The Carroll varsity hockey team is having a solid summer season, but more important than that for coach Knute Anderson is that he is seeing some promising signs for the program in 2014-2015.
The Dragons are 4-4 on the summer heading into Thursday night's game against Denton County, and Anderson said the next two games will be a good measuring stick for his team.
“I like the last two games,” Anderson said. “Denton County has a couple of guys there that are pretty special players. We beat Grapevine by a couple of goals the last time we played, but we were trailing most of the game. They are the defending state champs, so that is a talented group there.”
Anderson said that things have gone fairly well this summer, especially considering some of the challenges the Dragons hockey team has faced.
“We have lots of new kids,” Anderson said. “And our starting goalie for this year has not been playing this summer, so we've got two really young kids stepping into our goaltending position, which has been an adjustment for us. But they are getting better every time out. I like the fresh faces, though. We've got good young talent coming up.”
The Dragons have scored 16 goals in the last two games, and Anderson said he has been very pleased with the offensive output his team has produced.
“It's been very good,” Anderson said. “Blake Taylor has really kind of caught fire. I think he had eight points in one game. We're going to need that type of production. In the past couple of years at Southlake, we've had very few guys that consistently put up points for us. What we're looking for this year are two lines that can consistently give us a goal to two goals a game.”
Anderson said that the major objective for the summer season is to evaluate the level of talent and depth he has in his program.
“It's always to look at the new kids coming up,” Anderson said. “The seniors are graduated, and we are taking a look at our crop. For the first time last year, we had two JV teams at Southlake, and that gives us a lot of looks at new faces and kids in the program. The program is growing. The numbers are rising, and most of the kids we have are also doing travel hockey. That is also a nice trend.”
Anderson said that not only is he pleased with the numbers his team has put out, but is also impressed with the level of talent on the ice.
“I think we are going to be deeper this year than we were in previous years, and we're going to be more balanced,” Anderson said. “I think we've got some real potential for kids to come through the ranks and be very special for us.”
Among the Dragons players to watch for next season include Taylor, Tyler Culp and Jeff Rucci.
“We have the opportunity to have two really good scoring lines,” Anderson said. “We put a third line together of guys that are young and hungry, and that's a good recipe for success.”