Created: 01/02/2014 10:35 PM KAALtv.com
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- "I just didn't want to have a worse season than last season. Didn't want to get caught in a senior slump," Albert Lea forward Van Zelenak said.
I think it's safe to say Van Zelenak has avoided that.
So far in ten Albert Lea games, he has nine goals and four assists for 13 points.
"He's a big part of our team," Tiger captain Lucas Peterson said. "We need to help him out a little bit with the goals, but if he can keep doing what he's doing, we'll be okay."
Last week at the Simley holiday tournament, Zelenak scored three goals in the Tigers first two games.
"I'm definitely getting more garbage goals than I did last year, but it's just the extra work, trying to get them in," Zelenak said.
"He weightlifted a lot, and did some camps and elite league," Peterson said. "He's been working hard, and we're happy with what he's doing."
It's been three years since Albert Lea's last Big 9 title, and this group of ten seniors wants to leave the program in better shape going foward.
"We need to pick up our intensity during practice," Zelenak said. "We just have to put more pucks in the net, really. Do what we've been doing, but put more in the net."