It wasn't always clear if a season would happen for the Wolverines but once allowed, the goal for the team was crystal clear, according to team co-captain Kade Woods.

"I'm hoping that we go to the state tournament," Woods said. "We have a young team and I think we have a lot of compete in the team."

Woods said the team didn't make it far into the postseason last year, but he's looking for greater results this time around. He's also looking for some relaxing of precautions.

"I do hope the masks go away but I'm just grateful to be able to play," Woods said.

Longtime player Daunte Leiran of New York Mills has been joining teammates here since the fourth grade and skating since he could walk. He said this week that despite the pause in play he is thrilled to be back on the ice.

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"We all expect each other to show up everyday," Leiran said. He's got a pond at home that has allowed him to put some time in on the ice. He hopes the team can be at the top of their section.

Head coach Scott Woods coached for nine years in Wadena before heading to Alexandria to coach six years. He's now been back coaching in Wadena another three years and glad to be able to be on the ice. The team would normally start in mid-November.

Woods said playing this sport is important for the physical activity and mental health benefits to the players. The requirement of the masks is difficult as the players have a mouth guard, face mask and a face shield over that. It's a lot of protection.

The group is made up of 23 players and includes six seniors including Gavin Wedde, Kade Woods, John Oberg, Daunte Leiran, Cullen Habiger and Wyatt Murray.

"I would say we have more depth then we've had for a while, where guys really have to compete for spots," Woods said. They'll have to get up to speed in a hurry as the season is shorter.

Woods said the biggest adjustment is how quickly they have to go from no practice to playing the game. Teaching new players the skills that seasoned members already know isn't easy. Players seemed ready and willing for the challenge.

The team consists of:

Sophomores: Austyn Oothoudt, Dalton Moyer, Connor Davis, MJ Lunde, Kaden Peterson, Aiden Sutherland, Evan Lunde, Jack Koranda, Cole Woods and Aron Sutherland. Juniors: Garrett Baron, Carson Kern, Brady Domier, Aidan Allred, Cole Berglund, Grant Baron and Josh Dykhoff. Seniors: Gavin Wedde, Kade Woods, John Oberg, Daunte Leiran, Cullen Habiger and Wyatt Murray.