Steiner’s contributions don’t always end up on stat sheetDickinson head coach Tom Folske said, “There’s nobody I’d rather have as my captain than Brendin Steiner.”
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Dickinson head coach Tom Folske said, “There’s nobody I’d rather have as my captain than Brendin Steiner.”
Steiner isn’t worried about leading his team in goals. The one area he does care about is winning.
The senior center leads the No. 7 seed Dickinson High boys hockey team into the West Region Tournament against No. 2 seed Minot at 4 p.m. Thursday in Minot.
“As long as we are winning games, I don’t care who the points come from,” Steiner said with a smile.
In Steiner’s first year at varsity as a freshman, he said it was all about survival. He didn’t record a single point in his first 22 games.
“He’s come a long ways,” Folske said. “He came through the program when times were a little tougher and scores weren’t near as close as they were now.”
Steiner recorded two goals and four assists in the sophomore season. But his breakout season, as far as points were concerned, was in his junior season when he supplied a team-high 12 goals and two assists. This season he has four goals and eight assists.
“Brendin is a playmaker,” said senior Austin Krank, who has three assists on the season. “He might not always score the goals, but he sets other people up.”
In the last 10 games, Krank has been part of Steiner’s top line along with senior alternate captain Jayden Mink. Freshman Mike McChesney started on Steiner’s line, but has been sidelined since Dec. 18 after breaking his arm against Bismarck High.
“If he sees you doing something wrong, he’s always there to correct and help you out,” said McChesney, who has seven goals and two assists in the first seven games. “He’s a really good leader.”
Leading the team in his senior season, the Midgets have an 8-13 overall record and, with two wins at the West Region Tournament, can match their total number of wins in the previous three seasons.
“I think WDA has gotten a lot more competitive and every game is closer than it’s ever been,” Steiner said. “We’ve competed a lot this year. A few games (four) we lost this year by one goal. I’m really happy with how we’ve been playing all year.”
In part, the recent success for Dickinson has been the large numbers on the varsity team. The Midgets have 20 players, including two goalies, which is the most players they’ve had in one season during Steiner’s career.
The eight newcomers have pulled their weight, scoring 80 of team’s 144 points.
With the newcomers’ offensive impact, Steiner was needed less on the ice and more off of it. With the ‘C’ on his chest, he is looked to be the vocal leader of the team.
“You can’t go around ‘Goon Squading,’ trying to make the big hit,” Steiner said. “You’ve got to be smart and know that people are looking to you to set an example.”
One of Steiner’s objectives is for his team to achieve the highest seed it could in the West Region Tournament and they matched that. However, since he was a freshman, Steiner has always wanted to make it to the North Dakota state tournament — something no Dickinson team has done since 2000.
“My overall goal has always been to make it to state,” Steiner said. “I think this year is the best opportunity I’ve had to make it to state.”