August 15, 2022

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Dylan Godbout described himself as a “quiet little child” when he entered Hill-Murray’s hockey program as an eighth-grader.

5 years later, he nonetheless isn’t the participant who will speak essentially the most, however there may be nothing quiet about his recreation or management. He’s a part of a captains group additionally that includes senior defensemen Leo Gruba and Axel Begley. That trio, Pioneers coach Invoice Lechner stated, has completed an important job of cementing this system’s tradition inside this yr’s group.

For Godbout, Lechner famous, most of that work is completed by instance.

“And when he does speak, he speaks up, and so they pay attention. That’s the expansion,” Lechner stated. “He’s come a great distance. … They know that he’s one of many bosses and also you higher do it that manner, as a result of he lets you realize. And he lives it, too.”

Lechner famous Godbout has the innate means to know what the appropriate play is, and make it. Usually, that play is for the College of Wisconsin decide to bury the puck within the internet. The ahead has completed that 29 instances this season, to go together with 24 assists whereas main the Pioneers to the No. 1 seed on this week’s Class 2A state event, the place they’ll meet unseeded Lakeville South within the quarterfinals at 6 p.m. Thursday in St. Paul.

Look out for Godbout on such a giant stage in opposition to such nice competitors underneath such shiny lights. That’s the place he tends to shine.

“I’ve at all times been instructed good gamers play good underneath strain, and once I play underneath strain, that’s what I do,” Godbout stated. “I like greater video games. I’m not a giant fan of form of scrappy video games. However once we play good groups and now we have good competitors, that’s once I succeed higher and play to the perfect of my means.”

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That’s why Godbout has scored six objectives over his previous 5 video games, it’s why he scored twice as in Hill-Murray’s 3-2 state event semifinal win over St. Thomas Academy as a sophomore en path to a state title, and it’s why the ahead is the Pioneer Press East Metro boys hockey participant of the yr.

“He at all times rises to the event,” Lechner stated. “The harder and the higher the groups are, the higher he performs and the calmer he’s.”

That ought to bode properly for this week.

“That’s my plan,” Godbout stated. “Play good underneath strain in opposition to massive groups on a excessive (caliber) stage.”

Dealing with strain is nothing new to Godbout. Lechner imagines there was fairly a bit on his shoulders getting into the Hill-Murray program. Godbout is a third-generation Pioneer. His father, Jason, and uncle, Brent, led the Pioneers to a state championship within the early Nineties earlier than occurring to play for the Gophers.

There was a legacy to dwell as much as upon his arrival.

“You’re on this room, he sees the trophies and the images of his dad sitting over there,” Lechner stated. “I feel the strain was on him.”

Profitable a state title as a sophomore probably eased any that existed. Godbout had his state title. Nevertheless it really solely made the ahead hungrier for extra.

“It set a path for me,” Godbout stated. “It introduced my requirements up as a hockey participant and an individual, that OK, I gained a state event, however now I need to do extra.”

He wished to captain the Pioneers, and he wished to win one other championship. He fulfilled the previous this season, taking nice satisfaction in main his group. He makes some extent to carry others up and ensure everyone seems to be taking part in to their highest potential.

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The beforehand quiet child now carries one of many greatest voices. Lechner enjoys the connection he has with the senior. He realized a very long time in the past that Godbout’s quietness was a product of his depth — a trait the coach shares.

“There’s instances that we battle one another, as a result of we’re each actually aggressive and really pushed,” Lechner stated.

However any disagreement at all times ends in a “knucks” between the 2 on the finish.

“We’re onerous on one another … however on the finish of the day, we come again collectively as household and we’re able to assault the subsequent day,” Godbout stated. “Ultimately, there’s nothing else I’d quite need.”

Godbout stated his depth is born out of a want to at all times need to be higher.

“There’s instances once you need to take it right into a adverse, however from what I’ve gained this yr, it’s simply studying out of your errors and taking that right into a recreation,” Godbout stated. “You’re going to screw up in apply, however when you don’t do it within the recreation, then all good issues occur.”

FINALISTS

Marko Belak, senior goalie, Cretin-Derham Corridor: The netminder has stopped 94 % of the photographs he’s confronted this yr whereas main the Raiders again to state.

Drew Fisher, senior ahead, Cretin-Derham Corridor: Do-it-all ahead has 28 objectives and 31 assists for a team-best 59 factors.

Leo Gruba, senior defenseman, Hill-Murray: Gruba is a part of a fierce blue line for the Pioneers. Possesses a dynamite shot that produced 11 objectives and 21 assists this season.

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Barrett Corridor, senior ahead, Gentry Academy: Tallied a whopping 25 objectives and 30 assists in simply 25 video games for the Stars.

Tanner Ludtke, junior ahead, Lakeville South: Nebraska-Omaha commit has 22 objectives and 38 assists for the state-bound Cougars.