Lechner's Pioneers are deep, explosive
By BOB SANSEVERE
St. Paul Pioneer Press
The Hill-Murray boys hockey team has won seven straight games and is 13-1-1 over its past 15 games. The 14-3-1 Pioneers don't depend on just one player, or even two or three players. Six players average at least one point per game for a Hill-Murray team that scores, on average, 5.61 goals a game. Few teams in the state score at a clip like that, and the Pioneers' explosiveness is what has made them the state's top-ranked team.
I checked in with Pioneers coach Bill Lechner to get an idea of just how good he believes his team is.
BS: Are you close to peaking?
BL: They're high school kids and emotional kids. It's dangerous to be thought of that highly early. You try and pace yourself and tweak things and adjust things. There still are some wrinkles we want to look at as far as (line) combinations. We're a month away from the playoffs. I don't know if being rated that high is warranted at this time. I believe we're one of the top teams, but I don't know if we should be that high. There are a lot of really talented programs out there.
BS: Several teams have been ranked first in the state this season. It's tough to stay on top, isn't it?
BL: Things happen. You hit pipes. Kids have homework. You go through finals week. We had a huge game (last week) against St. Thomas in our conference, and in the next game they played with a little less intensity. You say,