February 21, 2018 10:51 PM
(ABC 6 News)- The Albert Lea Tigers boys hockey team hasn’t made it past the section quarterfinals since 2012, but their senior center has helped them earn the number one seed in the playoffs, and is a huge reason for their success.
“Michael is a very gifted hockey player, he’s a very smooth skater,” Tigers Head Coach Jason Fornwald said.
The Albert Lea Tigers senior center Michael Savelkoul has been playing hockey since he could remember.
“I played knee hockey before I could even skate. I think I was three when I first started skating,” Savelkoul said.
“Michael’s a kid that gives 110 percent,” Fornwald said. “He absolutely loves the game of hockey.”
“He’s a playmaker every time he’s on the ice,” Michael’s teammate Bergan Lundak said.
“He’s got very good hands, a lot of vision on the ice, (and) really does a nice job setting up teammates, gives them passes in open spots, really helps his teammates to become the best they can be,” Fornwald said.
Savelkoul leads the team with 34 assists.
“I’m more of a goal scorer and he makes me a better goal scorer because he can find me a lot with passes,” Lundak said.
The senior also leads the Tigers with 52 points.
“I have great people to work with,” Savelkoul said. “Everyone on the team can score and everyone on our team can perform so being surrounded by that helps my success. Leading the team in points is something special to me but the team success doesn’t end just in my points soring, we’re three lines deep.”
The lines and Savelkoul helped the Tigers earn the number one seed in the Section 1A playoffs, where wins are the only stat which mattes.
“Even though we’ve been winning you can’t forget how much you hate to lose,” Savelkoul said. “We got to make sure coming into sections that we have the mindset that losing isn’t an option, to make sure we get to the state tournament.”
There is no losing with Michael Savelkoul.
“He’s a gifted goal scorer, (and) he’s a gifted play maker,” Fornwald said.
The Tigers will face Faribault in the Section 1A Quarterfinals on Thursday at Albert Lea City Arena at 7 p.m.
Updated: February 21, 2018 10:51 PM
Created: February 21, 2018 10:32 PM
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