Seeking a strong finishThroughout Jayden Mink’s three-year high school hockey career, he’s seen the good, the bad and the ugly.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Throughout Jayden Mink’s three-year high school hockey career, he’s seen the good, the bad and the ugly.
The ugly: When Mink played on the varsity team his sophomore year, the Midgets had one forward line and an extra player on the bench.
The bad: In Mink’s first two seasons, the Midgets won a total of five games.
The good: Two years later, Dickinson has enough to fill three forward lines.
“It’s a big change,” said Mink, who is an alternate captain. “I remember my first season. We had one line and one extra guy on the bench. We didn’t have any room to breathe. It’s nice to have three lines now.”
Through Dickinson’s first 15 games, it had equaled its win total of the previous two seasons after a 6-1 victory over Watford City on Dec. 20. The Midgets, on a six-game losing skid, look for their sixth win of the season when they travel to Sidney, Mont., to face the Richland Rangers club team at 6:30 p.m. today.
“What the full roster has meant this year is that we’ve been able to cover the injuries we’ve had so far,” Dickinson head coach Tom Folske said. “Hopefully, when we hit WDA week, we’ll be skating with a full roster of all 20 players.”
The person that fueled Mink’s hockey career was his older brother, Colby. Jayden Mink said he always looked up to his brother and wanted to emulate his performance at the high school level one day.
He didn’t have to wait long. After his brother finished his senior season in 2010, Jayden made his first high school appearance the following season. Jayden’s sophomore campaign consisted of four points with two goals and two assists.
“Jayden’s first and second seasons, he was pretty quiet and let his play do the talking,” Dickinson senior captain Brendin Steiner said. “Now with the ‘A’ on his jersey, he’s really stepped up and became a vocal leader.”
The good was continuing to build. In his junior season, Mink supplied five points on four goals and one assist. Mink has eight points with three goals and five assists in 15 games this season.
“He’s a great player,” Dickinson junior forward Alex Turcotte said. “I love playing with him. He’s a great person to play with.”
Being named one of the team’s two alternate captains this year, Mink has been able to take on more vocal responsibilities. Folske said he hasn’t shied away from anything.
“Jayden has come a long way since he’s got to the high school program,” Folske said. “He’s worked hard and he’s become a leader. He plays both ends of the ice and he helps the younger kids learn the system. You can’t also anything more out of a senior.”
With about month left in the high school hockey season, including if the Midgets make the North Dakota state tournament, Mink wants to relish every shift from now until the season is over.
“I want to be going my hardest right now and I want to get everyone else to be giving it everything they’ve got,” Mink said. “It’s been a really good season so far and I want to end on a good note.”