Updated: 01/14/2014 10:22 PM
Created: 01/13/2014 4:15 PM WDIO.com
By: Laura Kennedy
It's been an interesting season in Grand Rapids. The Thunderhawks are adjusting to new players and new coaches.
"They have improved, have played with poise, have worked harder and competed a little better, and we just want to build on that," said John Rothstein, Grand Rapids head coach.
Rothstein says his staff is finding a balance between guiding young skaters and letting the veterans lead.
"You teach, but you don't want to take that creativity either," Rothstein said. "You want them to be creative, have fun, play the game, and so it's kind of a balancing act for both of us."
It helps when you have players like Wild draft pick Avery Peterson and standout goalie Hunter Shepard setting the tone.
"When your best players are your hardest workers, it makes my job a lot easier," Rothstein said.
"Me and Avery are usually at the rink probably two or three mornings a week at like 7:30," Shepard said. "He's shooting on me, working on his shot and I'm practicing too."
"We just want to control what we can control and do what we can to win," Peterson said.
When asked about the Thunderhawks biggest strength, Shepard and Peterson credited each other.
"Definitely goaltending," Peterson said. "We have a good goalie, he's probably the best in the state. He keeps us in a lot of games, a big part of the reason our record is so good."
"We can score goals," Shepard said. "I mean last night was the first time Avery hasn't had a point in 38 games. Especially when you have a guy like that, you know he's gonna put up points. You don't necessarily have to get a shutout to win the game."
The Thunderhawks have been in the hunt for a section 7AA title the past few years. That success brings some pressure, but Rapids is ready for it.
"You have expectations like that every season," Peterson said. "It's just something you've gotta live with, and work with. kind of put it behind you almost and just go out there and play the game."
Fitger's 5K Raises $20K For Young Athletes
It may not have felt much like spring today, but thousands signed-up to voluntarily run outside. It was the 25th Annual Fitger's 5K this morning and that means racing season in the Northland has officially started. This year, the race raised $20,000 for the Young Athletes Foundation.
Post-rehab, Injured Snowy Owl Released in Superior
A rare snowy owl that was hit by a bus in Washington D.C. and sent to Minnesota for rehab is back in the wild. The owl was released outside Superior Saturday.
Worker Aboard Ship in Duluth-Superior Harbor Hospitalized After Falling
A worker aboard the John J. Boland in the Fraser Shipyard fell in one of the ship's chambers Saturday morning, according to the Superior Fire Department. The department rescued the man and he was transported to a local hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
2 Hospitalized After Lincoln Park House Fire
Two people are in the hospital after a house fire in Duluth's Lincoln Park neighborhood on Friday. Assistant Fire Chief Bryan Bushey said the damage is estimated at $30,000. There is no word on the conditions of the victims.
General Mills Website Policy Could be 'Clicking' Your Rights Away