science to achieve camaraderie, no combination of whiteboard Xs and Os that can assure player bonding.
No, over the course of the season, things just sort of happen that bring teams together.
Marc Lund’s overtime goal Thursday night in a 5-4 victory over Hastings was one of those unscripted, feel-good moments that have lasting, good vibrations. Lund’s goal touched off an extended group hug along the boards and party atmosphere in the Fire locker room at the Victoria Recreation Center.
“We’re starting to get back in the swing of things,” said Lund, a senior described as a pure goal scorer by Holy Family coach Noel Rahn. “And that’s a good starting point for the rest of this season.”
Holy Family opened the season by suffering a 7-0 beatdown at home on Jan. 16 at the hands of St. Thomas Academy. An uninspired 6-3 win over Orono on Tuesday didn’t prove to be much of an elixir for the Fire, who have been subjected to some grueling practices this week as Rahn tried to sharpen the team’s focus and ratchet up its work ethic.
Lund’s goal, in which he swung wide to the left around a Hastings defenseman then cut sharply to the crease before slamming a low shot past standout Raiders goaltender Tyler McCarville, shouldn’t be mistaken as a cure all.
But knocking off a Top 25-ranked team (Hastings is No. 24 in Class 2A) in dramatic fashion … “It was super fun,” Lund said.
The Fire feature five veteran defensemen and a senior goalie in Jack Olson. Rahn, in his 11th season coaching Holy Family, likes his team’s chances of making an extended playoff run.
“It’s an older team, so the expectations are extremely high for the group just because a lot of the kids have been playing varsity for three years now,” Rahn said. “Five seniors back on D and a senior goaltender is, I think, is a pretty darn good recipe to do some damage, especially come time in the playoffs.”
Lund’s goal was his first of the season. The 6-foot-2, 165-pound senior scored nine goals in 26 games in 2019-20 and was expected to ramp up his production this season. His YouTube-worthy overtime goal might just be the jumpstart he needed.
“I feel like maybe I got a little confidence back,” he said.
Rahn said he liked the urgency in which Lund brought the puck to the net.
“Him taking it wide and using that big body of his and that long reach, it was a perfect situation,” Rahn said. “It was a perfect time with the right guy in that situation.”