To prepare you for Hockey Day Minnesota 2017, Wild.com will be checking in on each of the high school teams participating in this year's festivities between now and Jan. 21. Today, get to know the Stillwater boys hockey program.
Conference: Suburban East
Head coach: Matt Doman
Stillwater is often hailed as the "Birthplace of Minnesota," since the territorial process that made Minnesota a state took place within its downtown. Situated on the banks of the St. Croix River right across from Wisconsin, Stillwater is an old logging town rich in history and scenery. Stillwater Area High School, from which the Ponies originate, is the oldest high school in the state.
Stillwater's boys hockey program, once distinguished by head coach Phil Housley, is much improved in the past few seasons. Featuring strong junior and senior classes, the Ponies made the MSHSL State Tournament in both 2014 and 2016 and secured two conference championships along the way. Stillwater has been perfect so far this season with a record of 11-0-0. Stillwater plays its home games at the St. Croix Valley Recreation Center.
Players to watch
Senior Noah Cates leads the Ponies in goals (10), assists (18) and points (28) so far this season. Cates has committed to play college hockey at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Senior Luke Manning is second on the roster with 24 points, and senior TJ Sagissor has nine goals, good for Stillwater's second-best.
What to expect on Hockey Day
This year's Ponies are largely comprised of a talented senior class with plenty of offensive firepower, evidenced by their goals-per-game average of 5.45. Included on their docket are wins by scores of 11-2 and 8-4. Senior goaltender Seth Eisele has also been exceptional with a goals-against average of 1.13 and a .933 save percentage. Expect Stillwater to shoot plenty against Eden Prairie, and don't be surprised if they score a couple.