MHS Hockey Gears Up For The Season


Zach Leffel

Preseason training. The Madison Capitols, who share the rink with the MHS hockey team, practice on the new rink. The rink recently received a two million dollar renovation.

If there is one thing that Head Coach Stephen Walby thinks the Middleton boys hockey team will bring to the rink this year, it’s the hunger to perform.

“We have a great group of kids that are coming in and wanting to compete, they want to work hard, they want to learn, they want to be coached,” said Walby. “I’m pretty excited that we have guys that not only want to make the [varsity] team, but they also want to win and be successful too.”

Walby is cautiously optimistic about the team’s prospects following their .500 record the previous year. “It’s tough to set lofty goals because of the unexpected. We have so many kids that aren’t returning. That is going to be new. I think if we were to set realistic goals, it is to be better than what we were last year, to start building the foundations to be successful throughout the year.”

The team has lost players who were integral to its performance. Forward Jake Feldt, who led the team in points, and goalie Cole Garver both graduated last year along with three other varsity players.

Still, the team has returning veterans who will definitely be contributors. Defenseman Bo Bergenthal (12) and Bryce Carey (12), as well as Forward Andy Chafe (12), will be back this season, and Walby believes they will give the team the expertise it needs.

Competition is still tough in the Big 8 conference. Sun Prairie and Verona, who earned a spot in the state semifinals last year, will be returning with strong teams. After that, though, it is a toss-up.

“You’ve got [Madison] West and [Madison] Memorial and ourselves [that] could be the number three spot,” said Walby.

The focus for the team will be growth. “The younger kids [have to] go through those growing pains . . . We will have to learn from the wins and the losses.”

The season starts with an away game on November 17 against Stoughton. Home games will be played at the Capitol Ice Arena, which recently received a two million dollar renovation, including box suites and remodeled bleachers as well as a bar with seating and standing areas. Junior varsity games are played at 5:30 pm with varsity games following at 7:30 pm.