Beyond the Playbook: Duluth Northern Stars sparked by special connection with head coach
In the 2014-2015 season, the Duluth Northern Stars won 10 of their 25 games. From the end of that season to the beginning of the 2022-2023 campaign, the Northern Stars didn’t reach double digit wins.
In steps Ali Randall as head coach, and 14 wins later, the Northern Stars are back at the forefront of girl’s hockey in the Northlands.
Randall’s special connection to her players makes the immediate impact make more sense.
“The senior class is pretty bittersweet for me, my first year coaching in Duluth was this senior class as 12 year olds,” said Randall. “So now to have them go off to high school and then me to circle back for their senior year, it’s extremely bittersweet as a coach. Not many youth coaches get that opportunity.”
Randall’s connection with the team is strong with each player, but especially those that have been coached by her already, like Goaltender Ella Brisbois.
“I love Ali. She was my coach my 12U year when we made it to states. She’s so great, and just brings hockey joy and just makes it fun.”
While the Northern Stars aren’t exactly off to the start they hoped, Randall’s mentality has trickled through her team, with their sights set on greatness.
“It’s just the start of the season, there’s a lot to come,” said Brisbois. “So I think we’re going to be even better this year even though it’s a slow start. We still have the potential and we have to capitalize. It’ll be good.”
Randall added, “When you come out with 0-2, you just kind of have to turn your mentality into a growth mindset. So we strive to do that. If there wasn’t this kind of stuff happening, you would never grow, right? So through failure, we hope to learn some lessons and grow and hopefully build upon that.”
The Northern stars have all the confidence in the world that they’ll return to where they were last year, if not a better place.
“This year, we really want to make it farther than the program has in the past, so it’s just a constant build and they know that,” said Randall.
The Northern Stars schedule can be found here.